How to Open a Boutique Yoga Studio
Opening a boutique yoga studio may be a good way to earn a living. According to Statista.com, the yoga market in the United States is growing and amounted to around $11.6 billion in 2020. That translates to 55 million people who took yoga classes in 2020.
The growth and popularity of the practice means that there are a lot of people looking for yoga classes, and it may be a great time for you to jump in and open your studio.
The difference between a boutique yoga studio and yoga classes offered by regular gyms lies in the perceived exclusivity of the facility and the feeling of community for students who attend boutique studios. Whereas regular gyms offer yoga to anyone who is a member of the gym or even walk-ins, boutique studio classes are often smaller, attended by the same people every time, and lend themselves to students forming friendships and social connections with other like-minded people who enjoy yoga.
This exclusivity and social connection means that your students become loyal patrons and are prepared to pay more for classes if they love the experience at your studio. For you, it means you must design your studio to resonate with your students and provide what they expect. Give them a perfect, relaxing space that fosters relaxation, focus, and tranquility where they can immerse themselves in their practice. You must create a space that meets the physical requirements for yoga practice and promotes a sense of serenity and well-being in your patrons.
Some features yoga students desire in a boutique yoga studio include a convenient location (often close to where they live or work), state-of-the-art equipment, and amenities. To sweeten the pot for them, you can also provide towel service. The better experience you can provide, the more you can charge for lessons.
Before you start, you need to formulate a business plan. Your plan will include all the decisions about your proposed business. You must decide whether to hire a space in an existing building or convert your garage into a yoga studio. You must also prepare a budget, decide how many students you can accommodate in the proposed space, and what type of clients you want to attract. If you are a certified yoga instructor and a stay-at-home mom, you may want your studio to be close to home and appeal to other stay-at-home moms from your neighborhood.
Remodel Your Space
It is unlikely that you will find a space where you can just move in and open your yoga studio. Creating a beautiful, relaxing environment may require a total remodel of the garage or a hired space.
If that is the case, you may have to demolish parts of the existing garage to make room for the new, improved boutique yoga studio. When hiring a building constructor, ensure they bring a construction dumpster to hold all the rubble created by the renovation. Keeping all building mess contained will keep your neighbors happy and stop complaints about construction clutter.
Your students will appreciate a clean, well-designed space that accommodates their needs. Depending on the size of your space, you need to include as many features of an ideal yoga studio as possible to keep them happy.
First, you must also consider how much space you need to accommodate our required number of students per class. Usually, you should allocate at least 28 square feet per exercise station. To accommodate the yoga mat and to avoid students feeling they are on top of one another, each space should be at least seven feet long by four feet wide. Don’t forget to include more space for the instructor in front of the class.
Another important consideration is a bathroom and changing room facility for your students. If you have space, you could consider building special cubicles where students can lock their belongings during class.
The place should also feel bright and airy, with plenty of natural light in the studio. You should install ambient lighting and a sound system to infuse the space with relaxing music to help your students focus on the poses.
Care For Your Roof
Normally, the floor is one of the most important components in a yoga studio. After all, that is where your students will spend most of their time. However, no matter how well-designed your facilities are, it won’t matter if your students get wet exercising under a dripping roof.
If you are converting a garage into a boutique yoga studio, consider the state of your existing roof. For starters, the roof needs to be sealed so that the space inside is cozy and free of drafts. A well-insulated roof will also help save money on heating and cooling. You should also pay attention to your roof covering material. Having a zinc metal roof may be aesthetically pleasing, but if it rains during class, the noise of rain falling onto the roof may drown out the instructor’s voice and make the experience unpleasant.
If you need to change or repair your roof before transforming your garage space into a blissful yoga gathering place, contact your local roofers to get a quote for the job.
When designing your roof, consider ceiling height. The lowest acceptable height is 8 feet, allowing reasonably tall students of 6 feet 4 inches to stretch their arms upwards comfortably. A 10-foot ceiling height is preferable, and so is the vaulted ceiling design. These features will add to the feeling of spaciousness in your studio room.
Maintain Your HVAC System
For your students to feel comfortable during the workout, you need to ensure the temperature in your studio is just right. Nobody can stretch comfortably into a downward dog when their muscles are cold, and they have goose pimples the size of Mt Everest on their arms and legs.
The best way to control the air temperature in your studio is to install an HVAC system. It allows easy control of the temperature and humidity in your space for a satisfying workout.
Also, suppose you decide to offer hot yoga classes like Bikram and Hot Vinyasa. In that case, you may need to heat your room to a toasty temperature, and the HVAC system lets you do so easily. Hot yoga requires a space with higher temperature and humidity than other forms of yoga.
Renovate Your Bathrooms
Make sure you have a clean and relaxing restroom provided for your students. Your students will appreciate a well-designed, private bathroom space. You will also need to provide a space for people to change into their workout clothes and perhaps cubicle lockers to store their belongings. Cubicle lockers may be an optional extra. As long as patrons have a space to change, their clothes may be left in the changeroom. Small classes where everyone knows each other will make the security issues where someone’s belongings get pinched less likely to occur.
Preferably, the washroom and changing facility should be located outside the classroom. Students may need to answer nature’s call during class and be too shy to use the facilities if they must access them from the studio while others are watching. This will be very uncomfortable; clients may leave your boutique yoga studio and go elsewhere.
Ensure that all the taps and loos in your bathrooms work and that no pipes leak water. If your toilets break or a faucet springs a leak, reach for a phone and call local plumbers to sort out the problems as soon as possible.
Install Beautiful Lighting
Ambient lighting helps create a calm, friendly atmosphere and creates a sense of calm. Soft yet bright light in your boutique yoga studio will help students relax and enjoy the workout.
Make sure that the whole room is well-lit, without any dark or overly bright spots. A bright ceiling light may become annoying when students are looking up. Aim to have an evenly spread light across the whole space.
If possible, use natural light pouring in from large windows at your studio. However, ensure no direct sunlight enters the room as it may be blinding and feel very hot for the students in front of those windows.
Get dimmer switches installed to regulate the lighting intensity in the room. Don’t try to install lights yourself. Rather, employ local electrician services or hire electrical contractors to install your lighting for safety’s sake.
If you have a problem with the sun peaking in your windows and creating bright spots, you can control it by installing beautiful blinds or curtains.
If you want to create a mood, you can also place candles around the room. Be careful, though, because candles can easily start a fire. Ensure they are placed well away from the exercise area to avoid accidents.
Keep Your Space Spotless
It seems obvious, but some boutique yoga studio owners still do not keep their facilities clean enough. Most studios provide clean rest areas to change and a clean exercise area, but you should also consider your studio’s reception area, parking, and curb appeal.
Lack of parking can be a turn-off, especially if other studios provide it. If you are working from home, ensure your front garden is well-kept.
A blocked drain on the property can cause an unpleasant smell in the whole area. Make sure a commercial drain cleaning company regularly cleans those to avoid students being put off by the smell.
Set Up Your Office
Opening a boutique yoga studio makes you a business owner. You should have a designated space for all your administrative tasks. Here, you will keep all your student records, accept payments, and create content to keep your online presence going, which is essential nowadays.
Luckily, you don’t need that much office equipment to start with. You can create an adequate setup with a desk, some shelves, a computer, and a printer to manage your growing boutique yoga studio.
Your office can be a separate room, or if you are short on space, it may need to double up as a storage space for props, equipment, and personal belongings. If you hire premises away from your home, you may need office relocation services to set up your office.
Furniture in your office should be kept to a minimum, so consider incorporating built-in shelves, cabinets, or cubbies for storing items like mats, blocks, bolsters, and designated coat and shoe storage areas when designing your office space.
Partner With Local Organizations
As a boutique yoga studio owner, you are not just another place that offers yoga classes. Your clientele has joined your studio because they seek a community of like-minded people. That is why you should connect with them in real life to share the yoga experience with them.
To be seen as a community-conscious business, you could partner with other businesses in your area. For instance, you could partner with a spa offering small discounts on treatments for clients you send them. This way, you will get an incentive to give to your students, and they will get additional clients. You can also do the same with hairdressing services. It’s a great strategy for building and nurturing client relationships.
But being a part of the community is not only about partnering with local businesses to grow clientele. You can also show up and do something to support local charities. How about organizing a free yoga class in the park or holding a free class for teenagers or children? This way, more people will get to hear about you, and some may want to join your class.
Getting involved in the community can be rewarding as it will build a loyal clientele and increase your brand’s awareness in the community you serve. It will help take your business to the next level.
Now is a great time to open a boutique yoga studio. People seek places to practice yoga in a friendly, relaxed setting where they can meet with friends and join a community that loves to exercise together.
You will be successful if you create a well-designed studio and are seen as a business owner who gives back to the community freely.