Starting your own yoga studio might sound like a pipe dream, but ask any studio owner and they’ll tell you that their business started as wishful thinking.

That doesn’t make it feel any less intimidating. As a yoga instructor, the question of how to know if you’re ready to start something on your own isn’t something to take lightly. And we totally get it. There’s a lot that goes into running a yoga studio: business plans, leases, branding, and some solid marketing skills.

But… with a little hard work, creativity, and passion, we know you can turn your dream of owning your own studio into a reality! To help get you there, we put together six tips for starting (and crushing!) your first yoga studio. 

6-Step Guide to Opening Your Own Yoga Studio

  1. Fire Up a Business Plan
  2. Scout Out Your Competition
  3. Choose Your Location
  4. Design Your Shine
  5. Find the Software for You
  6. Get the Word Out

1. Fire Up a Business Plan

Writing a business plan sounds scarier than it is. It’s really just a time to get creative and think through your business goals. All those great ideas you have for your business and how you’ll succeed? Now’s the time to write ‘em down!

To help you get started, here are a few of the basics:

  • Summary: What is your business and what will you do?
  • Objectives: What are your goals for your business? 
  • Offerings: What types of classes will you offer? WIll you sell products, too? Are you charging per class, a monthly subscription, packs of classes or all three?
  • Operations Plan: How will you meet your goals? Who will manage your studio? Who will be your instructors? How will you structure your class schedule?

There are even some great resources out there, so you can kind of “fill in the blanks” for all the business plan steps you need to take.

2. Scout Out Your Competition

Before you start your own studio, it’s smart to research the market in your area. Take the time to pretend you’re a potential client in your neighborhood. How would you go about finding a studio to attend? And what would you look for when choosing a studio?

Check out the websites of yoga studios around you and find out what kind of classes they’re offering and how much they’re charging per class. And hey, it doesn’t hurt to attend a few classes in your area to get an idea of how they operate!

Then, ask yourself: 

  • What would make your studio different? How would you stand out?
  • How would your classes be different?
  • How much are they charging? How much would you charge?

3. Choose Your Location

The costs of opening a brand new yoga studio vary widely depending on where you’re located. For example, opening a studio in New York City is going to come with completely different expenses compared to, say, a new studio here in Bozeman, Montana (Schedulicity’s headquarters!). 

While it’s tough to give any exact numbers, to buy your own studio looking at anywhere from $15,000 to $500,000 — with size and location being the biggest factors.

Maria Turco, founder of Honor Yoga Studios in New Jersey, leases all 11 of her locations. And leases are a great way to go, especially for your first space.

She recommends a lease that costs you “no more than 20 percent of your revenue.” She also adds that you want to account for this cost in your business plan and in any loans you take out to get your business off the ground.

Checklist for Choosing a Location

  • Is the location close to the community you want to serve?
  • Is it convenient for your clients to find and find parking?
  • Is it close to other yoga studios? 
  • Does it fit your budget?
  • Will the space attract the clients you want to attract?

4. Design Your Shine

By “shine”, we mean: what’s going to make your studio stand out? What kind of values do you want to embody? In a word, what will be your studio’s brand?

Your brand is everything from your logo and values, to the design of the space you choose. You want a space that’s both welcoming to clients and practical for the classes you’re offering. 

While we have a separate guide on how to design the chicest — and most practical — yoga studio, here are a few bullet points to keep in mind:

  • Plan space around natural light
  • Don’t overdo the decor
  • Think about what your clients will need

Ultimately, you want to think about what type of studio experience you want to offer your clients, and create a welcoming and inviting brand based on that.

5. Find the Software for You

There’s no doubt that scheduling apps make your business more efficient. And the more efficient you are, the more money you can make! 

But not all scheduling software is the same. Class scheduling apps and software vary widely in terms of features and price, so you’ll need to do some research before you commit. 

When on the hunt for your online scheduler, make sure you find an app with all the basics, such as a flexible calendar, plus any tools you can use to make your day-to-day a little smoother…

  • Easy client booking
  • Class and roster management
  • Waivers
  • Alerts, reminders
  • Payment integrations
  • Email marketing tools

Pro tip: If you’re a yoga instructor on the hunt for a scheduling software, Schedulicity has all the tools you need: class calendar, waitlists, payment processing, marketing tools, and package management. New businesses get access to all our tools FOR FREE for 30 days.

6. Get the Word Out

Once you have the ball rolling on your new studio, it’s time to get the word out. In other words, it’s time to start thinking through your marketing strategy.

While a fun event or party at your new studio is a great way to build some buzz, you should also be thinking about how you want to tackle social media marketing, your website, and content marketing

  • Which social media avenues do you want to utilize? (Instagram, Facebook?)
  • Do you already have a website to promote?
  • And what kind of content do you want to share? Blogs? Short videos?

Part of a good marketing strategy is setting clear and measurable goals to make sure you promote your business to the right people. Again, take the time to jot down your goals to help you track your progress and manage deadlines for email or social media campaigns.