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how to open and run a successful yoga studio - 7 tips from Ram Jain

October 10, 2019

Last updated : February 6, 2023

Opening and running a successful yoga studio is a dream for many teachers. But it can be quite intimidating and requires a lot of time, research and resources. If you are thinking about owning a yoga studio, you might have many questions. How do you open and manage a yoga studio? How can you guarantee it will be a success? Where do you start?

Look no further! I have the answers to your questions. Below I share seven tips to guide you through the process of opening your successful yoga studio.

1. Decide on a Clear Mission and Vision

The first step in opening your yoga studio is to create a clear vision and mission statement. These statements are essential for your studio's success as it sets a foundation for your studio and services. 

What are vision and mission statements?

Your vision statement is a mental image of WHERE you want your yoga business to be in the future. It's aspirational, forward-thinking and creative. When writing your vision statement, keep in mind your business's purpose, goals and values. This will give you direction for getting started and is always something to return to later.   

A mission statement includes HOW you will get to where you want to be. Here you will define the purpose and primary objectives related to your customer needs and team values. This is the "game plan" for opening and managing your yoga studio.

Questions to ask when creating your vision and mission statements

  • What are my personal strengths and qualities? (Be honest, but not modest)
  • What are my core values?
  • What are my ambitions?
  • Where do I see myself and my yoga studio in 10 years?
  • What does success mean to me?

Establishing a clear vision and mission makes future decisions much more effortless. Decisions such as what classes and other services you will be offering, and qualities you are looking for when hiring yoga teachers. All these decisions should align with your purpose and core values as written in your vision and mission statement.

Tip: When making your mission and vision statement for your yoga business, make sure it's aligned with your life vision.

Read more: How to create a life vision according to the six pillars for a happy life

2. Make a Realistic Financial Plan

Starting your own  business always includes the financial side. Look at the Chamber of Commerce's step-by-step approach to creating a financial plan for your yoga studio. Also, consider discussing your plan with an expert, such as an accountant.

You will have to think about how you will finance your studio in the long term.

  • Do you need a financier?
  • When is it going to be profitable?
  • Are you prepared to price your studio's services so they will be profitable?

Again, your purpose set in the previous step can significantly help. Many yoga teachers and studio owners struggle with making money and realistic pricing. Think about your relationship with money: What does it mean to you? How do you use it? Clarifying your beliefs about money is key to success—not only financially.

Once you have a clear vision for the profit of your studio, you can align the financial side with your intentions. This is very important to run your studio successfully in the long run.

yoga studio vision and mission

3. Location, Location, Location

The success of your studio will depend significantly on the location you choose. To make a living as a yoga teacher and studio owner, the population in the surroundings of the studio should be large enough to run a successful and profitable yoga studio. This is especially true when your studio will be your only source of income. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to serve a population of about 50,000 people with your yoga studio. In that case, you can expect to be able to acquire 100 memberships for your yoga studio easily.

Requirements to consider when looking for a location

  • The studio should be accessible, easy to find and within reach both by car and public transportation.
  • When looking at yoga studio locations online, only consider options where you will have enough space for the students. You can calculate that you need approximately 2.5 m2 per student. Rectangular areas are better than square or odd-shaped rooms.
  • Think about the basic facilities in your studio: a changing room, toilets, and perhaps showers and a reception.
  • Look for a clean, neat space that meets the requirements for a comfortable and healthy climate. The temperature of a yoga studio should ideally be between 21 and 24 degrees Celsius, and the room should be well-ventilated. You should be able to control the temperature and ventilation.
  • The rent, including all utilities like gas, water, and electricity, should not exceed 20% of your expected turnover for the first year.

The accessibility, comfort and presentation of your studio are all critical factors playing a role in the success of your yoga studio. You may also have other personal preferences and criteria for the costs; add these requirements to your list when looking for a location.

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4. Choose a Unique Name for Your Yoga Studio

The name of your yoga studio is essential as it tells your audience all the bare essentials of your services.

Your yoga studio name should include the following:

  • What you are offering
  • Where you are located
  • Your main services

And make it unique!

For example, instead of saying 'Yoga Center London', your name should rather be 'Arhanta Yoga London'. The words "yoga", "center" and "London" aren't unique, but 'Arhanta' is. Combining both ensures you stand out from the other studios in London and informs people about what you offer and where.

Your unique name and descriptive nouns, such as 'yoga' and 'London', should also appear in your website URL.

5. Create a Marketing and Promotion Strategy

Now that you've established your mission and vision and worked out the more practical aspects of opening your studio, it's time to create a marketing strategy.

Your website is the most important factor in marketing!

It's often the first impression that students get of your studio and services. For this reason, ensure that your website looks professional and provides clear and concise information. Keep it simple to avoid potential customers getting frustrated with not being able to find what they're looking for. All the information should be easy to find—location, price packages, times, etc.

Including real testimonials from students/ clients is a great way to build trust and make potential students curious. Ask your students to leave a testimonial after following your classes for a while. 

You can choose several channels for advertising your new studio. Below are a few examples.

Examples of advertising channels

  • The local papers or magazines (this is best if you are in a small town)
  • Social media marketing (better if you're located in a big city)
  • Consider PPC (pay-per-click) marketing on Google, Facebook and Instagram (great for directing people that are looking for yoga classes to your website)

Always make sure that your marketing strategy is in line with your financial plan.

6. Develop Leadership Skills

Being a yoga teacher and owning a yoga studio are two different cups of tea.

The roles of a yoga teacher and a yoga studio owner are completely different. You will need to acquire an entirely different set of skills. Your job is not merely teaching yoga classes anymore. Now, your role also includes providing leadership to an organisation, and you will need management and leadership skills. 

 Management and leadership skills needed:

  • Emotional intelligence
  • People management
  • Clear communication
  • Strategic thinking
  • Planning and delivering

If this is not your cup of tea (yet), consider taking some courses or connect with people who can help you set up effective management structures for your yoga studio.

If you are managing a team, choose your people carefully. Do their values align with your studio’s mission and vision? Only with like-minded team members, the message of your studio can be effectively transferred to your students and will you be able to run a successful yoga studio long-term.

Want to improve your personal or work relationships? Read here: Yogic Ways to Build Stronger Groups and Relationships

7. Monitor Renewals and Attendance of Yoga Classes 

Without students, you cannot run a yoga studio!

Building good relationships with students are more manageable when starting as a small practice. As the practice expands, the importance of relationships can be easily forgotten. However, it is still crucial that you know your students' names. A popular saying is, "The sweetest sound for a person is their own name". This holds some truth, and by knowing your students' names, you create the foundation for trust and loyalty. Knowing your students' goals will also help you guide them more effectively in class.

The goal is not only to get students to attend your classes but also for them to come back for more. This is called renewal. It gives you a good idea of your quality of services. The higher the number of renewals, the better your service quality.

The importance of good yoga teachers

Your students are primarily in contact with the yoga teachers you hired. Their experience is greatly influenced by how the yoga teachers guide the classes and make them feel. 

When hiring and paying teachers to teach at your studio, communicate the importance of building trust and loyalty with students. My advice? Pay teachers at your studio based on renewals or attendance of their classes.

A yoga teacher who is only concerned with leading the class becomes very replaceable, and students are much less committed to keep attending the class. A good yoga teacher does much more than give instructions. 

A yoga teacher's value lies in their ability to...

  • Guide students individually
  • Challenge students
  • Help students
  • Make students eager to come back for more

Suppose you, as the studio owner, or your teachers are not performing up to these standards. In that case, your studio most likely won't flourish.

Read more: 8 Tips to Make Your Students Feel Safe in Yoga Class

how to choose a suitable location for running a successful yoga studio

Frequently Asked Questions

There are many questions and concerns around opening a yoga studio. Some I discussed above, such as naming your yoga business or marketing strategies. However, some of the biggest concerns are how much it will cost to open a yoga studio and if it is profitable.  Let's get into it.

Is a yoga studio profitable?

The profit margins for owning a yoga studio are between 15 and 25%. Meaning your yoga business can keep 15-25% of its earnings. However, profitability depends on the number of memberships, pricing and expenses (including rent and renovations).

How much does it cost to open a yoga studio?

To create your financial plan (step three), it is crucial to know roughly the cost of opening a yoga studio. This gives you an idea of your budget and how much capital to have available. But it’s impossible for me to give you an exact amount, as many factors affect this number.

The expense of opening a yoga studio depends on the following: 

  • Location: Will it be in a big city or a suburban area?
  • Size of space: Will it be a one studio room or more? Will you have a reception area?
  • Refurbishments: What is the current state of the studio? What changes do you need to make?
  • Equipment: Do you need to buy extra yoga mats, straps, blocks, bolsters or blankets? 
  • Salaries: How many teachers are you hiring? How much will they be paid? 
  • Insurance: What insurance and business registration will you use? 
  • Marketing: I discussed creating a marketing strategy in step five.

You might feel a bit overwhelmed now, but please don't get discouraged. Breaking down the seven steps will give you more clarity and direction to open your yoga business. 

The Takeaway

With these seven steps in mind, you can turn your dream of opening your yoga studio into reality. Please do not underestimate the amount of work it takes, though. Opening any new business takes research, planning, investment of time and capital, and readiness to take risks.

But with determination, hard work, and the initiative to overcome obstacles, opening your yoga studio and bringing yoga into people's lives is immensely rewarding. A yoga studio is a business that makes a difference in people's lives—helping their mental and physical well-being.

Opening and running a yoga studio successfully takes time. But with a solid plan, it is possible to make your dream come true.

Get a free online copy of Hatha Yoga for Teachers & Practitioners directly into your inbox!

Learn 200 asana variations in detail & find a complete guide for sequencing.

About the author

Ram Jain

Born into a Jain family where yoga has been the way of life for five generations, my formal yoga journey began at age of eight at a Vedic school in India. There I received a solid foundation in ancient scriptures, including Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, and Yoga Sutras (to name a few).

In 2009, I founded Arhanta Yoga Ashrams. I see yoga as a way to master the five senses, so I named our ashrams 'Arhanta Yoga,' the yoga to master the five senses!

In 2017, I also founded Arhanta Yoga Online Academy so that people who can not visit our ashrams can follow our courses remotely.

At Arhanta, we don't just teach yoga. We teach you how to reach your potential, deepen your knowledge, build your confidence, and take charge of your life.

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