Opening a yoga studio is a lucrative business idea and a great way to explore your passion for the practice and discipline of yoga. In the past decade alone, the popularity of yoga has increased exponentially, as more people look for new ways to improve mind-body fitness and overall good health. Starting a yoga studio is a refreshing spin on the traditional fitness training business that can produce long-term success. While staring a yoga practice is a stellar business idea, many individuals who want to start a yoga studio may feel daunted with the task of launching a brand-new business. This start up plan solves the dilemma by teaching you how to start a yoga studio. The following complete guide to opening a yoga studio gives you the tools you need to embark on this exciting and lucrative business venture.
Preliminary Yoga Business Steps
In order to start a yoga studio, you will need to adhere to seven steps. The following is an overview of the steps on how to open a yoga studio that this free guide will explain in more detail. First, you must choose a great name for your yoga studio. Preferably, yoga studio names establish a distinct brand that you can franchise for greater business opportunities in the future. You can also brand this yoga studio name across all of your marketing materials so that customers find it instantly recognizable. Second, you must write a yoga business plan. The business plan serves as an outline to keep you on track with your business goals. Business plans do not need to be complicated, but you do need to reference the plan to make sure you are meeting your deadlines and goals. If you intend to apply for a loan, be sure to create a detailed and professional business plan so that you can successfully obtain financing. The next related step is to make sure you pre-qualify for a small business loan with your bank or other lending firm.
Finding Yoga Insurance
This is to protect yourself and your brand. In all likelihood, you will incorporate your yoga studio and protect yourself from any liability. At this point, decide on your yoga studio location. Consider exterior factors such as easy visibility and parking, and interior factors such as open space and design potential. Once you have completed these five preliminary steps, you are well on your way to establishing your yoga practice. The sixth step is to incorporate your business. Use professional incorporation software to ensure accuracy and reduce legal costs. You will need to choose an name that is unclaimed and available for incorporation. If a yoga studio name you have chosen is already taken, spare yourself the hassle and choose another. This will save you time and trouble in the long run. Inquire if you state or municipality requires yoga certifications. If so, take the proper steps to complete yoga certification requirements. Incorporation provides liability protection and helps establish that you are a serious business owner. Once you have incorporated, you should purchase the selected yoga insurance policy for further protection and coverage for your business.
Brick-and-Mortar Yoga Business Steps
Once you have completed the preliminary steps to opening a yoga studio, the true fun begins. It is time to design your yoga studio from the inside out. Determine the best yoga studio location and also look into fitness centers or yoga studios for sale. The key is a great location and visibility. Keep in mind that yoga studios are very much an interior experience, so you want open space and the freedom to design this space with mirrors or other great ideas. The most important factor in the process of designing a yoga studio is to have fun. Visit other yoga studios and survey yoga practitioners on what they what to experience when learning yoga. Review our Yoga Studio Designs post for professional ideas. The key to a successful yoga studio design is a comfortable space for students to relax, unwind, and learn. You want to create a safe haven that students will want to return to consistently and recommend to friends.
Another important consideration for your brick-and-mortar yoga studio is enough space for yoga gear for your classes. This does not need to be elaborate; simple storage and enough space for a table will do. The key is that you can obtain a great source of income by selling yoga gear to your students. You can sell this yoga gear before, during, and after classes. As the business owner, you can buy your choice of yoga gear at wholesale cost, then sell the gear to your students at retail. The great thing about selling yoga gear is that you can ensure students will have exactly what they need to successfully practice yoga. Students will also feel more comfortable with your expertise if they can obtain supplies from you directly. It is also a good idea to have a spacious enough studio that students can comfortably using this gear, which can include yoga mats and water bottles. Some wholesale companies also allow you to attach your brand name to products such as T-shirts or writing folders.
Start Small and Work Big
A final recommendation to keep in mind when you first open a yoga studio is to start small. Do not allow yourself to feel overwhelmed with information or ideas. Start with a simple studio, then work your way up with the additional ideas for selling gear, merchandise, or even a yoga franchise. At its core, the practice of yoga focuses on simplicity. Focus on your core practice, which is provide an excellent location for teaching and learning yoga. Once you establish your excellence in teaching yoga, your reputation should follow and business will expand. The final step in establishing a brick-and-mortar location is to make sure you have a toll-free online phone service. The great thing about modern technology is that you no longer need to invest in expensive landline telephone answering services. Simply use a toll-free phone service that forwards calls directly to your cell phone. In this way, you can stay on top of your business endeavors and establish phone hours that best serve your business goals.
Yoga Studio Marketing Steps
Once you have set up your yoga studio, a fundamental step is the marketing process. You can have the most amazing yoga practice in the world, but you must market it to ensure people know your yoga studio is open for classes. This does not mean you need to overspend. It does mean establishing a spending plan, even if it is only a shoestring budget. Since you have written a yoga studio business plan, you should already have a section on marketing ideas. If not, the first thing you should commit to paper is a marketing plan. The number one most important factor to a marketing plan is establishing a marketing budget. This is a low-cost budget that you should remain committed to no matter what.
The best part about marketing with modern technology is that you can find multiple ways to market inexpensively on the internet. Since people spend more time on social media and with search engines than ever before, the internet is a great way to establish your business presence with potential students. The first step is to create a website. If you already have an existing website, you can create more. You can easily create multiple websites using the WordPress blogging platform (free interface) and BlueHost hosting service (inexpensive hosting for your website with excellent customer service). The idea behind multiple websites is that each website can specifically target a different type of student. This concept is known as “precision marketing.” For example, you can create a website targeting senior citizens, a website for expectant mothers, or a website specifically for men. WordPress also offers free blogging software so you can include content for your specific target groups, as well as a host of free WordPress themes and templates. With two these resources (website platform and website hosting), you can have a professional looking website in no time.
Build A Yoga Website
Another great reason to use WordPress and Bluehost to build websites is that you can use premium services inexpensively. It is a simple two-step approach (website platform and website hosting) that makes creating a website much easier. With this approach, you can create a WordPress website for under $100 up front and only $7 per month Bluehost server hosting. Since you have decided to open a yoga studio, you may want to look at premium WordPress templates with a fitness or yoga theme. Once you have your WordPress blogging platform, you need to sign up for Bluehost to host the website. In addition to Bluehost’s excellent customer service, this hosting also offers one-button WordPress installation. If you decide on another blogging platform later for whatever reason, you can continue to host it on Bluehost. With this two-step approach, you can create your yoga website within a day and start marketing in earnest.
Yoga SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Once you have created the website, be sure to review the latest search engine optimization (SEO) material on SEOBook and SEOMoz in order to attract local yoga students. For example, you need to use keywords that target your local city or community, since opening a yoga studio is essentially a local business. On your website, write keyword-optimized content and blog posts for this purpose. If you do not have time to write a lot of content, hire a writing service such as Custom Content or NeedanArticle.com. Regular content will help search engines establish your website as an authority on the subject. Since you need local customers, you should also list your website in the Top 10 Local Google Places for yoga. The David Mihm article on Google Places is an excellent resource for helping you achieve this local business goal.
Social Media For Your Yoga Studio
Since people spend enormous amounts of time on social media, be sure to advertise on Facebook. This local advertising can place your business directly in the Facebook news-feed of a prospective customer. Use the Facebook Ad Power bidding program to target the right customers. Another important way to increase website exposure is through link-building. Read “101 Ways to Build Link Popularity” for important link-building ideas and look for “do-follow” link opportunities through yoga blogs, fitness centers, and spiritual or wellness sites. The free FireFox “NoDoFollow” plugin can help you quickly identify do-follow links that can improve your website’s rank in Google. Other excellent marketing ideas include e-newsletters through services such as AWeber or iContact. Email promotions can include coupons on yoga classes prices and other great incentives supporting your business. You can also pursue inexpensive offline marketing. This includes posting flyers on local bulletin boards or contacting local spas, massage therapists, or chiropractors. Be sure to offer to reciprocate customer referrals to these local businesses. For more tips on referral marketing, review The Referral Engine.
Yoga Studio Business Management
When you open a yoga studio,the most important factor to succeed in the long run is cash flow. Make sure cash comes in regularly to offset any costs, and most importantly, to make a profit for your business. Two ways to do this is to sell merchandise in your studio and on your website, and make payment to you as simple as possible. This guide has established that you can sell yoga gear in person. Be sure to create solid yoga class plans to implement selling your yoga gear before, during, or after each class. Selling yoga gear on your website is trickier because you must set up safe credit card processing, inventory tracking, and e-commerce software. The best way to do this is to centralize these steps through e-commerce software such as MindBodyOnline. You can also use this software for your email and newsletter marketing. To further streamline your in-person classes, you can even use MindBodyOnline’s scheduling software, which allows students to schedule and pay for their yoga classes online. Easily set up your yoga class prices and get paid directly. You can monitor your yoga studio manager salary and keep track of your bottom-line long before tax season. With this solid marketing, retail, and payment strategy, you can open a yoga studio and succeed in business for years to come.