Are you ready to open your own yoga studio? In this article, I’ll share some things to consider when opening your own yoga studio business. When looking at location, you’ve probably already started a business plan and started researching yoga prices and how much to charge.
And in that, there are some bullet points that you’d want to answer for your yoga studio:
What type of yoga will you offer? What is your ideal class size? These questions will determine what size your yoga studio needs to be. In addition to figuring out your class size, also think about your target audience.
The biggest thing to consider is who is your target audience and where do they live? If you’ve lived in your town for a while, you’ll get an idea of who you want to target and where they might live.
Do you want to serve stay at home moms who want to stay in shape after they drop their kids off at school? Or maybe the hipsters looking to strengthen their core and want to go to class after they get off work at night. Maybe you want to focus on the empty nesters who’ve decided to meet at yoga to exercise and then go have coffee somewhere to catch up on everything.
Depending on who you want to serve, you’ll start looking for buildings in these areas.
Many look to open a spot near a bustling neighborhood that will make it easier for their clients to find them.
There have been several studies done on just how long someone will travel to a local business. For yoga studios, most people won’t travel more than 12 minutes to get to your yoga studio. Make sure that you find a spot as close as possible to them.
Interesting side note, if you’re targeting women, then they will drive 3 minutes longer to go to a yoga class. So for women, you’re looking at max travel time of 15 minutes.
The folks at Brightlocal put this great infographic together on distances.
But once you know the area that you want to open your studio, you still have a few other items to make sure you have on your checklist:
Parking is super important. Is there enough parking for a whole class. Thinking about parking in our downtown area, I’d never open a yoga studio in our downtown simply because the parking is horrible. Too many people would leave frustrated after trying to find a parking spot.
There’s plenty of parking for the whole class. It’s also close enough for many to ride their bikes.
When you create your business plan, you’ll know more about the details, but you’ll want to figure out an ideal square footage you’ll need to keep your yoga studio in business. Ideally, you want 30-35 square feet for each person in a class.
Depending on your ideal class size, you’re looking to have 300 square foot studio for 8-12 students and 600 square feet for 15-20 students.
Most buildings lease by the square foot so look for buildings where the total expense won’t be more than 20% of what your yoga studio brings in.
Rent or Lease Costs
After you find the ideal location for your target market and kept in mind having the right parking, you’ll also want to look at your rent or leasing options for the building. Your ideal spot of town might not be the most cost effective. You will have to look for areas where you can keep your costs down so you’re not as stressed in the beginning to grow your studio.
You also want to pick a location where you don’t have to do much construction to change the layout. That’s too much up front costs and will delay you opening your studio.
Think about using alternative buildings, where you can strike up a deal with the building owner. Ideally, look at churches, or bigger buildings that aren’t doing much during your normal business hours and approach the business owner.
One of my favorite yoga studios that opened set up an agreement with a business owner who has a beautiful old building with brick walls and hardwood floors. They are able to sublease from him and offer a delightful setting for yoga classes.
Speaking of delightful. Aside from all the business aspects of finding a location for your yoga studio, you’ll also want to make sure the building is right for yoga.
What kind of yoga will you be offering? Do you need a large space or multiple rooms? How is the acoustics in the building? Is it one big echo chamber? Can you hear all the traffic going by?
In the summertime, the delightful yoga studio would open their barn doors to let the air circulate, but they were are a fairly busy traffic area and we’d hear cars zooming by in the afternoon classes.
Here are a few other questions that you might want to consider if opening a studio in your town will be difficult.
Can You Open a Yoga Studio in Your Own Home
Check with your city requirements to see if you can offer classes out of your home. Then, look at converting your garage or an unused room into a yoga studio area.This probably wouldn’t be ideal for several years, but when you’re just starting out, it might be the best way to get things moving.
If the city allows it, you can create a separate entry that will be used only for the yoga studio. This will help you keep a bit of separation from your home and sanity.
Opening a Yoga Studio in a Small Town
Along with knowing where to open your yoga studio, you’ll need to know how many people you’ll likely need to keep your business going. Typically you’ll expect to want between 50 to 500 people coming 1 to 4 times a month in order to stay in business. This is a rough estimate and we’ll cover this in more details in another article.
If you live in a small town, is it large enough to meet those back of the napkin calculations? If not, then consider adding in the next two items I’ll talk about to keep your business afloat.
Will you offer mobile yoga classes?
Some ways to get around the location issue. If you can’t find a suitable location to open your studio, would you consider becoming a mobile yogi and offering your services to local businesses or attractions?
This could set you apart from others where you offer lunchtime classes to businesses who are looking to provide their employees with healthy solutions.
Most larger businesses have a conference room or courtyard that you can set up for each class.
The other benefit of setting up a mobile yoga practice is you can put the business on retainer and you would know exactly how much you’ll be making each week with each company.
Will you offer online classes?
Most people still think that we have to be physically present to get the benefits of yoga classes. The truth is, you could set up your whole yoga practice online and start teaching your classes from the comfort of your own home.
Thanks to faster internet speeds everywhere, people aren’t afraid to try gym and spin classes online. There are several other classes that people are willing to pay for online: qigong, yoga, pelaton, meditation.
One of my favorite qigong studios went completely online only last year and he loves it. Flowingzen was brick and mortar for several years before he took it online. Consider doing something similar if rental prices are too much in your city or if your town is too small to open a yoga studio in it.
I know there seems to be more questions than answers in this post. Hopefully it will help you figure out the best area in your town to open your yoga studio.