7 Steps to launching and managing a successful yoga studio
July 11, 2021 | 1 min read
When thinking of starting a yoga studio, first review these winning recommendations to help you master launching a successful and fulfilling business.
It isn’t a secret that starting your own successful yoga studio is difficult challenge. The journey from a yoga enthusiast to an owner of a thriving yoga establishment is notoriously arduous and full of setbacks. Most new owners struggle with many of the day-to-day business aspects, including managing cash flow, attracting and keeping new customers, technological delegation, finding the right instructors and much, much more.
Here are the 7 leading recommendations for launching a new yoga studio.
#1 Maintaining a sustainable cash flow
First and foremost, it is imperative to understand the basic concept of cash flow. Put simply, one must plan to have cash available (not tied down in the business) when expenses roll in. For example, if your utility expenses are due on the first of the month and your monthly costumer fee is due by the fifth then you will not have the necessary cash on time. If you have not set up an overdraft facility ahead of time this will cause serious issues in your business.
This problem is not unique to yoga studio owners, but there are some especial problems that are particularly important for this kind of business. Because of the special characteristics of your business, your first step should be to define what success means to you. Does it mean just breaking even or does it mean making a return?
After defining this goal, it will be much easier for you to run your business in socially and economically viable way. Moreover, this will be the first step on the way to cultivating a healthy community around your business. This community will undoubtedly help in attracting new customers who will be seeking out this kind of vibrant yoga community.
#2 Choosing an appropriate location for your studio
Location, location, location. A studio can succeed or fail based on their location and that is why choosing the location of your yoga studio is such an important step. There are a couple of criteria upon which you should base your decision.
First of all, you should make sure your business is in the heart of the community you intend to serve. If the studio is not within a convenient travel distance of your potential customers, you will have a very difficult time growing into a sustainable business. Furthermore, you should consider the existing community in the area you are contemplating setting up shop and try to fill their well-being needs.
Secondly, you should aim to set up shop in a community that has not yet had its yoga needs met. More specifically, you should strive to open shop in an area devoid of other studios and big-box chains who will hinder your growth potential. In addition, you should consider the rents in the area you plan on opening and calculate if it will be economically feasible to run your studio.
#3 Choosing quality instructors
A good yoga instructor can be the difference between a new customer leaving with a positive feeling and becoming a return customer or leaving for good. Because your instructors will be running your classes, their actions will determine the outcome of your business.
When choosing instructors, you should seek out the ones that fit the style and vibe of your studio. You should also ask your existing members what they look for in a yoga instructor, which teaching methods they prefer and more. This will help cultivate the culture of your studio.
It is also recommend you set up an instructor training course for your existing students or any other interested parties. By bringing up your instructor in your own organization you will have instructors that will teach to your standard and spread your culture. Additionally, this will provide another stream of revenue for the business.
#4 Expanding to multiple locations prematurely
The most obvious way to expand your already successful individual studio business is by opening new locations. But be cautious not to grow too big too fast. The seemingly logical approach of copying and pasting your existing location’s blueprint to a new location, although on the face of it a recipe for success, is often a recipe for failure.
The success of your existing location is, as stated above, highly dependent on the existing community and therefore the same system that thrived in your original location might fail in the new one.
Another point that you should take into consideration before opening multiple new locations is the start-up costs. You should make sure your original location is running a steady profit before opening a new studio. In the early stages the failure of just one studio can bankrupt a whole otherwise stable yoga empire, so one should procced with caution.
Many new studio owners choose to invest in technology to manage parts of their business to improve efficiency and save on costs. It’s important to keep a human touch for customer facing activities but responsibilities like invoicing, membership forms and scheduling can really benefit from adopting the correct technology.
The right software can help you make informed business decisions regarding growth and sustainability. Technology can also improve your students and teachers experience by streamlining their ability to schedule classes. You can also set different rates for different classes and teachers and sync your personal schedule to the software’s schedule in real time. Furthermore, most software systems will also help you balance your books at the end of the month.
There are a few key points you should master if you want to market your yoga studio effectively.
Adapt to your student preferences
You should keep your finger on the pulse regarding your students likes and dislikes. For example, your older students might be averse to hot yoga and therefore you should provide forms of appropriate yoga including hatha, vinyasa and Iyengar yoga. Consider providing a wide variety of classes that will appeal to a wide variety of customers.
Make introductory offers
A great way to attract new customers is to provide specially discounted offers for new students. Offering the first month free or for a reduced price will bring new customers in the door. Offering a generous introductory period may prove the most profitable as lessons tend to get less challenging and more fun and will give students more motivation to power through the pain and start enjoying. Furthermore, the longer period of discounted prices will let the new student build a routine and gain confidence in his yoga skills. If you find that a certain class or time slot has consistently low attendance, lower the rates for those classes to attract more students.
Social media marketing
Nowadays the most efficient marketing happens on the internet. Many of your potential students are social media users and geo-targeted ads will undoubtedly pay dividends by attracting new customers. In today world marketing your studio on the internet could be a game-changer.
As a business owner, one of your biggest assets is your team of yoga studio staff. They are the teachers and administrators that help run your business and are also your brand ambassadors, representing you and what your studio stands for. It’s important your staff have the proper training to do their jobs properly and to keep them motivated.
It’s a good idea to continually train your yoga instructors with new techniques, styles and coaching methods. You can invite yoga experts to give enrichment courses and help motivate new creative types of courses. This could be done on location, or if you have multiple locations, you can record the sessions and distribute them for your team to review at their convenience.
You can also look at your internal team as resident experts and have a weekly connecting of the minds where instructors teach each other their best practices. These can also be recorded and distributed digitally so they can be referred to later on.