Yoga Business in a Nutshell: Considerations on Opening your own Yoga Studio
Whether you are a fresh graduate or a more seasoned instructor, we’ve all dreamt at least once of owning our own sacred space where our yogis can feel welcome to come and join us in our classes. Opening a yoga studio can be a fantastic experience: it creates a strong sense of community with our yogis and, most importantly, it’d be a major personal achievement that could bring a great sense of fulfilment into our lives.
Imagine having a cosy, joyful place where you could deliberately choose your class schedule, your coworkers, and the interior design that most appeals to you. It’d be like a dream come true, right? Well, on the other side of the coin, as we all know, with great power comes great responsibility.
When you’re the one who calls the shots you’re also the one who’s responsible if something doesn’t go as planned. Owning a studio is not exactly like a walk in the park, there’s far more than meets the eye: it requires effort, determination, a consistent budget and a strategic approach. On top of that, opening a studio means running a real business, and, as such, it can be energy-consuming.
Don’t hire instructors only because you need them: hire only those who you can really trust.
Things to consider before getting started
Getting started with your project can indeed add a good dose of stress into our minds: there are so many things you need to take into account: budget, location, employees and so on… Another thing you’ll need to consider is that, especially in the early stages, you’ll most certainly need to work extra hours in order to make ends meet.
But no worries, I’m not here to discourage you, but rather help you getting started in the most effective and rewarding way possible! So let me talk you through this project and you’ll see that with the right attitude, a nicely planned strategy and some basic marketing knowledge you’ll be amazed and proud of your successful business!
To be completely honest, I never thought that math and marketing had anything to do with a deeply spiritual practice like yoga. But while doing some research on the topic, I’ve come to realize that if you really want your project to succeed you’ll inevitably need to develop a business mindset and yes, even deal with numbers and statistics.
Otherwise, if numbers are not your forte, you can simply go the easy way and hire a well-experienced professional who can do the “dirty” work for you.
And that’s absolutely fine: just remember that there’s nothing bad in seeking help when we’re in need. So if you feel like trusting this heavy load into more trustworthy hands call out for help from a business strategist or a marketing consultant.
Building up the right strategy
What you need to do to get started with your project is to build a rather analytical approach, because you’ll need to take into account all the factors that could potentially affect your business. Obviously, the first thing you should consider is budget: how much money can you actually invest in this project? Also crucially important at this stage is timing.
This might sound like a broken record but planning everything ahead can definitely help you set up your business in a smooth way. Start with considering every little expanse: location costs, furniture, staff’s wage and of course, also your income. Once all these steps are completed you’re ready for the next phase, which is choosing the right location. Since yoga has lately become a real phenomenon, especially in the West, we're seeing yoga studios blooming in every street corner.
So if you want to scope out the competition, choosing the right location will definitely put you ahead of the game. Make sure there’s no yoga studio nearby and find a sweet spot that could be easily reachable by your yogis. It might sound quite unlikely, but I’m sure that if you start doing thorough research you’ll get what you need. After all, I believe that every city has its own hidden gems that simply need to be found!
Also, a small side note : a tip that you might find useful while searching for your perfect place is to do a detailed research to see if there was a former yoga studio in the neighborhood you want to settle in. This is very often a clear sign that that neighborhood doesn't really need a yoga studio. This way you can decide to avoid that neighborhood and prevent making a risky investment.
Likewise, aesthetics also play an effective role when it comes to setting up a yoga studio. So choose an appealing design but also remember to give a personal touch to your place, it doesn’t have to be too impersonal! I’d also suggest filling the space with plants: these cute allies can help you create a chilled, welcoming atmosphere. (Oh and, if you’ve got a green thumb you definitely know that some plants can even purify the air of your environment!).
Choosing your team and promoting your studio
Another important element you need to add to the check-list is, of course, your team. Coworkers help you shape your studio’s image and influence your yogis feedback. So nothing should be left to chance, don’t hire instructors only because you need them: hire only those who you can really trust.
Always keep in mind that you’re creating a sort of family, and in every family everyone should feel equally included and valued. In this regard there’s also something you ought to do on your part: try to build a strong sense of leadership without being bossy. Remember that you’re working together with the same purpose: teaching and sharing a beautiful and sacred practice to the world!
Lastly, if you want your studio to thrive remember to promote it! The easiest way to do it is of course through words of mouth. In case you’re an experienced teacher who already has her/his own inner circle of yogis, this could be a pretty easy task. Otherwise, if you’ve just gotten your certificate, it doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t get any yogis. When you’re opening your studio try advertising it on social media (e.g. paying for Facebook or Instagram ads) or ask for help from a social media expert that can assist you with online promotion and content creation.
So now you know a bit more about opening a studio, don’t be afraid of making mistakes and don’t get stressed if things aren’t going too well. Just remember that you work for your business, not in it!