7 Easy Steps for Growing Your Yoga Studio
Yoga continues to grow in popularity and more yoga schools and studios are opening every month but how do you get to make your studio stand out from the rest and bring in those treasured yoga students consistently?
Personally I'm a big yoga fan, I love the stretching, yoga mediation, exercise and hatha breathing; it clears my mind, refreshes my body and gives me the meditative rest I need to help find balance with such a busy mind. The challenge I've been facing is finding the right yoga studio that offers that special combination of the types of classes, timing of yoga classes and location at the right price. Thankfully I've found a local yoga studio that is meeting just about all of my needs and I've been reveling in going each week - looking forward to each class with a youthful joy that is bringing positive change into my daily life.
The studio I've found is flourishing, it has a strong class attendance, has plenty of classes and my business head switched on to thinking what makes for a successful and profitable yoga school? So by taking a leaf of inspiration out of their book here are seven great tips for creating a profitable yoga studio:
1. Have yoga classes with 9.30am or 10am starts as well as the early morning classes as this caters for two separate groups - two separate markets - those who have more freedom in the mornings and those early risers who tend to have the 9 - 5 jobs. Many yoga studios cater for only the early morning yoga students but just a few smart ones offer the post school-run times so it is an open market with a lot of interested customers who will bring in that valuable extra money.
2. 10 classes vouchers rather than 10 week vouchers - to me this is a very simple initiative that many yoga studios are really missing out on. So many people simply can't commit to knowing exactly what they're doing every week because of work and/or family commitments so they'll avoid signing up and paying for a multi-week block but they do want, and often need, the financial discount that's offered to make it work for them. So when you offer a multi-classes voucher that offers the flexibility to come to any yoga class that works with their schedule you get to avoid the timing and cost arguments and get the dollars.
3. Offer classes focused on different energy levels such as 'restorative' that is a gentle class that has a stronger focus on giving time out from hectic lifestyles and healing, 'energising' that's a stronger class that builds strength and flexibility as a middle level class and 'dynamic' that's the hardest working level class and gets a sweat going as well as focusing on the breathe.
4. Have a website with your classes on it as your starting point and keep the information current. Having a website is a progressive experience, you build on it bit by bit. So you start with phase one and move onto phase two, three and so on. You can get quickly started with a simple Word Press blog theme with static pages clearly marked "Classes", "About Us", "Contact Us". The Classes page needs to have the classes schedule, cost, what the classes involve and who's taking the classes. On the Contact Us page be sure to include a Google map of the studio, contact form, phone number and any details about parking that would be helpful. The About page is great for profiling the teaches and sharing the philosophy of the studio.
5. Add content to your website progressively with guest writers - including students with their own blogs, teaches within the studio, friends of the studio and even journalism students. This is a great chance for cross promotion between their blogs and sites and yours, bringing with it those valuable back links Googles ranks so highly. The important thing is to remember to be generous with the cross promotion and back linking. Many people are happy to be guest writers and not be paid for articles but they do require the linking back to their sites. It is also a good opportunity for budding writers to start building up their own portfolio.
6. Flyers with class times and details available outside the yoga studio for people coming past even when you're closed are great for - this basic 101 marketing technique remains mandatory for local businesses like yoga studios because it keeps on working. Flyers by the front gate was how I found my new yoga studio.
7. Be clearly marked as a yoga studio we clear signage - this is one of the most basic and obvious points to make but it's surprising how many yoga studios are hidden away because they are lacking good signage out the front saying "Yoga Studio" in big letters for all those potential customers to easily see.
Getting the Investment Money for Growth
By starting with extra classes, that are promoted during existing classes, the extra income that's needed to invest in effective signage, printing flyers and starting a website can be generated.
Get word of mouth going in the local neighbourhood about the new morning classes by inviting mothers groups along. Finding mothers groups is easy, check out the local parks, announcements in newspapers, look to other local businesses catering for them - our local independently owned cinema has a mums and bubs - and work together with them (offer the owner a yoga class package as a trade) and of course, ask for referrals from your yoga students, friends and family.
Look for the Difference
So have a look at the other yoga studio class times in your local area - say a circle of 5km - to see what is working with them. I really had to hunt around for a long time to find a yoga school with the morning classes and they are proving to be very profitable for the school. Look to cater for a different market to the standard groups and there is extra income available for your business to flourish.