If you're a yoga teacher, you may dream of opening a yoga studio of your own. What could be more wonderful than running your own place?
While your love for yoga is the key ingredient to starting a yoga business, it's not quite enough to get a thriving studio off the ground. You may need to flex some new muscles, so to speak. In this post, we'll take you step by step through what you need to know to get you off to a smooth start.
Developing a Yoga Studio Business Plan
Yoga is a growing industry in the US. There are more than 35 million yoga practitioners and around 80 million people who will try yoga in a given year. Studios are one of the most popular locations for trying out yoga, so owning a yoga studio can be a business with a lot of money-making potential. But, as with any other small business, it is essential to have a solid business plan in place before opening a yoga studio. Here we will look at the factors you need to take into account when developing your yoga studio business plan.
Choosing Your Location
You may be wondering how to open a yoga studio, but the question of where to open is just as important. Location is a key factor for many reasons. First, you need to find a landlord who understands your business, but gives you the privacy and the space to run your business in the way you need. You also need to consider the types of clients you hope to attract and how accessible your studio will be to them.
Choosing Your Yoga Studio Name
Before starting a yoga studio, you're going to need a name for it. But before you can choose a name, you need to decide what your focus will be. What will make your studio stand out from others in the area? Will you teach specific workshops or offer training? Are you certified by the Yoga Alliance? Will you offer classes for specific audiences, such as pregnant women, children or the elderly? Consider the type of vibe you’d like to convey: Will your studio be fun, trendy or traditional? A quiet haven, or a hub of activity? These details stand at the heart of your business plan, because they help you decide how to set up the studio, who your target audience is, and how best to promote it. It will also help you choose a name for your studio, which should reflect the core concepts you are trying to convey in your marketing.
Yoga Studio Start up Costs
Before getting started, you're going to need to work out how much opening a yoga studio will cost. This will help you create a plan that can work for your budget - and working within your budget is the first step to success. Here are some of the expenses you'll need to consider:
Venue - This will be your biggest initial expense when starting your business, so it's important to work out how much space you will need per student and where your studio should be located. Location is an important factor when working out your yoga studio start up costs. For example, if you are based in New York City, you can expect to pay $80 per square foot for commercial space (or significantly more if you set up along Upper Fifth Avenue in Manhattan), while in Boston you are more likely to pay around $30 per square foot.
Design - How you design your space will depend on your budget, the initial condition of the venue and the atmosphere and style you want for your studio. You may want to hire a professional decorator, or do it yourself through online tutorials and Pinterest.
Equipment costs - Opening a yoga studio requires basic equipment. Consider the costs of a studio floor, yoga mats, mirrors, a sound system, computers and printers, flat screen TVs, projectors, telephones, filing cabinets and whatever other furniture you may need.
Marketing - When you first start your yoga business, it will not be popular or profitable immediately. You will need to spend time and money on marketing. You can design and print flyers yourself to help keep the costs down, but make sure they look professional before you distribute them. It is more worthwhile in the long run to invest in high-quality, professionally designed flyers, websites and advertisements than to produce poor-quality material. People judge the quality of your studio by these materials, and you want to give a good impression to attract clients.
Insurance - Business insurance is one of the most important expenses. When your studio is insured, you will be able to rest easy and focus on growing your business. You'll need to consider the costs of insurance for general liability, theft, property casualty and workers' comp.
Legal - Owning a yoga studio also involves some legal expenses. These include a fee for registering a business in the United States (up to $750), as well as the fees for licenses and permits (Health Department license, business license, fire department permit, licenses for office software and more). Expect to pay $10,000-$15,000 for these.
Taxes - Make sure you understand the taxes you will need to pay as a small business owner so that there are no unpleasant surprises.
The Bottom Line
The best way to succeed is to sit down and write a business plan. This will allow you to work out the specific expenses you'll need to pay and figure out what to charge your clients per class or membership to cover your expenses and make a reasonable profit. If creating a business plan is not a strength of yours, get someone to help you - even if you need to hire someone, it will pay off in the end! If you feel intimidated, remember to stay focused on your dream of spreading your passion for yoga and helping your clients feel their best.
For more information on how insurance can protect and enhance your business, check out our page on yoga instructor insurance.