Starting a new yoga studio is exciting. You can bring impressive holistic healing to your community, but you need the right approach to succeed. What should you do?
You might know all about yoga, but what about growing your brand? You need a combination of professional expertise and business acumen.
Here are seven tips for starting a yoga studio in your area.
1. Invest in Quality Supplies
Your first order of business is stocking your studio. You’ll need plenty of supplies for newbies who might not bring their mats to their first class — and those who never do. When selecting your vendors, think about the vibe you want your studio to have? If you follow Buddhist teachings, eliminating the suffering caused by climate change might be a factor. Opt for the most sustainable producers of yoga gear.
Don’t overlook the importance of having enough towels. You’ll need them after hot yoga and Ashtanga classes to keep things clean, and they’re a greener option for post-class sanitizing than paper towels. You should also keep a hefty stash of sanitation supplies on hand, including EPA-approved cleaners, hand sanitizer and disposable masks.
If you want people to know about your studio, you have to market. What can you do if you’re on a budget? Look into inexpensive local options, such as your paper. It doesn’t cost too much to advertise many of the circulators that show up in customer mailboxes.
Social media is another way to get out the word. While the big names like Instagram and Twitter are nice, they aren’t your best bet for going local — unless you’re active in community groups. If so, shout the name of your new studio in a public post on that page. You might have better luck advertising on venues like Nextdoor to attract foot traffic from your neighbors. Consider downloading an app such as Buffer to manage your campaigns.
3. Get Your Books in Order
You need to keep track of your income and expenses. Select a method for taking care of your accounting.
Should you hire employees or independent contractors? Many studios go the latter route to avoid the tax implications of the former, and the part-time nature of such work makes it an ideal fit. Read up on the IRS rules for determining the right classification first — you could end up owing hefty fines if you misclassify someone.
4. Hire the Best Guides
You probably won’t teach every class yourself — even if you’re superwoman. There’s a limit to how much physical activity the human body can perform.
Therefore, hire the best guides. What should you look for when interviewing? Years of experience and certification matter, but so do consistency and personality. It’s also wise to build a substitute instructor pool to avoid canceling classes if someone calls out sick.
5. Create a Comforting Atmosphere
Your yoga studio should invite the user to a relaxing experience. Even vigorous yoga formats like Ashtanga strive to induce a sense of inner peace.
Choose your colors wisely — many people find blue tones relaxing, but consider lavender, pink or green highlights. The lighter the tone, the greater the calming effect.
Dimmable lighting is a must — lying in savasana under bright overhead fluorescents is headache-inducing. Remember to engage all the senses with the right sound system and an aromatherapy diffuser or two to mask the sweat smell.
6. Offer a Variety of Formats
People come to yoga for various reasons. Some want to get in shape. Others simply want to relax and heal their body or even recover from psychological trauma.
What’s the best way to ensure everyone gets what they need? Offer a variety of class formats. While some styles, like Ashtanga and yin, follow strict guidelines, you can get creative with other types like Hatha, vinyasa and restorative.
7. Cater to Special Needs
Nearly every doctor recommends yoga for their patients with chronic pain. However, finding a studio that caters to this population is a challenge.
Consider offering specialty classes. For example, you might provide an outdoor class with masks required for immunocompromised folks who feel dreadfully isolated since officials revoked COVID-19 restrictions. A chair-based class is great for older adults and those with mobility issues who find getting on the floor cumbersome.
Tips for Starting a Yoga Studio in Your Area
Starting a yoga studio is an exciting venture. You need the right combination of business acumen, professional expertise and moxie to reach success.
Follow the seven tips above for starting a yoga studio in your area. Best of luck in bringing natural, holistic health to your community.
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