If you’re interested in starting your own yoga business, you’ll have to be prepared to follow established business rules in order to have a successful yoga enterprise. From this point, it’s not only your teaching experience that matter, but also business-related knowledge and skills are required in order to be able to work successfully on your own.
Still curious? You’re not alone, the yoga industry is booming.
In fact, according to the 2017 report by Statista, the number of people in the U.S. practising yoga stood at 27.35 million last year.
What’s more, another report by Statista states that the revenue of the yoga industry in the U.S. is projected to amount to around 11.6 billion U.S. dollars by 2020.
The stats confirm that starting a yoga business would be a fulfilling pursuit, you just need to make sure you’re aware of certain things when following the yoga instructor career path.
The following should guide you through how to start your own yoga business and become an independent yoga teacher or studio owner, without worrying about losing money or interest.
1. A business plan is a must-have for yoga businesses
We know, yoga and mindfulness teach “living in the moment” vibes but any successful business has a plan. Starting any company requires, yes, passion and motivation but also a lot of consideration. This is why a plan on how to build and develop your yoga business long-term is crucial.
A business plan you might want to create should include at least the following elements:
- Mission statement that will communicate your goals and values (your objectives)
- The business concept description highlighting services and/or products you will offer (your offer)
- Economic details covering costs, distribution, wages, funding, and pricing to maximize profitability (your costs)
- Evaluation of your competitors, including their strengths and weaknesses (your risks)
- Organization management description, including the background of your management team and key employees (your chances)
- A business plan should be used to help manage your company, with a clear, cohesive outline. It will undoubtedly help you focus on your strategies, understand the market better and keep on top of your financial numbers. Using a business plan as a guide to start your venture, you will be able to design a comprehensive business strategy that will help you grow over the years.
2. Get a yoga certification
Before starting your own business, it is necessary that you gain all the knowledge and experience needed to become a yoga teacher. This includes a yoga certification from a recognized authority.
Yoga Alliance is one of the most popular non-profit organizations known for controlling the national standards of yoga. However, you can choose from many different providers who offer yoga teaching training. Gaining a respectable yoga teacher training certification would boost your yoga studio, increase confidence in your work and enable you to charge a fair price.
You should consider attending yoga teacher training classes; this will provide you with a yoga certification and all the knowledge needed to train other people.
3. There’s no room for ambiguity when it comes to your yoga career
Yoga is a wide spectrum practice; there are so many different aspects and types of yoga. Similarly, there are many business options available for people who want to launch their own yoga business. From the start, you need to decide what road you’ll travel down.
Will you be a studio owner? A private teacher? An online yoga teacher? A retreats organizer?
What type of yoga training will you focus on? For example, there’s hot yoga, Vinyasa, Kundalini, Ashtanga and many other styles of yoga. Setting a niche for your business will benefit you immensely. It will help you be more visible in such a saturated market.
For example, describing your business as “Kundalini yoga lessons for spiritual awakenings” rather than a “yoga studio”will attract and interest more people who are interested in this particular type of yoga. You can be sure people who participate in the class are really interested in your offer, and — if satisfied after the first session — chances are they become your loyal, long-term clients.
Find and describe your target group, their needs and how you can help them achieve their goals. Think precisely and creatively when designing your branding and communication: “Hot yoga for weight loss”, “Ashtanga yoga for emotional and physical growth” instead of a simple “yoga lessons”.
Not only will this allow you to analyze the market more accurately, but it will also help define your business, giving you one vision that you can direct your energy towards.
4. Loyal customers are the key to successful yoga business
Any successful business needs customers, so one of the first priorities should be focusing on how to find them. There are many marketing tools available on the market you can choose from. Think about your target group you described in the previous step by answering the following questions:
- Who are they,
- How do they spend their leisure time,
- What are their interest areas,
- Where do they look for news and updates.
Based on insights about your target group, you will be able to choose the most prospective marketing channels to include in your promotional strategy. The recommended strategy is to test a few different lead generation channels to see what works and what doesn’t. After the first few weeks, measure the results from each channel and decide on the most prominent ones for your business. Using this approach, you can quickly select the most effective marketing tools to build your customer database, at the same time, saving your marketing spend for bigger campaigns.
Marketing channels that may be useful for promoting your yoga business include among others:
- Word of mouth
- Free classes
- Offer deals
- Partnerships with other organizations, schools, and teachers
- Networking events
- Business cards
Just as important when starting a yoga business is loyal customers — the ones that will keep returning. The best way to do this is by making it all personal, learn what each individual’s strengths and weaknesses are, their goals. Build relationships and help your students grow.
5. Know how to market your yoga services
This brings us nicely onto marketing and advertising. The fact is, in order to make any business a success, including your yoga training, marketing is key.
Our top marketing tips include:
- Build a brand — a logo, website, name, social media accounts, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Youtube
- Create an advertising budget — adverts, flyer printouts, digital marketing
- SEO research & content marketing — blogs, social media posts, videos
Don’t be afraid to invite people to like and follow your social media pages. Also, post and share your own accomplishments, create new content related to your offer. People will notice your activities, and they will be more willing to join your classes or recommend your services to their friends.
6. Don’t hesitate to ask and negotiate
Starting a yoga business requires studio leases, event purchase, bulk purchases, just to name a few. In business it is crucial that you negotiate all prices, to save you money and build relationships. Don’t forget to get everything confirmed on paper when closing a deal to avoid confusion.
Also, starting a yoga business or owning a yoga studio is very different from practicing yoga. Nobody will expect you to naturally have business skill sets, especially in the beginning.
It doesn’t matter what challenge you face, there will be people to support you and direct you, helping you to become a yoga instructor, manage your own studio or organize retreats. Friends, family, people you’ve met through networking or just simply by reaching out will help. You might be surprised at how many people want to share with you their knowledge and insights, whether it’s with accounting, marketing or just simply spreading the word.
Don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Starting a business is challenging and you shouldn’t expect to do everything on your own.
7. Practice what you preach
Don’t ever neglect yourself or your own practice in the hustle and bustle of running a business. If you disregard yourself, you won’t come off as authentic to your customers either.
Yoga consists around the idea of living one life, in the moment. We don’t have separate lives for professional, personal and spiritual aspects — it’s all one life. This can work to your benefit. Combing your spiritual passion with work can be extremely liberating.
That being said, it can be easy to focus only on running a business, rushing around in the least mindful way possible, neglecting your own wellbeing. Yes, running a business will probably require you to work more hours than most people, but it’s all about balance.
Combing yoga authentically into your business will allow you to direct your energy levels to the business, enabling it to balance perfectly with other aspects of your life.
The bottom line is, combining your passion with your professional life is an exhilarating, rewarding experience. Furthermore, the business of yoga doesn’t have to conflict with itself.
Following standard business techniques, whilst upkeeping an authentic yoga practice will ensure that you’re on the right path to yoga success, whether you aim to become a yoga instructor, yoga teacher or studio owner.
If you’ve been considering starting your own yoga business, there’s never been a better time to do it. If you follow these steps, it’s a promised way to earn money, spread your knowledge and love what you do.