So, you’re wondering how to start a yoga studio and don’t know where to start. This is totally understandable which is why we have broken up every crucial step for you to use as guidance.
Here you will find a start to finish guide, including:
- Step 1:Starting A Yoga Studio Begins With The Right Qualifications
- Step 2 - Gain Practical Yoga Experience Before Starting Your Own Studio
- Step 3 - Conduct Market Research Ahead Of Opening Your Own Yoga Studio
- Step 4 - Find The Ideal Space For Your Yoga Studio
- Step 5 - Create A Strong Business Plan When Starting Your Yoga Studio
- Step 6 - Secure The Right Legal Coverage For Your Yoga Business
- Step 7 - Set Up A Competitive Pricing Strategy To Help Your Yoga Studio Thrive
- Step 8 - How To Get Clients When Starting A Yoga Studio
Before we get straight into step-1, if you’re yet to gain your yoga qualification or choose a discipline, why not enquire about one of our accredited yoga instructing courses here at OriGym? Find this and much more in our downloadable course prospectus.
Looking to Advance Your Yoga Career?
4 Expert Tips to Elevate Your Teachings to The Next Level!
Step 1 - Starting A Yoga Studio Begins With The Right Qualifications
First things first, to begin a career in yoga instructing and start a yoga studio you should first get the correct qualifications. Below are the ones that you need and what we recommend.
Level 3 Diploma in Teaching Yoga
A level 3 diploma in teaching yoga provides you with all of the tools that you need to be industry ready.
This course goes through the fundamentals, including:
- Anatomy & Physiology for Yoga
- Health and Safety during Yoga
- Planning a Level 3 Yoga Session
- Delivering a Yoga Session
As well as that, you will gain hands-on experience through face-to-face workshops to really get prepared and to become accustomed to the difference between being a student and becoming a teacher.
This diploma contains over 400hrs of training, which is over the minimum requirement for many yoga instructor jobs meaning you’ll be more than qualified to start operating as a yoga teacher after successful completion of the course.
This is the absolute minimum for you to get industry ready and to know how to execute yoga classes safely and efficiently.
Since you’re keen to take a step further than simply working as a yoga teacher by starting a yoga studio business you might want some additional training that could help you become more successful.
Additional Beneficial Qualifications
Level 4 Diploma in Teaching Yoga
Once you have passed and completed the level 3, you can actually move onto a level 4 diploma in yoga teaching which can see you finding your discipline and getting to grips with what style of yoga you want to specialise in or which style you want your studio to be focused on.
A level 4 diploma gives you the opportunity to specialise in areas such as:
This can be hugely beneficial for you if you’re deciding to choose a niche for your yoga studio set up. For example, a hugely popular niche is hot yoga. There are particular studios that offer this exclusively and it works successfully since you’re selling an exclusive style that won’t be available in any old studio.
A level 4 diploma takes your education that step further, though you can use this to drive your focus into one style of yoga, this doesn’t mean that you have to stick to it. For example, if you decide to focus on Ashtanga yoga as your discipline you can still open a holistic yoga studio that offers all styles.
This could mean that you take the Ashtanga classes if you please and allow your other employees to take other styles. Whether you want to choose a discipline or not, you would still benefit tremendously from the advancement of a level 4 course.
When you become a yoga instructor, you must take a first aid course in order to keep your clients safe in your care.
It is something that you should do before you start operating, getting it around the same time you get yoga instructor insurance is a good way to ensure you have all you need to protect you, your clients and your business.
Emergency first aid is super easy to find and it is highly recommended to all fitness professionals. Though you may initially view yoga as a relaxing practice, its intensity levels vary drastically between discipline to discipline.
So while it is sensible to ensure you get your first aid certification before instructing, there is another reason why you need this additional training too.
Since you’re wanting to know how to start a yoga studio business, it is important that you think about the UK’s business regulations too.
We took a snippet from a statement from the HSE regarding employers’ legal duties below for your reference:
As you can see, there is a clear obligation for employers to adhere to when running a business whether it is a yoga studio or not so gaining your first aid should be one of the top priorities before you start operating.
Step 2 - Gain Practical Yoga Experience Before Starting Your Own Studio
Step 2 is all about getting some experience in yoga first before you decide that this is what you want to invest into.
This is not only yoga experience as in you going to classes and being a student, but also experience teaching in a studio.
Though you don’t need experience before yoga teacher training, and there will be hands-on experience in the training, there is nothing like getting the real life experience.
By taking this route, you’re not only benefiting yourself by getting valuable experience, you’re also going to find out whether running your own studio is what you want.
By working in a studio as a yoga instructor, you can build up a reputation for yourself as a professional in the industry and see first hand what it takes to run a studio of your own.
It isn’t just about teaching classes, it is about being a business owner, an employer and a teacher along with everything in between. By working in an independent studio, you have the ability to see how the studio is run, how many members of staff you need, health and safety requirements etc.
There is more than meets the eye when it comes to running a business and starting your own yoga studio so there is nothing more valuable than gaining practical experience.
If after this experience you feel ready to open your own studio, the transition will be much smoother. You will know what to expect and though it won’t be easy there won’t be so many surprises in store!
Plus, if you have built yourself a good reputation, you can expect to bring a loyal client base that you may have built over your time in studios along with you.
Looking to Advance Your Yoga Career?
4 Expert Tips to Elevate Your Teachings to The Next Level!
Step 3 - Conduct Market Research Ahead Of Opening Your Own Yoga Studio
Conducting market research is a key part of opening any business if you wish for it to be successful, the instance of you opening a yoga studio is no different.
It is a broad topic, so where do you begin? Here is a breakdown of the key things to research.
Assess the Competition before Opening up a Yoga Studio
One of the most important parts of market research is to assess the competition in your area. While you’re looking, ask yourself questions like:
- What do they offer?
- What are their prices like?
- Do they have returning clients?
These are the sort of questions that are necessary to determine the shape of your studio. For example, are there gaps in the market in your location that would make your discipline even more successful?
Maybe there are no studios offering Hot Yoga, thus, it is a good idea to have this on your timetable to get new clients trying it out.
By offering a new style of yoga, you’re giving people incentive to try it out and thus, are more likely to retain those clients for other classes on your schedule.
We will talk more about pricing strategies later in more detail, however, this is something that you will find out about more when you begin to assess your competition overall. You can typically find price per class on yoga studios website, this is also where you can find the likes of package options.
This can help you to inform your own pricing brackets for what you offer and justify a fair price point.
Essentially, it’s about finding those who are doing it right and those who are doing it wrong and finding unique selling points to make yours bigger and better than the rest of the competition.
Utilise Google my Business to Find the Best Place to Operate
Secondly, you should always be using what is readily available to you for market research, Google my Business is a great tool at the tip of your fingertips that can be a means of transparency.
Incase you don’t know what Google my Business is, below we have an image of what it looks like:
As you can see, each business that has come up as a result has optimised their page and has a Google my Business page. These are the first things that people will find if your site matches their search term, in this instance - “Yoga studios in Liverpool”.
So how can this help you in terms of market research?
You can find out a lot of valuable information from Google my Business, firstly, location.
In the aforementioned example, you can find a map at the top of the results. Once you click into this, you can find an expanded version like this below:
The good thing about viewing it this way is that you can see where each studio is located, indicated by the red pinpoints. You’re now able to find overly saturated areas and those areas that don’t have any local studios nearby.
You can begin to correlate success rates with this sort of information, for example, even though there are many studios in the city centre, are they still doing well regardless? Do they still have good reputations?
Similarly, check out the smaller independent studios dotted around the outskirts of the city and determine whether there is the demand for another studio nearby or if their studio is doing well at all.
Some ways you can determine these factors are by reading reviews.
If you click on one of the Google my Business listings, you can find question and answers and reviews, it will look like this below:
If you scroll down, you will find the reviews, it will look like this below if they have any:
This can be a great place to do a little research on other yoga studios. You can find out where they’re lacking and fill that gap in the market and you may find some good reviews regarding location too.
This can inform important choices that you need to make to create a business plan to open a studio for yoga, so it is worth using all the free resources that you can and digging into all of the relevant Google my Business pages in your area.
Sift Through Yoga Studio Social Media Pages
Social media can be the first point of contact for many interested potential clients, thus, successful yoga studios more often than not have active social media pages.
This is a perfect opportunity to take a look through their socials and find some valuable information that could help inform your business choices. So what should you be looking out for on their socials?
If you have means to, it is useful to invest into softwares that can help you to determine what it is that your competitors are up to.
For example, Sprout Social can be a helpful software to track your competitors social media, if you’re wondering why you should be utilising social media for market research, below you can see what some experts at Sprout Social say it response to this:
One of the key insights that you can find with or without a software is the things that people don’t like.
Just like we see in the reviews on Google my Business, it is not uncommon to find comments underneath Instagram posts or Facebook posts that are complaining about any alarming problems.
It doesn’t always have to be negative though, you may see insightful questions that their clients are asking for example, if you see a comment like:
“Hi guys! Do you think your studio will start offering Hot yoga classes again?”
This is a good insight into areas that they’re lacking and thus, you can swoop in and solve that problem for the clients who are demanding it.
It is worth looking into studios that are of a size that you realistically aspire to. For example, though you can and should of course dream big, at the start it is going to take time to build a successful studio which is why planning is needed.
However, to begin you should look at the socials of smaller independent studios in your area since it is more likely this is going to be your starting point.
You can find out alot from a social media page, so again utilise what is readily available to you!
Look into the Aesthetic of Successful Yoga Studios
Something else that you should be looking into when researching how to open up a yoga studio is the physical aesthetics of successful yoga studios.
Aesthetics of a yoga studio are extremely important, it isn’t like a gym, it sets the ambiance and atmosphere which is a key part of yoga.
Keeping the correct energy is vital in a yoga class, that being said it is the aesthetics of your studio that could make or break the success of your studio. It is worth taking the time it takes to get the finances that you need to invest properly into a studio that is going to look good.
Things like bright colours and major distractions often don’t fit the bill for a yoga studio, it is not typical to find a successful studio that has this sort of aesthetic and decor. They are usually basic and studio owners opt for more neutral colours.
These neutral colours give off calming and fresh energy, which is exactly what you want in your studio. For example, take a look at this yoga studio interior below:
This is White Wolf Yoga, an independent studio that clearly has the right idea on how less is more in a yoga studio.
This kind of aesthetic is something that you want to aim for to fit into the industry well. This isn’t to say you can’t put your own twist on things like branded colours or complimenting tones that give it a professional feel.
Just take a look at the successful yoga studios in your area to gauge what is clearly working, and what isn’t. For some more tips on this subject we will speak more about finding the ideal space for your yoga studio opening next.
Become a Yoga Instructor with OriGym! If you're yet to achieve your certification, why not opt for an accredited level 3 Diploma in Yoga Teaching here at OriGym?
Become a Yoga Instructor with OriGym!
If you're yet to achieve your certification, why not opt for an accredited level 3 Diploma in Yoga Teaching here at OriGym?
Step 4 - Find The Ideal Space For Your Yoga Studio
Once you have conducted the necessary market research, it is time to find a space to open up your studio when the time is right.
At this point, you should have your location decided so that you can determine where to narrow down your search and look for vacant properties in the said location. So where do you start?
First, decide if you want to rent or buy, the good thing is that you can, more often than not, use the same site whichever route you want to take. It can be easy to find available properties just in the same way you would a house on sites like Zoopla.
As you can see, it is pretty easy to find appropriate spaces, this space is under “retail premises” on Zoopla and it is actually an ex-yoga studio so it would be a perfect fit and is clearly in a location perfect for the public.
It might be a good idea to take a look into what the space that you’re investing in was prior to it being listed, since this will give you a good indication as to what you could expect in terms of footfall which could help you to imagine what kind of business you could get through the door.
You need to ensure that you have the financial means to open a studio, particularly if you’re going to buy a place. If you’re in doubt, it would be a good idea to begin renting a space first so you’re not locked into a mortgage.
Aside from the aforementioned Zoopla, there are some other sites that are helpful for new yogi’s looking for a space to rent at more affordable rates. For example, one being UK Therapy Rooms.
UK Therapy Rooms is essentially a place to find rooms and studios that you can rent per hour, rather than being in a contract with a landlord.
This is a good place for newbies to the industry who may not be able to get their own yoga studio just yet, but want a professional looking space to teach in.
For example below you can see one of many advertisements for suitable spaces:
As you can see, there is clear indication to prices so you have no surprises whether you want it for an hour, or for the whole day. This is a good opportunity to still build a brand for yourself and present yourself as professional as possible without having the means to buy or rent a studio of your own just yet.
There are tons of spaces to sift through on this website, so it is a good idea to find one near to the location you hope to open your own studio so you can bring all of the client base you have built up along with you.
For some helpful resources on creating a successful career for yourself as a yoga studio owner and instructor, head over to these articles below:
- How Much Experience Do I Need Before Yoga Teacher Training?
- How To Start A Mobile Yoga Business
- How To Find Your Yoga Target Market
Become a Yoga Teacher with OriGym!
Step 5 - Create A Strong Business Plan When Starting Your Yoga Studio
Next is arguably the most important step on how to open a yoga studio, it is all about writing up a thorough business plan.
A yoga studio business plan is going to provide your business with all the necessary information to provide you with direction and is something to help you inform any potential investors when it comes to pitching.
You can use your plan to help inform future decisions and keep you on the right track to success. It can be confusing on knowing where to start with a business plan, so for reference some things that you should be including are:
- A company summary
- What service you offer (yoga classes, spare rooms to rent out to other yogis, etc.)
- Market analysis
- Marketing strategies
- Funding and financial summary
This is not only needed to give you some direction, but if you’re looking to get investors on-board or a business loan for instance off of the government or bank they may want to see your business plan.
This can also be a way for you to get everything you need in chronological order. For example you can plan what you’re going to do first and your final steps so you can recall all of your plans. Planning a business takes a lot of work, so it will be impossible to keep all of this information in your head.
If you try to open a business with no plan, there is a good chance that it will fall through, it is also the perfect thing to establish goals and milestones. Your business plan could include your goals for:
- 6-months time
- 1 year
- 3 years
- 5 year plan
A 5 year plan is something you may hear a lot during your planning stages, it is an important part of setting a goal that works as a motivational tool for you to get your priorities in order. The 5 year plan end goal gives you the direction to make decisions.
For example, if you are given an opportunity to work elsewhere or anything to do with your career you should take the time to think about if this could affect your 5 year plan end goal. You can refer to this in your business plan and remind yourself of your goals and see if you need to adjust anything so that these stay as your focus and you eventually achieve them.
Aside from goals, your business plan can also be the place where you dig deep into your competitors and update these analyses when necessary. Plus, you can go into more detail about your marketing strategies and the dates you wish to implement them on.
It can act as a checklist that you can over time, go through the business plan and tick off everything that you have accomplished.
Step 6 - Secure The Right Legal Coverage For Your Yoga Business
Next, you’re going to have to get to grips with the legalities of being a business owner.
The two major things you need to get checked off of your list are insurance and registering your business, so here is an explanation on how to do both of those tasks.
Insurance Coverage you Need when Opening your Own Yoga Studio
First off, you’re going to need some insurance before you start, here are the policies we would recommend and why.
Public Liability Insurance
This is a basic standard for fitness professionals in any area of the fitness industry. It is essentially the all-in-one policy that provides cover for your business and your clients. It covers the cost of claims that you could receive should anything happen to the clientele in your care.
It covers the compensation for personal injuries and loss/ damage to property. The good news is it is super easy to get and it isn’t as expensive as you may think, below, see an example of how you can choose a policy with Insure4Sport.
As you can see, you can get a quote easily by just inputting your sport of choice.
Once you have chosen your sport(s), you can choose your level of cover and get your quote right away, you can see what this looks like below:
Pay attention to the message before you go ahead and pay, it gives you the option to add a Professional Indemnity policy too. This is also a useful policy that you might want to consider.
Professional Indemnity protects you against claims that are made against you for loss or damage as a result of negligent services and or advice that have come from you. This could be useful for you as a business owner to get added into your insurance policy.
As you can see, depending on the amount you want to be covered, the yoga teacher insurance cover is affordable and it is something that you should make sure you have before you start instructing.
You may Need a Music Licence to Operate you Yoga Class Legitimately
Something that you may need is the correct licences if you work in the UK.
You can use the likes of the Government Licence Finder to make sure you have the correct ones, it looks like this below:
We input an example of what you might want to include when doing this. Note that if you’re not playing music or installing CCTV in your studio these won't be necessary but if you are, you might want to look into these licences some more by searching for necessary options on the licence finder.
We’ve highlighted the parts you especially need to pay attention to, however if there are other things that factor into what you offer or use within your studio, be sure to thoroughly search through the options on the licence finder and apply those necessary.
Gain the Correct Certifications for Teaching Particular Population
This is only necessary if you plan on teaching kids yoga classes, since you’ll need a DBS check to work with children.
It is super easy to apply and get a hold of, just head over to the UK Government website and find this page below:
However, if you don’t want to teach any particular populations other than adults, you won’t need this check.
Register your Business to Complete your Yoga Studio Set-up
The final thing you need to do in terms of legalities is to register your business.
This is straightforward, similarly to the examples before, you only need to go on the UK Government website to get this done. Follow this link, and you will find a page that looks like this:
On this page you will find many different resources to help you set up a business. You can also choose if you want to be a sole trader or limited company among other options too.
You should click on either one of the links shown above, either being a sole trader or setting up a limited company, both of which are suitable for your position.
You will be taken through step by step on the government website so it is super accessible, this process will also remind you of any other steps you need to take to set up a legitimate business.
Things like licences like we spoke about earlier will also crop up on your journey through set up, which acts as a good reminder. Our recommendation is to research what is best for you, a sole trader or limited company and once you have decided, head over to the aforementioned link and register your business, simple!
Step 7 - Set Up A Competitive Pricing Strategy To Help Your Yoga Studio Thrive
As we come to the end of our guide on how to start a yoga studio, one of the other jobs you need to take care of is setting up a pricing strategy.
This is something that can often change over time, but it will be a key part of your business plan that you need to get finalised.
This would come after your research since there is no way of telling what price is right for you, especially if you’re opening a yoga studio in a small town since the price is going to be lower than it would in the city.
There are some things to consider other than this though, first, you need to anticipate how many students that you’re going to have in your classes. If you have already been working nearby or in another studio you might have loyal clients that follow you.
However, if this isn’t the case, a competitive pricing bracket is going to bring the clients in. However you still need to think about paying yourself and actually making a profit.
A good way to do this is by utilising rolling over packages for students.
For example, instead of pushing class-by-class prices, at the forefront of your strategy should be package options. This is going to be what maximises your income and retains clients easier.
This essentially means that you design a package for £X per month which rolls over each month. This price would grant them access to X amount of classes per month, like a membership.
This makes life easier for the students too, they don’t have to remember to pay each week and can have something that motivates them to turn up to class each week. For example, take a look at this successful yoga studio that uses this strategy:
Take note of the prices, it is a healthy income to be receiving each month and with multiple members, you could make a really successful business. Something else to note is that they have a rolling contract and no-refund policy.
These are both well throughout payment policies that can grant you security in your earnings. You will be able to set a notice period for your clients to cancel so they don’t feel trapped in a contract.
These prices reflect London prices, so ensure not to forget to research your area when you’re looking for the best place to open a yoga studio since this price may be too high for your studio to compete with other competitors in your area.
Nonetheless, this is still the kind of structure and policy you should be going for when creating packages. Don’t forget that you should still have single class passes, but these shouldn’t be your main priority when it comes to advertising.
Step 8 - How To Get Clients When Starting A Yoga Studio
Encourage Your Existing Students To Visit Your New Studio
We mentioned earlier about teaching in other studios prior to opening your own studio and this can be a great opportunity to start building a client base.
It is during this time that you need to be building up good rapport with your current clients in order to turn them into loyal clients that will follow you to your new studio.
Not just that though, you should be thinking about how and where the places you have taught are lacking. This goes for things like overpriced classes (make yours more accessible) and the aesthetics of the studio itself, make yours more appealing.
This encouragement has to come with incentive for any clients to actually move for you. You could even create a “Loyal Client Discount” for their first month of membership with you.
This could be a great way to show your clients first hand why they should stay in your studio rather than return.
Ask People to Refer Their Friends & Family
Referrals are something that is a staple part of how to start a yoga studio successfully since you’re going to need the trust of your clients to refer their peers for stronger leads.
This isn’t to say that advertising doesn’t work, but referrals could result in a higher conversion rate due to the incentive involved.
For example, you could have a referral process that involves a client referring their peer and once their referral joins the class they both get a discount on their next month package and the first class free.
This is a way to get another referral on board which is, what you’re ultimately aiming for, more custom.
Plus, you’re only actually incurring any expenditure when you have a definitie new client onboarding, it is a win-win scheme which is why it is so popular in every industry.
Market your Studio Effectively
Our final piece of advice when you want to know how to start a yoga studio is to market your studio effectively.
No matter how small or big your studio will be or where the location is, use the aforementioned research tools in order to market your business successfully. Take note of the businesses that are doing well and see how they market themselves. You then need to take their ways of marketing one step further and make yours even more impressive.
There are tons of marketing tools you can use, such as:
- Paid advertising
- Leaflets around your community
- Events held in your studio
- Social media marketing
These are just a handful of marketing tools that you can use to ensure that you’re not just retaining clients but gaining new ones consistently.
We have an extensive guide on marketing a yoga business here, so if you need more information on how to get started with getting your new yoga studio out there, make sure you head over and read all about it!
Before You Go…
Hopefully by now, you’re feeling more confident in how to start a yoga studio from start to finish. Refer back to this guide whenever you feel necessary and start to get excited about getting your business plan started!
Don’t forget, if you have not qualified yet, kickstart your career right away with one of OriGym’s yoga teaching courses. Find these courses and many other health and fitness courses here in our downloadable course prospectus.
Looking to Advance Your Yoga Career?
4 Expert Tips to Elevate Your Teachings to The Next Level!