The Complete Guide | 15 MIN READ

Starting a Yoga Studio? The 10-Step Essential Guide to Open a Yoga Studio

"Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard." — Guy Kawasaki


According to recent surveys and statistics, there are 300 million Yoga Practitioners all over the world. And worldwide, the yoga industry is worth $80 billion. Where Americans spend on average $2.5 billion on yoga instruction annually while the market continues to grow. Meanwhile, The Covid-19 pandemic also turned people’s mental and physical health upside down as Yoga Studio and Gyms were forced to shut globally, raising more urgency of Yoga Studio and Gyms online or offline. By opening the yoga studio, you will unlock new knots of financial prosperity for yourself and touch more lives with your unique gift as an independent teacher.

“Action speaks louder than words.” Similarly, the only thing between you and your detailed plan to open a yoga studio is to take further steps. Overthinking is natural until it stops you from achieving your goals. Of course, there are vital points to figure out first. After reading this blog, we hope you reach a inch closer to achieving your goal of opening a yoga studio. So take a deep breath, inhale the insights you are about to consume, and exhale them by applying your ideas to fulfill your dreams. Let go of the tension and worries for the next 15 minutes as you are going to

Dive deep into the following ten steps on how to open your yoga studio:

Step 1. Prepare a detailed Business Plan

A clear business plan is a first and foremost step of opening any new store. Proper documentation gives more power to your ideas because when you put words to your dreams, you send strong signals to the universe, saying that you want to achieve them badly.

Describing your business plan in striking detail is also a form of positive visualization, a self-fulfilling prediction for your future. Preparing a business plan helps you refine your thinking, create a better direction for success, and identify your roadblocks and opportunities.

A business plan is especially critical if you are an entrepreneur because it can be the keystone of your business strategy. Listing your name in the market and seeking financial support from banks also becomes a critical task as a start-up. A business plan is not just self-expression but a precise action step to set up a business.

For instance, include these key points when you write down your business plan:

  1. Short and Long Term goals for growing your yoga studio

  2. The milestones you want to achieve

  3. Your marketing and pricing strategies, funding channels, hiring process, etc.

Your comprehensive business plan is a foundational document that helps you pitch your business to potential investors that explains your strategic and tactical plans for growth. Keep emphasizing the plan until you have a concrete understanding of what you wish to create.

Step 2. Staying Financially Stable is a must for Long Run

The success of a business will only be up to the mark when the company maintains stability in finance, which is the most challenging task in the long run, but once it’s established, there is nothing that can stop you. Because starting any business will operate in negative cash flows for a few months of its inception. Gladly, your business plan can come to your rescue to counterbalance this business problem.

Figure out the initial funding you need to set up your yoga studio. Depending on your past financial preparation, your investment sources can be your bank loan, investments, etc. Make sure you have a few options you can tap into in case you face rejections. Once you figure out the financials, your focus should be on keeping your yoga studio business afloat for the first 3–6 months and being accountable for the repayment.

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” - Abraham Lincoln

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Starting a Yoga Studio? The 10-Step Essential Guide to Open a Yoga Studio

Step 3. Register your unique Brand Name

We all trust brands, don’t we? When a standard black t-shirt costs you $9-10, a Nike t-shirt with its logo can cost you up to $25-30. What is making the difference here? The brand name and a better service structure make it worthy than others. The same applies to monthly and any other business.

Now comes the name, what will you name your Yoga Studio, YogiBear, LLC, or Third Eye, Inc. Branding is essential, hence you have to register your yoga studio as a legal business entity at first. Registering your yoga studio as a formal business entity might look like a hasty legal step, but it has long-lasting results.

For example, the tax benefits for registering your yoga business as a limited liability company (LLC) are better than listing it as a Corporation (Inc.). Instead of filing a corporate tax return, LLC owners can mention their profits and losses in their tax returns. It’s entirely up to you to choose how you want to register your yoga business; there is no right or wrong way of doing this. Make sure to open a business bank account and get a company card as the next step so that you can claim business expenses and file for relevant tax benefits in the future.

Step 4. Get Occupancy Permits

Any recreational business like a yoga studio or a gym needs a set of documents, including occupancy permits, parking and signage placements, fire safety clearance, and so on. The law requires you to obtain an occupancy permit to determine that your business complies with the zoning laws and ordinances and is safe for conducting yoga classes. The requirements vary from one city, country, or state to another. In general, you have to submit the following documents to obtain an occupancy permit:

  1. Your business income and receipts tax ID

  2. A commercial activity license, and

  3. Zoning and use permit

Besides, you will have to paste workplace labor law posters on your property to comply with the U.S. Department of Labor regulations.

The perils of not meeting the standard compliance can not only incur monetary losses for your business; it could also lead to costly lawsuits and permanent revocation of your business license.

Step 5. Rent or lease a Premium Location

You must have heard of this business proverb by Jeff Bezos many times before, especially in the domain of real estate: “there are three most important things you should consider i) location, ii) location, and iii) location.”

The importance of location is highly relevant for any business since it operates in the consumer market for recreational activities. Consider all the places as options where you want to open your yoga studio. Later, shortlist the best neighborhood based on the following criteria:

  1. Number of households

  2. Total population

  3. Demographic information such as median age, gender, and professional

  4. Average household income

Factoring in these considerations will help you calculate the best return on investment (ROI) for your yoga school. You would be fortunate if you already own a place in a neighborhood that guarantees high foot traffic. In this case, all you need to do is remodel the property into an energy-exuding yoga studio. If you don’t, you should find a spacious place that you can rent or lease. Rental agreements are short-term, usually paid every month, while leasing is long-term and mostly on annual contracts. Of course, you can also follow the suit of many yoga entrepreneurs like McCarville, who use open-air public spaces after securing the necessary permits from the local authorities.

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Step 6. Communicate with your expected Customers

“Communication is the key.” Most first-time business owners fall into a common trap when they fail to test their business ideas with their potential market.

Creating a direct feedback loop with your customers even before you start your business helps you to validate your business idea of opening a yoga center, understanding their existing pain points, tapping into the buyer’s psychology, and researching the right pricing strategy.

In startup incubation programs such as Y Combinator, the mentors often dedicate a large section of their lectures to two things:

  1. How to communicate to your users before building a minimal viable product (MVP)? and

  2. How to iterate quickly and as often as possible?

YouTube, Slack are a few brands that pivoted early based on customer feedback. If talking to customers has helped the tech giants of Silicon Valley, it should also help small business owners.

To pull this off, you can leverage social media to run online polls or hire an agency to conduct anonymous surveys. The more you convey with your prospective customers, the higher your chances of creating a lasting impact on their lives. In addition to this, communicating to your customers early on and directly also helps you personalize your marketing strategy and offer bespoke yoga regimens suitable for your niche market.

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Starting a Yoga Studio? The 10-Step Essential Guide to Open a Yoga Studio

Step 7. Hire an A-Team of Yoga Instructors

You can’t be a one-person Swiss Army Knife to handle all the chores of your yoga school, you might wear yourself out sooner than you expect. You can’t take all the responsibilities of running your business on your own, especially when you have to take care of several legal and operational aspects of the company. Being a Yoga Expert, you must be aware of some of the main principles of yoga, i.e., wisdom, ego sacrifice, and contentment. It would help if you didn’t start a yoga business at the cost of risking your physical and mental well-being; that would be short-sighted and self-centered. And let’s face it, even superheroes need sidekicks. As a Yoga Studio entrepreneur, your aim should be to hire a team of talented people to help you establish a value-driven yoga school and grow it to its true potential.

Form a team of excellent yoga instructors, admin staff, and backend office professionals from the get-go. You might want to hire your ex-colleagues from your past training batches or family members who invested in your success. Engaging the staff is one of the most challenging aspects of growing your business. Hence, if you think that it’s something you are not particularly good at, your focus should be to find someone who can do it for you. Once your studio is running successfully, you can set up a process to evaluate your staff performance. Take a look at ZealSchedule’s analytics to see how it helps track your employees’ monthly achievements.

Step 8. Schedule right Yoga Programs and Classes to teach

This move becomes easy if you collect meaningful insights after talking to your prospective customers. Likewise, you can also tie this with the collective experience of the instructors that you may hire. Combine these two factors to develop your courses, define the average class size and course schedules. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do you want to offer all-year-long beginner’s classes? Or, do you like to provide progressive courses starting from basic, medium, and advanced level yoga?

  2. What about offering certificates of completion?

  3. Will you be open to offering bespoke classes for people who want to become certified trainers?

  4. How about the scheduling process? Do you want people to manually register for monthly memberships at the yoga center or offer them the ease of doing it through an online appointment app?

  5. Will you offer the old-school Hatha Yoga or short bursts of power yoga for busy working moms?

These are questions you should consider when designing a program for your yoga school.

Step 9. Develop a Solid Marketing Strategy

In today’s hyper-competitive business environment, you can no longer bank on sticking tear-off fliers in your local neighborhoods or displaying your business card in the grocery store’s pin-up boards.

Note that 43% of the Americans who practice yoga are between the ages group of 30-49; they are internet-savvy and spend most of their waking hours in digital spaces. In that manner, formulating a marketing strategy for your yoga studio is of utmost priority even before rolling out the yoga mats for your first clients. To develop a confident marketing strategy, identify a niche market you can cater to, such as AntiGravity yoga, Ashtanga, Vinyāsa, or prenatal yoga. The next step is to create an excellent digital presence for your yoga school and develop a website for a great first start, but it needs some depth. For instance, including the compelling call-to-action (CTA) on your website to help customers take aspired actions. The best way to do this is to give them an option to book an appointment for free. Opt for a Yoga Studio Scheduling Software such as ZealSchedule to help your customers volunteer their name, phone number, address, and email to book free classes as a try-before-you-buy incentive. There are numerous benefits to doing this. The free incentive will attract them to your yoga studio, increasing their probability of converting visitors into customers. If they somehow don’t show up for or come back after the trial, you can leverage their information to start a nurture campaign through direct mail, email, or text messages.

Step 10. Introduce your Brand Merchandise after building an established name

To make the most out of your yoga studio business, you can introduce your line of yoga merchandise for sales, such as customized t-shirts, sippers, yoga mats, clothing, mandala posters, meditation rugs, or cushions, branded keychains, and water bottles. You can have an in-store exhibit and sell the merchandise or create an online window on your studio’s main website. Yoga and Fitness enthusiasts are really into branded merchandise, especially activewear and athleisure wear. According to research statistics, they are a massive part of the booming yoga economy. There are numerous advantages to selling your brand merchandise:

  • It helps you spread the word about your yoga studio when your clients use this merchandise in public places. 

  • Selling brand merchandise will help you generate a steady stream of revenue for your yoga school.

  • You can also grow your merchandise business as an independent online e-commerce store. 

  • You can also leverage the merchandise inventory as free incentives in your direct response ad campaigns to get more customers.

For example, provide coupon codes to drive new registrations to your yoga school or run enter-to-win giveaway campaigns in hyperlocal marketplaces such as Groupon, Yelp, Living Social, or even Facebook ads. Direct response ads benefit conversions since they require 21% less cognitive effort to process a decision and offer 29% more ROI than other ad channels. You can also choose an Appointment Scheduling Software like ZealSchedule, to make this task easier for you in marketing your brand merchandise without wasting much of your time. You have all your customers’ data. All you have to do is send them emails, the newsletter of your newly launched merchandise.

Ready to open your Yoga Studio?

We are perhaps living in the Golden Age of the capitalist economy. When you are passionate about opening your Yoga Studio, you should no longer keep it as a daydream. The legal and business efforts put into opening a yoga studio are less than the skill you offer as a tutor and your passion for the practice. Your focus should be more on creating a lasting impact on people who will come to learn yoga from you. Ask yourself, in a world where dozens of YouTube channels teach yoga for free, why should people pay to learn yoga from you? Just like the body chakras, align your value system with your entrepreneurial aspirations, and soon the hurdles to opening a yoga studio become an effortless task. Once you have that clarity, go with confidence. 

We wish you all the very best in your business endeavors