How to figure out the student demand for your yoga studio.
Before you get excited about your benefit and start planning your features (or planning to implement your features in your existing studio), you need to ensure that there are enough people who want your benefit.
If nobody wants your benefit, or so few that your studio wouldn’t survive, then you’ll need to choose a different benefit or figure out how to create demand for your benefit.
Answering this question also forces you to consider what benefits the other yoga studios in town are delivering. You probably should strive to deliver a benefit that nobody else delivers and one that is sufficiently in demand. However, if there is such a large demand for a particular benefit that supports two studios, then it may be okay to deliver a similar benefit as another studio.
How to determine yoga demand?
Determining whether there is sufficient people who want your benefit isn’t easy and you can never know for sure. However, one fairly simple way to find out is to study towns similar to yours. If a town similar in size and demographics as yours has a thriving studio that delivers the benefit you seek to deliver, that’s a pretty good sign there’s enough demand for your benefit.
Another way is teach your yoga style in rented facilities for a while and see what kind of turnout you get. You can rent recreational centers, churches, studios in fitness clubs, etc. If you build up a clientele this way, your studio would probably thrive.
Check out the Yoga Alliance Web site and search for studios and individual teachers by your locale. If there are search results, and you’re not shy from talking to other yoga teachers in town, call them up (better yet – attend their classes) and discuss their experience with yoga demand in your locale. Explain you want to offer something different.
Talk to local health clubs and ask if their clientele asks about yoga classes. This will help give you an idea about any demand.
If you prefer to manage a yoga studio, then work as an administrator / manager for a local studio to assess the demand. You can talk to the students and get involved in the community to see if people want the benefit you would like to deliver.
You can also get yoga demographics information similar to what you would use to find yoga students to supplement your primary research efforts set out above.
How to create yoga demand?
This requires educating people who don’t do yoga the benefits of doing yoga. It could also mean tapping into other health or educational providers to see if they can refer you clients.
Offer free classes in a recreation center or any space you can get for cheap or free. Promote it as cheaply as you can around town.
Talk to physiotherapists, chiropractors, massage therapists, doctors, and other health professionals for referrals to your class or whether they think there’s a need for any particular type of yoga.
Talk to the local school (elementary and high school) phys ed teachers and ask they would be willing to implement yoga classes in the school – either as part of the curriculum or after school. This way you teach young persons about yoga who may become your clients.
I also think yoga teachers and studios in a community should work together to get the yoga message out there. Together you can be more effective and will have more resources. Increased demand benefits all of you. Consider broadening your affiliations with other teachers and lobbying local or national disability insurance companies to include yoga as a policy benefit for injury prevention and/or rehabilitation.
The fact is yoga and meditation can benefit everyone. All you need to do is communicate that effectively.