So you want to grow your yoga business? Follow our top tips

26 November 2018 openplay Leave a comment Booking System, Marketing, Operations

Your yoga business is already a success, with a steady stream of customers and a satisfactory income. You’ve done the hard part: getting your business off the ground, but there comes a time your seedling must grow into an oak tree.

Expanding from a small to medium-sized business is a difficult but fun process. Gone are the days when you had to search for potential customers at friends’ weddings and funerals- when you offered free classes to relatives just to bulk out your otherwise empty studio. Now, is the time to increase your marketing efforts, re-evaluate the systems you have put in place and to think outside the box that is your yoga studio.

Here are our top tips to help you grow your yoga business.

Build a community

A yoga studio is the perfect place for yogis to meet like-minded people. However, nobody is going to talk to those around them if the atmosphere at your venue is cold and unwelcoming. The key to retention is to build a warm community feel that will have customers itching to stay longer. Build a hangout space that oozes comfort and calm. If you have the facilities, add a small cafe area, which is ideal as a chilled catch-up space. In addition, the extra revenue from coffees and smoothies will help you to grow your business.

It’s not just the space, but the people in the space, who elevate your business from standard service to community. Your staff should lead by example and develop meaningful relationships with students. When hiring staff, don’t only assess their qualifications and credentials; judge their mannerisms, their eagerness to chat and their willingness to go above and beyond standard requirements. You want a teacher that stays behind after class to help students with niggles, a receptionist that remembers the names of regular visitors and most of all you want a team that loves working at your studio.

Host an event

Yoga is the type of exercise that requires dedicated learning. That’s why workshops a brilliant way to complement classes and boost retention. Offer specialised classes like: ‘Handstands and Inversions’, ‘Breath Control’, or even host a week-long retreat in Ibiza. If you really want to make these workshops a success, run complimentary sessions either side of lunch. Pre-lunch will be a high-intensity class to fire up the metabolism. Then students break for a healthy lunch and a mingle, before returning to the studio for Yin relaxation.

Another idea is to host weekly socials. Pilates and Prosecco Thursdays? Yin and Yang Fridays? Advertise these events at the end of classes and encourage your staff to join in the fun.

Choose the right online booking system

There is nothing worse than having willing customers, only to find they have not carried through with their online booking because the system you use is too complicated, too longwinded or, as is the case with many out there, crashes altogether.

1) When choosing a booking system you want one that is first and foremost reliable- one that will deliver on every booking request.

2) Your next consideration should be simplicity. How easy is the booking process? Is it accessible to people of all ages or will some users find it too complex to navigate?

3)Your third concern should be functionality. How many features does the system allow for? Your yoga business should be offering a tier of membership options as well as drop-in rates and special offers. You need a system that can cater to your personal needs.

4) The fourth thing that many businesses often overlook, is assessing the support that the booking service can offer you- the business owner and system operator. Will there be a team reachable by email or phone that can help you with concerns?

5) Finally, you should take into account the overall look of the system. It is important that the front end of your website looks just as professional the service you offer. While appearance is crucial, beware of systems that offer style over substance.

Use Instagram

Yoga positions are visually impressive, and so photos of dancer’s pose, downward dog and headstands fill the pic-based platform. If you are looking to target a young market, then Instagram is for you. 59% of users are under the age of 30, whilst 63% of teenagers are active on the app every day.

To be successful on Instagram and build your following, you will want to post at least once per week, ideally more. Take photos of your studios, your team, your students and the products that you sell. Upload instructional videos or just film one of you teachers doing an impressive Vinyasa flow. The trick is to be experimental and always keep the ethos of your brand in mind.

Curious? Learn more: How to use Instagram to boost your fitness brand

Collaborate with a brand that compliments your image

There are tonnes of apparel brands that focus on fitness or, more specifically, yoga. It doesn’t need to be uber-famous brands like Sweaty Betty or Lululemon; In fact, a lesser known business might be more excited about a collaboration. A small business, still in its early growth stage will be more willing to promote your classes on their website and in their store.

A local sports shop or even an organic health shop could be your ideal partner. Approach them in person and offer discounts to their customers and vice versa. This sort of collaboration benefits both businesses and, when kept local, promotes a positive image.

Additionally, when working with a business at a similar stage of growth to that of your own, you have the opportunity to share knowledge with each other. Learn from each other’s mistakes and discuss ideas for growth in the future. If you are lucky you will create a valuable partnership.

Offer rewards for referrals

92% of consumers trust recommendations from family and friends over every other form of advertising. This statistic proves that word of mouth is the biggest marketing tool you have.

To optimise this Chinese whispers effect, you should have a referral reward scheme in place. For your referral scheme to be most effective, offer a membership discount to both parties involved (ie. the referer and the referee).

Interested to know more? Word of Mouth Marketing link

Question: What tactics did you find most effective in growing your fitness business?

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