The yoga industry is hip and happening among the fitness community the world over. In fact, it earned a revenue of around $9.09 billion a year, as of 2022, and with a CAGR of 9.6%, you can bet the trend isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
This implies that if you have the right skills, now is a great time to set up your own yoga studio. The fact that brands like YogaSix are offering franchises should be an indicator of the viability of investing in the yoga business.
Other popular yoga studios in the US include Hotworx in Milwaukee, Yoga to the people, which has outlets in California and New York, as well as Pragna Yoga, located on the outskirts of Santa Fe.
However, like any other business, you need to know how to set it up the business properly to be able to run it successfully.
What we have here is a step-by-step guide on how to set up a successful yoga studio in 2023, aimed at helping you realize your dream of owning a successful yoga studio.
Let’s begin by taking a quick look at some of the common mistakes people make when setting up a yoga business.
Every person who comes to your yoga studio is not going to be able to hold the same poses or have the same fitness goals. Some people may be looking for mental peace, while others may want to lose weight.
A common mistake that a lot of fitness businesses make is not spending enough time trying to understand a customer’s individual needs before getting them started on a fitness program. A one-size-fits-all approach rarely works in the business’s favor.
Setting up a successful yoga studio involves a lot more than renting out a space, tricking out the interiors, and practicing your best “Namaste!”
Without a proper plan that includes the location of your studio, the courses you offer, staffing, finances, and more, the business is bound to sink sooner rather than later.
Another common misconception is that if you spend enough on the interiors of a studio to make it impressive and ensure you have the latest facilities, you’re bound to get customers, even if the studio is not in a prime location.
This couldn’t be further from the truth, because without the right kind of visibility, you’re never going to find paying students. But which is the ideal place for a yoga studio? Read on to find out more.
Any yoga studio is only as good as the people teaching the classes. This means that while students may travel long distances just to learn from the right teachers, the wrong choice of staff will see you lose customers quicker than you can get new ones.
Let’s now jump into the thick of what you need to do to set up a successful yoga studio.
While teaching yoga is lucrative in the long run, and the industry is flourishing, new yoga teachers make an average of $33.86 an hour. That may not seem like much, but how you register your business may make all the difference.
For example, If you choose to register your yoga business as a sole proprietorship, you can give one-on-one classes from anywhere you want, be it in your home, the homes of your students, or even online.
You can also partner with fitness studios and work with them as a consultant, training students on their premises. In fact, brands like Equinox even offer retirement benefits and health insurance coverage for their yoga instructors.
If you want to set up a brick-and-mortar studio, you will need to register it as a business owner. This business model comes with many more expenses, such as rent, utilities, salaries, maintenance, and more.
Since we’re discussing setting up a yoga studio and not just running a yoga business, rent is going to be one of the major yoga studio start-up costs that you will need to deal with.
Of course, how much rent you will need to pay will depend on the city and the neighbourhood where you want your studio to be located. For example, New York City is among the most expensive places to rent in the country, with most landlords demanding six months' rent in advance. Other places will obviously cost less and have more reasonable landlords.
However, while choosing a rental space, you will need to consider factors other than just what the space is going to cost you. For example, the type of building your studio is located in will affect the rent you will need to pay.
A great hack a lot of new yoga teachers use is to rent out community spaces or cheerleading gyms and use them as mobile yoga studios. This, however, cannot be a permanent solution.
Another factor that you will need to consider is the location of competitors. While their presence in your preferred location may indicate that there are people in the area interested in learning and practicing yoga, too many competitors will also mean slimmer piercings for everyone.
A good practice is to recognize the demographic you want to target as potential students, and then, based on factors like competitors, rental rates, and the style of yoga you’re going to be teaching, make an informed decision as to which location would best suit your yoga studio.
Keep in mind that most commercial spaces will require you to commit to a lease of at least three to five years, with the expected advance usually being the first and last month’s rent. Also remember that you will still need to spend money on hiring contractors, interiors and other work to customize the space to suit your needs.
You will also need to budget for the legal charges you will incur for opening your yoga studio. A chunk of it will be for getting your lease documents reviewed, which could cost you as much as $1,000.
You will also need to decide how many people you will need to employ and plan your budgeting to include staff salaries as well.
For example, if you need to hire other yoga teachers (and you may need to, considering there is only so much you can do alone), the average salaries range from $42,656 to upwards of $95,000.
You will also need to account for the salaries of administrative, management, and maintenance staff.
A well-thought-out marketing plan is essential to ensuring your new yoga studio brings in paying students. Marketing is going to be an ongoing effort for your yoga studio, so chalking out how you’re going to market the business and how much you’re going to spend is important even before you open your doors to customers.
The first thing you need to do is build a professional and highly informative business website. Not only should this website have all the information anyone would need about your yoga studio and the courses offered, but it should also allow users to pay for courses and control their relationship with your business.
Don’t forget that if you want your website to show up whenever people search for yoga teachers or studios in your area, you will need to use certain keywords and put some effort into search engine optimization.
Your marketing strategy should also include multi-channel social media marketing, considering the amount of time people spend online on these platforms. Distributing fliers around the neighborhood is another tried, tested, and effective way to make your target demographic aware of your studio’s existence.
Even with staff to help with running the business, a lot of aspects require the use of technology. This is why investing in good yoga studio management software is essential.
Among the features you need to consider while looking for a studio management tool, be sure to look for a solution that can help you manage memberships and scheduling for your students.
The tool should also be able to automate some aspects of your marketing and communication needs. Other essential features you should look for are payroll management, POS capabilities, and reporting.
Of course, the tool you choose eventually boils down to how much you’re willing to invest in a management software. Ideally, try out the tool before you commit to a long-term subscription. You’d want to pick a solution that is easy to use, has the right features, and isn’t too hard on the purse strings.
We at Bookee pride ourselves on having one of the most comprehensive yoga studio management studios in the market.
From building you a branded business website with a payment gateway, a branded app for smartphones, and enabling automation for communications as well as marketing to making scheduling, reporting, and social media management a breeze, our solution does it all.
However, we want to do a lot more than just sell you our software. We want to see your yoga studio succeed, so we offer you the knowledge and consultation you need to take your business to the next level. When you choose Bookee, you don’t just get studio management software, you get a growth partner.
Book a demo with our team today, and also get a no strings attached 14-day free trial to help you decide. Join the global Bookee movement and let us work with you to help grow your business.