Yoga is an ancient practice that focuses on breathing and posture. Though it emerged in India a thousand years ago, it entered America in the 1920s and since then has rapidly grown popular. Celebrity support, International Yoga Day celebration and multiple health benefits of Yoga have universalized it further. Three out of four Americans believe that “Yoga is good for you,” and the number of people practicing Yoga increased by over 50% in just 4 years.
The exploding popularity of Yoga among Americans has led to the opening of many Yoga studios throughout the country. According to a recent survey, the US has nearly 6000 operating Yoga studios and with nearly 36 million active “yogis”, Yoga is big business in the US.
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The (ever) increasing popularity of Yoga in the USA –
If you are a Yoga enthusiast, certified by a trustworthy agency (like Yoga Alliance), and want to spread its magic in the lives of other people, it would be great for you to start a Yoga studio. Now, if you wish to open a Yoga studio, here are some important and detailed tips to guide you through the process.
This guide will show you how to start a Yoga studio and grow your business progressively. To learn everything you need to know before you start your journey, delve in it and take notes.
Before you begin your journey, it’s important to have a vision. You must ask yourself that why you want to get into the fitness industry? What is driving you? What is your dream? What’s your story? You need to build a vision for your Yoga studio – you need to decide on short-term objectives and long-term goals. Figure out, if you want to run a one-person operation, form a partnership with several other Yoga instructors, or open a franchise.
You must start this process with a solid road map. For this, you can develop an organized business plan. Here is a detailed guide to writing your business plan.
Briefly, a fitness business plan includes – executive planning, market research, company overview, and working on funding and financial aid.
When you get into any fitness business, it is of paramount importance to have skilled and well-trained people. Hiring people who are best in trade will help build a reputation for your yoga studio.
Good staff will ensure a good member experience and would further fetch you good word of mouth from clients. Word of mouth can be as important as traditional advertising. That's why you must build the best team you can for your yoga studio.
The size of your team will further depend on the classes you want to hold in a day (or week) and the variety of courses you are planning to offer. For a beginner, it is advised to expand slowly and patiently. Make sure the instructors you hire are certified from authentic agencies like Yoga Alliance, Yoga Certification Board, etc. You must get the best Yogis you can for your yoga studio.
While starting your Yoga studio, the biggest challenge you may face is to find a suitable location, which is within your budget and in the right area.
For this, you need to start earlier and try to find a place that suits both your vision and pocket. It’s important to choose a location that is not brimming with Yoga Studios. At the same time, the location you choose should have market potential.
Choosing residential areas can also be a good choice since it can be convenient for clients who don’t want to travel very far. If you choose to open a Yoga studio in a residential community, try to have it somewhere where the parking lot is in proximity.
In bigger cities, it is difficult to find big spaces at reasonable rent but don’t be discouraged, even smaller spaces with the right décor and aesthetic can do wonders. Your client just needs to feel comfortable in your studio.
Some special tips for the design of your Yoga studio are ;
You have a vision, a business plan, good staff, and a well-located studio, now it is time to explosively market your Yoga studio. Before you inaugurate your Yoga studio, it’s important to pre-sell it, otherwise, how will people get to know you are opening one?
For marketing, you can use a traditional approach like newspaper ads, local radio bytes, or collaborating with various outlets like restaurants, food outfits, and laundry services, etc. to promote your Yoga studio.
You can also partner with similar fitness-oriented ventures like fitness equipment stores, clothing outfits to reach customers. Discounts can be a good way to attract a crowd also.
Non-traditional approaches include using social media or websites to attract traffic. You can create a business profile on Facebook or Instagram or LinkedIn where you can market your outfit. You can also take services provided by companies promoting your outfits.
When you start your Yoga business, it’s important that you manage your finances properly including the projected revenue and expenditure. You cannot be overspending in the beginning and need to sign cheques judiciously. From your initial research, you will get an idea of stipulated costs including rent, salaries, marketing, bills, etc. It is advisable to keep some reserve cash for unforeseen expenditures. Always know that there will always be hidden charges.
The fitness market is highly competitive and it might take you some time to fit in the market. Initially, revenues can be irregular and low, so having an additional source of revenue can help you throughout your business life. Selling Yoga mats, water bottles, fitness accessories, clothing, or supplements can help you add more revenue. The entire industry generated 15 percent of its revenue from Pilates and Yoga certification training, and 14 percent from merchandise sales.
Yoga is all about acceptance, inclusivity and connecting to the universe. You can build a community in your Yoga studio by developing an interpersonal relationship with your clients. Your Yoga studio should become an integral part of your members' daily rituals, lifestyles, and routines.
It's also crucial that the people you hire to work in your studio - from Yoga instructors to receptionists to cleaners are all polite, helpful, and just as passionate about providing an outstanding client experience as you are.
Now, once you are in this Yoga business, it is important to work on building your brand and reputation. People will identify with your firm based on its brand value. This is a blend of your studio's name, location, logo, and service quality. You will surely be the face of your company as the owner, especially in the beginning. In some ways, how you position your business (by marketing and customer service) will become a mirror of yourself. Having a good website and active social media profiles can help your further. Internet is a chief player in building brand value nowadays and you should try to exploit immense opportunities provided there.
Now, as your business will grow, it will be difficult to manage your Yoga business. An easy-to-use fitness business management software becomes a necessity if you want to provide a first-class experience to your client. Other than that, management software can be used for member payroll, appointments, payment processing, videos on demand, live streaming, and what not.
Though there are many software in the market but the majority of them are either outdated or too expensive. But don't worry; Bookee app provides a wide range of services at a fraction of the cost of its competitors (only $199, to be exact).
It not only helps you manage your fitness business but also provides additional features like a multipage website for your fitness business, a link-free zoon integration to conduct online classes and way better customer support. Compare it yourself by booking a demo here.