The prospect of opening a yoga studio or becoming a yoga teacher is very exciting if you love yoga.
Wear many hats
BUT, and I hate to burst your bubble, teaching yoga and running a yoga business involves a lot more than merely doing yoga. When it comes to earning a living doing your passion, you risk falling out of love with your passion and you definitely will have to do a lot of stuff you don’t love doing.
That said, earning a living with a yoga business is highly rewarding and is no doubt better than most jobs for anyone who loves doing yoga.
If you’re thinking about starting a yoga business, it’s a good idea to be fully aware of what’s involved. To do so, I’ll set out pros and cons of starting and running a yoga studio.
Pros of Owning a Yoga Studio
Be your own boss
I’m my own boss and love it. I’ve worked for other people. I prefer working for myself. It’s tough, there are challenges, it’s risky … but being able to do what I want to do is a great way to live. More importantly, I like being able to do what I like doing (although I have to do things I don’t like doing … that’s part of running a business).
You can come and go as you wish, set your own schedule, take vacations when it works for you and pretty much have the freedom to work your business in with your personal life. This is a huge benefit of running your own business, despite the many demands it places on you.
You get to work at something you love
If you love yoga, you get to do a lot of it teaching yoga. You also get to share it with people. While there’s a business to run, the core of your business is doing yoga and that’s great for anyone who loves yoga.
Not all businesses are fulfilling, but owning a yoga studio can be highly fulfilling because you help people get healthy and live better lives.
This isn’t discussed much in the yoga industry, but great yoga teachers are held in high esteem by their students. Being held in high esteem is both a privilege and responsibility. It’s great having happy customers that hold you in high regard.
Running a business involves all kinds of tasks. If you like doing a variety of things (wearing many hats), being a business owner will suit you (assuming you can handle the worry and risk).
Unlimited earning potential
As an employee, you can only earn what the business is willing to pay you. Most companies have some form of lockstep remuneration. True wealth is earned most of the time by self-employed people.
Some yoga studio owners earn a very good living (but many don’t). The opportunity to earn a great deal of money is definitely a benefit (for some people).
Hire staff to assist you
Having employees is a double-edged sword. They can help you out tremendously, but they require managing and can be risky (i.e. hiring bad employees). Staff can be the source of a great deal of aggravation … but the right people can take your yoga business to the next level and make your life much easier.
Cons of owning a yoga studio
Not as much freedom as you’d hoped
Freedom … maybe. Your business can be a tough task master. Moreover, it’s a service business so you have to serve your students.
Unless you’re wealthy, running a yoga studio doesn’t mean you get to spend most of your days on the beach. There’s a lot of work to make a success.
There are unsavory tasks that need to be done daily, weekly, monthly and annually. If you’re prone to chronic procrastination, this trait can hurt your business and even hurt your chances to succeed.
Paperwork and administration
Without a doubt, my least favorite part of owning a business is dealing with paperwork and administration. I hate it. I don’t like taking the time to be organized and I tend to procrastinate admin work.
If you hate paperwork and admin, consider investing in yoga studio software which can significantly reduce your time sent on such tasks.
If you’re just starting out or you’re struggling, living in worry about money is not pleasant. I’ve been there and it’s exhausting. Most business owners experience money-worries at some point. It’s part of the gig. Simply stick to your yoga business plan, teach as well as you can, run the best studio possible and have faith you’ll make a go of it.
Wear many hats
While some people may like the variety of tasks involved with running a yoga studio, you might not like having to multitask and jump from task-to-task throughout the day. You can reduce this by hiring people, but not all yoga studios have the resources to hire staff.
Read my article with 7 tips for freeing up your time and being more efficient in your roll as a yoga studio owner.
If you don’t like customer service, running a yoga studio may not be for you. You have to be pleasant when you don’t feel like it. But then, you need to be “on” when you have a job as well.
But, your customers are your lifeblood, so you need to really deliver in the customer service department. Teaching yoga is a service-business. Never forget that.
If you’re fortunate enough to be able to hire staff, it’s not without hassle. You can hire the wrong people, you have to manage people, deal with payroll, your expenses go up and manage schedules … just to name a few of what’s involved when you hire staff.
Your studio should be immaculate. Either you clean it yourself or hire a custodial service. Either way, it costs you time or money. As an employee, unless you’re a custodian, you don’t have to worry about the premises.
There’s also repairs and maintenance issues. If the toilet breaks, you have to deal with it … again either costing you time and/or money.
I started YogaBaron.com as a marketing blog because getting students is one of the biggest challenges for yoga studios, especially new yoga studios. Even studios that have been around for a while struggle with attracting and retaining students.
Getting students involves marketing in one form or another. Most yoga studio owners have no experience with marketing so it’s a steep learning curve. These days, while there are awesome cost-effective marketing opportunities online, it still requires learning and/or investment.
Dealing with numbers
You have to deal with financial reports and numbers. Every business owner must. If you have no experience doing so, be prepared to learn fast.
Is owning a yoga studio still for you?
As long as you go in with eyes wide open and are prepared for some serious challenges, by all means go for it. Perhaps talk to other studio owners to get feedback about the process and experience. You can go to a neighboring town so as not to get a cold shoulder from a potential competitor.