The Yoga Studio in 2023
Now that we are back on our day-to-day lives, it's time to get back to business! For those of us who are building a brand or business, this time becomes one of reflection. Not just resolutions but more of direction; where do we take our business? Imagine being on a road with a roundabout up ahead with many exits branching out of it. Sounds overwhelming, doesn’t it? It doesn’t have to be. With a bit of introspection, “exospection”, and local market research, we can make an informed decision and take the best path for our brand or business. While this article will be more focused on yoga studios, that doesn’t mean that yoga teachers won’t get anything out of this. We wrote this article so that it can be applicable to both physical and virtual business owners, as well as individual teachers who are probably starting out at the cusp of the new year.
When we are at that stage of creating a space of work, especially the stage of conceptualization, what comes to mind when you fill up this sentence? We are an establishment that facilitates ___________. If you are having trouble with filling this blank, then we hope that this article can help you do that. We will talk about what trends are happening today in local businesses as well as global trends happening in the world. These past 2 years, we survived a pandemic and other global craziness that makes us approach 2023 with a weary eye. So we prepare for the worst, which is the smart choice. However, we should prepare for success too. All that starts with filling in the blank above and some other questions. So let’s get to it!
It doesn’t matter if you are feeling uninspired or have been struck by the muses, be present for your business and it will eventually light up for you.
What and who do you want to serve?
I studied fashion design. This is a whole other story, but one thing I took away from those days were these 2 things: “What do you do?” and “Who is it for?”. There will always be clients for our teaching style. We just have to reach for them. To do that, we need to define ourselves as teachers so we know who our people are. Let’s dive into these 2 questions. The first one asks, What type of yoga are you into or would like to learn and offer?, and what sets you apart from the rest of the other yogipreneurs out there? The second question asks about the need for your yoga. This will involve some local market research such as: how many yoga studios are within a 5-10 km radius. What classes do they have? Can you offer something different or better? To give you some ideas, the latest trends from 2022 that may extend to the next year are: boutique fitness/wellness, low impact exercise, aerial yoga, and hybrid or online classes. Yes, they are still a thing.
How much space do you need for that?
Once you have identified your brand and your people, the next question to answer is how big do you need your place to be? These days, yogis can create a studio space working with a minimum of 75 sq. meters to approximately 325 sq. meters, as long as it is well ventilated. In a post-pandemic world people are happy and mask-free but are also a bit weary of the spaces they enter in. If you are deciding whether to stick to an online business model or to go live with a brick-and-mortar studio, according to Wellness Creative Co. “yoga studios are bouncing back. People visit them for an experience – like a spa on a budget. They enjoy the serene atmosphere, sandalwood scents, and minimalist decor.” So fear not if you really want to take the plunge of imparting live classes in your own space. Maybe go for a space that’s open, with windows or high ceilings, and has enough space for you to change with the times.
What would you like to add?
The best advice I was given about opening a studio is to take advantage of the space. Create 2 rooms if you can. If you can’t do that, then have online class offerings on a platform so that your people can get 24 hour access to your yoga classes. In addition, you can branch out your yoga studio to similar formats of fitness just to add variety to your space. In Sweden, yoga studios often include methods like Soma Movement, and the like. Other methods and systems you can check out are Buti Yoga, Barre, Body Balance, Budokon, to their class roster to optimize client membership. Again depending on the identity of your brand, look for something that speaks to you and your target audience. For example, a yoga studio that focuses on mindfulness and a slower form of yoga might not add a salsa class to branch out.
How many people or platforms do you need to make that happen?
it’s time to address your possible collaborators or employees. Maybe you want to be a one-person-band in your venture. Perhaps you want to take on new employees? Whatever the case, the important thing is to delegate the work. Not only for the fear of burning out on the job, it’s also about staying in our “zone of genius”. We are teachers. We know how to prepare classes so that we can give the best to our yogis. Still, when running a business, we need to be administrators, accountants, marketing agents, social media managers and so forth. While we may be adept at these roles, we may not be the best at them. So don’t be afraid to reach out to other pros to help. Another thing you can lean on are platforms that will guide you through marketing your establishment. Platforms like Facebook, Google Business Profile, Instagram, Loomly, Wordpress, Wix, and let’s not forget our very own Momoyoga that can help your studio with scheduling and payment.
Adapting to the times
When you build a business, you become part of the community. You have made an imprint on your neighborhood or even on a larger scale. When we connect to the world, we also need to adapt to it. For example, when I chose my locale for my studio, I wanted something that can be easily adaptable to different modalities. I invested in materials I could take out and put back as needed. I ended up with a small 80 square meter space with high ceilings and a big window. I bought materials like tatami. Because I wanted a place that I could adapt to suspended activities like aerial yoga or trx, tatami over my floor so that my yogis and I train our arm balances–which I can take off if I ever open up a dynamic movement class. Whether you add more stuff to your studio or you streamline it, always be prepared just in case you need to make a change or a special group of clients make a request (and they will).
So, were you able to fill in the blank? If not, that’s ok. As we said, it’s an ongoing process. Starting or maintaining a business is daunting. It seems as if the challenges keep coming one after the other. If there is anything you can take away from reading this: it is to have the will and drive to keep showing up. It doesn’t matter if you are feeling uninspired or have been struck by the muses, be present for your business and it will eventually light up for you. We hope that this article has served you well!