The Complete Guide to Owning and Operating a Yoga Studio

The yoga industry is growing by leaps and bounds. In fact, the global yoga market is projected to reach a staggering $66.2 billion by 2027, according to Allied Market Research.

This rapid growth is attributed to many factors, including an increasing body of evidence pointing to its health and wellness benefits, celebrity endorsements, and widespread promotions touting the value of yogic practices.

For devotees of this mind-body technique, this means one thing: There’s no better time than now to transform your interest in yoga into a thriving yoga business.

Have you ever asked yourself the question, “Could I open my own yoga studio?” If so, read on for a guide to everything you need to know to start a yoga studio of your own.

How to Create Your Yoga Studio Business Plan

One of the first steps to take when opening a yoga studio is to create a business plan. While this can feel overwhelming, it’s an important part of the process that will serve as a blueprint for starting and operating your yoga business, as well as for identifying both obstacles and opportunities that may arise along the way.

A well-conceived business plan can also show investors that your business is worth investing in.

Here are some questions to ask when formulating your business plan:

What will your yoga studio look like or specialize in?

An essential part of any comprehensive business plan is identifying what products and services you’ll offer and to whom. In this case, you’ll define what types of yoga classes you’ll offer, and who you’ll offer them to.

Who is the target market?

Speaking of demographics, knowing yours is essential to building your yoga business. After all, the best yoga studio in the world won’t last very long without clients. The better you know your target market by conducting a customer analysis, the better you can target your marketing efforts.

How will you compete for your audience in your location?

While the growth of the yoga market means more potential customers, it also means more competition. The key to success in today’s business landscape? Differentiating yourself from the pack. One way to accomplish this is by specializing, such as in a particular area of yoga or targeting your services to certain demographics.

How will you market your yoga studio?

Knowing your target audience is only part of the equation. You must also know how you’ll reach them. Traditional marketing methods are no longer enough. In our mobile world, digital marketing has moved from the category of “nice to have” to “necessity.” Email, social media, content marketing, and pay-per-click are just a few of the strategies to prioritize when devising a comprehensive marketing strategy.

What size and type of team do you need?

Employees are the heart and soul of any business. Deciding what you need in terms of staffing numbers is a critical consideration: Hire too many and you’ll end up paying too much but hire too few and you’ll be understaffed — which will detrimentally impact everything from customer service to staff morale.

Equally important? Hiring the right people. In addition to hard skills, make sure to consider invaluable soft skills. The personalities of your staff can make or break your business.

What tools or equipment will your yoga studio need?

Modern yoga studios need a variety of accessories and equipment. These may include everything from blankets, blocks and bolsters to a sound system, sandbags, and salt lamps. Don’t forget about office equipment, too, such as computers, printers, and filing cabinets.

Including a thorough budget for all the tools and equipment you’ll need can help you plan accordingly while also preventing unnecessary surprises in the future.

What pricing model will you use?

Yoga studios use a variety of pricing models to generate studio revenue. These include weekly and monthly “unlimited” memberships, per class pricing, drop-in pricing, package deals, and private class packages.

Each of these has its own pros and cons; evaluating them can help you land on the best pricing model for your new yoga business financial plan.

What are your upfront or ongoing costs?

How much will it cost to get your yoga studio up and running, and how much will it cost to operate your business month-to-month? The more accurate you are in assessing factors like start-up costs and operating expenses, the better you’ll be able to plan across everything from hiring to pricing your products and services.

What will success look like?

Gauging the success of your yoga studio hinges directly on your short- and long-term goals for your yoga business.

Many businesses rely on key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure their success. KPIs span:

  • Sales—number of new contracts, number of engaged qualified leads, etc.
  • Finance—revenue growth, net profit margin, operational cash flow, etc.
  • Customers—percentage of market share, number of customers retained, etc.
  • Operations—employee satisfaction, employee churn rate, etc.
  • Marketing—monthly website traffic, conversion rates, keywords in top search engine results, etc.

The right combination of KPIs can help you understand how your yoga business is performing as well as opportunities for improvement.

Do You Need a License to Open a Yoga Studio?

Almost all businesses require a license to open and operate legally, and yoga studios are no exception. In fact, you’ll need several licenses to open your studio, including a business license, health department license, fire department license, and many others.

Additionally, one of the best ways to position your business for success is to build up your own teaching credentials. While anyone can call themselves a yoga teacher, not all have the education, knowledge, and training that truly qualifies them to teach yoga as well as run a yoga studio.

Pacific College of Health and Science’s Yoga Teacher Program is designed to provide you with everything you need to practice and teach the art of yoga, including but not limited to yoga poses, breathwork, ethics, health and wellness, and meditation.

A yoga instructor certification from Pacific College of Health and Science also comes with accreditation and certification from reputable entities like Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) and Yoga Alliance.

Earlier, we talked about the need to differentiate your yoga studio from your competitors. Certification from a registered yoga teacher program like PCHS can give you a vital inside edge over less qualified studio owners.

How Much Does It Cost to Open Your Yoga Studio?

Unfortunately, there’s no straightforward answer to this question. Rather, the cost of opening and maintaining a yoga studio varies depending on several factors, including but not limited to:

  • Location
  • Studio space mortgage or rent
  • Utilities
  • Remodeling and decorating expenses
  • Equipment—yoga pads, but also computers, lights, chairs, etc.
  • Business costs—LLC, insurance, local fees, etc.
  • Point of sale technology
  • Marketing—business cards, website, flyers, etc.
  • Staffing—teachers, front of house, cleaning, etc.
  • Licensure

The Challenges of Running a Yoga Studio

While running a yoga studio can be incredibly fulfilling, it’s not without its share of challenges. Owning any business isn’t easy, but the more you know about the potential challenges you’ll encounter along the way, the better prepared you’ll be to navigate them.

Here’s a closer look at some challenges you can expect to face while running a yoga studio:


From new studios attempting to take on bigger, more established operations to seasoned studios trying to keep up with the new kids on the block, competition is a fact of life in the business world.

The good news about competition? It will push you to continue to innovate and grow your business.

Recruiting New Members

Without yoga students, your dream of owning your own yoga studio will quickly come to an end. Attracting new customers can be a challenge, but your business plan should help you chart a course for successful member recruitment.

Member Retention

While new members are essential to business success, retaining existing members is equally if not more important. While new and current members are worth the same thing in terms of revenue, the latter cost you significantly less. In fact, acquiring new customers can be up to 25 times more expensive than retaining existing ones, according to Harvard Business Review.

The takeaway? Customer satisfaction is key when it comes to maintaining a healthy business.

Client Satisfaction

As mentioned above, client satisfaction is imperative. The good news? There are many things you can do to create a satisfying customer experience that will support both member recruitment and retention.

Cash Flow

Is enough cash coming through the door every month to cover your expenses? If not, there are many avenues to explore in terms of generating new revenue, such as offering retail products, hosting retreats, creating licensed content, and fostering a sales culture among your staff.

Staff Recruitment and Retention

Your customers aren’t the only ones who matter when it comes to running a successful yoga business. You also need to hire the right people — and keep them around. This includes everything from qualified yoga teachers to friendly and welcoming front staff.

Scaling Your Business

While growth is good, growing pains will happen along the way — especially pertaining to scaling. Healthy growth means increasing revenue without depleting your resources. It’s a balancing act, but again your business plan can help you pave the way forward.

Owning a yoga studio is an exhilarating prospect, but there are many things you can do before you even open the doors to lay the groundwork for success, including getting certified by an accredited program.

If you are interested in learning more about the Yoga Teacher Program at Pacific College of Health and Science, request information today!

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