Are you dreaming of opening a yoga studio? For some, it is the perfect way to turn a passion into a practical business. Running a small business, and specifically being your own boss, seems to fit well with the relaxed pace of many yogis. But the details of running a business can also get overwhelming. Let’s talk about what to expect before you get in over your head!
The national average cost to open a yoga studio is $50,000. The lowest cost is $15,000 and the highest cost is just over $1 Million. The varying cost of real estate in major cities and rural communities is the biggest factor affecting the cost to open a yoga studio. The good news is that there are a lot of variables that can be controlled to fit within a specific budget.
More than 36 million people across the US practice yoga. And as we are all in search of ways to reduce the stress from our lifestyle choices, that number continues to climb. For experienced yogis who have a knack for teachingㅡopportunity is ripe for the picking.
- Instructor Certification
- Yoga Studio Equipment
- Start-Up Costs
- Setting Your Prices
- Tips for Attracting and Retaining Clients
- Summing Up
- Other Interesting Guides
Before you can consider hanging your shingle out, you will need to invest in some credentials to tell the world that you are qualified to teach yoga. There are many courses to choose from that range in price from $200 – $1000.
The reputation of the course or school, location, and style of yoga are all important considerations when choosing a program. The Yoga Alliance, which offers an annual membership to teachers for $65 (plus a $50 application fee), maintains a comprehensive list of available certification programs.
Commercial Real Estate for Studio Space
There are also many variations in pricing for commercial real estate. The studio space should be open and relaxing. The size of the space can vary, but typical single studio spaces are around 1,000 square feet. The location and quality of the building will play a big role in the cost of the space. You can choose to buy or lease your studio space depending on your budget and goals. In commercial real estate, NET leases are common, which allow tenants to customize their spaces to fit their business needs.
Secondary commercial space (adjacent to frontage roads and main shopping centers) in small communities will offer the cheapest rents. You may be able to find studio space in a secondary location for a few hundred dollars per month. By comparison, high-end commercial space in retail districts with high visibility or in major cities will run several thousand dollars per month.
Flooring material will be the biggest expense that you face when customizing your studio space. Choosing the right flooring material is important because your clients will spend a lot of time on the floor. Look for materials that are water-resistant (sweat) and comfortable but sturdy.
Vinyl flooring made to look like wood is a popular choice. There are many brands and styles available, ranging in cost from $1.19 per square foot up to $3.09 per square foot. Engineered wood flooring or bamboo flooring are also good options but come with a much higher price tag, upwards of $5.69 per square foot.
Yoga Studio Equipment
An open room with a good floor is the foundation of your studio. But don’t overlook some key equipment like a good sound system, extra yoga mats for new visitors, and locker room cubbies for personal belongings.
Sound Systems for Yoga Studios
At a minimum, you will need a way to play music in your studio. However, a good sound system that includes satellite speakers and a microphone headset makes a good investment.
You can expect to spend anywhere from $70 up to $800 on a sound system. Keep in mind that Bluetooth connectivity can be convenient for streaming your favorite playlists through the studio speakers.
Most people who get into yoga will buy their own mats. However, it doesn’t hurt to have a few extras on hand in case a visitor drops by the studio unprepared.
You can keep your favorite brands to use as loaners so your students can try them out before they buy them. If you plan to add a retail section to your studio, you can sell mats too. Most yoga mats cost between $10 and $15 wholesale.
There are two types of expenses when running a yoga studio. The first and most substantial is the start-up capital that you will need to get the doors open. The second is monthly operational costs like studio rent and utilities that will keep it open. As the business owner, you will need to put up 15 – 25% of the initial investment in order to get funding.
A lawyer and an accountant are the two essential services that you will need to consult before going into business. Most small businesses spend between $1000 – $5000 on each of these.
A lawyer can provide advice on the legal structure of your business and review contracts. An accountant can make sure your point of sale and accounting systems are set up correctly for paying your taxes.
You will need to invest in general liability insurance to protect your business from injuries that may be sustained on your property. While yoga is generally safe, any business where patrons step foot on the property requires insurance.
Insurance rates vary depending on the carrier, location, and size of the studio. However, you can generally expect to pay between $350 – $750 per year.
Business Licenses and Registration
The requirements for registering a business vary by jurisdiction. Most yoga studios pay around $750 to file the appropriate paperwork and set up a legal entity for their business.
Getting the word out about your new business takes some money too. While you will get the most bang for your buck on social media, ad campaigns and sponsored content cost money too. Yoga studios spend between $3,500 – $10,000 on marketing in the first year.
You will need three to six months of utility expenses, plus deposits to open the doors. The cost of utilities varies by location but most studios set aside around $6,500 for these expenses over the first six months.
Most of the studio will be open space; however, you may wish to include a reception area with a few chairs or a sofa and a retail counter. This will provide a place for your guests to wait in between classes. Plan to spend between $13,500 and $15,000 on furniture and decor.
The studio will need to have a way to collect payments. A simple tablet and Stripe (or Paypal) account could work. But if you plan to have retail or complex membership options, a point-of-sale system is a better choice. You can get the equipment that you need for as little as $500. Or, more robust point of sale systems will cost closer to $2,500.
Miscellaneous Office and Studio Supplies
The general supplies that you will need to run your business, like business cards, envelopes, and notepads, factor into the overall expenses as well. Budget at least $500 to cover basic office supplies and retail supplies.
Setting Your Prices
Going into business means that you need to strike a balance between value and price. Running a profitable studio is tied to your prices and ability to fill classes. How much you can charge for a group class or one-on-one instruction depends on your location and, to some degree, your experience.
There are different pricing structures to choose from, including monthly rates, per-class rates, and multi-class discount rates. Each class typically costs between $16 – $19 to attend. If you charge a monthly membership, you can get between $85 – $190, depending on what is included with the membership and your location.
Tips for Attracting and Retaining Clients
Most of the business that a yoga studio does is from repeat business. Clients tend to keep coming back week after week to study yoga under a favorite instructor. Your personality is a big part of the equation. Most people are generally attracted to a warm, friendly disposition. And because yogis are big on relaxing, you should have a calming presence.
You can take the studio experience one step further by making sure to greet your guests and add personalized touches to their service experience. If you send out emails to your members, personalized subject lines and introductions are a must-have!
You can play with different ideas like yoga retreat raffles, loyalty programs, and frequent soliciting for feedback. If you take care of the customers and provide a positive experience, they will do a lot of your marketing for you through word-of-mouth referrals.
Opening your own studio can be rewarding and exciting, but it comes with many of the same expenses as any other business. You will need a location, some supplies, and a personal touch to make the studio successful. The good news is that these costs are variable depending on scale and location, so you can control how much you spend on your studio. You may be interested in the