5 Strategies on How to Start a Successful Yoga Business
When yoga teachers start moving ahead in their careers, the first thing that usually comes to mind is a studio. A small business with potential for growth. After some time the dream comes true. The place is set, students start, teachers are hired, insurance papers are signed, taxes paid, all that jazz. For most teachers, it becomes a little too real too fast. You need to fill up on an ideal number of students, keep them as well as the teachers that inspire them, not to mention keep up with fixed and variable expenses. You strive to at least break even, then maybe a profit. Which means you have to be fully committed to this facility for a couple of years to reap the benefits. As a business owner, you may end up asking yourself why you got into this in the first place.
The good news is that it's 2018. There are so many options away from opening a studio that may just give you the freedom to teach classes without worrying about overhead costs. Below are some to name a few:
1. Classes in your own home
According to the book, How to Run a Successful Yoga Business and Not Go Broke by Michelle Fondlin, The author quotes that she went from owning a studio to transferring her place of business to her home. A professional move with the objective to obtain balance in her life as a teacher and as a mother. She said that it was the best choice for her because she got to spend time with her kids while creating the perfect yoga space without paying for rent. This is ideal for those who have planted roots in their community. Having a close set of clients gives you the time to pursue the development of other projects (e.g. writing a book). Another perk for using your home as a workspace is that depending on your country, you may get a tax break. Check with your accountant to see what is feasible for you.
2. Online course creation
When I was in the last days of my 200h TT, we talked about the business of yoga. As a new teacher having a website up is an essential step. However, making a website, creating your brand is just the first step. It’s like creating your own universe. You have a vision in mind, you execute it and then what? Unlike the actual universe you can’t create followers, they have to come to you. So your hurdle here is translating your vision to attract people onto your site. Which brings us back to the same problem of owning a studio fishing for dedicated students. What you want is to make some passive income using existing followers. One way to do this is an online course on a platform like Udemy or Teachable. Using other platforms´already present patrons cuts time and money. Which leaves you with a side business that you won’t have to worry about so much.
3. Hospitals and Wellness Clinics
One of my best friends growing up is an ashtanga teacher, psychology graduate, Theta healer and now motivational speaker. Her journey took her down this path through the hospital wellness center. A job that started out with her as a resident yoga teacher for recovering patients. The evolution of this was just wonderfully organic as she branched out within this broad field. As yoga teachers, people come to us because they want to heal or correct an issue they have with themselves whether physical or spiritual. Offering your services to a place that caters to that will not only be very fulfilling for you, it will provide financial stability. In addition, you are in an ever-expanding industry. Who knows where your career can lead you. Try to set up a meeting at our health facility. Choose one with a holistic department because they will generally be more open to your ideas.
4. Speciality Gyms
Crossfit gyms, rock climbing centres, callisthenics facilities fit into this title. These are places that have folks training hard and fast. Sad to say, this puts many people at risk for injuries. Another factor is that these places are also pricier than normal gyms. Their customers will not pay double for separate yoga classes. Unlike the wellness clinics or a hospital, these people are fit with risk for very specific injuries, so your focus is injury prevention and supplemental. It will not be your basic yoga class. While it’s motivation stems from the same concept as working with hospitals you also take out the proximity and extra payment problem; it becomes a huge selling point. Again, a regular influx of clients without the need to fully market your classes.
5. Corporate Offices
Some corporate offices like Google offer yoga classes in their headquarters as a means to give their employees work-life-balance. This may be the trickiest avenue to go through because of several points: First up, big companies have much diversity. Not many are open to go to a yoga class. Next, you need to answer these questions with the HR rep you will negotiate with: Will the company pay you or will the employees pay you for your services? Every little detail that will cost the company will be discussed. Apart from all this, The class sequencing for corporate yoga is usually done ‘series style’ progressive and focused classes with a clear objective for the end date. So why do it? seems like its too much work for just a few classes. The upside is higher payout in comparison to most studios. Our blog has a more detailed article on this exact topic for you to dive into. In the reference links below, I have also provided some articles that might help you in this venture should you choose to go this route.
To review, we have yoga in your own home so that you can handle the lifestyle of your choice at the fraction of the cost it takes to own a studio. Creating online courses through educational platforms can provide passive income without the need to market your product every second. Hospitals and wellness centres have a vast turnover of patients and clients, that not only keep you financially afloat but also, can be very self-actualising. Speciality gyms, give clients the opportunity to receive injury preventive yoga classes without leaving the confines of their establishment. Lastly, corporate yoga classes may be challenging to acquire, the financial benefits could be worth it.
In today’s world, you don’t really need to have your own workspace to achieve business success. You have choices. All these endeavours can be combined or focused to fit you, which is the real achievement if you think about it.
- Book: How to Run a Successful Yoga Business and Not Go Broke by Michelle Fondlin
- Forbes: 10 Platforms You Can Use To Host Your Online Courses
- Kripalu: From the Mat to the Clinic: Yoga Enters Mainstream Medicine
- Mindbodygreen: 11 Tips for Finding & Booking Corporate Yoga Classes
- Yoga Journal: Teaching Yoga in the Workplace
- Smart Asset: The Economics of Yoga