How to Overcome the 5 Biggest Challenges in Managing Your Yoga Studio
It is no secret that yoga studio owners face a lot of challenges. Turning your passion for yoga into a profitable business means that you have to keep track of your classes, maintain the facilities, balance your books, maintain a healthy cash flow, find the right instructors, network, market, compete with other studios, run promotions, keep track of which students have paid etc. – the list is endless. Indeed, when you are not running the business you are working on the business. You need to manage it all while maintaining the integrity of yoga.
This post will take you through the five biggest challenges in managing a yoga studio and provide you with tips on how to overcome them.
1. Maintain a Positive Cash Flow
If you are not getting new students or retaining them, you are not going to make any money for your business. Sure, if you are just starting out, it is reasonable for it to take time to get the growth and profit you want. However, it is important to keep in mind that the main reason why so many yoga studios fail is because their owners don't operate it like a business.
It is arguably much harder for yoga studio owners (versus other small business owners) to find a healthy balance between having an operational business and being socially responsible. Indeed, how do you merge the wisdom of your practice with the harsh realities of the business world?
Start by evaluating what success is for you. Does it mean to break even or to make a profit for yourself? And how big of a profit? Perhaps, the secret lies in figuring out what your unique gift is, – the one special gift that would be of tremendous value to your community – put it out there and watch your community grow.
2. Marketing Your Yoga Studio
Marketing a business is a major challenge for many small business owners, particularly owners of yoga studios. So how can you go about effectively managing your yoga studio?
Adapt to Student Preferences
You need to offer a variety of classes to attract students. For example, some of your older students may not enjoy hot yoga so you can offer hatha, vinyasa, iyengar and other types of yoga. It is important to diversify offerings to attract a healthy number of students to keep your business afloat.
Make Introductory Offers
Many yoga studios are jumping on board to offer reduced introductory rates to new students. Introductory specials for thirty days are more effective than shorter ones as students typically find the first few classes challenging. Giving them a month of practice gives them more time to adjust, develop the habit, and get a better sense and understanding of the studio. It also gives them a chance to try different classes more than once, and consequently gain confidence to take more classes.
Additional tip: If you find that a certain class or time slot has a low attendance, offer a reduced-rate for that class to attract new students as well as regular ones.
Facebook Pages and Facebook Ads are an important part of a successful marketing strategy for any yoga studio. Simply boosting your business page using precise geo-targeting can give you some instant results. When anyone interacts with your post or page and shares, likes or comments, you are getting more eyes on whatever you are promoting as well as your yoga studio.
Running challenges can motivate your current students and also attract new ones. Try running 30-day challenges at least three times a year at reduced rates. Perhaps encourage participants to try different classes and stick with 2-3 that work for them.
3. Find Good Teachers
A good yoga teacher can make a tremendous difference in a student’s yoga journey; and since they set the tone for a class, they can determine the outcome of your business. It is thus essential to find the right teachers that fit in with the culture of your studio.
The good news is that there is an abundance of certified teachers from many different schools of thought. So how do you pick the right ones for your studio? Start off by identifying which yoga styles and teaching approaches would best fit in with the culture of your studio to narrow down your search. You could also ask current students about what they look for in a yoga instructor, which teaching approaches they feel comfortable with, etc.
Some yoga studio owners offer teacher training courses to create a hiring channel for yoga teachers and as an added revenue stream. Putting in time to train teachers could pay off big for your studio in a number of ways: an important one being that they will teach to your standard and understand the culture of your studio.
Once you find a good teacher, work hard to keep them loyal to you.
4. Maintaining the Integrity of Yoga
We understand that it may be difficult to instill hard business practices in managing your yoga studio, particularly if you have a more spiritually connected studio. It is however okay to bend the rules slightly if it will benefit your business in the long term.
For example, there may be some people who would really like to take your classes but cannot afford to do so. In such a scenario – if you can – it may be worth it to allow them to pay whatever they can afford or turn them into karmi yogis. That strategy can pay off long term and also fits in with the spiritual aspects of yoga.
You can find ways to align your business goals with your spiritual code and ethics; and find a way to balance them out. After all, yoga is all about balance.
Automation is the only solution to solving 90 percent of the challenges you face today in operating your yoga studio. The trick is to find the right software program that streamlines and automates as many of your business processes as possible.
To keep your yoga studio running smoothly and to make informed business decisions, you need to keep track of a lot of reports: from new membership sign-ups to class bookings, attendance, revenue by teacher, revenue by item (if you sell products at your studio), etc. You could lose hours trying to manually create those reports. Plus, it can be wearisome and leaves a lot of room for human error. So why not automate the process with a good yoga studio management software?
Most top-of-the-line management software have features that allow students to book, cancel, check-in to their classes and pay online (which greatly helps you to balance the books at the end of the month). You can also set different pay rates for different classes and different teachers, or simply grant access to individual teachers to manage their classes from the platform.
Perhaps you’d also like to integrate a scheduling software with your own schedule so your site is updated in real time?
Momoyoga is one such top-of-the-line yoga management software that enables you to streamline all of those processes. Plus, it is user-friendly for both beginners and anyone that is familiar with yoga studio management software. If you’re still unsure about getting studio management software, you can try Momoyoga’s 30-day free trial.
Owning and operating a yoga studio is no walk in the park. You should take time to define your business goals and expectations; and automate as many business processes as possible in order for your studio to not only survive, but thrive. The resources in this post should help you make great strides in achieving success for your studio.