You’re on your way to the yoga studio to teach your morning class. As you get closer to the building and the sign on the door and the studio’s logo are in sight, you wonder what it would be like to have your own yoga studio one day. Think about it. You will be in charge of managing the studio. You will have different instructors teaching classes and maybe even offering different yoga types.
When your business grows and you have more clients coming in, you will hire more staff to take care of coordinating the studio, and maybe you will even teach a class or two. Students will cheer for you, and your classes will be booked instantly. You’ll hear exciting whispers saying, “the studio owner is teaching this one!” as you enter the class.
You’re standing in front of the glass door, looking at your own reflection, and thinking it sounds pretty amazing. But you also wonder how to open a yoga studio with no money? You rush in with a half-smile when the studio owner waves at you from the counter.
Yes, opening a yoga studio needs a lot of effort and money. But it’s also not impossible when you’re on a budget. This blog post is a complete guide on how to open a yoga studio with no money. Well, with a little bit of money and a lot of hard work. Nothing is impossible, my friend, so read on to learn how you can do it!
Types of Yoga Studios
To open a yoga studio, you first have to decide what type of yoga classes you like to offer. There are 11 major types of yoga. You can choose to focus on one or offer a variety of different types. For example, you can offer classes that focus on relaxation and meditation or classes that focus on more physical engagement. I summarized the 11 types of yoga in the list below, so you can decide on which areas you like to focus your classes on.
The word Vinyasa means “to place in a special way.” I think with that definition, you can guess that Vinyasa yoga focuses on yoga postures. To practice Vinyasa means flowing from one pose to another while focusing on your breath. Choosing which poses to use during Vinyasa completely depends on the instructor. You can use as many poses and sequences as you wish. For example, you can hold some of the poses longer after warming up.
The word Hatha refers to all the physical-based yoga poses. Physical-based yoga is the most popular type of yoga practice and has tons of different styles. Hatha classes are best for yoga beginners since they are usually slower in pace than other yoga styles. They are also great for combining breathing practices with exercise.
Iyengar yoga is named after its founder, B.K.S. Iyengar. Iyengar yoga students perform a variety of yoga poses while controlling their breath. In this yoga type, poses are held longer than usual. It’s important that students use props to correct their form and go deeper in each pose without the risk of injury. It’s no jogging or weight lifting, but you certainly do get a good workout in Iyengar yoga classes. Iyengar yoga is also a perfect, relaxing exercise for people with injuries who have to workout slowly and risk-free.
Kundalini yoga is a celebrity-preferred yoga type that focuses equally on the spiritual and physical aspects of yoga. It’s all about releasing the Kundalini energy that has been trapped or coiled in the lower spine. Focusing on the spine, Kundalini yoga classes work on the core of our body and our breathing with fast, invigorating yoga poses and breathing exercises. These classes also involve a huge amount of chanting, mantra, and meditation.
The word Ashtanga means “eight limb path.” Fact: Vinyasa yoga is a subcategory of Ashtanga that focuses on the flow of movement and breath. In Ashtanga yoga classes, you will practice a highly physically-demanding sequence or routine of poses. As you can guess, Ashtanga is a complex type of yoga, so it’s definitely not suitable for beginners. The Ashtanga routine starts with 5 sun salutation A’s and 5 sun salutation B’s and is followed by a sequence of standing and floor postures.
Bikram yoga is another type of yoga named after its founder, Bikram Choudhury. It is a sequence of a set of yoga poses practiced in a sauna-like environment. To be more specific, the temperature should be set at 105 degrees with 40% humidity. Bikram yoga is also known and practiced as hot yoga. There are 26 basic yoga poses in the Bikram sequence, and each pose is performed twice.
Yin yoga is a meditative type of yoga that involves a slow-paced sequence of floor or seated yoga poses. Yin yoga is a great option for beginners. Each pose is held for 45 seconds to 2 minutes. The classes are comfortable and relaxed since gravity does most of the job. Yin yoga is a great practice if you are looking for inner peace.
Restorative yoga focuses on body relaxation. It’s a great solution to wind down after a day of stressful work. It also helps clear your mind and cleanse stress and anxiety. The class focuses on longer time on fewer poses. Just like Iyengar classes, there are props used in restorative yoga to enhance the effectiveness of the routines. These props are mainly blankets, bolsters, and eye pillows to help you sink more into relaxation.
Prenatal yoga focuses on relaxation and stability for mom-to-be students. In prenatal yoga classes, pelvic floor exercises, breathing exercises, and bonding with the baby are the main practices. Prenatal yoga helps moms prepare for labor and delivery. In these classes, stability is way more important than flexibility.
Anusara is the modernized version of Hatha yoga. It’s also very similar to Vinyasa in practice. The main focus of Asurata is the mind-body-heart connection. In the class, students will focus on how each body part is moving. Anusara is also known for its focus on heart opening.
Jivamukti yoga classes are a mixture of Vinyasa yoga (in terms of the flow) and Hindu spiritual teachings. The purpose behind Jivamukti is to connect to the earth as living beings. The classes start with a series of chants and continue with a series of poses that emphasize the 5 tenets of Jivamukti yoga.
Now, I think you already have an idea of what yoga type or types you want to offer at your yoga studio. You don’t have to overthink it. You most definitely don’t have to know every single type of yoga you like to offer. There are instructors just like yourself that you can hire to teach.
How to Open a Yoga Studio — Dos and Don’ts
Opening a yoga studio needs a thorough and detailed plan. Sure, knowing what type of classes you wish to offer is the base of your yoga studio. But it doesn’t answer the question of how to open a yoga studio. There are different steps you have to take along your journey. There are also major, business-wrecking mistakes you have to avoid. A good knowledge of what to do and what not to do will guide you on how to open a yoga studio.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Opening a Yoga Studio
They always say, take advantage of people’s experiences. There are common mistakes your fellow business competitors have already made that you don’t necessarily have to make. That’s why even before knowing what you are supposed to do, you need to know about these mistakes:
Hiring the wrong staff
When you first open a yoga studio, you will be flooded with tasks you might not know how to run. There are many different things you have to take care of. That’s when you need to hire a team of professionals to take care of those tasks while you manage and take care of the work you need to.
The thing about hiring employees is that if you do it wrong, you can permanently damage your business. The right staff members can help elevate your business. The wrong staff members can cause many downgrades in your progress. If your staff are not reliable or passionate about what they do, you will always end up changing staff members and facing an overload of tasks they were responsible for. Whether it’s someone you hired to take care of your finances or someone to manage the day-to-day classes, you have to make sure that person is trustworthy, professional, compassionate about your business, and reliable.
Not having a plan
We human beings plan everything. You might be able to go on a trip spontaneously and without a plan. But, you cannot simply start a business and open a studio impulsively. You need a business plan, a financial plan, and a marketing plan. Yes, running a yoga studio is pretty fun and exciting, but don’t underestimate the business side of it. The most important step on how to open a yoga studio is to write a business plan. This business plan will be your guide on how to run your business. It will help you secure your funding and plan expenses. It is also crucial if you are looking for investors. Because a business plan will show your investors why your studio will be successful and is worth investing in.
Spending too much money on the wrong location
Your biggest challenge would be finding a location that is suitable for a yoga studio and is within your budget. If the studio is not:
- Big enough to fit your estimated classes
- In a reachable location
- Close to public transport stations
- Having a parking area
Then, the location is not ideal. Buying or renting a location for your yoga studio is the biggest expense for your business. So, if you invest in a location that has any of the problems above, you are simply wasting your money and will not have ROI (return of investment).
Not knowing your clients
Opening a successful yoga studio depends on how well you know your potential clients. If you are a yoga instructor, get to know your students better. Find out what their ideal yoga studio is like. Knowing what they want from a yoga studio will give you a perception of what you need to do to attract your potential clients.
Every business owner has an overall idea of how they want to shape their business. But what you want as a business owner might not be what your customers expect from you. For example, let’s say you want to focus on teaching hot yoga in your studio. You Do everything accordingly. You even get equipment to create the sauna-like environment in your classes. Once you open your business, you might find out that in your local area, no one is interested in hot yoga. Instead, your potential clients are taking online Anusara classes.
Going into business blind-sighted and based on your assumptions is a huge mistake. You have to take what your clients want from your yoga studio into account.
Not having a marketing strategy
Suppose you open the dream yoga studio literally. How are you going to sell your service if no one knows about it? That’s why having a marketing strategy matters. Some business owners spend huge amounts of money and resources to perfect their business and product/service. And they expect it to sell on its own. But that’s not the reality of running a business. Especially not the strategy behind opening a yoga studio.
You need to get the word out right now. Your existing yoga base is the perfect place to talk about your future yoga studio. Even after the initial marketing efforts and having students around at the yoga studio, you still need to market your classes to get more students.
How to Open a Yoga studio
So far, you have learned from your fellow competitors’ mistakes, and you can confidently start the process of opening your own yoga studio. I know this whole process is exciting and honestly a bit intimidating. But with the right plan, a solid spirit, a little bit of courage, and lots of creativity, you can open your dream yoga studio. Follow the guide below on how to open a yoga studio:
1. Write a business plan
Writing a business plan is actually a lot easier than you expect. It’s the opportunity to jot down all the good ideas you have. When you write things down, there is a higher chance that you will execute them. An effective business plan consists of:
- Executive Summary: a brief summary of what your business is. In your case, write about your experience as a yoga instructor and your goal of opening a yoga studio.
- Business History, Background, and Objectives: talk about your story. How you started teaching yoga and the reason behind your decision to open a yoga studio.
- Products and Services: How many different types of classes do you want to offer? Are you going to sell equipment and merchandise? How are you rating your classes? Is there a subscription plan you want to offer? Write it all down.
- Marketing Planning: What is your strategy to get the word out? How are you going to advertise your yoga studio? Are you considering a social media strategy?
- Competition: what other yoga studios are in your area? What type of classes, services, and products do they offer? What types of classes, services, and products are missing from the market? What can you do to stand out?
- Operational Plan: Basically, how are you going to run the studio? Who is in charge of managing classes? How will you find yoga instructors? How will you pay yoga teachers and staff members? How will you conduct and schedule classes?
- Finances: how are you going to fund your yoga studio? How much is the location rent or price? How much initial investment do you need? How much revenue will you generate in your first year of business?
The answer to these questions is your business plan. Do your research and put in as much detail as you can. You can always refer to your business plan if you ever feel lost in managing your studio. This plan is your yoga studio’s playbook.
2. Research the market
Think like your potential students. How would they find you? Someone who wants to take yoga classes will definitely go online and do a Google search. So, go ahead and search for yoga studios in your area. Your competitors can tell you a lot about the market. Check their websites and gather information about the classes they offer. You can find a lot of useful information about what types of classes are offered the most and which ones are missing from your area. This way, you can understand what the demand for yoga classes is. Go ahead and sign up for classes in different competition yoga studios. Attend classes and find out what their strengths and weaknesses are. Talk to students and find out what they like and dislike about their current yoga studio.
Use this information to complete your business plan. By the end of your market research, you will have an idea of what you can do and what to avoid to stand out and make sure your yoga studio is attracting your potential clients.
3. Come up with a direction, brand, and business model
It is now time to create a brand identity for your yoga studio. Write down what you value and how you want people to know about your business. Create a vision and mission for yourself. Name your studio and come up with a slogan.
Yogis and yoga students value a place where they can feel at home. Think about how you can interpret that in your studio to create a safe environment for your students to grow in their practice. Figuring this out will help create a comfortable and welcoming brand for your yoga studio.
4. Get ready to market your yoga studio
There are many different marketing strategies to include in your marketing plan. Since yoga is a highly saturated market, you need to make sure your studio stands out. That’s why you need a solid marketing plan. Digital marketing strategies can elevate your business since every single one of your target audience has an online presence. You can use social media marketing, digital advertising, content marketing, and email marketing to increase awareness of your studio.
Email marketing is a great strategy to generate leads that would turn into prospective clients. An email marketing campaign is used to send information about your yoga studio to potential students. This information can be your newsletter, promotions, subscription plans, and discounts. Running an email marketing campaign is a bit difficult. You first have to come up with the content of your email. Then, you have to design an email template so that it would look appealing. And then, you have to send the email to every single potential student on your email list. An email marketing tool like RunSensible can help automate the process. You can create a campaign on RunSensible and design your email template directly from the design studio. Then all you have to do is to select your email list, and RunSensible will take care of sending personalized emails to each potential student.
5. Pick the right location
As I have mentioned before, the location of your yoga studio is a crucial factor in the success of your business. Your studio needs to be accessible easily. You have to look for a spot that would have a parking area closeby. Public transport links are also an important factor when looking for a location.
Money is also another important factor when it comes to choosing a location. You have to look for a place in your budget. If you have a small budget, you can consider renting a room and then expanding as your business grows. Once you have decided and settled, start decorating your studio based on the visual guideline of your brand identity.
6. Use human and digital resources to run your studio
Once you have settled on a location, you need to hire staff members to help manage your business. As I mentioned before, hiring the right staff is vital for your business. Your team doesn’t have to be extremely experienced, but they do have to be professional in what they do. Managing classes, managing the studio. Social media managers, marketing managers, class coordinators and schedulers, and bookkeepers are a few of the roles you can hire people for.
If you’re on a budget and wondering how to open a yoga studio with no money, instead of hiring staff on the first day, invest in a yoga studio management software. A yoga studio management software like RunSensible takes care of online booking classes and payments, invoicing, student management, and class management.
7. Communicate with your students
Clients come to yoga studios to attend classes. But, what keeps them coming back is the experience they have at the yoga studio. Part of this experience is their communication with your staff and you. Maintain a close and friendly relationship with your students. Answer their questions and help them out with inquiries. Having a respectful and close relationship with your clients shows how much you value them. Maintaining that relationship can also result in word-of-mouth marketing and referrals from your current students.
8. Create additional streams of revenue
Selling retail products on the side is a great way to add another income funnel to your business. Water bottles, yoga mats, eye pillows, workout apparel, and yoga accessories are some of the retail products you can sell in your studio. Beginner students would appreciate it if they could buy the equipment they need while visiting your studio for their first class. All you need to begin selling retail products is a shelf if you have limited space. As you expand your studio, you can turn your shelf into a little shop. Maybe even add a little cafe to sell healthy vegan food on the side?
How to Open a Yoga Studio — Costs and Income
As I mentioned before, you need to have a financial plan when planning on opening a yoga studio. You need to know how much it will cost to open and run the place and how much you are expecting to earn in a month, a season, and a year.
The Costs of Opening a Yoga Studio
The expenses of opening a yoga studio depend on a lot of factors. The biggest portion of your budget and expenses goes towards the studio location. The location itself varies in cost based on several factors. There is no exact number to say okay, setting up a yoga studio costs this much. For example, if you want to set up your studio in an expensive city, the location itself can cost around $500,000 to $1 million. However, a small facility in a less expensive area can cost around $15,000 to $100,000. The size and location of the studio are the two main factors of how much setting up the studio will cost.
There are some additional costs that you have to take care of. When writing your financial plan, ensure you include these factors:
- Business registration
- Legal expenses
- Renting or buying a studio
- Yoga studio management software
- Employee wages
- Marketing promotions
- Remodeling the space
- Building and hosting a website
- Grand opening event
- Utility deposits
Average Yoga Studio Income
This section is all about the money coming in. Interesting fact to know: North Americans spend around 3 billion dollars on yoga classes annually. Yoga studios can earn an average amount of $14,000 per month. Considering that, a yoga studio owner can make an average of $7,000 gross monthly income.
To have a better concept of how yoga studio income is calculated, take a look at the table below:
|5 Classes Per Week
|10 Classes Per Week
|15 Classes Per Week
|20 Classes Per week
Average Yoga Instructor Salary
Now that we are talking about numbers, let’s also take a look at how much you can earn from teaching yoga. A yoga instructor’s salary can vary from $31,000 to $100,000 annually, with an average income of $60,000. Basically, this means that the average yoga instructor salary is around $24 per hour.
Budgeting Tips on How to Open a Yoga Studio
Let’s get back to the title of this blog post. How to open a yoga studio with no money? As I’ve mentioned earlier, it’s not easy, but certainly not impossible. All you need to do is budget. I have some tips that will help you plan your finances and budget:
Opening a little shop and selling retail products is not the main reason to open a yoga studio. But, it is certainly a great side income to help manage expenses, especially in the early days of your business.
Look for loans and investments
Money can become the most stressful part of running any business. If you need financial help to head-start your career, consider taking bank loans or ask investors to consider investing in your business while providing a solid business plan.
Invest in a yoga studio management software
A business management software can help take a load of work and stress off of your shoulders. If you cannot afford to hire staff, sign up for a yoga studio management software to take care of class sign-ups, class scheduling, tracking payments, tracking attendance, and automating daily repetitive tasks. Yoga studio management software come at different prices, but RunSensible is a business solution focused on helping small businesses grow. So, with an affordable price of $24 per month, you can have all the features you need to manage your studio.
To Wrap Up
We practice yoga to wind down, be stress-free, and relax. So, the process of opening a yoga studio should also be stress-free. That’s a very nice sentence. If I told you this at the beginning of this blog post, you would laugh and call me crazy. But, now that you know all about how to open a yoga studio, I’m pretty confident that you agree with me. If you daydream about having your yoga studio one day, don’t give up on that dream. You have all the resources; you have a great business management tool on your side to help you grow your business and make money. All you have to do is to take the first step!
How much does it cost to open a yoga studio?
You can start your yoga business with practically no money! Sure, traditional yoga studios need an actual studio you need to rent, but you can start with online classes.
Can I create a completely virtual yoga studio?
Of course! In fact, there are a lot of yoga instructors that have turned to online classes ever since the pandemic. Now, it’s a valid form of yoga instruction. All you need is an app like Zoom and a yoga studio software like RunSensible.
How much do yoga studio owners make?
Yoga studio owners make a lot more than yoga instructors, of course, because they can have lots of different classes and different instructors. Of course, a virtual yoga studio owner needs to spend less on studio space.