First of all it’s important to have an idea of what you WANT to do in the long run with your Home Yoga Studio because all your decisions will be based to attain that one final objective. Also, you may have to consider other circumstances which could affect your studio, or yourself. If your studio is your only income, consider having insurance which will cover your expenses in case of disability.
There are a few options I can think of:
Grow and Expand:
Growing will happen organically in your studio, however expansion is an objective in its own. If your growth is huge and you cannot handle it in your own home or by yourself then you will have to make a decision of expansion.
In my case I want to keep my studio small and located in my own home. I love the feeling of small classes and personal attention. But you might want to end up with more than one studio. In this case when you make all your decisions you will have to keep in mind the expansion:
- You cannot be a one man show. Start bringing more yoga teachers as soon as possible, the studio cannot rely just on you.
- It will be most important to have a good brand and bring awareness to your brand (corporate identity) as much as possible because you will have a few options and they will all rely on a well established brand:
- Do it yourself, and be the sole owner of the business with many yoga studios
- Franchise it
- License it – give other people the opportunity to use your brand.
- Diversify: You could open different services within your same location, like massage, pilates, kids parties, etc. I explain more about this in this chapter ‘Subletting/Renting Opportunities’.
- Merge with other yoga studio.
- Buy another already established yoga studio.
- Have a well established database.
- Have a well established website.
- Have a well managed social media.
- Have well established and clear procedures and policies.
Transfer/succeed to others
Sounds unusual but it’s a decision to consider for the future – if you have children, friends, other teachers at your studio or family interested in your business then you can base your decisions in that direction. This does not have to happen when you die of course, but during your lifetime, when you are ready to retire or maybe need to retire due to health issues.It will be very important to:
- Start bringing them into your business as soon as possible, so they learn the operation, management, style, approach and can keep it up when it happens, it would be a shame if they lost your students due to change of management.
- Smooth transition – don’t let them teach their own classes only but let them cover some of yours so your students get to know them and don’t leave when you do.
- Have very clear and thorough processes and policies in place. In writing.
- Make sure they know and follow your Mission Statement.
Either by choice or situations out of your control, you might have to move the location of your Home Yoga Studio in the future. If that’s the case, the ideal move is somewhere as close as possible to your current location so you don’t lose any students. Very important: once you have established your studio at a new location, give your students enough notice about the change of venue, and don’t forget to update ALL your advertising and promotion materials with the new location. This can be an opportunity to improve the planning and operation that you did when you opened your studio for the first time.
Moving to a far away location presents a bigger challenge because many of your current students may not follow you, therefore you will have to start over building your students base. Nevertheless, you will have lots of experience and knowledge of planning and running your own studio so it won’t be that hard. Keep up your confidence and make the move with a positive attitude – change may bring great things!
Selling my Home Yoga Studio is the option that appeals the most to me in the long term, because this can be an interesting possibility when I am ready to retire.
In order for this to happen, I have taken a few steps and they are part of my Business Plan.
- Have clear and written operation and marketing procedures.
- Hire and train teachers with your own studio’s philosophy so the business does not rely just on you.
- Have a plan of moving the studio from your home in a set number of years.
- Build a thorough database of your students (this becomes quite a valuable asset for a buyer)
- Brand awareness and corporate identity.
- Keep your website updated and with a good ranking.
- Keep your finances healthy and updated (including your taxes).
- Get (ideally through a lawyer) a formal contract to sell your studio so you avoid any legal problems in the future.
‘Selling your Home Yoga Studio’ means that you are only selling the BUSINESS part of it:
If you own the house or apartment where your studio is located, you can either sell or rent the premises to the new owner. On either case, you will need another formal contract for the sale/rent of your premises.
If you are renting the premises where your studio is located, another formal contract between the buyer (as new tenant) and the landlord is crucial.
If the new owner wants to move the studio to a new location right after the purchase, the formal contract of the sale of your yoga business will suffice.
It will be sad to let go of Yoga for Life, but it cannot last forever so I have planned for it!