Most yogipreneurs realize sooner rather than later that running a yoga business is very different from teaching people how to do yoga. Going into downward dog can end up meaning something way different and not as pleasant if you end up making the wrong moves for your business, particularly early on.
We at fitDEGREE know how challenging it is to build a balanced and well-functioning yoga business that matches the quality of your class offerings. So we put together eight steps to mindfully growing your studio while keeping yourself sane:
For you to find success in any business, it’s imperative to know what makes you unique. But in the yoga space especially, you need something that makes you stand out in the saturated yoga industry. Knowing who you are as a brand and what sets you apart from the competition is not just for the practical purpose of executing a marketing strategy; it helps people understand your unique value proposition and what they can gain from joining your studio.
No matter what decision needs to be made in business, you should always come back to who you are. This is your guiding beacon to making the right business decisions from the people you hire to the software you use to manage your studio to partnering with other businesses. Always remember who you are.
To make solid decisions for your business, you need descriptive data to inform those decisions. That’s why it’s so important to keep detailed records of everything from day one– class enrollments, memberships, revenue reports, expenses, leads, marketing campaigns. The most meaningful reports are the ones that help you stay on track with your goals, help you identify trends or gaps in revenue, and support your marketing strategy. Self-reflection in business means taking a good hard look at your data.
The simplest way to keep track of all the important stuff for your studio is by having it all in one, easy-to-access place. Using software that does all this for you will not only make your life a whole lot easier but create an invaluable resource for your business’s growth. Bring attention to your current record-keeping system. How easy is it to use?
In the digital era, news travels faster than ever about your business reputation. When sharing an experience with your business to the world is only a click away, you can’t afford to let customers have a bad experience. Your reputation can carry your name much quicker than your brand identity. That being said, being mindful of your interactions online is of utmost importance.
Your customers, prospects, and supporters look for consistency in messaging across all media to be sure you’re authentic and have something valuable to offer. This includes your social media posts, any content on your website or blog, and your engagement on social media. Be intentional and strategic with your online presence. Consider the impression you want to consistently leave on your target market. Breathe in, breathe out, bring attention online to the present moment.
This can be surprisingly easier said than done. Many business owners start out on their own and can grow accustomed to wearing all the hats in their business. However, as the business develops and grows, you have to begin to delegate to support your growth. Spreading yourself too thin takes you away from working mindfully and that’s a detriment to your business. Besides, there are people out there with skill sets different than your own which can support growth in new ways.
Every yoga teacher has different strengths and weaknesses and once you recognize that students will gravitate toward the teaching style they most identify with, it becomes a lot easier to relinquish some control of your business to others who bring new strengths to the table. When you can self-reflect and determine the strengths in business you lack, delegation becomes your friend.
Simply meditating on a vision for your yoga studio isn’t enough– you need to strategically execute that vision by setting goals you can measure. Goals, while great for keeping you accountable to your vision, aren’t helpful when you can’t actually measure them. You need to decide what metrics will be paired with your goals and why. What defines growth to you? Is it about your total yearly revenue? Is it about how many leads you convert in a month? Or about how many classes you can fill by the end of the month?
Then you need a reliable system to track these metrics and keep you accountable to the goals. To make your goal tracking as painless as possible, using intuitive software that provides easy-to-understand reports is key.
Nothing will slow your business more than a signup process that doesn’t flow smoothly. The last thing you want to do is turn people away from your business because signing up was too confusing, too hard, or took too long. Be mindful of what may go through your customer’s head. People will want to sign up if your class packages are simple and understandable. Then they’ll want to sign up online. So on the technical end, you need a quick and straight-to-the-point process that your customers will breeze through. Make use of software that simplifies your signup process so that you can set your business up to scale comfortably.
A savvy business owner will tell you to that multiple streams of income are good for business. In the studio business, selling retail items is a great complement to the services you provide and a fantastic way to support your growth. Yoga apparel, mats, water bottles, blocks, malas, jewelry, etc. can bring you additional revenue and also provide additional value to your customers when they forget to bring to class that you sell.
However, without the aside of a technical process to manage your retail sales, selling retail can be a huge pain in the asana. Be sure that you have a reliable system or software to save you the time, money, and heartache of tracking your sales.
As you set your studio up for growth, it’s important that you find systems that free up your time to focus on your business. Systems that pull your attention away from running your studio are not effective and are a detriment to growth. Time is money and you’ve got better things to be spending your time on. Find a software that serves your studio.
It seems like every day, there is a new tool or app that makes social media easier for small businesses and entrepreneurs to take advantage of. These apps make it possible for almost anyone—with a bit of vision and dedication—to put together a brand's social media plan and execute it like a pro.
If you are serious about growing your yoga business, you need to be ready to harness the power of referral marketing. So how exactly do you do that? It’s not always as simple as just asking your customers to spread the word about your studio–– you need to motivate and incentivize people to help you grow your studio.
In the fast-paced and busy lives we live, it can be easy to slip into a routine and lose sight of the things we're grateful for in life. Studies have shown that being able to consciously note what you’re grateful for and actively practicing the habit of thanking the people in your life can improve your mental and physical health. As a yogi, you’re aware that yoga isn’t just a practice of the physical body–– it’s a practice of the mind, body, and spirit. Every time you step onto the mat, you’re engaging in an energetic lesson that goes beyond just your muscles and breathing–– it’s a practice that can spark gratitude. And as many experienced yogis can attest, when you put out love and gratitude into the universe, it comes back to you.