Thinking about starting a yoga business?
First of all, congratulations on this exciting journey toward entrepreneurship.
In this blog post, you’ll find ten tips that will help you as you move forward with your business.
10 Best Tips for Starting a Yoga Business
1. Use Reddit and Google Reviews to Learn What Clients are Missing from Studios in Your Area
We’re going to assume that you’re already a yoga instructor and likely have some idea of what’s missing from current offerings through your own experience and observations.
But even if this is true, market research – understanding exactly what clients want – is critical for the success of your business.
That’s why Reddit and Google Reviews are both great ways to uncover what people are saying about the studios in your very city.
Is there a gap in the market that you can tap into? What are clients loving? Whatever the case may be, both are valuable resources for understanding locally-based yogis more deeply.
(Even if you plan to offer online classes, this type of research can still offer some helpful tips for your business or studio as well).
2. Build Your Business Around Actual Community Needs
Similarly to the above, your business must be built around real-world, community needs.
In other words, that means offering the right classes and at the right time.
You may think that a lunchtime class sounds like a great idea but later find out that people can’t actually afford to block off an entire hour to get to the studio. Instead, you may find that evening classes tend to be more popular.
Whatever the case may be, your classes have to fit into people’s lives. You’ll be able to figure this out only by remaining open to the possibility that things may change (and to actually test your assumptions – more on this later!).
3. Consider Investing in Marketing Upfront
Investing in upfront marketing can help generate buzz for the opening of your business.
For instance, you can see how one yoga business owner on Reddit spent 4K on marketing and got their name in a local magazine and newspaper, which went on to create a lot of attention for their new business.
4. Consider Starting Online (But Still Target Locally-Based Clients)
Assuming that you already have some sort of yoga following through teaching, teaching online can be the next best step as a means to test the waters while keeping overhead costs low. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to build a clientele by teaching in more established studios.
But because the success of yoga businesses is predicated on creating a community, it’s a good idea to emphasize your location and focus on connecting with clients in your own community – especially if you plan on eventually opening up a studio of your own.
While there are many yoga instructors who have successfully created their own digital community online, it also means you are competing with a lot of bigger names. That’s why blending the two – both online and offline – can be a great middle ground.
Indeed, there is an entire psychology around this. It’s called the proximity principle and it is based on the idea that we like people the more we come to know them.
From there, you can then begin moving your classes offline to public spaces like parks. Because costs will be low, you’ll also be in a better position to offer more affordable classes, such as a sliding pay scale that allows users to pay what they’re able to (starting at $5, etc.).
5. Build Passive Income + Specialization Into Your Business Model (Key for Online Teaching)
For those who want to start online first, before moving to a brick-and-mortar studio, building a passive income via YouTube is a key way to generate additional (and passive) income.
However, in order for this to be successful, specialization (such as prenatal yoga, etc.) and having a niche is paramount as it allows you to separate from, and brand yourself differently than all the other yoga channels that exist.
Indeed, there are numerous articles written about why specialization is key to profitability, and it is especially important when growing an online channel.
Once your studio grows, you can also generate an additional revenue stream by offering classes directly from your website and charging a monthly subscription fee just like Netflix.
6. Start Out with a Day or Week of Free Classes (+ Pair with an Offer Designed to Encourage Repeat Visits)
A lot of new yoga studios launch their business with a day or even a week of free classes.
This is a successful strategy in and of itself.
But if you pair it with an offer designed to encourage repeat visits, it can be even more effective.
Here’s the thing:
Yoga instructors/business owners find that not everyone loves yoga the first time they try it.
It may be uncomfortable at first, and it is not uncommon that people tend to only see benefits after a few sessions – not after the first one.
It takes time to get comfortable.
So, the idea is to pair your original launch offer with a secondary offer that encourages repeat visits. An example is “X” amount for unlimited yoga.
Pro Tip: In the long-term, it’s important to remember that while free classes can create awareness, they don’t generate revenue.
That’s why it’s imperative to leverage these classes as much as you can by ensuring that you connect with attendees beyond the actual free class itself.
Whether you collect email addresses or have students follow you on social media, the key is to make the most out of your free sessions.
7. Focus on Creating a Community
With so many free yoga classes on the Internet, it’s getting harder and harder for offline yoga businesses (like studios!) to compete.
That said, one of the most valuable aspects of offline yoga is the in-person, community-based aspect.
Indeed, there is an entire psychology around this and our need to belong. The idea is that community is an important aspect of identity, which creates purpose in our lives, along with a list of other benefits.
It’s part of the reason why memberships can be so effective; they get to the core of our human desire to find belonging in a community.
And that’s exactly why it’s so important for yoga businesses to cultivate a sense of community in their members, which also leads to greater success when it comes to monthly memberships.
Of course, while creating a community can look different, here are some options:
- Free yoga classes at local parks
- Community-based challenges (40-day challenge – especially shortly after opening!)
- Occasional potlucks
- Transforming your studio into a community space (for meditation, coffee, etc.)
8. Recognize That Yoga Teacher Training and Workshops are a Key Revenue Stream
Yoga teacher training and workshops are arguably one of the most important revenue streams for your business.
It’s a good idea to think about this and how to execute these avenues as soon as possible.
9. Test Your Assumptions and Remain Flexible
Always test your assumptions. While a particular class might be your personal favourite, yoga business owners are often surprised that their client base prefers an entirely different class.
What do they end up doing?
They end up rearranging their schedules.
But that’s okay. It’s surprisingly more common than you think.
At around the six-month mark or so, and even before, begin sending out surveys to actually make sure you’re offering what your clients truly want.
The most important part is making a concerted effort to test what you think clients want and compare it against what clients actually want while being flexible if feedback yields unexpected results.
10. Use Scheduling Software with Reserve with Google Functionality (86% New Bookings!)
With Reserve with Google, clients can book classes straight from Google. But because not all yoga studios have this capability, your listing stands out from the rest. You can read more about Reserve with Google here.
Ultimately, yoga scheduling software effectively keeps your business open 24/7, resulting in more bookings.
Wrapping It Up
What do you plan to do to start a yoga business? Let us know in the comments below!