Stuck on where to start with your yoga business plan?
Starting your own business is a really exciting opportunity, but there are also a lot of things to think about when you’re first getting set-up.
But don’t sweat it! Whether you want to open your own studio, become an online yoga instructor, or start your own business working as a home-based yoga teacher, OriGym are here to help.
Below is a full guide to everything that you need to know about how to write a business plan for a yoga studio or any other yoga business.
If you’re interested in offering nutrition advice and meal plans as part of your new business, enquire about our online sports nutrition course before we get started. Or, download the OriGym course prospectus for more information on our range of courses.
Also feel free to download our FREE Guide on "How to get more Yoga Clients" and really build your Yoga business:
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What Is A Yoga Business Plan?
Before we go ahead and share our tips for how to make a business plan for a yoga studio, we thought we’d quickly explain what a business plan is and why it’s so important that you have a good yoga studio business plan.
Here’s the definition of a business plan according to Investopedia:
“A business plan is a written document that describes in detail how a business—usually a new one—is going to achieve its goals. A business plan lays out a written plan from a marketing, financial and operational viewpoint.”
A lot of the time, a business plan is used to present to a potential investor or to a bank for a loan, but it is also a good way for a new business to lay out all of its goals and objectives, as well as the strategies it is going to use to meet them.
What you include in your studio or yoga teacher business plan completely depends on your individual business, but it mainly depends on whether you are writing it for your own reference, or as means of generating funding.
Don’t worry, all of these details will be explained a little further on!
For now, all you should know is that a typical yoga studio business plan should start with an executive summary of your business and it’s key goals and objectives.
Following that, it should include:
Products & services
Marketing & sales strategies
Funding and financial summary
Within this article, we’re going to break down each of these sections and what they should include.
But before you jump straight into writing a business plan for a yoga studio, the best place to start is by doing some research.
Here’s what you need to do!
Starting A Business Plan For A Yoga Studio? Do Your Research!
If you want to open up your own yoga studio and make it one of the best yoga studios out there, you’ll need to carry out some extensive market research.
This means taking a look at the industry, identifying who your target audience are and what they want, as well as who your competitors are, and what your competitors are doing.
You should already have an idea of what kind of yoga business you want to start, whether that’s a freelance business, travelling to students homes to teach yoga classes, or setting up your own studio.
Regardless of what kind of business you are writing your yoga business plan is for, doing market research should be your first step.
What exactly are you looking for?
You should be looking for answers to these key questions:
What kind of business do you want to run?
More importantly, what kind of business do your target market want?
What kind of studio or business is missing in your area?
How can you offer something different from your competitors?
‘Yoga lovers’ is not a specific enough target market for your yoga business plan, so before you do anything else, you'll need to think of a more niche demographic of people.
At the same time, there is no point in having a specific target market and the perfect yoga business plan if there’s already a studio in the area doing exactly what you want to do.
The same goes for freelance yoga teachers.
If there are already a couple of home-based teachers working in your area, then you’ll need to do something to stand out.
The purpose of market research is to establish what will make your business different from your competition.
Then when it comes to writing your yoga business plan, you can clearly state what ‘problems’ your business will solve.
By problems, we mean gaps in the market or anything that your competitors are doing, but you think you can do much better.
Your market research should aim to identify these problems and find any new and upcoming trends that you can jump on to set yourself apart from the competition.
As a starting point, you should start with a target market in mind and then research what they want that other yoga professionals in your area don’t currently offer.
You should choose a specific age, gender, and even consider targeting people based on their budget.
But it doesn’t stop there - choosing a target market should not be based on the kind of people that you want your customers to be.
Instead, you need to make sure that there are actually people out there who meet this demographic and are actually interested in the kind of services your business will offer.
You can gather this information by holding focus groups, sending out surveys to those that visit competing studios, and carrying out mystery shops - which we’ll talk more about a little further on.
Want to learn more about running your own yoga business? Check out this full guide to marketing a yoga business from OriGym.
Decide What Products & Services You Are Going To Offer
Now you’ve chosen a target market, it should be pretty easy to decide what kind of classes you want to teach in your studio.
But even writing a ‘Bikram yoga studio’ business plan might be too generic for the investor reading your business plan. Think about exactly what classes you will teach, whether there will be varying classes for different age groups or fitness levels.
If your target market is ‘affluent women’, think about whether you should offer classes to appeal to a subgroup, such as pregnant women, or a class purely consisting of yoga poses for two.
Ask yourself, will your studio sell any additional products?
Hint: the answer should be yes!
Once you have really planned out what products and services you want to offer, you’ll be in a better position to think about what equipment you’ll need to buy - which will really help with the financial aspect of your business plan.
How To Determine What Kind of Products and Services To Offer
If you’re unsure on how to decide what kind of classes you should offer or how to choose what kind of products you should sell alongside your teaching business, here are the best ways of carrying out market research.
#1 Mystery Shop
If there’s a local studio or yoga teacher running a business with a similar target market to yours, this is your competition, so you’ll need to check out what they’re doing.
The best way to understand what their business has to offer is to get the experience of one of their students by carrying out a mystery shop.
There are a number of ways you can approach mystery shopping. Relevant to researching a yoga business, you can either make an enquiry or attend a class.
This approach to market research will give you first-hand experience of how your competitors run their business, as well as a complete insight into how they interact with their students.
It’s a good idea to create a research evaluation form before you jump straight into your mystery shop.
This form should include questions that cover all of the key aspects of the business that you could possibly need to think about when it comes to writing your very own business plan.
That might include a section how they deal with enquiries, from whether they use an online platform or take calls, as well as how quickly they respond to their customers.
Client retention is key in this line of work, so seeing what your competitors are (or aren't doing) to keep students coming back can really pay off in the long run.
If you’re going to attend a class, you could create a similar form that you can access on your phone.
This might include sections on the size of the classes, the equipment available, as well as the smaller details, like how (or if) you were greeted as a new student.
#2 Use Online Reviews As Secondary Research
When you’re carrying out this kind of market research, you want to try to see your competition from a consumer perspective.
So if you were somebody looking for a new yoga teacher, what would you do? You’d probably go on to google or the likes of Facebook or TrustPilot and check out the reviews.
And that’s exactly what you should do for secondary research!
Find the pages of your competitors, those teachers that work in a similar area to you and offer the kind of classes that you’d love to teach, and see what their students have to say about them.
Take on board everything that the reviews have to say, the good and the bad!
This will help you to see what works well for them, where they’re going wrong, and what you can do better.
#3 Carry Out A SWOT Analysis
Arguably the most effective way of researching your competitors is by carrying out a SWOT analysis.
SWOT stands for:
A SWOT analysis is a brilliant way of assessing exactly where your business will fit in the market, by comparing it against your competitors.
According to Pickton & Wright:
"SWOT is proposed by many as an analytical tool which should be used to categorize significant environmental factors both internal and external to the organization."
They go on to discuss the benefits of SWOT for analysis, explaining:
"SWOT analysis has been praised for its simplicity and practicality."
Carrying out this kind of analysis is surprisingly easy if you follow our full SWOT analysis guide here.
Yoga Business Plan: Choosing Your Name & Branding
When you’re opening a yoga studio you need a business plan, but you won’t get very far until you have a name for your business and an idea of what your branding will look like.
We know that choosing the perfect name can be really overwhelming, which is why we created a full guide to finding the perfect fitness business name.
When it comes to your branding, think about what you want people to know about your business!
If you’re writing a hot yoga studio business plan, consider how you can incorporate this into your branding to make it really clear what your business is about. This could be something as simple as sticking to warm colours tones.
Or, if you will be specialising in prenatal yoga classes, maybe create a logo that includes a symbol of new life.
Want to create your logo yourself? Check out the best fitness logo tools.
Yoga Studio Business Plan: Choosing The Right Location
Now that you know what kind of business you want to set up, the next thing to decide is where you want your yoga studio to be.
Choosing the right space and location is one of the most important things you will do when you’re starting your own business. It ties in with a number of different sections of your yoga studio business plan, such as marketing, finances, and management.
For that reason, it’s a good idea to look for the right location and type of venue before you write up your business plan, as this will give you a better idea of important factors, such as business rates and rent prices.
You might already have a good idea of the kind of location you want after completing your market research. For example, if you’ve decided on an older target market, then you’ve probably already decided against a city centre location.
But, if you’re unsure about where would be best to set up your studio, here are 6 things to consider.
Already got your heart set on starting an online yoga business?
Running a studio can be both expensive and stressful, whilst teaching online is a lot more flexible and still allows for a geneorus yoga teacher salary.
If you want to teach online or work freelance visiting peoples home, skip straight to the next section and get stuck into writing your business plan!
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When you open up your studio, you’ll want it to be in a visible location. Having a business that is based somewhere that plenty of people will walk or drive past and see your business can really improve your marketing.
A visible location gets your brand name out there and gets your business known by everybody who passes by, but most importantly, it gets you known by your target market!
Plus, when a potential customer decides that they want to try a class, they know exactly where to find you.
Having a space that is easy to get to is just as important as visibility, fortunately, the two tend to go hand in hand.
When we talk about accessibility in terms of location, we’re talking about how your customers are going to get to your studio.
You could have a gorgeous studio and a glowing yoga business plan, but if you aren’t based in a location that is reasonably easy to get to, you’ll struggle to get students through the door.
Your location should have at least one of the following to things:
Public transport links
This will also help when it comes to hiring new staff as an accessible location can increase the quality and quantity of yoga teachers wanting to work at your studio.
#3 Rent prices
Good visibility and accessibility can often come with higher rent prices and business rates, especially if you’re thinking that your business would be best based in a city centre or on a busy high street.
You need to find a good balance so that your venue is accessible and visible without costing you so much in rent that you struggle to make a profit.
Perhaps you’ve decided that it is worth paying higher rent for a central location, as it will make your business visible and accessible to a larger amount of potential customers.
But wait! Any good yoga business plan should pay a lot of attention to the competition, so where are yours based?
Starting a business in a location where there’s already a studio with really similar objectives just down the street will reduce your potential students as your target market will have two options.
At the same time, if there’s a big chain gym or health club just around the corner from a potential venue, it’s a good idea to look elsewhere.
Even if you offer better services it’s still tough to compete with big companies who can afford to offer yoga classes at a fraction of the price that you would need to charge.
#5 Future Plans
Something else to consider before choosing a location is what your business plan has in store for your yoga studio in the future.
If your yoga studio business plan includes ideas of how you might expand your business, for example by becoming a personal trainer alongside holding yoga classes, you should take this into account when choosing a location and a venue.
#6 Council Permission
Regardless of where you want to set up your gym, you will always have to ensure that you have both council permission and landlord authorisation before you can make the space into a yoga studio.
A lot of available spaces have planning permission for offices or retail, but if you want to open a studio, you will need to find somewhere with D1 planning permission.
Knight Frank explain that D1 planning permission covers the developement of:
"Clinics, health centres, crèches, day nurseries, day centres, schools, art galleries (other than for sale or hire), museums, libraries, halls, places of worship, church halls, law court."
You’ll also need to find a space where the landlord is happy for you to change the use of their property, as opening a yoga studio could mean lots of changes to flooring, maybe installing aircon, or even changing the layout.
Writing Your Yoga Studio Business Plan
Once you’ve identified what makes your business unique and found the right location, you’ll need to start actually writing a business plan for your yoga studio.
Above we shared a list of the sections that might make up a typical sample yoga business plan. Those were:
Products & services
Marketing & sales strategies
Funding and financial summary
Seeing as you're here looking for help on how to write a business plan for a yoga studio, we thought we’d go into a little more detail about what each section should include.
Stick with us because after that, we’ll let you know where you can find a free yoga studio business plan template.
Whether you want to call this an executive summary or simply an introduction, the first part of your yoga business plan should outline exactly what your business is about.
A good executive summary will explain the business aims and objectives, as well as other important information, such as where you plan on basing your business.
Whether that's online, in a studio, or on a freelance basis without a permanent location, this is something that you need to make really clear in this introduction.
You need to keep this section concise but it should still be clear enough that a banker or investor with little knowledge on yoga can understand your key objectives.
If you are writing your business plan to present to a potential investor, you should always end your executive summary by explaining how much funding you require and what that funding will be used for.
You might also want to include whether you will be registering your business as a sole trader or as a limited company.
Top tip: write your introduction at the end! Writing a clear and concise introduction is much easier once you’ve completed all of the other sections.
Next, you’ll need to provide a full company summary.
This section should start by explaining more about your business, starting with what your business will offer both in terms of what it will bring to the market and in regard to the kind of products or services that you will be offering.
If applicable, you should also explain a little bit about your proposed location and venue, talking about why you chose that specific location and what facilities your venue will have.
For an online yoga business, explain how your online business is going to work.
Instead of talking about venue facilities, explain how you will teach, for example will you run live classes, or post pre-recorded content?
Cover how you will set up your website and exactly what your online services will include.
Regardless of the type of yoga business you are proposing, talk about the kinds of classes that you will offer, highlighting any specialities or trends that set you apart from the competition.
For example, do you have a Level 4 lower back pain management qualification that allows you to work with a specific group of clients?
Or, is this specifically a yoga retreat business plan? If it’s the first of its kind in your area, make that known!
You should also talk a little about any staff that you plan on hiring, explaining the level of experience and qualifications you want your employees to have.
From there, you should include some information about yourself (as the business owner) as well as any business partners that you might have.
This is where having the right qualifications will really benefit your yoga teacher business plan!
Being passionate about yoga and pilates is a good place to start but it’s still a good idea to become a qualified yoga instructor before you open up your studio.
This helps you when it comes to understanding your customers and carrying out your marketing strategy, and it shows your potential investors that you know this industry well enough to run a successful business.
The higher level of qualification you hold, the more of an expert your customers and investors will perceive you to be.
If you’re going to open your own studio you should at least hold a level 3 yoga instructor qualification. If you really want to market yourself and your studio as a higher-end business, then enquire about an advanced Level 4 yoga course.
Here, you can use some of your findings from your market research to explain what makes your business unique and talk about why you have chosen the direction you have.
Opted to take your business online? Explain the benefits of becoming an online yoga instructor!
If you’ve chosen to write a hot yoga business plan, talk a little bit about why you came to that decision.
For example, is this something that you have noticed your competitors don’t offer? Or is there a studio holding hot yoga classes at an extortionate price?
This section of any yoga business plan should also clearly explain who the target market is, explaining some key demographics such as age, gender, and lifestyle.
Are you targeting a more affluent audience? Or, will you be offering student discounts to cater to a demographic with a lower budget?
Whatever your target audience, it will help your case to include some evidence to support that the market is out there and that there is a demand for your services.
You could include quotes from focus groups or statistics from polls, any kind of evidence to support your yoga business plan is useful, especially if you will be using the plan to ask a third party for funding.
Marketing & Sales strategy
Within this section of the business plan for your yoga studio, you need to outline your pricing structure and how you are going to market to your audience.
In terms of the sales side of your business, a good business plan for a yoga studio should explain each step that takes an individual from your target market and make them into a regular customer.
Write out how much you are going to charge your customers and how you are going to charge them.
The actual prices of your services will completely depend on your business, where you are based, and your marketing.
If you’re based in London and targeting a high-end market, then your prices will be higher than a business based outside of London, or a business marketing towards individuals on a budget.
When writing a business plan for a yoga studio your two main options are to charge per class or ‘session’, or to operate on a membership basis.
Charging per class is a really flexible option for your students, but at the same time, setting up packages and memberships can be a really effective strategy to ensure client retention.
Your pricing structure could include the best of both, offering a discounted rate for buying classes in bulk or committing to a membership as an incentive for customers to buy.
Whichever option you choose, you’ll need to give a breakdown of your pricing structure as part of your yoga teaching business plan.
So you know what classes you’re offering, where your studio will be, and you’re almost finished writing your yoga studio business plan. But how are you going to get customers into your studio? Marketing!
Hopefully, you take our earlier advice on board and choose an accessible and visible location as this will really help to get your brand known.
But your marketing strategy shouldn’t stop there. To really get your business name out there, you should think about using a handle of different marketing channels.
That can include print materials, building an online presence, and building relationships with similar businesses’ in the community.
Tip: Choose a business name, logo, and colour scheme, and stick to it! Keeping your branding consistent builds brand awareness and makes your business easy to recognise.
Need some help with developing your marketing strategy? Check out OriGym's full guide to marketing a yoga business.
To finish your section on your marketing and sales, you’ll need to explain how you are going to get your target market to not only buy your services, but become repeating customers.
If you’re going to be sharing your yoga center business plan with an investor, then they might want to see details of your customer sales journey.
That means including every detail from how your customers will find out about your business to how they enquire, book a class (or buy a product), and what you are going to do to make sure that they come back.
Even if your yoga business plan is only for your own use, writing out a sales journey is still really useful.
This can help you to stay on track to achieve your goals!
Plus, having a good yoga business plan in place can ensure that all owners and employees are following the same steps, and it can be used as a point of reference when training new members of staff.
If you don’t have any experience as a salesperson then it’s worth looking into a fitness business course to help you to develop your sales skills.
This kind of qualification will also help you when it comes to registering your business and complying with regulations, such as GDPR for fitness professionals.
You should also include information about any products or services other than your classes that you are going to sell to generate additional revenue.
Teaching yoga classes takes up a lot of time, energy, and money, so it can help your business to have some extra income.
You could get qualified as a nutrition coach and offer nutrition plans to your yoga students, or think about selling yoga-related products at your studio.
Whatever additional products or services you choose, including this information in the business plan for a yoga studio will show potential investors that you’ve really thought about how you’re going to generate revenue.
Funding And Finances
Finally, any good business plan for a yoga studio should always cover funding and finances with a full sales forecast.
You will need to calculate your income vs your expenditure so that you can clearly show how much income you expect to generate.
Here’s how to complete this section of your yoga business plan!
When it comes to calculating your income as part of a sales forecast, it’s a good idea to split your income into individual sections. That’s if you have multiple sources of income, of course!
For example, you might have one row for group classes, one for your 1-1 classes, and another for any equipment that you will be selling.
You can choose to forecast your income using the revenue from each income source or you can input expected unit sales - basically, whatever you think will work best for your individual business.
For us, we’d say ‘units’ is the simplest option.
Obviously you don’t sell physical units of classes, but you do sell billable hours to clients. So you could input this as 1 class = 1 unit.
To keep things simple when it comes to writing up a sales forecast, it’s best to pick one metric to forecast your income. For example if you’re just starting out, you might use month to month projections for the first year.
You can show this in a table or in a line graph, depending on what is easiest for you to interpret.
A lot of people find that line graphs are easier as they show a visual representation of your expected business growth.
Once you’ve determined how much you are going to charge for your products and services, the next thing to do is to calculate month by month projections.
Don’t forget that your pricing should be based on what your competition is charging, but also, who your target market is!
Multiple academic studies, for example Volckner & Hofmann (2007), have shown that high prices indicate high quality, and therefore attract a more affluent demographic.
To calculate your projections, all you need to do is multiply the number of units in the above table by the price of the product or service.
It really is that simple!
So say you expect to sell 10 hours of 1-1 yoga sessions at a £20 a session, you would multiply 10x£20, giving you a gross revenue of £200.
Finally, to finish your funding and finances section, you’ll need to include a list of your potential expenditures.
If you have already decided on a venue, this is where you should include details like the cost of your rent, how long your lease is, and how much you expect to pay for bills.
This section also needs to include an outline of your start-up costs, covering how much it will cost to turn the space into a yoga studio and how much each piece of equipment costs (as well as how many units you will need!).
Don’t forget to factor in your staffing costs, your own wages, and smaller one-off expenses like yoga teacher insurance.
Before You Go!
Now that we’ve covered what to include in each section you should have a good idea of how to go about starting a yoga studio business plan. We hope that you found this useful!
For a good example business plan for a yoga studio, check out this free template on the UK GOV website.
If you’re interested in offering nutritional advice as part of your yoga business, then enquire here for our REPs endorsed nutrition course.
Want more information on the range of courses we run here at OriGym? Download our online course prospectus for all of the details!
Kenton, W. (2019). Business Plan. Available: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/business-plan.asp. Last accessed 12/06/2020.
Pickton, D. and Wright, S. (1998). What's swot in strategic analysis? Strategic Change. 7 (2).
Volckner, F. and Hofmann, J. (2007). The price-perceived quality relationship: A meta-analytic review and assessment of its determinants. Marketing Letters. 18, pp. 181-196.
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