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How to Open a Yoga Studio Part 1: Create a Business Plan

Whether or not you're seeking investors for your business, a business plan can help you determine your goals, select a suitable location, and learn how to expect the unforeseen.

By Constance Loizos

So, you’d like to open a yoga studio.

It’s easy to understand why. Given that yoga is an optimal way to counter the stresses of work, it isn’t hard to imagine that practicing and teaching throughout the day, in your own corner of the world, could create a happier, more peaceful lifestyle. The moneymaking potential of opening a studio is encouraging, too. No one knows exactly how big the yoga market is, but with the number of yoga practitioners in the United States reaching the neighborhood of 15 million, many estimates place it in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

The question is whether you have what it takes. Starting any business venture requires not only determination but also close consideration of a large number of economic and personal issues. Especially with growing legions of studios already competing for the same students--along with fairly low barriers to entry--it has become more important than ever to identify every last variable before plunking down that security deposit.

Yoga Studio Costs and Revenues

Bill Wyland, who owns and directs one-year old Bernal Yoga in San Francisco with his sister Savonn Wyland, created this financial checklist of what to expect when opening your studio:

Start-Up Costs
rent and deposit
renovations (cosmetic and code)
mats and props
business permits
retail license (if desired)
phone and utility connection fees
computer equipment

Ongoing Costs
phone, utilities
teacher and staff salaries
ongoing advertising
bookkeeping/accounting expenses
banking fees (including interest payments on loans)
credit card fees (if you decide to offer this service)
water (if you provide bottled water for your clients)

Revenue Sources
renting the space
community events

Do you have, for example, a tolerance for risk and uncertainty? You need to be willing to make sacrifices and even lower your standard of living until the business takes off. Are you good at managing money? Chances are that the capital you initially pool will have to carry you for at least one to two years, the time it takes many yoga studios to begin turning a profit. Finally, how tenacious are you? Are you prepared to be Chief Salesperson, along with Chief Handyman, Chief Administrator, and Chief Customer Service Person?

Because opening a studio necessitates a major life change, you'll want to be as informed as possible before making your decision. For help in determining whether you should take the leap-—and to assist you if you decide to move forward—-Yoga Journal here presents the first in a series of articles offering constructive intelligence.

First Things First: Create a Business Plan
You've undoubtedly heard it before, because it’s true: the first, crucial step in charting your business’s path to success is writing a winning business plan, even if you aren’t seeking investors. Having a dream to be a business owner is laudable, but it's advance planning that will turn that dream into a reality. After all, if you don't understand what your expenses are going to be, it makes no sense to get started at all. A business plan can be a blueprint that will help you better how to select the right space, hire an appropriate number of employees, and determine how much risk you are able to take.

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Reader Comments

Cletus Barber

Interested in developing and facilitating my own yoga studio and procuring business advice in strategic development of operations. Im a novice to the idea of having my own yoga studio.
Your responce.would be highly warranted.

Pete Campbell

Solid article covering the basic things to think about. I've seen a few yoga studio's use the crowd-funding website Lucky Ant to raise funds to open a studio.

If you're ok asking friends and family for money, it might be a good way to go.

yoga business

Great article highlighting the importance of good planning. Thanks.

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