Do you dream of opening up your own yoga studio someday? Or maybe you already own one? If so, then you'll want to read this:)
1. One step at a time. We tend to want what everyone else has and forget that they got there somehow too. As a business owner, I constantly remind myself that you can only get where you are going if you first learn to be where you are. Lately I have been consulting new studio owners, mainly through unexpected referral and the advice I keep discussing is the advice of just this. We all want it now, and for that 1% that it works out that way - great, but for the rest of us I would rather know what I am doing, see my hard work paying off and gain some credibility towards my own being and branding, than ride someone else’s. So, do take it slow, do take it one step at a time and instead of constantly tripping over everyone else’s coat tails, slowly grow your own. Take that extra few moments (or even months or years) to discover what you are all about, to develop your brand, your being.
2. Live within your means. Some may not agree, but to me, I have proven this in my own business. We all see the “big picture” and that is great, but if it costs you literally an arm and a leg, your dinner, and debt until the cows come home or worse personal crisis - is it really worth it? I am not saying yes or no, but rather offering up the question. This means you may have to wait a few weeks, months even years to get what you “really” want, but as a yogi this sometimes means that it’s not your time anyway, and if you “wait” you could be really getting what you need in the end.
3. Stay small for a while. We all love the idea of expanding, “big business” and who wouldn’t? But growth is growth for a reason. To teach you along the way, to help you gain insight and value to what you really want, not just a reaction to what is in front of you. I see yoga studios pop up in my surrounding area here and there and think “wow a class every hour”. And all I can think is, I hope the area already knows you, and your instructors are ok with $5 per class or you taking a loss if your instructors work for a flat fee. Now I’m not trying to be negative nelly, but the opposite. Wouldn’t you rather have more people in fewer classes? Plus this gives your students the feeling of growth, stability, and also you the owner a better moral with nicely packed classes. Plus, when people are given too many choices they tend to not make a decision at all. So is less classes on the schedule a bad thing in the end. To me I don’t think so. And after six years as a studio owner, my small has now paid off big.
4. Throw a bone to someone else. Do your neighbors know you? Have they been to your yoga studio? Do you share clients? You should know this; in today’s economy, free advertising is some of the best advertising you can find, and that includes word of mouth. Part of my business includes helping other businesses get business. I am constantly talking up surrounding businesses that I love, students trust my judgment and with some I try to think up unique ways we can work together. Because they could be keeping your #1 best client from coming in your doors and you could for them too. So buddy up and talk it up, you will be pleasantly surprised at the things and opportunities that come your way simply from a kind gesture like this one.
5. Ask for help. This is a hard one, and your business budget may not allow you to hire out help at this moment, however, help comes at various prices. I for many years did everything and went into this with the mindset knowing it would have to be mainly me or I would never make it. And that being said, asking for help can many of times be your road block to really growing. Not everyone wants to work for money. What about a trade, barter, or even a volunteer, a friend or family member who is constantly saying “if you need any help”. Hello! Let them help. Even if it’s washing your studio floors, or entering new client information, or checking in students. These little tasks add up to a lot of time, time you could be spending with family or on more important business matters. If you are anything like me, your studio is your baby and like a baby you eventually have to let someone else watch them, feed them and assist in the growing process. This may be that time for you. This sits very deep to my core being for me; I grew up in a family that one parent never asked for help, and because of that I see much suffering. Something like this for many is a personal limitation that could be blocking our overall success in life ventures.
Because anything that comes your way in business and in life know that it’s all opportunity for you, a being of light - to grow, to expand, and to learn a little bit more about yourself. It’s just a matter of being patient, trusting and taking it one step at a time.