8 Essential Steps to Creating a Successful Yoga Studio or Wellness Centre
- Created: Monday, 23 February 2015 12:40
By IICT Member Ginny West, Spirit in Business . 8 essential steps to building a successful Yoga Studio or Wellness centre. So you’ve been working out of dusty halls and community centre rooms that are vibrating with the teens hip hop class from next door, and you are craving
and I mean CRAVING your own space
Starting your own Yoga Studio or wellness Centre could be the best thing you’ve ever done.
Have a strong Business plan
Don’t even THINK about starting without a 12 month – 5 year plan. I’ve seen plenty of smart, creative, talented, amazing Wellbeing Practitioners start a beautiful centre, only to see it collapse from lack of planning. Do your sums. Rent plus utilities, plus tax, plus expenses – how much money would you need to earn each week to break even and how much extra to earn the wage you need? You need a plan for financials, marketing, operations, content, social media, council regulations and the rest. If this all sounds a bit dry, remember the plan is the beautiful bowls that holds and supports your business. A bit crack in the hole and things can go downhill fast. If you love it, if you want to succeed long term, get over the mental blocks and get a big beautiful, solid plan in place. No plan, no business
Try to take on a space of at least 100 metres square. This gives you the opportunity to build classes, rent the space to others and hold events. If you can offer (sound proofed) practitioners rooms as well you open huge opportunities for cross referrals, extra rental income and a reputation as the one stop shop in all things health and wellness. You should aim to have all your rent paid and even be earning income from your co-practitioners. That way you can teach rent free as you build your business. The more space you have the more scope you have.
Be really choosy about the practitioners you draw in. They need to be fully aligned with who you are and what you’re trying to achieve. Make sure you have a class or session with anyone before bringing them into the centre and check out their facebook page and chat to their clients to be sure what you see is what you get. Have a really clear document about the aims of the centre, what is welcome and what will not be tolerated and have a clause for opting out if there’s any kind of clash going on. Remember you are creating an atmosphere of peace! My tendency would be for class teachers to rent the space, rather than pay them, so they take more responsibility for class numbers. Make it clear that everyone is responsible for building numbers. You’re the captain so be ready to stand up and steer the direction of the centre.
Bring in a teacher for specialist classes that won’t clash with your own; eg kid’s classes, pre/post natal classes, Tai chi for seniors etc. Bring in speakers on a variety of topics from men’s health to nutrition to meditation to wellbeing. Keep yourself at the forefront, but become a hub for community wellness and these speakers will bring clients of their own to your centre. Building community is everything when it comes to a business. Give the occasional event for free, celebrate the end of term with a picnic outdoors, give talks at events outside the centre to draw in newcomers – the possibilities are endless. Remember education is everything. You can be proud of offering people lots of wellness tools that they can use at home and they will be more likely to return to you if you are seen as the expert in your field.
Get yourself a good website with lots of beautiful photos of your centre and a welcoming introduction. Have a few open days to try and entice lookers into clients. Welcoming beginners and experienced folks alike will ensure a steady stream. Be clear, be open, be warm, be inviting. A great location will really help too and make sure the studio is open outside classes. Hire a receptionist and split the costs between practitioners, or be prepared to be there yourself to meet and greet and show people around the centre. I know online booking is all the rage, but you can’t just open when classes are on and close when they’re not. Take your laptop into work and do your stuff there. Be available.
This is the fun part. Get clear on the energy you want to create and go for it. Remember less is more energetically and aesthetically. Light colours, fresh air, fresh flowers, candles, beautiful lamplight for night classes, garden if at all possible. Inspirational cards or prints, go crazy!
A mini store with mats, props, block, books, candles, sacred objects, beautiful body crèmes and so on gives your centre a lovely feel and creates extra income. Again keep it aligned with your values and you can’t go wrong.
Patience, timing is everything. Build your client base, get out there and get known. Get a scrapbook and make images of what you want to create if you’re not quite ready to keep the dream alive. If you move too early you may end up back in those community centres a lot longer than you expected, with a load of debt to boot. If you’re in this for the long haul, then a couple of years shouldn’t be a problem. When an opportunity arises and you’ve done your plan and tested it in the market – JUMP!
Plan, build, love, create or just imagine for now. Give yourself and your beautiful centre the best plan for success….now where is that vision book?
About the Author:
Ginny West provides business consultations, workshops and retreats around Australia on creating heartfelt success for Wellbeing practitioners. To find out more about Spirit in Business or to contact Ginny West call 0413 596 784 or follow these links:
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