Creating a Business Plan
Whether or not you are seeking investors for your yoga studio, writing a business plan can be a valuable tool for defining your goals, choosing a suitable location and learning how to expect the unexpected. Though the market for yoga classes and studios is so large, deciding to start a yoga studio is a life-changing decision that you must be as informed about as possible before jumping into.
Size of Studio
The first step in writing your business plan is to decide how large you would like your yoga studio business to be. This decision will determine how big a space you will require. Unless you rent an existing yoga or fitness space, leasing and building out a space will be the largest startup costs you will face. If you choose to use a space that requires heavy renovations, this can also be expensive.
For those building a studio from scratch, figure out how much space you would like per student and where exactly you feel most comfortable building your studio. A good rule of thumb is to factor in approximately 21 square feet per yoga practitioner. This estimate takes into consideration a two-by-six foot mat and provides each person one to two extra feet of space.
It is also important to write a vision statement for how you want your studio to be and what you want it to do for the community. Be sure to include in your plan what you will need to do each day to maintain your vision for years to come.
Picture the ideal clients for your studio services. Write down as many demographics (locations and characteristics) associated with your ideal clientele as possible. List the group’s psychographics (values, attitudes and lifestyles) as well.
Write down the key results you would like to achieve through your yoga studio. Make sure your desired results are specific and measurable (for example, having a goal of reaching 100 students in your first year of operation). Contemplate and record your primary goals and objectives for the next 6 to 12 months.
Decide what strategies you will utilize to make money to sustain your yoga studio. You can consider retail sales of yoga products, workshops, teaching yoga classes, doing a teacher training, renting space and having private clients as options for financial sustainability.
For each strategy you decide on, make a list of the activities you will need to perform each day to implement them. If, for example, you decide to make money for your studio through teaching yoga classes, the tactics you use to implement this can include hiring teachers, selling class cards, proper scheduling, word of mouth and yoga website promotion. Make sure to take into consideration every aspect of offering yoga classes that can help you earn revenue.
For each of the strategies and tactics you list, plan how you can execute them, what resources you will need to do so and a timeline of the action steps and desired dates of completion to make them happen.
Be realistic in your business plan about how much start-up time you will require, what percentage of your revenue will go into rent and how much of it will go into marketing. The amount of time you will have to spend on marketing will depend on how many students you can comfortably count on at the beginning.
Many new yoga studios use fliers to spread the word inexpensively. Advertising in publications is another possibility, but you will have to factor in a larger expense for doing so. The percent of your revenue that you spend on rent will depend on your location, but many studio owners recommend expecting to spend about a third of your revenue on rent in your first year, and a quarter or less in later years.
The mere act of writing a business plan will force you to record literally every detail you will require to start your yoga studio. While some of your initial assumptions will be accurate, others will not be. The most important thing in the process of writing a business plan is to be aware that adapting to what you cannot presently foresee is another key part of the process.