Do you want to start a yoga studio in your home? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a yoga studio business with NO money and no experience plus a sample yoga studio business plan template. Yoga is an ancient practice where there is a combination of physical, spiritual and holistic exercises. Yoga has begun to trend globally for a whole lot of reasons which makes it a lucrative business for you if you are a pro in yoga and intend to make money from teaching others.
Before you can start this business in the United States of America, it is essential that you obtain a certification as a yoga instructor from any yoga affiliated and accredited institution. While certification might not be mandatory, it is usually helpful to the instructor as it makes you stand out amongst your competitors and also boosts the profile of your business.
Due to the fact that yoga has become quite popular, more entrepreneurs are entering into the field in order to make a name for themselves and also to generate revenue for the business.
Once you have decided on starting a yoga studio, you will have to decide if you intend to work as a sole proprietor where you will instruct your clients in a group or via one-on-one sessions or work for an existing yoga studio or a private health club, where you will not have to worry about decisions such as having to rent or lease a facility or other overhead or running expenses that involves you having to spend money.
You will need to conduct a thorough market research about yoga and the types available so that you can choose what niche would best work for you. Creating a well written business plan for your yoga studio is very important as the purpose of a business plan is to allow an entrepreneur have an outline of how the business will turn out.
Finally, you will need to attract the right sort of clientele to your yoga studio by sourcing for customers. In order to do this, you have to be able to create the right marketing strategy that will allow you attract the customers that would patronize your business.
17 Steps to Starting a Yoga Studio Business in Your Home
Table of Content
- 2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- 3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
- 4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
- 5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
- 9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
- 10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
- 11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
- 12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
- 13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
- 14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
- 15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
- 16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
- 17. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
1. Understand the Industry
The yoga studio industry is one where there is no company with a dominant market share. On the average, the company generates $10 billion and has seen an annual growth of 9.2 percent between the periods of 2011 and 2016. There are more than 33,000 yoga and Pilates studios in the united states of America employing over 128,000 people.
The reason why there is so many of such studios in the United States of America is due to the fact that individuals who have become more conscious of their health are turning to yoga. Asides, from these kinds of individuals, yoga has begun to appeal to varying demographics.
Due to the growth experienced in this industry which is mainly due to the adoption of yoga by many health conscious people, many of the yoga studios in the United States of America have started expanding their product portfolio in order to include items that are ancillary in nature such as supplements and merchandise, thereby using this to help boost the revenue in the industry.
In the years to come, according to a report by IBISWorld, there will be more yoga studios that will shift emphasis to the health benefits that can be gotten from yoga, thereby also attracting the baby boomers. The yoga studios industry is one that has a low level of capital intensity. This is because as at 2016, the industry incurred 10 cents on capital expenditure for every dollar that was spent on wages. The industry is one that is labor intensive especially as most of the instructors usually become one via training and certification.
In 2016, the wage level in the industry rose to about 29 percent of the industry’s revenue which was majorly due to many of the yoga studios paying their employees a fixed amount in addition to their wages, based on the number of clientele they were able to attract.
According to a study by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance, the number of yoga instructors in the United States increased from 20 million in 2014 to more than 36 million in 2016. Also, the annual spending on yoga classes, equipment, clothing and accessories rose to $16 billion from $10 billion in 2012.
According to the study, 72 percent of Yoga practitioners in the United States were women, 37 percent of yoga practitioners have children that are under the age of 18 into yoga, while the men and elderly Americans engaged more in Downward Dog. Also, 34 percent of Americans according to the report are liable to try out yoga for the first time within the year 2016.
More than 70 percent of American yoga practitioners have been doing that for close to five years with the top five reasons for people starting out yoga being that they intend to achieve flexibility, general fitness, relief from stress, physical fitness as well as an improvement in the overall health of the practitioners.
More than 80 percent of yoga practitioners via a survey stated that they got a strong sense of mental clarity, while more than 70 percent reported that they became physically stronger. Also, practitioners stated that the quality they looked out for in their yoga instructors were knowledge of yoga poses, clarity and a friendly demeanor.
Yoga practice has had an 80 percent increase between a four year time period which when compared to other forms of indoor exercise is far above the rest. Revenue generated in 2015 by this industry was $9.1 billion, with more than 50 percent coming from yoga classes and the rest coming from Pilates classes, Pilates and yoga accreditation training as well as sale of merchandise.
The industry is expected to grow at a 5 percent rate annually till 2021 and projected revenue is expected to be $11.5 billion. Other segments where revenue for the industry is generated from are studios, schools, training programs, clothing, equipment, apps, videos, TV channels as well as dietary supplements.
Even though there were more than 31,000 yoga and Pilates studios in the United States of America by 2015, the number is expected to grow at 4 percent annually till it surpasses 36,000 due to the fact that most of the yoga entrepreneurs will expand into untapped markets in the Great lakes and Southeast regions.
Most of the Yoga studios in the United States of America are concentrated in the West, followed by the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic as well as the Great Lakes. States like California has the highest amount of Yoga studios, followed by Texas, New York and then Florida.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographic compositions of those that are yoga practitioners are mostly women who outnumber the men in a ratio of 3 to 1. Participants under the ages of 65 represent the largest demographics when it comes to the practice of yoga. 41 percent of yoga practitioners are between the ages of 35 to 54, with at least 68 percent making more than $75,000 every year.
Yoga is believed to still be growing as there has been an addition of 4 million practitioners in the last 5 years. This has made yoga’s popularity in the United States to become like golf. Even though more women practice yoga, times are changing as more men are also becoming practitioners as well. Therefore, if you are looking to define the demographics for your yoga studio, you should try to make it all encompassing.
3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
Yoga which originated from india has become very popular in the United States and is used by practitioners to help them become more flexible; achieve physical fitness as well as mental clarity. Most people also practice yoga in order to exercise themselves spiritually. Yoga is now being incorporated by almost every health conscious individual into their fitness regime.
The driving force for yoga comes from the belief of what it has been able to help practitioners achieve. Due to the fact that more yoga instructors and studios are springing up all over the United States of America, operators have begun to engage in niches in order to stand out in the industry.
Therefore, some of the niche areas that a yoga studio might decide to major in include;
- Regular yoga sessions
- Antigravity yoga
- Prenatal yoga
- Foodie yoga
- Yoga with pets
- Merchandise sales
- Yoga Accreditation training
The Level of Competition in Yoga Studio Industry
Due to the growth of the industry, the level of competition in the yoga studio might not be too dependent on the location of the business, due to the videos and apps, most yoga studios can operate from any part of the world and still compete in the market.
More yoga practitioners now prefer practicing in their homes to going to a studio and this has downplayed the issue of distance especially amongst international practitioners. What most clients are looking for when they practice yoga is that they are able to achieve their desires (physical fitness, mental clarity, flexibility, relief from stress and depression as well as spiritual clarity).
The popularity of yoga has seen an explosion in the number of instructors as well as yoga studios in the United States of America. Therefore, if you are looking to start your yoga studio in the United States of America, you should be prepared to meet with stiff competition not only from other yoga studios and instructors in the United States of America but also from other yoga instructors and studios globally.
4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
In every industry, there are usually brands that stand out and the yoga and Pilates industry is no different. Even though the yoga industry is one that is highly fragmented, there are still well known brands in the industry and their popularity is due to the fact that they have good yoga instructors, aggressive marketing and publicity campaigns, how long they have been in the industry and the kinds of yoga they offer to their customers.
Below are some of the leading yoga studios in the United States of America;
- Shakti Yoga and Living Arts
- Bikram Yoga Manhattan
- Central Park Yoga
- Body & Brain
- CorePower Yoga Inc
The strong growth that has been experienced by the yoga industry is majorly due to four factors such as continued geographic expansion, an aging population, increased awareness as regards the different types of yoga, as well as the increase in awareness of the health benefits of yoga for everyone regardless of their ages.
Also, according to reports, more than 44 percent of Americans considered themselves as those that will develop an interest for yoga, which has made the yoga industry become very attractive to investors. The yoga industry has been regarded by buyers and investors to be recession proof which therefore means that the industry will continue to grow in the next ten years despite the state of the economy.
More than 30 percent of Yoga Journal readers have a household income that is more than $100,000 and more than 70 percent of those that practice yoga are college graduates. The yoga industry is highly fragmented as there are a collection of yoga studios scattered all over the United States of America.
Two in ten people are practicing yoga in the United States which is double the amount that was practicing few years back. The sex differences in those that were practicing yoga have also reduced from 2012, where more women in comparison to men were practitioners.
Currently, almost a third of those practicing yoga in the United States of America are men. Within five years, the number of people that have been practicing yoga has increased which points to a growing popularity of the indoor exercise.
According to research, the number of people that have benefited from yoga has increased as more people have reported to be more flexible and can go beyond their normal range in movements. This has also made a whole lot of practitioners to be able to go about their daily activities more easily. Also, yoga has been said to help in relieving and reducing stress and also alleviating depression. Also, most people practice yoga at home even as classes have increased in popularity.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
Whether you intend to start your business from scratch by opening your own yoga studio or becoming an instructor depends entirely on what your goals and objectives are. If you are starting your business from scratch, you are likely to spend more than if you were just acting as a private instructor.
Another option is to buy into a franchise so that you can start your business with fewer challenges. This goes to show that each option has its pros and cons and must therefore be thoroughly examined. In buying a franchise, it is important that you thoroughly investigate the different franchises available and know what their different capabilities are and if it aligns with your goals and objectives.
In buying a franchise, certain aspects of the business are taken off your hands such as management, promotion and advertisement, as well as other core decisions. In starting a business from scratch, the scenario is different as you the owner are in charge of all the decisions that might have a great impact on your business. If you take the wrong decisions, it might cause your business to crumble.
However, one of the advantages of starting your business from scratch is that you will proactively make decisions that will favor your company, should there be trends in the industry that might force you to make some deep changes.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
Every business no matter how lucrative it is will face threats and challenges during start-up as well as during the course of running the business and the yoga studio business is no different. As an entrepreneur therefore, you must be prepared for whatever threats and challenges you are going to be facing during the course of either starting or running your yoga business in the United States of America.
While some threats and challenges can be dealt with, others are uncontrollable and so you might just need to flow with the tide.
Some of the threats and challenges that you would therefore be facing during the course of starting your yoga studio in the United States of America are; having to deal with competition which includes new entrants into the same area where you are operating your own yoga studio and also offering same services as you are, alternative indoor exercise with close similarity to yoga and competition from already existing yoga studios.
7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
There are four basic legal entities in the United States of America and they are; sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation and Limited Liability Company (LLC). In picking any of these legal entities, you will need to consider factors such as liability, taxation, ease of set up and ownership control.
If you are just going to be starting a small scale yoga studio, then you might need to start off as a sole proprietor and change to another legal entity later if your business expands. If however you are starting off on a large scale, then you might start with a corporation or an LLC.
With a sole proprietorship, you are regarded as the sole owner of your business and are responsible personally for any liabilities that might occur during the course of running the business. Even though a sole proprietorship is easy to set up, it does not allow you to seek for funds from investors or banks because the risk of investing in your business will be too much.
In a partnership kind of legal entity, two or more people come together to agree on starting a business and the decisions or actions of one partner is usually binding on all the partners. Also, all debts and profits are shared equally by all the partners. In this kind of legal entity, taxation is usually passed through to the personal income return of the partners.
In a corporation, owners are regarded as shareholders and are therefore regarded as separate entities from the business itself. This means the business is regarded as one that can sue and be sued without involving the personal assets of the shareholders.
The corporation is usually hard to set up and usually involves attorneys with knowledge in that area. In the LLC, owners are also regarded as separate entities from the business. What however makes this business separate from that of a corporation is the fact that taxation is like that of a partnership legal entity.
8. Choose a Catchy Business Name
Choosing a catchy Business Name for your yoga studio is very important as the business name you choose will determine how well your business can attract the clients you need for your business. If you choose a meaningless or silly name, most clients might not want to be associated with such, so while your business name must be unique and catchy, it must also be memorable.
Below are some of the catchy business names that will be suitable for you if you intend to start your yoga studio in the United States of America;
- Sara’s Yoga Studio
- Yoga and U
- More Yoga
- Yoga Core
- Mentee Yoga Studio
9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
Choosing the best insurance policies for your yoga studio is very necessary as this is a business that might lead to your clients incurring injury while trying to carry out your yoga instructions and may therefore blame it on you. Also, your employees might get injured during the process of engaging in activities whilst in the course of duty.
If you do not know what insurance policies you should get for your yoga studio, you need to consult an insurance agent or broker to help you decide what insurance policies will be best for your business. Below therefore are some of the basic insurance policies that you might need to purchase if you intend starting your yoga studio in the United States of America;
- General Insurance
- Liability Insurance
- Hazard Insurance
- Workers’ Compensation Insurance
- Health Insurance
- Personal Injury Liability Insurance
- Employment Practices Liability Insurance
- Business Owner’s Policy Group Insurance
10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
As an entrepreneur starting out a yoga studio in the United States of America, you do not need to bother getting an intellectual property protection as yoga moves are not original but originated from yoga and are only made more popular because of the effects it is believed to have on clients.
However, as en entrepreneur starting any business in the United States of America, there are always aspects of the business that require Intellectual Property Protection (IPP). Some of the aspects of the business where one is expected to apply for IPP for are business names, logo, concepts and production materials. If you however feel that this isn’t entirely necessary, you might decide not to apply for one.
11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
Even though there aren’t any standard regulations in the industry as regards professional certifications, Yoga Alliance is a very standard association in the industry and has few certifications that aspiring yoga instructors or studio owners look to get in order to boost the confidence of clients in their studio or brand and also stand out from other competitors in the industry.
Some of the certifications that you might need to consider getting from Yoga Alliance when starting out your yoga studio are;
- Registered Yoga Teachers (RYT)
- Registered Yoga School (RYS)
As earlier stated, not having the above certifications do not mean you cannot start your own yoga studio, but it just gives you an edge in the industry.
12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
In starting any business in the United States of America, it is important that you have legal documents at hand. Any business that does not have any documentations whatsoever is considered illegal and might run into problems with the regulatory authorities as you might not only be banned but you might also be penalized financially.
If you do not know what legal documents you would need to start your yoga studio, you might need to consult with a legal attorney or accountant to help you out. Below are some of the legal documents that you would need in order to be able to start and legally run your yoga studio in the United States of America;
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Operating Agreement
- Business Plan
- Business License, Permit and Certification
- Insurance Policies
- Contract Document
- Employment Agreement
- Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- Federal Tax Identification Number
13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Starting a yoga studio might look like a simple enough business but you will need funds to lease a place, get the equipment necessary and carry out advertisements that will attract the clients you need and also funds to generally run the business till it starts making its own money.
Getting the start-up capital needed to run your yoga studio might sound very overwhelming but is a necessary task for any entrepreneur, which is why having a business plan at hand is very necessary as this will help convince investors of your seriousness in starting a yoga studio. Some of the available financing options that you would need to explore when starting your own yoga studio are;
- Getting part of your start-up capital from your personal savings and sale of stock
- Sourcing for soft loans from your friends and family members
- Applying for loan from your local bank
- Sourcing for capital from private investors
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
Choosing the right location for your yoga studio is very important and this is due to the fact that a good location ensures that you generate sustained revenue that would grow and expand your business. Before starting your business, you should carry out a thorough research on the best locations that would suit your yoga studio and allow it achieve all its intentions and goals.
Knowing the best possible locations will allow you to stick to a refined search and also help in setting aside the right budget for the possible locations. The location you intend to choose for your yoga studio must be one that is close to your intended target market. This also means conducting a thorough market survey to help you identify who your target customers are. Knowing your target customers will help you plan adequately for the right location for them.
There are certain factors that you must consider when it comes to choosing the right location for your yoga studio and they are convenience, security, easily accessible and conspicuous. You can engage the services of a real estate agent to help you with choosing the right location.
There are also options of starting the business as a private instructor which would mean that you would be visiting your clients to give them the training they need. You also have the option of working from home where you can decide to make videos to sell as DVDs or put up on YouTube and have your customers subscribe.
Another option includes working in a yoga studio that isn’t yours. If this is the option that is best for you, then you must ensure that you look for yoga studio, where there is security and convenience for your clients to be able to get to easily.
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
Even though the yoga studio business might not be a capital intensive business like others, it requires some sort of capital all the same with which to start up. This is why as an entrepreneur starting this business, you must have the necessary plans in place that will enable you know the right places to source for funds for your business.
It is also important that you get the necessary equipment in place that will make you run your business efficiently and successfully. You should know that most of the equipment you would need for your yoga studio are ones that can be gotten for fairly used, bought cheap from online stores or from an existing business.
Therefore, the equipment and tools you would require in order to be able to run your yoga studio business successfully in the United States of America are; yoga mats, yoga bars, yoga blocks, resistance bands, computers, phones, and printers.
In getting people to come and work for your yoga studio, you would need a chief executive officer, an admin and human resources manager, front desk officer, marketing executives, accountant, yoga instructors and security. This would mean that you would need at least 8 key people in order to start and run your yoga studio effectively in the United States of America.
The Service Delivery Process of the Business
The yoga studio business is a business that is service oriented and so there is not much of a process involved except getting the necessary training and certification.
Once this is in place, you can then open up your yoga studio with the niche you have in mind so that you will be able to define how to market your niche to your intended target market. Once you have started marketing your business, you will need to draw up a yoga fitness program for your clients and have them follow it to the letter.
16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
Marketing is a vital part of any business and when correctly done allows a business to not only generate revenue that will grow and sustain it but also create awareness for the business. While marketing is very important, if you do not understand your market, you are likely to throw away resources in marketing to the wrong set of people.
This is why it is necessary to conduct a market research as this helps identify who your market is, who your competitors are and how you can best reach your target market via the strategies you intend to create. This will help you create a marketing goal for your company that will align with your corporate goals and objectives.
If you however find marketing your yoga studio as overwhelming, you can engage the services of a marketing consultant that is reputable and experienced so that you can get the marketing strategies that will be right for your company. Below therefore are some of the marketing ideas and strategies you can use for your yoga studio;
- Networking with other yoga studios, instructors and stakeholders in the industry in order to market your yoga studio as well as network
- Use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus and Snapchat to market your yoga studio
- Place adverts about your yoga studio in newspapers and magazines as well as on radio and television stations
- Empower your marketing executives to engage in direct marketing
- Ensure that your business is listed in yellow pages as well as in online directories
- Distribute handbills, fliers and business cards in strategic locations where your business will be operating from
17. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
Every entrepreneur’s dream is to have a business that not only generates revenue but also has amassed the right sort of publicity in the region where it is operating from. Publicity therefore is very vital to a business both new and already existing, which is why companies do not mind spending huge amounts of money to promote their business.
As a business, it is necessary that you develop strategies that will enable you to boost the awareness of your brand whilst creating a corporate identity for your company. The internet and also technology has made it very possible for companies to be able to reach more of their target market effectively but also cheap too.
Boosting the brand awareness of your yoga studio will help project your business to be recognized beyond the region it is operating from. Below therefore are some of the platforms that you can use in boosting the brand of your yoga studio, whilst also creating a corporate identity;
- Use your social media platform such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus to be interactive with your audience
- Visit popular blogs and give out tips and advice, thereby building your suggestions from there
- Create a dynamic website and use this to build an audience
- Encourage your loyal clients to help spread the word about your business
- Conduct different special classes for your paying clients
- Create a unique logo and have a popular slogan as well