Episode 30 - Master Your Space
Ginny Colorusso is the founder and owner of AMP yoga. Ginny offers yoga, acupuncture, holistic arts and massage in her studio in addition to her specialties which include reiki and past life regression. Ginny is maximizing what goes on in her space and is going to talk with us about introducing new modalities to your studio to increase revenue.
Best way to reach her: email@example.com
Host - Dan: fitDEGREE is more than just two guys with microphones. It is the studio management software you've been looking for. For more info, reach out to me on our website at www.fitdegree.com. On Instagram at the handle fitdegree or my email Dan.berger. That's B-E-R-G-E-R at fitdegree.com to get the conversation started. All right, now onto the show
Host - Dan: Hey fit fan and welcome back to Studio Savvy by fitDEGREE. I'm your host for the show, Dan. I'm joined in the studio by my cohost Nick, so what is the studio? In one sense it's just a large room, lots of space, but it's what goes on in that space that defines your business and your community. Today's guest is Ginny Colorusso, founder and owner of AMP Yoga.
Host - Dan: Ginny offers yoga, acupuncture, holistic arts and massage in her studio. In addition to her specialties which include Reiki and past life regression. Ginny is maximizing what goes on in her space, is going to talk with us about introducing new modalities into your studio to increase revenue. Thanks for joining us today, Ginny, and welcome to Studio Savvy.
Ginny Colorusso: Thank you for having me. I'm so happy to be here with you guys.
Host - Dan: Yeah, it's great. We always love it when we get fellow New Jerseyans on the show. Not everyone else likes us, so we got to stick together.
Ginny Colorusso: Oh yes. I'm sure you all pick up on my accent, my New Jersey accent for sure.
Host - Dan: Just a little bit. We got a couple of Jersey accents north, south, everything in between. So Ginny, tell us, take us back to where ever you want to start the story, you know, the starting of AMP. How you got there? What you do with it?
Ginny Colorusso: Sure.
Host - Dan: And leading into eventually how you're best using that big old room you got.
Ginny Colorusso: That's right. We have a few rooms.
Host - Dan: Supper studio.
Ginny Colorusso: Yeah, exactly. What led me to open the studio was I was teaching for a long time and I just felt like I was not getting the most out of what I was doing. And I wanted to create this space that I could not only teach yoga and meditation all the things I was trained at with, but also offer holistic healing. So years ago I was diagnosed as infertile and I was told at the age of 34 that it would be almost impossible for me to have children naturally. So what I did was I brought in all the holistic healing arts.
Host - Dan: Sure.
Ginny Colorusso: I brought in massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, all that stuff. And then boom I have two beautiful little girls. And so what I wanted to do was like, not only like bring that to the public and make more people aware of that. That's a healing service it's offered to you. And it naturally heals the body, but also have a space for me to do like the other modalities that I have, like Reiki, past life progression. I also take people up to heaven. I connect people directly with their deceased loved ones. So I wanted a space where-
Host - Dan: Interesting.
Ginny Colorusso: I know, right? I take people to heaven. I wanted a space for all that I prefer and I wanted to put that into the community. And that's how AMP was created.
Host - Dan: So what is the name AMP? Where did that come from? I think AMP, I think let's get loud. There's an energy drink called AMP and now we're like Reiki and holistic medicine. Where's, how do we bridge the gap?
Ginny Colorusso: So, all right, so AMP was created to it combines Sanskrit words, awesome, mantra and Prada, which are three Sanskrit words like deeply rooted in Yoga. But what, to me, what it also combines and provides and a difference and I define it's like a multidimensional meeting. It's amplify your soul, amplify your being. So yoga it may seem relaxing and calm. There are so many different types of yoga out there. There's Hot Power yoga, there's-
Host - Dan: They are not all relaxing.
Ginny Colorusso: They are not all relaxing, but what yoga does is it really, if you allow it to, it really transforms you. And that's when it amps up your whole being. It really clears all the energy and stuck stuff that shouldn't be there. And that's where I was like I just kept on coming back. Back to that name AMP. It just kept on coming back to me. So that's how I named it AMP for real.
Host - Dan: So is the studio you're in now, was this the first space you've been in as owned?
Ginny Colorusso: Yes. Correct. So that's my first. I opened in February, 2017 that's my first space as an owner correct.
Host - Dan: So you went right in and said, "I want multiple studio rooms." I know a lot of people that really start out, I just need a space. I get a space. I'll get a following. I get a big enough following, I get a bigger space. You said, "No, no, no, no. We need these rooms."
Ginny Colorusso: Well, you know what, I worked in a studio where it was just a tiny room it was that kind of thought process. Tiny room, build a following, go to a bigger space.
Host - Dan: Now when you say tiny room, did it have like a little reception area or it's like you opened the door.
Ginny Colorusso: It had a mini reception area and the room was mini. So like maybe in terms of square footage, it was like 900 square foot total. So it was tiny.
Host - Dan: Bigger than my apartment.
Ginny Colorusso: On a tiny side. I mean we would squeeze people in their mat to mat like 29 people. 29 people squeeze mat to mat were in there. I just was like, I don't want to have to move, I want to get a medium sized space and really grow into it. So I said, even if I have to bite the bullet with rent for a little bit. Paying for a higher space and not having the strong following.
Ginny Colorusso: I said, I just wanted a medium inside space where I can just stay and kind of get rooted and grounded.
Support - Nick: Sure. It's a good investment in yourself. I think a lot people underestimate what moving does to your community.
Ginny Colorusso: I mean, the space I was in previously and we just moved a mile down the road and I mean, she did the right thing, like for sure for her. Like she did the totally right thing for her. She is killing it right now, in that bigger space. But I'm just wanted to do something different. I miss teaching just one style of yoga and it kind of like cut out so many demographics.
Ginny Colorusso: So people would come and be like, "Yo, I can't do Hot Yoga. This isn't for me." And I'd be like, say it. I'm like, "Man, I'm like this yoga is for everybody."
Host - Dan: Yes.
Ginny Colorusso: So that's what I kind of did. I bit the bullet a little bit in terms of rent, but I have what I have is like a main, a big like 900, almost a thousand square foot studio room. And then I have a mini room. My mini rooms like that, my massage, my acupuncture, my Reiki, my healing treatments, and even like a private yoga session you could do in there.
Host - Dan: Cool.
Ginny Colorusso: So, yeah, that's what I wanted. I wanted a big room and then a space for healing.
Host - Dan: I think having the space for private yoga is awesome and that's just so at such a high value, the profit margin you don't need a lot of room. You literally need enough, I mean a large closet technically would suffice. Not that that's the goal, but some people charge $100 an hour for a private yoga session for that small of a space. I mean, hypothetically if you had three of those and three of those sessions going on at once, that's just maximizing every inch of what you have.
Ginny Colorusso: And that's what I really want to talk to you guys about today is just maximizing your room. And whether it should be on a gym. A gym, I used to work at too, they had a little separate room on the side and they would bring in massage therapists. They brought a hair salon at one time. They had a hair salon in there. They had a golf studio come in, a mini golf studio.
Host - Dan: Really?
Ginny Colorusso: Yeah. So they really were trying to think outside the box and just use up your, you got to pay rent unless you own the building yourself, then you're just you're paying yourself. But for us, that pay rent, you just, you're trying to maximize the space and the time allotted.
Host - Dan: So when you got your space and you said, "Great, I have this space, how do I maximize it? I'm sure you obviously were doing yoga at first. Were you doing massage from the start? What was the process for kind of going, what do I want to bring in next?
Ginny Colorusso: Yes. So I knew I wanted massage and acupuncture because those were like two keys that really helped reverse my infertility diagnosis. So we started with the two different massage. I had massage therapists and acupuncturist, they both didn't really work out. And then finally I found two that worked out for me and for my space. So I found it started off there.
Ginny Colorusso: It just wasn't... They weren't promoting as much in... They were kind of newer to their business as well. So newer massage therapist, newer acupunctures, they didn't have the following. So when I tap into some, a massage therapist with a following, like that's when I started to really maximize the space. And the, I mean that's true for like yoga teachers too.
Ginny Colorusso: If you have like a brand new yoga teacher coming to your studio, they may not have a following behind them. But if you had someone a little bit more seasoned and a little bit more experienced, they're going to pull people in from all over the place. It might be worth as a like for gym yoga, it might be worth paying those people more. Like as I worked in gym yoga too and I was paying very small amount. But I was able to pull in people and that is when a gym owner should be like, "Yo, they're pulling in people all over the place like crazy maybe I should throw them an extra few five or 10 bucks an hour their way. So being generous and reciprocating the flow to.
Host - Dan: Absolutely. I know for example, when we started doing this podcast, the podcast was supplementary marketing for our sales funnel. We would talk to studio owners, we make studio management software, a conversations begun. What we found was that the people that we brought on here that provided the most value, not podcast wise but for fitDEGREE, was actually the people that do PR for studio fitness, that do consulting for studios, that do mindset coaching for studios, that sell a one woman.
Host - Dan: [Greger Erdle 00:10:26] she connected us with one of our partners, Loud Rumor now she sells toe socks for the bar space and she travels and covers 22 states and she, her clients are hundreds and hundreds of studios. And it's like you're saying what may be the perceived value of someone for their service and what they do and the actual value for the connectivity in the truly doing business and bringing people together are two not necessarily... What's the word I'm looking for? Not linearly correlated to one another.
Ginny Colorusso: Right. Yeah, exactly. I completely agree.
Host - Dan: Awesome. So you brought in the acupuncture and the massage and now the other services, the past life regression, the Reiki, were you bringing in people to do that or were you mostly doing that yourself? I know you said that's your specialty.
Ginny Colorusso: That's my specialty. I mean for Reiki, I mean most gosh, most of the yoga community they are naturally attracted to Reiki, so most of them are going to be Reiki attuned as well. So it's not uncommon for them but yeah, what I would do is I would run like past life regression workshops. I would do like journey to heaven workshops. I would take people up and then from there I would get private sessions from that. So what was also beneficial in terms of yoga was running a free class, like run a free class, have an anniversary special kind of thing and then people would come in from that free class or whatever.
Host - Dan: Now with the free class, were you doing that in studio or going into like a park, a community center?
Ginny Colorusso: Both. I would do, I, you know, when you want to get your name out there as much as you can. So I the woman who trained me was like, "No, I'm never going to do a free class." And I'm like, now I see you're doing it because it just, you're giving back to the community and you're getting word of your studio out there. You have to do whatever you can to just, be generous to the community, give them things too. I mean if they take you up on it and come back and do a session with you or pick up a package or a monthly unlimited with you, then that's great. It's just a matter of making that community connection.
Support - Nick: You got to value your time, but you also got to think about it like free advertising or, it's your advertising dollars, whatever it costs you to go out there and then your time to be out there.
Ginny Colorusso: Oh sure.
Host - Dan: And then just be on time. We were, Nick and I were cleaning out a storage unit full of old fitDEGREE stuff yesterday. We found all this stuff, water bottles, shirts, sunglasses are like, there has to be value to this, these are physical goods, has to be value. What do we do? And not just that we value our time, but we want to get back. And we said, "You know, where's the local boys and girls club? Where's somewhere that we can donate this?"That they'll use this stuff. And then we even found an old TV in there that Nick wants to get rid of and that may not have direct value, but it's good to give back to the community that we live and work in.
Ginny Colorusso: Right and they're going to notice that. It's going to, yeah. And it could come back to you guys and in a good positive way. I did some work with the community girl scouts. We did a lot of them programs with them. I just did a community softball game. We did it for a traveling softball team. We did a community class.
Host - Dan: That's always fun.
Ginny Colorusso: So, yeah, so giving back to the community and showing it's just a matter of like putting yourself out there.
Support - Nick: And I think giving with no expectations, a lot of people were like, "Well, if I do this, I should get that. But it's like, we're going to donate that stuff to the boys and girls club and like, whatever happens, happens. I mean, I don't care after that. I shake my hands and that's that. And if something comes back, fantastic. If it doesn't, there's no expectation.
Host - Dan: We have more space in our storage unit.
Ginny Colorusso: But you know what Nick, I think that's a good lesson to learn. Like giving without expectation. Like you can't just give and say like, "Well, I gave you a free class. Well, why aren't you signing up for memberships?" You can't just go in with that mindset.I haven't learned my lesson myself to like, you can't, you got to just drop your expectations.
Support - Nick: Well, I think that's just how to avoid let's just try and to stay calm more often I hear how hyped up very easily. I hear how triggered very easily and just trying to stay calm consistently. How do you not trigger yourself? Well, try to eliminate frustration and disappointment and one those comes from if you're willing to help someone you're doing it for, I mean, you're doing it for them, but you're also doing it for yourself.
Support - Nick: I like to help people and I get frustrated sometimes when it's not reciprocated in some way, whether it's them just listening, but it's like, no, you're giving without expectations and you hope that they become a better person. You feel good because you gave knowledge or advice or whatever it was to that person. And then let it be, let the moment go.
Ginny Colorusso: And you know what, like that is so important because it's triggers, right? So what yoga does is really makes you become aware of your triggers. And I a couple of weeks ago I went on Dr. Oz and I was talking to him about how, because of he didn't really get into it, but because I've done so many years of yoga, meditation and Reiki, I can still hear my dad's been passed for eight years and I can still hear him.I can still communicate with him. And the one thing then he came back to me was talking about triggers and how-
Host - Dan: Interesting.
Ginny Colorusso: Yes, he had an important... for him, it was like a test and he goes, I didn't pass it. And he's like, because I got triggered. I, yeah, you guys can laugh. I got triggered and he said he was like, I was supposed to learn not to get triggered.
Support - Nick: Yeah. I mean I think it's a big deal. I think, like you just said I think Yoga, Reiki, I've done a lot of acupuncture recently. I've done a lot of yoga in the past. And what I think it does is it makes you kinesthetically aware and it makes you emotionally aware. And that's something I think should be taught at the youngest age group possible is becoming emotionally aware of what's going on. Not even why you did something, but just the ask what did you feel when you did that? And just for them to say, "I was angry." So they can say the next time I'm angry I'm not going to punch a wall because I hurt my hand.
Host - Dan: Why were you angry? And then you're angrier.
Support - Nick: Yeah. So I think eliminating triggers has been a huge part of a yoga and both acupuncture are a huge takeaway from both yoga and acupuncture for me.
Ginny Colorusso: Good.
Support - Nick: So you said you were on Dr. Oz. That's exciting.
Ginny Colorusso: It was.
Support - Nick: So how did that happen? How did you get on there and then maybe what is it done for your business, if anything since?
Ginny Colorusso: Sure. So a few months back he sends out these emails, like if you're looking... He's looking for certain people. Like he was looking for people who remember their past lives, which I do.
Support - Nick: Interesting.
Ginny Colorusso: So I saw it on a website and I emailed them and I got no response. So then I was like, "All right, well they get inundated with emails. So I'm like, it's all right. Whatever. So I got on his email list and his email list was going into my spam file and I was just I was sitting at work one day because I also work a financial services job. I work nine to five. And I heard this voice say, check your spam. This loud, booming voice say check your spam. I'm like, all right. So I checked it and he was looking for people who could connect to the other side. And I was like, "Yo, I do that."
Host - Dan: It just happened [crosstalk 00:17:58].
Ginny Colorusso: I was like, yeah, I just heard someone, no. So I applied to that and boom, they called me and boom, they're like, you're coming on. It was like Thursday. They're like, "You're coming on Monday."
Support - Nick: Wow its hard to knock it when something as simple as that just happened where it's-
Ginny Colorusso: Exactly.
Support - Nick: Whereas like I would never check my spam folder if I didn't click. It didn't happen.
Ginny Colorusso: Maybe I'd check it once a week, but now it's like every day I'm checking it because you never know what goes in there. But that's how I got on Dr Oz. And what was amazing about it was I got to see the behind the scenes. Like how everything's done behind the scenes. I saw Donnie Wahlberg was taping a segment, so I got to see him-
Host - Dan: That's pretty cool.
Ginny Colorusso: Doing his thing. And then boom it's like I'm on national/international TV with talking about how I hear my dad on the other side. So it was a really interesting show and I hope what I really hope is that it helped a lot of people who are going through like the grieving process right now or people who afraid of death or people who have like, no, like they're like, no, there is no afterlife kind of thing, mindset. So that's when I really hope it helped and that those people right now who are kind of lost spiritually or just questioning what happens when we die.
Host - Dan: So we've had that's very interesting, awesome experience, national TV and you've got all these cool services. One kind of just explained to us, so when you were in your studio, you said, "All right, I got the space, I know what services I want." How do you decide how to optimize each of those a lot, the right amount of time to each service, the right amount of space to each service. To make each of them because you've got a ton of services worthwhile to maximize the revenue in your studio.
Ginny Colorusso: I think it's just a no matter how much you have it on your website, and I think it's just boom, you have to put it in the emails. You have to put it on your social media. You have to keep on putting it out there to people because people will forget. They're like, oh, I'll still have someone come up to me and be like, "I don't know you had Acupuncture." And I'm like [crosstalk 00:20:15].
Support - Nick: [crosstalk 00:20:16] in the forehead. Like I don't know what all this is going to take for you to know?
Ginny Colorusso: But it's Kind of like what do I need to put like a set of needles out here on the front desk? So yeah, it's, I think it's what's challenging right now is people to read their emails. A lot of people aren't reading in general. Like they're just like, they're, they're swiping, they're scanning, there scrolling. So there's less I guess, urge to read emails.
Ginny Colorusso: So you have to like work really hard to have your email, have an interesting topic in line. And it's, then I'm like, why are we, I'm like, am I playing a game here? Like, you know get it.
Host - Dan: Yes you are.
Ginny Colorusso: Yes, I am. So it's challenging, but I try to put it out there as much as possible. Like we now, we've offered like a free acupuncture consultation if you'd even buy or just start a new student package. If you buy our new student package, we're going to give you a free consultation with our acupuncturist and if you want to sign up with her and do acupuncture with her, that's totally up to you.
Ginny Colorusso: But we're giving it to you for free. And we're... I think what's also challenging now is we're competing with Groupon and ClassPass and like all those other modalities that have really, I think have really injured the yoga industry. Especially like the small studio industry. It's been a little bit more challenging. Yoga is a premium service shouldn't be on Groupon. Probably not. Can you offer-
Host - Dan: I'm really curious-
Ginny Colorusso: You offer like that.
Host - Dan: About that. Do people just come in all the time? Like, "Oh, I found on Groupon, give it to me for free." And it's like, "Well, that's not how it works." But it was on Groupon, so I want it.
Ginny Colorusso: Well, that's... This is the thing. So we use Groupon for a year and a half. It brought in like maybe about 20% of the people stayed, right?
Host - Dan: Okay.
Ginny Colorusso: What Groupon does is they won't pay you unless the person redeemed their voucher though. So if they just redeemed, they don't redeem the voucher and Groupon gets all the money. Like that's-
Host - Dan: So it's not even on you. It's on a person who has no incentive to actually do that, but you're relying on them to do that.
Support - Nick: That's not you should get a notification email. Like you should be expecting this person.
Ginny Colorusso: No, that's what I mean. That's what Groupon does. So it kind of hurts it hurts our industry. Have I seen gyms use it? Yeah, I've seen some gyms use it for like certain services, like one gym, one local gym has a special Zumba teacher in, so they're trying to bring people in from the Zumba class and then hopefully they sign up for the gym membership too. So I've seen gyms use it too, but it's just, to me, it came into a headache. It just became a headache.
Support - Nick: So now one thing I heard before earlier in the podcast that I wanted to touch on was that you said you work nine to five.
Ginny Colorusso: Correct?
Support - Nick: So what struggle has that brought? I guess that was really, did you have that plan going into that I'm going to work nine to five, therefore I need to find accessory revenue streams. I need to be constantly renting out my space or how did that kind of go about?
Ginny Colorusso: And I knew that any new business takes a while, to become up and running. And as much as I had saved for savings in terms of like, all right, I have this x amount of savings for the business for paying for rent and teacher salaries. I said, "I knew I'm going to, I know I'm still going have to feed some money into the business as we start to grow. And now as we start to slowly built up."So I had the mindset that I would still be here for a little bit and then I would eventually transition over and to do the yoga studio. And my healing work full time.
Support - Nick: So now you've worked at a studio and now you've opened a studio. What's the best piece of advice you could give someone that is an aspiring studio owner?
Ginny Colorusso: You know, I would just say expect the unexpected. Try to have as much as you're going to have a backup plan, have, make sure you open in an area that isn't as saturated. So if you have a saturated market and you open in a saturated area, it's going to be more challenging to try and pull people into your business. So picking the right location really analyzing rent and teacher salary.
Ginny Colorusso: I would advise against trying to teach all the classes yourself. That's hard. And people want to see variety on the schedule. So adding a little bit of variety. Paying someone 40, 50 bucks a class, might bring in extra 300 bucks a week for you. So that thinking of those things like that's the advice I would give. Like think about marketing, have a marketing plan. Think about definitely using social media, having a website ready to roll.
Host - Dan: That's important.
Ginny Colorusso: It's things like that. Yeah.
Support - Nick: I also liked the idea of not overpaying, but generously paying your instructors and the people that are going to be the face of your studio. Don't, that's not a place to cheap out.
Ginny Colorusso: No. Please don't if you like, if you cheap out on them, like that's your backbone and that's-
Support - Nick: And they're going to cheap out on your customers and it just going to full circle.
Ginny Colorusso: Exactly. So it's you have to be generous with the way the people who are in your care and who are helping you and build the community. You have to be generous with them.
Support - Nick: Yes, totally agree. So now someone wanted to keep the conversation going with you, whether that was Reiki or the Dr. Oz experience or anything like that. What would be the best way to find you?
Ginny Colorusso: The best way to find me, they can look up the website, ampyogastudio.com. It's A-M-P Yoga studio.com. They can send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. That's the easiest way to reach me. Check me out on Instagram, Facebook where there too. So any of those platforms are like the easiest way to get ahold of me.
Support - Nick: Awesome. And we'll have all that contact info on our website.
Ginny Colorusso: Thank you guys.
Support - Nick: All right, thanks so much for being on the show today really appreciate it.
Host - Dan: That was a great episode.
Ginny Colorusso: Thank you guys. Thanks so much for having me on.
Host - Dan: So could you like this episode be sure to go and leave us a review. Your feedback helps us make better episodes every week. If you're a studio fitness owner who wants to streamline processes with the studio management software, that's actually affordable checkout fitDEGREE, go and find us at fitdegree.com. That's F-I-T-D-E-G-R-E-E.com to talk with a team member today. We'll see you back here next week, same Day, same time for another podcast episode featuring amazing studio fitness owners. See you later. Everyone.