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How to Open a Yoga Studio: 6 Key Steps

How to Open a Yoga Studio

It might take a whole book to describe how to open a yoga studio and do it with the maximum effectiveness, since your location, legislation details, economic situation, budget, personal preferences and more play a role. And we are sure some people have already written that book!

But we are not seeking to repeat their feat. With this brief tutorial, however, you can learn in broad strokes what it takes to open a yoga studio to help you understand whether it’s something you can take up at the moment.

How launching a yoga business differs

Let’s start with understanding the yoga business specifics and how it might differ from other businesses:

  1. While yoga is becoming more and more popular around the world, the competition is growing and the yoga industry is saturated in many areas. Think of a unique niche you can stand out.
  2. Yoga teacher training and certifications vary depending on location and style. But still, you need to do your research to comply with these local regulations.
  3. While yoga businesses might require specific equipment like mats, bolsters, and straps, the overall inventory needs are usually lower compared to retail or product-based businesses.
  4. Yoga businesses involve creating different pricing models, such as memberships, class packages, drop-in fees, workshops, and more. This requires a flexible payment system compared to businesses with fixed price points, which might be partially implemented through the software.
  5. Certified staffing is also a key: depending on the size and services offered, yoga businesses might require staff like certified yoga teachers, massage therapists, or wellness practitioners.
  6. Last, but not least, stop thinking of yoga as just a service or physical exercise. Creating a welcoming and supportive community vibe is a top priority for a yoga studio. You or your staff might need to build personal connections with clients much stronger than those in a beauty salon. You’ll also need to organize social events and find other ways to promote well-being among people and with nature.

More helpful tutorials:

6 Key Steps to Start a Yoga Studio

So, let’s help you get an idea of how to open a yoga studio and what it takes.

Learn how to write a business plan and put it into action

You can’t start without a plan, it will not just help you keep yourself determined but also provide essential support along the way. For the most part, it will help you understand your expenses, and taxes, and a step-by-step way of implementing your goals. Get ready to get into the calculation mood and keep it through the journey!

Here are the key things that the business plan for opening a yoga studio will help you realize:

  • the right location.
  • the number of employees.
  • main expenses (inventory, utilities, salaries, advertising).
  • the risks and potential costs to include unforeseen costs.
  • decide if you want to register as a sole proprietorship or a partnership business.

Where to get a yoga studio business plan template? Find simple templates in Business Plan Template And Example: How To Write A Business Plan: Business Planning Made Simple, or consider business plan templates integrated with the popular business management software. Or simply search the internet!

Where to get help with writing a business plan? You can refer to Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), business consultants, and even business plan writers. In the US, you can refer to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to get free, industry-specific resources for writing a business plan.

Where to learn to write a business plan? There are many books, for example, popular solutions include “How to Write a Great Business Plan (Harvard Business Review Classics)”, or “Successful Business Planning in 30 Days: A Step-By-Step Guide for Writing a Business Plan and Starting Your Own Business

In reality, you will most likely change the plan multiple times as you launch and run your studio, it’s a living document yet it’s fundamental to have it as you start, even if it’s just very formal.

Name your yoga studio business

In the past, we’ve written a detailed guide on how to name a yoga studio business, with a few name ideas you can use for free! 

To sum up the key steps, here are things to remember:

  1. Keep in mind the existence of the trademark and service mark rights, because your business name is part of your legal obligation. It’s not just about your website domain name or a studio sign, it’s crucial for your legal protection.
  2. Lawyer consultation is highly recommended for application guidance and for avoiding costly mistakes.
  3. Choose a name you love and can communicate well.

Early due diligence is very important!

Find a good location

Location is probably one of the biggest yoga studio business expenses, at least when you’re starting. At the same time, it’s one of the most important things! In our tips for boosting customer loyalty in the yoga business, we’ve emphasized the importance of the aesthetics of the location.

If you still haven’t found a suitable location for your studio, remember:

  • Research market prices in your target city because rent varies greatly by city, or you can even consider suburb areas (check out /sq ft pricing on your local commercial property lease website).
  • Consider city density and student comfort expectations.
  • Choose a location that aligns with your financial plan and target audience. At the same time, remember that in the suburbs, it’s better to choose the most central location for maximum accessibility, while urban locations promise easier marketing yet tougher parking options.
  • Put the interior and exterior aesthetics first (think of the ambiance and lighting, flooring, parking, etc.)
  • Avoid opening too close to studios offering similar services.

To sum up, don’t choose the first available property and location, consider all these details above.

Do your lease research

First of all, inspect the spaces that you’re considering for rental – can it accommodate your class sizes, equipment, and desired vibe? Check out ventilation, accessibility features, and safety measures.

Moreover, don’t just focus on base rent, try to figure out additional charges like common area maintenance, property taxes, and utilities. The terms and termination legislation are of high importance, too, try to learn the lease length and termination clauses.

Are there penalties for early exit? Can you sublease if needed? Verify if insurance is included and if your intended yoga operation falls within the “permitted use” clause. Check what’s included in the landlord’s responsibility for repairs and maintenance and who handles utilities and waste disposal.

Hire authoritative and well-trained yoga instructors 

The success and reputation of your studio? The right yoga instructors.

They are the reflection of your brand and they directly influence the overall experience of your students. Do your best to ensure you’re hiring authoritative and well-trained people who align with your vision and values.

Think of your needs: what yoga styles will you offer? Seek instructors certified in those spaces. It’s also possible to opt for a mix of seasoned instructors for advanced classes and those passionate about guiding beginners. Today many instructors even have video recordings of their classes that can help them demonstrate their working style. Try to find instructors who value ongoing learning and development.

Start a website and create branding materials

That’s a big part of the journey that has begun. And unlike some other preparation steps, marketing and promotion will always be an integral part of your business.

Think of your brand identity

  • Visual identity: logo, color palette, typography, and imagery.
  • Brand message: a statement and values, tone and pillars.
  • Brand experience: studio design, music, and scent.
  • Marketing materials: brochures, flyers, and other promotional materials.

Develop a website

In the modern world, you can create a website yourself without tech skills with platforms like WordPress or Wix.

Invest in a yoga studio session scheduling software to get the following benefits

  1. Boost yoga class bookings.
  2. Handle cancellations easier.
  3. Schedule classes and send timely reminders.
  4. Streamline onboarding for new clients.
  5. Automate customer communication, including reminders, payments, renewals, and studio messages.
  6. Manage payments with automated tools.
  7. Analyze profit potential and identify areas of financial loss in your studio.

Create promotional and marketing plans

Increase the money-making potential of a yoga business by reaching out to local influencers on various social networks and invite them to come take a class in exchange for a post on their account.

More helpful guides:

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Brian is a WordPress expert with a decade of developing experience & technical-writing. He enjoys blogging, movies & hiking.