What steps do you take to start a yoga business? Or how do you grow yours into one that’s both heart-based and profitable? Since such a framework is not taught at yoga teacher training programs, most teachers graduate without a plan. This can lead to wasted energy and time as they venture into the yoga marketplace—and ultimately lead to frustration, discouragement and burnout. You can prevent this if you know the five phases necessary to start a successful yoga business. And that’s exactly what you’ll learn in this article today.
15 years ago, I completed my masters degree in kinesiology and 200-hour yoga teacher training program in the same year. I was enthusiastic to teach. I absolutely couldn’t wait to share my passion for yoga with students—any students.
Since I didn’t know my ideal client, I taught in a variety of settings. I worked with college students, senior citizens, athletes, and everything in between. This lack of focus soon took a toll on my energy levels, as well as my pocketbook.
So, for years, I kept working other jobs to make ends meet.
This worked out extremely well because in my years as a project manager, I discovered the importance of a reliable framework. I learned how to take an initial investment and transform it into a profitable end-product. And when I applied that same framework to my latest Swagtail venture, it turned into a global brand within two years.
Now I’m sharing my very best strategies with you because I want you to be successful, too! It’s your turn to shine your light and spread your gifts with the world. I’m ready for you to bust through the myths of running a yoga business and get started today.
Are you ready to do so with a plan in place to make the entire journey more accessible and enjoyable? If so, keep reading!
Photo Credit: Ember and Earth Photography
PLAN FOR THE ADVENTURE
Starting a yoga business is a lot like planning for an adventure. As most of you know, I’m just as much a fan of the outdoors as I am about the practice of yoga. One of my favorites of all time was a kayak trip around Lake Tahoe. The scenery was part of the memorable experience. The deep blue of the lake is a stunning contrast to snow-capped mountains. Yet it was a calm, connected way to see such beauty (in contrast to the crowded highways in summertime).
Similar to executing a property upgrade as a project manager, a few simple steps had to occur to pull off the adventure.
These 5 Phases are:
(1) Clarify your starting point and vision for your future. These are essential coordinates We had to know where to put our kayaks in the water and where we would take them out. This gave us the ability to plan the best route, which is exactly what the next phase entails.
(2) Survey the Landscape. Now that you know where you’re starting, and where you want to end up, you’ll need to establish a view of the terrain through which you’ll be traveling. For our kayak trip, that involved understanding the wind, water, and shoreline. This gave us the ability to select a realistic timeline and tools by which to navigate the journey.
(3) Prepare for the Adventure. This step addresses the logistical aspect of the trip. Yes,, we had to know exactly what to pack to make the trip not only possible, but very enjoyable.You can then have total peace of mind that should any surprises arise on the adventure (and they will), you’ll be ready and capable to handle the changes.
(4) Announce your Plans. As you can imagine, I was thrilled about the upcoming Tahoe kayaking adventure and I wanted to tell everyone. Planning started mid-winter for the summer trip, which meant I talked about it for a good six months before hitting the water.
(5) Invite Others on your Journey. “The more the merrier” is a phrase often used in my household. This applied to our Kayak trip as well. Once we had details in place, we could confidently invite others to join us—and those that were fit for the trip and enthusiastic about such adventures made the trek with us. Their company brought the trip to new heights!
These 5 phases are exactly the steps you need to follow as you start a yoga business, too. Let’s take a great look at what these phases look like when you start a yoga business (or refine the one you already have)
PHASE 1: CLARIFY YOUR STARTING POINT
It’s much easier to reach your yoga business goals when you know two important coordinates: your starting point and your destination. Your starting point indicates the beginning of your journey and the destination is where you’re going. This is also the intention you set for starting a yoga business.
You likely understand these important elements as you create deliberate yoga sequences for your students and memorable yoga experiences for your clients. The same focus is required as you start a yoga business and grow one sustainably.
Since doing this is a new endeavor, change is inevitable. Teaching yoga takes time. Running the business aspects of your operation does too. Making the adjustment to these changes in your life becomes far easier when you:
- Gain a broad perspective of where you are going
- Fill in the details as you get more clarity
- Shift your mindset in ways that align with your overall goals
- Connect with the vision you most want to create for your yoga business, and use that vision to remain inspired in the face of challenges or uncertainty.
How to Clarify your Starting Point
Answer the following questions to start your yoga business with clarity and purpose:
- Why do you want to teach yoga?
- What habits do you possess that support you starting something new?
- Are there any mental or emotional blocks holding you back? If so, what are they?
- What are the big picture goals of your life?
- And how does teaching yoga align with those goals?
Photo Credit: Raw Pixel
PHASE 2: SURVEY THE LANDSCAPE
Once you know your starting point and your destination, you can plan the best route for your business. This starts by observing the terrain of the yoga industry and becoming aware of potential pitfalls.
Yes, the yoga industry is growing at a rapid pace!
This is exciting because there are endless ways to create a business in the marketplace that honors your unique strengths and passions. You have incredible freedom to start a yoga business that respects your current commitments and business goals. And you can do so in a way that aligns with your specific desires to uplift others.
The best part is that you don’t need to waste energy worrying about what other teachers are doing in their own yoga businesses. Nor do you need to compete with them for students. In fact, your natural talents can flow seamlessly into a framework that’s right for you.
Tips to Understand the Yoga Industry:
- List your personal and professional strengths. Then determine how those can be utilized to better serve your clients.
- Complete an online search to see the variety of ways in which yoga is being taught today. This can spark your creativity to teach in new formats.
- Take classes from numerous instructors in your area. Note the diversity of teaching styles, business operations, and personal vibes you experience in each situation. Write down what you like and what’d you’d improve upon. This will help you run a yoga business that aligns with your values and goals.
Photo Credit: Ember and Earth Photography
PHASE 3: PREPARE FOR THE ADVENTURE
A sustainable yoga business begins with deliberate preparation. Think of preparation like your business checklist. It covers the logistical elements to get your yoga business off of the ground. To do this, you want to know who your ideal client is, and what strategy you will have in place to communicate with them.
Many yoga professionals get overwhelmed because they try to serve everyone. That’s
downright impossible and a huge waste of time and energy. Instead, prepare yourself to work
with a smaller group at a higher level. This also means better service for those students. It also means a more profitable business for you.
Prepare to Start a Yoga Business
- Which types of clients do you most want to work with? (This narrows your niche)
- What challenges do they face on a regular basis? (You can create products and services to offset their challenges)
- What goals do they have for their lives? (You can paint a positive picture of their future)
- What does a typical week look like for these people? (This helps you know where to find them and how to structure your schedule to meet their needs)
As you answer these questions, you will know exactly where to find your ideal client and how to situate yourself as a trusted guide in their eyes.
PHASE 4: ANNOUNCE YOUR PLANS
Now that you know who you want to serve, it’s time to create visibility in your yoga business. Students can only join you when they know where you’re going. This is why a well-structured website, strong social media strategy, and email communication plan are of utmost importance.
Oh yeah, and you want to have a business name that is easy to say, spell, and understand, too.
When you have these elements in place, you:
- Build trust with potential and existing clients
- Streamline your marketing efforts
- Offer valuable content to your community that meets their needs and propels them forward on their path
But don’t worry. As you start a yoga business, much of this work is done behind the scenes initially. Then, with your plan already in place, you’ll be excited to announce your offers when the time is right for you. This is also true if you are running a yoga business and creating new offers and experiences for your students, like leading a yoga retreat or a facilitating a yoga teacher training program.
Tips to Increase Visibility for your Business
- Make sure the name of your business is easy to remember, simple to say out loud, and intriguing to your ideal client.
- Have congruence with your business name, website URL, and social media handles. This makes it easier for your clients to find you.
- Reflect on how often you communicate with your yoga community. Are you consistent, deliberate, and clear in your communication?
As you put these elements in place, you will expand your positive influence and grow your yoga business in a sustainable and energizing way.
Is your website easy to read and navigate for visitors? Click here to find out.
PHASE 5: INVITE OTHERS ON YOUR JOURNEY
The key to a prosperous, long-term business is having a marketing strategy that maximizes sales and profits. This starts with a solid financial framework for your yoga business–one in which you manage money wisely and sustain a positive cash flow. This begins by pricing your offers intentionally.
“What’s an offer?” you might ask.
These are the products and services you sell in your yoga business. Again, if you try to serve too many kinds of people, you tend to create too many offers and thus water down your efficiency. That’s why you want to know who you’re serving and what those individuals need most. You then offer what they are most excited–and ready–to buy from the start of your yoga business.
And since you announced your plans in the last phase, people now know where you are going. Only, they won’t join you unless they’re invited. In the business world, this is known as your ask.
You can do this in simple, low-risk ways, like teaching a community class or hosting a webinar. Or, you can direct potential clients to your paid offers.
How to Ask for the Sale with Confidence
- Let go of the limiting belief that sales are somehow sleazy or dishonest. (I know you’re teaching yoga to help people and enhance their lives. Telling them about what you offer solves their problems. This creates a win for them and a win for your yoga business).
- Have a clear path on your website for people to know what you offer (Remember, you’re the leader of your own yoga business)
- Make payment simple and straightforward (This lowers the hurdle for people to give your business a try and it increases your sales)
- Serve all clients in an authentic way that adds momentum to your mission (This is essentially great customer service where you appreciate your clients and make them feel special)
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
If you are ready to start a yoga business, or refine the one you already have into a successful enterprise, then it’s essential you follow the 5 steps outlined above. And you can use this same formula over and over again to keep growing over time. While this process is straightforward, it might not seem easy. That’s why I’m here to help prevent the uncertainty, frustration and overwhelm that can creep in when you embark on this journey.
I created the Launch your Yoga Business Course for this reason. This online program is a step-by-step plan to grow a sustainable yoga business—one that fits your unique passions, current commitments, and lifestyle goals. The best part is that you have the framework in place to serve others from the heart and make money at the same time when you use it!
Take Action Now:
- Click here to Learn more about the Launch your Yoga Business Course to see if it’s a fit for you.
- If you run a Yoga Teacher Training Program, your new teachers can greatly benefit from our online program. We partner with strategic programs globally to share this resource. Plus you can make a commission when you refer it to your community. Email me to learn more.
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