So, you’ve decided to open your first yoga studio. Odds are you’ve been given a lot of advice, most of which falls into one of the following buckets:
1. Surprisingly insightful
2. Terribly obvious
3. Completely unhelpful
Let’s be real about it, it’s fun and exciting to focus on designing the space and finding all the products you’ll need: yoga mats, blocks, towels, decorations, etc., but there are a few things you’ll need to successfully open and run your own yoga studio that people don’t talk about as often.
#1: A Business Plan
Remember that your yoga studio, while a place to cultivate community and share your passion for yoga, is also a business, which means you’ll need a solid plan not only for getting started, but for growth, as well. Writing a business plan isn’t easy, but there are a lot of online resources you can review, and even courses you can take that will help you get started. Whether or not it gets you as excited as unrolling your yoga mat, you will have to account for everything from costs (both known and unknown) to marketing, identifying your customers, projected revenue, and so much more.
Opening a yoga studio is exciting, just remember to set yourself up for success by researching and planning for all the work that goes into it.
#2: Accounting Software
Running a business means crunching some numbers, and while many of the yoga student management systems, such as Tula Software or MINDBODY Online, offer a certain amount of support for processing and reporting on monies in and out of your business, they are not set up to do everything. From the start of your yoga studio planning process you’ll want to be tracking expenses and payments for the development and building of your facility and program. Now if you are fortunate enough to be able to hire an accountant to handle all of this for you, do that and skip this piece of advice. Given though that after fronting the money to open their business, many people find themselves a bit short on funds for an accountant.
Which brings us to our advice: learn to use a good piece of accounting software. There are many out there (QuickBooks, Zoho, Quicken, etc.), most of which are comparable in price and capability. The best thing you can do is learn, or partner with someone who knows, how to keep track of your payments, expenditures, bills, and all the other finances of your business – including the numbers that are report ed from your management software.
It’s not the most fun part of running a studio, but it’s necessary.
#3: Scheduling/Student Management Software
Who knew you needed all this technology to run a yoga studio? Isn’t yoga supposed to be a time to escape from time in front of a screen? It is, but successfully running your yoga studio (business) means staying organized in every way possible.
And a good piece of scheduling software, something like the previously mentioned Tula or MINDBODY, will help you stay organized.
Not only do some of these programs give you the ability to keep track of your class schedule, they also allow to manage your student memberships, accept payments online, issue gift cards, have students check in online, and much more.
It’s a great investment for any yoga studio owner to make.
#4: Cleaning Supplies
Everyone talks about the basic products you’ll need for a yoga studio; not many people mention the essential products that keep them clean. Properly cleaning your yoga studio is one of the most important things you can do for your business, and understanding the different yoga studio cleaning products available is the first step in keeping your studio looking and smelling fresh.
#5: Legal Protection
Have you considered the legal requirements for your business? A few of the things yoga studio owners need to do to protect themselves include:
State and Local business requirements: make sure to check with your local municipality for the laws and regulations overseeing small businesses.
Forming an LLC: this can help limit your personal liability.
Certificate of Occupancy: these are generally required to ensure buildings meets all codes, zoning restrictions, etc. (if you rent a space, your landlord should possess this).
Personal Liability Wavers: many studios require students to sign these in case they suffer an injury while attending a class.
Music Licensing: this is one of those things that most people have never heard of, and don’t think of, until they receive their first warning or even cease and desist notice. The companies who oversee such licensing take it very seriously and have large teams devoted to ensuring compliance, it’s a few years out of date but this piece from Yoga Alliance® should help get you started.
Note: there are many legal issues to consider when opening a business. While we have talked about a few of them here, these are meant for general information purposes and are not meant to be taken as legal advice. It’s strongly recommended that you speak with an attorney if you are considering opening a yoga studio.
Best of Luck!
Although it’s a lot of work, opening a yoga studio is incredibly rewarding. There a lot to consider, and if yoga flooring options is one of those things for you, don’t hesitate to reach out to Zebra to learn more about your options.