How to Start a Yoga Studio: 6 Tips for Getting Started

Jun 6, 2022

✍️ Author: Sinead O'Connor


Have you ever wondered if starting a yoga business is right for you? With the rising popularity of yoga and its many forms, there is no shortage of potential customers. Setting your business apart from the rest is key to ensuring long-term success.  If you’ve practiced or taught yoga before, you are well aware of its excellent benefits. It’s no wonder that yoga has gained so much traction. If you have ever considered opening up a yoga studio of your own, you’ve come to the right place. This post will give you clarity and actionable steps for starting your own yoga business.

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Why Should You Open A Yoga Studio?

Deciding to open a yoga studio of your own is not a decision to be taken lightly. There will be plenty of challenges along the way, but it can also be incredibly fulfilling and rewarding. If you are a certified yoga instructor and have dreams of opening your own studio, you might relate to one or more of the benefits below.

  • Build Community: opening a yoga studio gives you an exciting chance to build a community from the ground up
  • Fill a Gap in the Market: if you’ve been practicing and/or teaching yoga for a while, you may have already found your niche – a void in the market that you can fill
  • Execute Your Vision: opening your own studio allows you to tailor everything to your clients with your unique vision in mind
  • Financial Gain: with enough time and dedication to your business plan, owning and operating your own yoga business can provide a greater financial benefit than working at someone else’s yoga studio

people participating in a yoga class

6 Steps To Open A Yoga Studio

Owning a yoga studio is no small feat. You will want to take the necessary steps to ensure you are ready to go when your doors open for the first time. Your passion and vision will guide you throughout your journey. In this section, we’ll cover the six steps for how to start a yoga studio.

Establish Your Vision

The most critical step in opening a yoga studio is creating a clear vision for your business. There are essential questions to ask in the initial stage of starting a yoga business:

  • Who are you and what are you offering? 
  • What is your purpose in opening the studio? 
  • What goals do you have for the business? 

Take some time to reflect on your personal core values and vision for your studio. Create a short vision statement that will inform every step of the business journey. Three key elements to consider when creating your vision for your yoga business are your studio’s:

  • Target customer
  • Class offerings
  • Defining feature(s)

Identifying your target customer is a central part of establishing your vision. When you think of your future studio, consider the following:

  • What type of customer do you picture in your classes? 
  • Do you specialize in recovery for athletes, advanced teaching for experienced yogis, or do you want to teach to a broader audience of seasoned yogis and newcomers alike? 
  • Will your customers be people who live or work in the neighborhood? 

Another aspect of the business vision is a general understanding of what types of yoga classes you will be offering. This will likely go hand in hand with what type of customer you are targeting. With the wide variety of yoga styles, your possibilities are nearly endless. Will you offer Yin yoga focusing on deep stretching and recovery, hot yoga in a heated space , or more of a traditional flow-style Vinyasa yoga? You may want to offer a combination of yoga styles or just focus on one. As a general rule, you will want to keep it broader if you’re in a smaller community to appeal to more customers. One last thing to think about for your business vision is what will set you apart? How is your studio different from the next one? While it does not have to be major, your studio should have at least one defining feature that keeps your clients coming back. Maybe you use essential oils at the end of each class, set extra time at the start of each class to set intentions, or have a social hour once a week after class. Whatever it is, this unique feature will set you apart and create a lasting community of supporters.

Research the Market

Now that you have your business vision, the next step is to spend time researching the market. Are there any other yoga studios in the area you are looking at, and what do they offer? Are you bored of the same old yoga studio models? Take classes at other studios to experience their classes for yourself. Is there anything missing that you could bring? What did you like and dislike about each class? Try to pay attention to every detail from the time you schedule the class to checking in at the desk and final Savasana. Keep a journal to jot down your thoughts before and after.

  • How many other studios are there in the area?
  • What classes do they offer?
  • How can I set my studio apart? 

Create Your Business Plan

Once you have a good feel for the market and have your vision for your yoga business, you should develop your business plan. This is a more in-depth plan for running your business and will be crucial for securing funding for start-up costs. The upfront section of your business plan should include an overview of your business and the services you will be offering. What is your studio vision? Include details like how your membership and payment structure will work, what amenities you will offer, and what your cancellation policy looks like. You may also want to include a section on competitor analysis and how your business will stand out. The marketing plan section should contain your strategy for advertising and gaining customers to achieve your goals. How will you get the word out about your new yoga studio? A vital component of your marketing plan will be the branding for your business. Work with a local graphic designer to create a visually appealing logo and name for your studio. Branding will be vital for building out your studio’s website and social media channels. You could start sharing your opening journey on social media with a preview of the space to garner a following. What other marketing tools can you use to spread the word about your business? Get creative! The most detailed portion of your business plan will be the financials. This section should cover everything from how many staff members you will need and how you will pay them to the average class size and number of memberships in the first year and beyond. How much does it cost to open a yoga studio? What are the minimum yoga studio requirements? Determine your necessities and overhead costs of running the business. You might want to consider hiring a professional to help develop sales projections and make sure you have everything covered here.

  • Business Description and Services
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Marketing Plan
  • Financial Plan and Projections

Find a Location

You may already know where you’d like your yoga studio to be, but the hard part is actually finding a space that you can buy or rent. Since this process can be so complex, it’s best to work with a commercial real estate agent. An agent will take the time to get to know you and your business, provide resources, ensure you find the perfect location, negotiate on your behalf, and save you time. Keep in mind the average yoga studio size of 20 to 25 square feet when searching. Below are three of the most important considerations when deciding on a space for your yoga studio.

  • Location and Ease of Access
  • Parking and Transportation Options
  • Lease Terms

Get to Know Your Community

Your community is an invaluable resource for you as you build your yoga practice. What steps can you take to get to know your neighborhood and community before opening your studio? Start by introducing yourself to other local businesses. The more you share your vision and passion, the more buzz will be created. Communities often have groups for local business owners to network and share resources. Making solid connections in the community will help immensely and can even lead to partnerships in the future. Start creating temporary signage to generate excitement in the neighborhood while your space is being prepared. Maybe you offer a free yoga class in the park or drop off postcards with local businesses for a free introductory week. Throwing a yoga studio grand opening party is also a great way to gather community and get the word out about your new endeavor.

  • Get to Know Other Local Business Owners
  • Consider Pop-Up Community Classes
  • Stay True to Your Vision

Hire the Right Staff and Business Tools

Hiring the right staff members and ensuring you have the proper tools can make or break your business. When you are out, your staff members represent you and the business you have created. If you can spend extra time during the hiring process to really get to know the candidates and make sure they align with your passion for yoga and the business’s goals, it will pay off in the long run. Whether you hire a front desk attendant or a yoga instructor, a passion for yoga is essential. Understand your personal weaknesses and look for individuals who can fill those gaps. Equipping your staff with improper tools can be detrimental to your business because it affects each customer that walks in your door. One consideration in yoga studio startup costs that we haven’t yet covered is software and tools to help the business run smoothly. Software systems can save time and money for both you and your staff. There are countless options for collecting payments, scheduling, storing client information, and keeping records and paperwork, but do you want a patchwork of solutions from individual vendors? Convenience is key. Take advantage of all-in-one business solutions like Offering Tree to streamline your business operations and set your staff members up for success.

  • Hire Staff Who Align With Your Vision
  • Utilize All-in-One Business Solutions

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New yoga studio set up for a class

6 Tips for Starting a Yoga Studio

As you navigate your journey to starting your yoga studio business, there will undoubtedly be ups and downs. How to start a yoga business looks different for everyone. Keep these helpful tips in mind to make the process seamless and set your business up for success.

Have a Solid Plan

Having a solid vision and plan will guide and inform future business decisions. Check-in with yourself often throughout the process to make sure you are sticking to your vision. Creating a timeline for each phase of the business can help keep you on track. Consider all costs before launching. A well-thought-out business plan will go a long way in keeping you accountable for your goals.

  • Stick to Your Vision
  • Consider All Costs
  • Create a Timeline

Location is Key

Selecting the right location for your yoga studio may seem daunting, but this is where your market research will come in handy. Zero in on an area with a void in the yoga space or that is rapidly growing. If you can’t easily access the space, your clients won’t be able to either. Ensure that your space is easy to find and has parking and transportation access. Eliminating small barriers can improve client satisfaction and retention.

  • Spend Time Doing Research
  • Pick an Easily Accessible Location
  • Make Parking Options a Priority

Get to Know Your Clients

One of the most valuable tools for growing your yoga business is right in front of you: your clients. Get to know your clients on a personal level to deepen your connection. Asking for client feedback early and often is an easy way to improve client retention. You might also consider a referral program or loyalty rewards to bring more clients to your studio and strengthen retention. At the end of the day, you want to make sure your clients are happy, so they spread the word.

  • Ask for Feedback Often
  • Word of Mouth is Powerful
  • Consider Referral Programs

Don’t Skimp on Marketing

Having a solid marketing plan and budget built into your financial model will be instrumental in growing your business. Start with a strong brand and website. Leverage SEO to improve your Google rankings so potential customers can find you. Maybe send out postcards to businesses and homes in the neighborhood to grow awareness. Utilize social media to post genuine content and increase your following. A good marketing plan should include all of the below:

  • Print Marketing
  • SEO and Email Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing

Consistently Check in On Finances

Having regular financial check-ins with your accountant can help you identify areas of excessive spending and keep your budget on track. Are there any other ways to boost your business income? Are there services you are paying for that you are not utilizing? Can you combine business tools into an all-in-one solution like OfferingTree to save money? Thinking about these financial questions regularly can go a long way in your business’s overall health and longevity.

  • Have Regular Financial Check-Ins
  • Stay on Track with Your Budget
  • Identify Potential Areas for Savings

Diversify Your Income Stream

There are many strategies for keeping your yoga classes full, but no matter how hard you try, there will be slow periods in your business. To keep finances balanced, consider diversifying your income streams. Many yoga studios have found success selling retail items such as yoga mats, water bottles, workout clothing, or even jewelry from local makers. You could stock a small fridge and offer protein drinks and snacks for clients to enjoy after class. Maybe you start to offer yoga teacher training or additional ticketed events to build community and bring in some extra revenue. These seemingly small offerings are an added benefit not only for your clients but also provide a boost to your finances.

  • Retail Section
  • Snack Bar
  • Special Events and Trainings

a woman with a yoga mat doing business

How Do You Manage A Yoga Studio After Opening One?

Once you have opened your yoga studio, you might be asking how to run a yoga studio for long-term success. Following the helpful tips above will be a good start, but there are other simple ways to manage your business better. You’ll find that saving time in your day is critical since many of the responsibilities will fall on you as a business owner. This is where OfferingTree comes in. Designed for wellness businesses of all kinds, our goal is to streamline efficiencies so you can spend more time doing what you love. We take the busy work out of running a business by providing all of your business tools in one central place and making it easy to build your website. Your clients and staff alike will be impressed with the ease of scheduling classes, providing payment, and sending messages. As a business owner, the OfferingTree analytics tool will give you the insights you need to make informed business decisions. Managing a yoga business has never been easier. folks-doing-yoga-outside

Grow Your New Yoga Studio With OfferingTree’s All-in-One Management Platform

Starting a yoga studio of your own is an achievable goal with the right tools and community support. Following the recommendations in this guide will help set you up for success, and implementing solutions that save time and money is key to that success. Offering Tree is an all-in-one management platform committed to wellness education and access. Learn more about our team and social purpose, and find out how Offering Tree can help grow your yoga business.

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