My Journey from Pilates Teacher to Studio Owner
The thing about changing career midlife is that, usually, it will be to something you love. That is exactly what happened to me, at the age of 35. I gave up managing restaurants and retrained as a Pilates Teacher. For the first time I found my niche. Of course, when one’s dream comes true another starts to form immediately! I started to dream about having a warm, light and large studio with a character and so began my search for a suitable premises. Six months into my search I gave up on ‘light and large’ and just wanted a chance to see any premises. A year into my search I realised that it just wasn’t going to happen. Due to the need for a change of use (if a premises has previously been used for offices for example, a change of use is required), dimension requirements and financial restrictions it didn’t seem possible that I would ever find anything suitable. I could see my dream falling apart.
Fortunately, someone told me about an option of hiring a property consultant specialist who, for a fee, finds the property for you. My hopes & dreams returned. I met the lovely Lloyd Harris and gave him all my specifications. A few months and many property visits later, I have found my property, even if it doesn’t necessarily look like it at the moment… (pictures attached)
There is still one obstacle: the dreaded change of use, for which, depending on the council, one has to wait from 4-9 weeks:( , nothing is quick. Its a very tricky situation as I cannot commit to the lease until I know I have been granted the license and on the other hand I am expecting the Landlord to wait for me all this time without a guarantee of a tenant. Frequently, one would be asked to pay a non refundable deposit to the Landlord to wait, but it will be a loss if the license is not granted. What is a new entrepreneur to do? Risk it or not to risk it?
Anyway, while we wait for the license to ‘Pilates on’, there is some work to be done; some legal and some dirty!
To be continued……………
‘change of use’ – when leasing a commercial propery in the UK one has to trade under an appropriate License ie retail would be R1, restaurant A3, etc they will have different requirements in terms of what is required of the property and the person/company who uses it. Here is a government guide http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/