My first Yoga Studio… the Epic Story
Yogis Studio Dreams
There comes a point in a yogi’s life where we ask ourselves… what next? The most logical progression is start and open a yoga studio. Of course! Do you want to know how and why this happened? The evolution of it all? In a moment I will share how this all came to be, why the most perfect and imperfect people came into my life during it and how it taught me to shape up or ship out!
But first, let me introduce the key players:
- The Russian
- The Jersey Yogini
- The Argentinian
- The slumlord
Sounds a bit like a spy drama doesn’t it? Picture the Russian with a mysterious je ne sais quois about him and the Argentinian dancing tango and throwing knives while doing it. Well it’s kinda like that but way way less dramatic!
So about 5 years ago I had coffee with my friend, the Russian and he said – “Hey you want to open a yoga studio with me?”. All this in a thick Russian accent of course. I immediately said “YES!”. You can get an idea of my impulsive nature as I am a gemini, a monkey in my Chinese astrology and Vata/Pitta in my dosha.
Now mind you I had never owned a brick and mortar business. Much less, had never really had a “business” that involved others. I was a lone wolf in the yogi and freelance world and had never even thought of what owning a business meant. An entrepreneur at heart, but not to this level.
Second, I had no idea the Russian came with a partner. So I jumped head in to a massive investment. These were my life savings!!! With someone I had maybe met 3-4 times in my life. This turned out to be the best decision ever.
Meet Michelle. The Jersey Yogini with a heart of gold and the hustle of a pizza bagel (as we lovingly call Italian Jews). She is now my soul sister, a lady who works as heard as I do because without her help nothing of this would be a reality today.
So the story begins.
After agreeing that this was a great idea, getting the location, starting the build out, jumping for joy after signing our lease we realized we had no more funds, no more energy and no vision. The “oh shit” happened and reality came crashing down. The Russian is a yogi who traveled and disappeared for weeks in caves or with a swami. Michelle and I had been left to our own devices dealing with the unfriendliest and slimiest cigar smoking, name calling landlord in the universe (enter the slumlord). He made our build out process a nightmare from cheating, delaying, lying – well you get the picture. Know that at the end of the day good always wins and we definitely won because of our grit and hard work!
Life of a Yoga Studio Owner During Opening
All I can remember is sitting in my car talking to the permits man crying hysterically on WHY we had gotten denied AGAIN and had to now pay another few thousand dollars. To make the long story short, we were in dire straits. I studied architecture for a year in college so I had some idea of something but not to this degree. When you have a small budget you get creative. You hustle and learn to do things on your own quickly. Michelle took to the city and department of building to expedite our permits. I chose flooring, dealt with engineers and architects. A killer team ready to make it happen.
At the end of the day we had an opening day and were going to stick to it. If you are thinking about opening a studio- do your homework and make sure you have the funds and needs to make one from scratch or invest and buy one already made.
In comes the Argentine to save the day. With help from his ninja business skills we made a studio that would sky rocket to success. All of us made a killer team- business brain, yogis on a mission and lots of good will. We finally opened TRIO Studios the day before a 30 person training we had scheduled months before.
Top 5 Tips to Success with Your Yoga Studio
So you know anything you are trying to build out will take twice as long, and twice as much. Our classes steadily grew because to have a successful studio you need a few things:
- REALLY GOOD TEACHERS
- A KILLER SCHEDULE
- A GREAT TEAM
- A BRAND THAT STANDS OUT
- A UNIQUE APPROACH
Good teachers make or break a studio. Because the owners always have a bigger pull if you open a studio, give yourself the top and best time slots furthermore always share some of those slots with your best teachers so when you decide to step out of the teaching the studio is still busy.
The schedule should reflect the people who live near you, your niche clientele, your ideal student. If you live near young professionals know that the might want later classes or really early mornings. Study your neighborhood and cater to what they want.
To mange or not to manage is the question that seems like has an easy answer. I decided I am a better teacher than a manager. Hiring someone else to take care of the smaller things is a great idea and as a result it created space for me to be creative, to see the bigger picture and to create a lifestyle that I wanted. The hiring process is critical because your manager is the face of your studio in addition to the front desk. Whether yogis turned business owners realize it, sale are number 1. Make your team represent you. Create a family of workers that care and want to grow with you.
Branding. One of my favorite topics. First of all you want a killer logo that represents you. Since you want to be top of mind a name that is easy to remember is KEY therefore helping you stand out more. TRIO is in English & Spanish and short and sweet. Don’t confuse people who don’t speak sanskrit. Make the branding something that appeals to your ideal client and stands out from the others. Because branding is so important, check out this free mini video or my complete course which has a whole section on creating your brand.
Finally, a unique approach which in TRIO’s case, is aerial & acroyoga, and over 65 classes a week. We cater to people who want to expand their horizons with yoga and explore different avenues. We want people to be able to come to class whenever so we make the studio available almost all day so that they have easy access. ALSO owning a studio is about real estate management. If the room is empty, you are losing money. Don’t leave money on the table- ever!
With all this being said and done, TRIO has created a community of yoga lovers, people who’s lives change for the better daily. It created a job for Michelle and I who are the main teachers, lead the trainings and yoga retreats. Our studio is probably one of the best in Miami because we provide a level of service and quality unmatched by others and as a result make a big impact on the lives of many. Our vision and dedication teaches us daily on how to be better business owners and yogis. It’s a fine line but at the end of the day it’s worth seeing the smiles on peoples faces.
A legacy in the making.
In conclusion TRIO is a HUGE hit and continues on its way up. Profitable on year 1, top 10 yoga studio in Miami 3 years in a row. Unique in scheduling, class style and the first in Wynwood Arts District. A team that kicks ass and a legacy of quality.
To learn more how to be a yogi entrepreneur, a creator, a proliferator of goodness then check out Bizzy Yogi Online Business Academy. Most of all you will learn all the ins and outs of being a successful business owner, a top of mind yogi entrepreneur and grow your yogi business mind that surpasses what you think was possible.
Take action today and join the tribe of movers and shakers who want to change the world one om at a time so that yoga grows and continues to impact the world daily.