7 Tips for Starting a Yoga Studio

As the passion for yoga continues to increase, the idea for more and more individuals is to take their love of yoga and pass it along to others.

In some cases, that means opening a yoga studio, be it on their own or with a partner. If you find yourself with a great love for this exercise, is teaching and opening a studio of your own in the cards? Assuming you have or will be receiving your yoga certification from a yoga school or teacher with a solid reputation, the fun is just beginning.

yoga studio startup
Image by Carla Januska

Before you consider buying the supplies, opening the doors, and marketing your new yoga business, there are some tips you should keep in mind in order to make it a plausible and positive experience.

Those tips include:

1. Formulate your business plan

No business is likely to get off the ground and running without a business plan. Whether you are starting a large corporation or a small yoga studio, a business plan is a necessity so that you have your mission in place. The top priority for the business plan is making sure you have the funding in place to get your yoga studio going. Will you need a loan to start the studio? If so, remember that business loans are harder to obtain with today’s economy, so make sure you have a solid credit record before applying.

Will you be operating classes out of your home, renting a facility, or taking over ownership of a building? What kind of profit numbers and return on investment (ROI) are you projecting for the first year? Given that many small businesses fail within the first five years of opening their doors, planning for success takes time and effort. Lastly, remember to have a business account that is separate from your personal checking/savings accounts, and be prepared regarding how you will handle necessary tax liabilities come spring.

2. Record your expenses

When opening a new studio, much goes into having it properly prepared before the first student hits the mats. Items you will need besides some office furniture and supplies include mats, towels, blankets, straps, wedges, and blocks, to name a few. You are also likely going to want to market your company through items like business T-shirts, hats, business cards, and more. As you can see, you could already be looking at sizable expenses before you even consider things like electricity and water for the studio, lighting for inside and outside the studio, making sure the facility is handicapped-equipped, and more.

3. Be properly insured/registered

One of the key necessities that can sometimes be overlooked when setting up your own yoga studio is the need for liability/malpractice insurance. Not only do you need coverage to protect your business investment, but you should make sure to put together a waiver for usage when you teach outside a studio or do private sessions.

Licenses and permits for your studio are also something you need to take care of with your local municipality. Finally, make sure your studio name is accurately registered. The majority of yoga studios fall under sole proprietorships, LLCs (Limited Liability Companies), or S-Corporations.

4. Market your studio

There are numerous ways to market your new yoga business, including through word-of-mouth, advertising, social media, the local chamber of commerce, and so on. Social media is becoming a more and more important tool for small businesses, allowing them to spread the word to countless individuals. Be sure you set up a Facebook fan page for your yoga studio, along with a LinkedIn business page, business website, and blog. Network with others online who share your passion for yoga.

5. Be organized

Like the saying goes, life comes at you fast. As a result, you need to document your daily yoga schedule ahead of time and not on the fly. Keep a journal of what you will need each day as far as your teaching schedule, supplies, expenses, etc. Since you are likely running the show on your own, these chores become even more relevant.

If over time your plans include expanding your studio, you may consider taking on additional help, allowing you to have a good teacher-to-student ratio. If that is the case, make sure you thoroughly screen those you are considering hiring to work with you so that your business is not negatively impacted. For financial reasons, you will also need to determine if they will be full-time/part-time employees or independent contractors.

6. Review class offerings

As you begin to offer yoga classes, keep in mind that timing is very important. While you can’t cater to everyone’s wishes, scheduling your classes during the prime times for most students is your best bet. You may find evenings are a better fit given that many people work 9-to-5 jobs. In other cases, early morning classes may work for those wanting an hour or two of yoga before work. Still yet, weekend classes may be your best option.

Once you have gotten a few weeks under your belt with your first class or two, poll your attendees on the best place and time for them. When all is said and done, having a consistent schedule for both your students and yourself will make things easier on everyone.

7. Be prepared to work long hours

Last but not least, you will find that running your own yoga studio oftentimes turns into a full-time commitment. While some instructors are able to work another job while teaching yoga, many have devoted their time, effort, and monetary funds to such a venture. Running your own business means being the one who makes the important decisions from expenses to properly teaching students. If you are not in it 100% and for the long haul, you should think twice about opening that studio in the first place.

About the author: With 23 years of experience as a writer, Dave Thomas covers a wide array of topics from properly tending to home guttersto running a business out of your residence.