5 mistakes to avoid when selling your studio

5 mistakes to avoid when selling your studio

No question – right now is a challenging time to own a yoga studio. You may be considering selling your studio or simply closing your doors. But here’s the thing – now is not the time for rash decisions. When you consider selling your studio, you need to tap into your business mind. Think formulaically and scientifically – because there IS a science to a successful sale. 

Truth→ Humans are wired to hold onto things. We don’t want to let go. 

It is hugely important that you have an exit strategy. When should that strategy be put into place? From the beginning. You may be thinking, “Why would I think about an exit strategy when I’m so excited about opening a studio and living my dream?” 

Fair question. 

If you put yourself in the space of thinking about where you want to be five years from now, you may see yourself moving on from your studio. Knowing that you want to be in the place of selling a thriving studio helps you plan for that day. Every action you take in your business now should work toward the business you want to have five years from now.   

“But I didn’t plan, Josh. And now it’s time to sell.”

Okay, so let’s talk about that. I get it. You didn’t plan for this year. No one could have. And now might be the time you need to sell your yoga studio. Some studio owners have simply locked their doors and walked away because they didn’t know what else to do.  

Not you. 

It’s all about the plan. 

The good news is that the market is slowly getting back to normal. We see more buyers coming back and they’re ready to buy. This means you need to be ready to sell. 

We’re going to talk about five issues that will come up as you’re selling. Selling doesn’t always go smoothly. Be prepared for hiccups. Be ready for these issues and have a strategy. 

Be ready to sell like a wizard.

Issue #1: Landlords

Your buyer may want to simply take over your existing lease. However, be aware that your landlord may have different plans and want to negotiate a new lease. Look out for this issue and keep communication open. 

Issue #2: Outstanding Pre-Paid Packages

Members who purchase pre-paid packages are a great asset – for you. When you go to sell, however, the revenue from those packages has already been collected – by you. Realize that having a large number of outstanding packages will not be seen as a positive by your buyer – and have an answer ready. 

Issue #3: Attorneys

If you are not using a licensed real estate broker, your attorney will play a larger role. Be aware, this can cause more issues as well as lead to higher costs for you. Things that a broker would take care of as part of their set fee will be charged to you by a lawyer at his or her hourly rate. It’s worth crunching the numbers and considering a broker, depending on your situation. 

Issue #4: Cold Feet

There is a well known saying, “Time kills all deals.” Don’t keep your buyer waiting. The sale should move as quickly as possible –  keep your buyer’s enthusiasm high! Any delays gives them a chance to look at other options, question how wise an investment is right now and generally get cold feet. 

Issue #5:Renegotiating

This is another time you need to begin with the end in mind. Before you enter negotiations, decide where you’re willing to give and when you’ll walk away. And stick to it. No matter what gets said in the heat of the moment. 

Selling your studio will be emotional. 

The reason you are selling your studio doesn’t matter. Whether you’ve planned for a sale or circumstances pushed you toward a sale, you’ll feel all the feelings. Be prepared for a roller coaster ride. 

Selling your studio is a process. It will take time. Remember, until the sale is final, your studio is still your business. Do not mentally check out because you’re selling. You are the leader of your business – and business leadership means finishing strong!

For the super relevant information and the tools you need to run your studio, combined with the knowledge of our expert coaches and dedicated yogis check out the Yogapreneur Collective! Run an insanely profitable studio so you can change more lives (and earn a real paycheck)!

Read More

Building a social media strategy for your new normal

Building a social media strategy for your new normal

Time to get serious about social media as a way to promote your studio and build your brand. You really can’t avoid marketing socially any longer.

Over the last few months, your clients have had to move their work, their personal lives and their workouts to social media. 

Truth → We know they’re online, so we need to meet them where they’re at!

Whether you like it or not, your clients are adrift right now. They’re looking for somewhere to go. You need to be ready to do more than announce that your studio is opening soon. You must share that you are ready for them to safely return to your classes and your community!

Truth → Now, more than ever, it’s crucial to have a social media strategy. 

Creating content for social media

When creating content for social media, you have to get clear on who you’re talking to, what they want to hear from you and how to get it in front of them. First think of content your clients will value. Then create this type of social content and add it to your editorial calendar. 

Here are a few ideas:

  • How to videos: Meditation, sun salutations, chaturangas, and breathing techniques are great places to start. 
  • 10 Minute Morning Routine: Help your clients get the day started right with a regular practice.
  • Bedtime Nidra Class: Great for virtual content, because people can crawl into bed right after, relaxed and ready for a good night’s sleep. 
  • 10 Minute Lunch Break Classes: Ab blast, Booty blast, Office Chair Stretches
  • Recipes: Ask your staff to help you out with their favorite smoothies, bowls and salads!
  • Weekly Community Class on Facebook: This eliminates signs ups and makes you more accessible.

Remember, your clients are all coming from different backgrounds and may not be practiced yogis or yoga enthusiasts. Take out the yogi rhetoric when you can – you want your clients to see your studio’s value and not be intimidated!

Amplify your content with targeted ads

Once you have an idea of the content you’ll be posting, it’s important to set up a strategy or plan for your social media ads. Ads amplify your reach by getting people to engage with your content – whether it’s to comment on a video or click on your website. You want them engaging!

Truth → The goal with ads is to amplify your reach!

To help your long term strategy, it’s important to have a Pixel Audience Campaign. Pixel is a little piece of code you add to your website. It collects data that helps you track your audience from Facebook ads, optimize ads, and build targeted ads.

This will allow you to target specific audiences more efficiently so you’re not wasting your hard earned money on ads.

The best strategy is to post all of your videos organically to social media, and then share the link to your email list to get traction. The more views and comments you get, the better you’ll rank in the Facebook algorithm (or any other social media platform). This will help your ads get more views AND amplify your reach!

Budgeting for ads can be a touchy subject since things may be tight for you financially. A little from your wallet can go a long way on social media ads, especially because you’ll be targeting a smaller audience.

Create a social media schedule 

 When it comes to a strategized schedule for ads, it’s important to know what you’re putting out to your audience and when! That way you can schedule targeted emails and not burn any unnecessary mental calories trying to keep track of your posts. You’ll always know what you’ve posted and what comes next.

Check out this sample schedule of video ads:

  • Video #1 Your Opening Plans: What are you doing to keep everyone safe?
  • Video #2 Walk Through: What does it look like coming into the studio?
  • Video #3 Self care: Start changing the conversation around self care. Self care is not selfish – it’s necessary. It’s like flying. You have to put your oxygen mask on first.
  • Video #4 Brand Positioning: Have fun with this! People are over the negativity. Let them know you’re following protocols, but remind them of your value.
  • Video #5 Testimonials: Start looking NOW for people who know and love your brand!
  • Video #6 Special Offerings: Share anything new! Highlight virtual classes as well, in case they aren’t ready to step back into the studio just yet. Keep it positive, we don’t want to plant the seed that they can just resort to the virtual classes.
  • Video #7 Sales Video: Give them a short intro of any specials for the studio – virtual or in the physical studio. Make sure you include a strong call to action. Let them know exactly what you want them to do or buy. 
  • Video #8 Value Videos: Include high-value videos to get members engaged. Anything from how to meditate or do sun salutations to a cooking class. 
  • Video #9 Thank you video: Make sure you thank the front line workers, first responders, and especially your yoga teachers for turning their homes into yoga studios.

Don’t let this overwhelm you! This sample schedule isn’t set in stone. Some of these videos you can combine so you’re not repeating yourself. Think about what’s right for your studio and your members. 

Truth → A solid strategy now will keep your studio successful in the long run.

Remember, there is still work to do but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You’ve shown your yoga superpowers over the last few months – working at 110% and keeping your community together. You’ve got this! 

For more super relevant information, join us for Live Webinars, included in the Yogapreneur Collective. Get these webinars, plus the huge online resource library, private Facebook Group, and access to 1:1 coaching all for just $125.

➡️ To access the YC Webinars and so much more, sign up here.

Read More

How to batch your virtual studio content

How to batch your virtual studio content

Feeling overwhelmed by your virtual studio now that you’re getting classes up and running at your physical location? Maintaining an in-studio class schedule, a virtual class schedule and keeping your community engaged is a lot of work. Or maybe you’ve had to shut your doors again and are back to an all virtual schedule.

Live streaming your in-studio classes may seem like the easiest way, but it’s harder than it sounds. You can have technological difficulty. Members at the studio might not like seeing all your filming equipment. They might add to the noise or confuse virtual students.

Truth → Livestreaming your physical class creates a lot of variables.

In most cases, live streaming during a physical class isn’t the best way to go. It’s tempting because filming a class every day, while teaching in-studio classes isn’t really the best method either. That’s where batching your virtual content comes in.

Batching content is the most efficient way for you to create massive amounts of content. You can streamline the process and build up your library in a way that works around your schedule. Batching content is a very powerful tool to build your virtual studio.

Brainstorm your virtual studio content

The first step to creating good virtual content is to brainstorm what you need. Having a big picture approach takes the guesswork out of your filming days. Otherwise you’ll end up wasting mental calories trying to figure out what to film – while your team is waiting around ready to go.

Consider a variety of content types:

  • Full length classes
  • Shorter length classes
  • Quick stretching guides
  • Posture tutorials

You can also include alternative education tutorials on breathing, nutrition, philosophy and other topics that will round out your member’s yoga practice. The goal is to create a library that showcases what your studio is about. Create a list of your key topics and you’ll always know what to film.

Determine what the foundation of your virtual studio library will be, and batch content for it. It’s not about quantity, it’s about covering your foundational bases. If you have 10-15 videos that really capture what your students most want to learn, you’ll be ready to start. The rest will grow over time.

Schedule time for each phase of content creation

There are three phases for creating yoga content. First, planning and preparation, then filming and creation, and finally editing and distribution. It’s not as simple as scheduling a Saturday for filming. You have to block out time for each of the three phases.

Phase 1: Planning and Preparation – Decide on a video topic and envision what you want the finished video to look like – where it is, what it’s about, and the framing. Your plans don’t need to be hyper-detailed, just enough to keep you on track.

  • Make a bullet-point list of everything you want to cover in the video.
  • Prep and list all the gear you need to film – don’t forget extension cords!
  • Pick a place to film and test out the framing and sound quality.
  • Write your intro and outro for each piece of content.
  • Define your vision and how the video will be used (members only, advertising).
  • Decide what action you want your viewer to take afterwards and write a call to action.
  • Finalize the schedule with all participants.

Phase 2: Filming and Creation – Schedule a day specifically for filming and make the most of it. Once you have your gear set up, take the time to film several classes or tutorials. Before you start TEST EVERYTHING! Now is the time to find out your mic isn’t working, or the camera is set up wrong. Not after you’re done filming.

  • Set up your gear and test everything!
  • Review your shot plan
  • Film! If you make any mistakes, record the clip # and time in a notebook and keep going.
  • Download, upload and back up all videos with clear labels – don’t rely on your memory.  

Phase 3: Editing and Distribution – Now is your chance to remove any mess-ups and put in the final touches. Once everything is branded and looking the way you planned, schedule it’s launch. Keep a calendar to plan your release dates and drip out new content over time, so there’s always something new!

  • Edit your video – add your logo, take out any mess-ups and get it looking great.
  • Upload your new videos to your virtual studio or social media scheduler.
  • Edit any final assets like thumbnails, descriptions and tags.
  • Schedule your video launch and record it in your planning calendar.

Take your impact to the next level.

Don’t stop at creating quality content, make sure everyone sees it! At the minimum you’ll need to write and schedule an email and social media post. Let your members know there’s fresh content in your virtual studio so they can get pumped up!

If you want to take it a step further, atomize the video. You can leverage your content in new ways by editing a shorter video out of it, writing a blog post, additional social media posts, or even creating a supplemental checklist or download. Expand the way members and new clients find out about the great stuff your virtual studio has to offer! 

Get our free download The 3 Step Guide to Batching Content.

Read More

5 Things to do every time you update your website

5 Things to do every time you update your website

We’re in a season of change. We started 2020 with a BIG shift from business as usual to temporarily shuttering our brick and mortar studios and going fully virtual. For many yoga studio owners, it was the first time their studio offered online classes. Now things are shifting again.

Reopening isn’t as simple as flipping the open sign and taking the COVID-19 banner off your website. You’ll probably have new policies for social distancing and a partial reopening. You’ll need to announce the new structure for on demand video or virtual membership. And once we settle into the new normal for the rest of 2020 you’ll need to update again. It’s a confusing time.

Truth → Now more than ever you need your community in the loop.

When people need information about your studio the first place they look is your website. It’s crucial that your website is free of embarrassing slip ups, out of date information and misdirected links at every stage. There are a lot of moving pieces when you’re running a yoga studio, so I’ve created this checklist to make sure nothing gets missed.

STEP 1: UPDATE YOUR MESSAGING

Your core mission probably hasn’t changed much, so you don’t need a full rewrite. Tweaking some headlines and the larger text is all you need. You’re not really changing what your studio is about, just emphasizing a different aspect of it.

Ask yourself: Is my value proposition for right now reflected in the messaging on my website? Does it emphasize safety and helping members be their best for their family and friends? That’s what people are responding to right now.

STEP 2: EVALUATE YOUR INTRO AND PRICING

Does your intro offer include your new virtual product? Do you have two intro offers right now – virtual and full membership? Ask yourself: would someone visiting your website quickly understand what you’re offering right now?

Keep things clear and simple. People are confused and stressed right now. There’s a lot of decision fatigue. Once you know what your pricing is, double check that you didn’t miss a paragraph about your intro offer on another page.

STEP 3: ADD AN ONLINE CLASSES PAGE

Your virtual studio is a unique product and it needs its own sales page. Keeping virtual lumped in with everything else is confusing for potential members AND search engines. This goes for your website even if your videos are hosted by another platform.

This page can be pretty simple. Let people know the pricing for your virtual offer and the schedule if you’re doing live streamed classes. Include a teaser of what your virtual member portal will actually look like – either in a demo video or a screenshot.

STEP 4: SYNC YOUR CTA BUTTONS

Check every single one of your call to action buttons. Make sure they go exactly where you say they’re going. If someone decides to buy something and they end up in the wrong spot, they’re probably not going to buy it.

Take it a step further and make sure its VERY clear exactly what you want someone on your website to do. Don’t be afraid to switch up your target action and the buttons that go along with it. Your offers might need to change as your studio shifts.

STEP 5: UPDATE YOUR THANK YOU PAGE

The thank you page is the easiest to miss, since you don’t see on the front end of your website. Make sure new members get the right information when you confirm and thank them for their purchase.See you in the studio” with a link to your old schedule doesn’t work as well when the physical studio is closed.

Include instructions for the type of classes that apply to them. That could be in studio classes, live stream classes, on demand videos or all of the above. Make sure it aligns with exactly what you’re selling at the time.

Take time this week and run through the checklist. Print it off or bookmark the page so it’s handy every step of the way. Keep your website free of embarrassing slip ups, out of date information and misdirected links.

For more super relevant information for running a successful studio in this new normal, join the Yogapreneur Collective. Get access to lives webinars, plus the huge online resource library, private Facebook Group, and the option to add 1:1 coaching all for just $125.

➡️ To access the YC Webinars and so much more, sign up here.

Read More

Building Racial Equity into your studio

Building Racial Equity into your studio

Racism is a truth. It’s a real life experience for so many people of color. 

You, as a yoga studio owner, have a unique opportunity to be the change and take action in building racial equity. 

TRUTH →  This is your chance to activate change in your studio and build a space of community, peace and love. 

Recently, our Yogapreneur community had the chance to speak to Dr. Monea Abdul-Majeed, a guest presenter who is a Racial Justice Educator and Certified Yoga Teacher. She gave us a crash course in racial equity with tangible takeaways to make our studios and our brands more inclusive and equitable. 

To take action you need to be equipped with the right message. You need to know what racial equity is and how you and your studio have an obligation to uphold this truth. 

Racial equity is giving equal opportunities to people of all races. 

Telling people, “All are welcome!” isn’t enough. You have to do the hard work to listen, learn, and make sure your Black and Latinx clients have the same opportunities in your studio. You NEED to get uncomfortable if you want to make change! 

Truth →  Racial equity isn’t something you can choose, it’s a responsibility if you want to follow the yoga path. 

What does it mean to sit in your discomfort? You need to recognize the areas you have failed or fallen short in – and be ready to fix them!  

Some common roadblocks to building racial equity in yoga studios include:

  • Homogeneity – or thinking we’re all the same. This is super common for yoga studio owners to think their members have more in common than they actually do. Yoga attracts a lot of different people!
    • TRY INSTEAD: Offering classes at different times of the day – not everyone comes from the same economic background. A lot of people have to work!
  • Spiritual bypassing – the common idea that “we are too spiritual to be racist” or “You are not your material body so it shouldn’t matter”. This denies the truth of others!
    • TRY INSTEAD: Recognizing the times you have spiritually bypassed the truth of others. Acknowledge how you can be more present and authentic.
  • Stereotypes – A common one among the yoga community is “Black people don’t practice yoga”. WRONG. Figure out what stereotypes you have built up and work to break them.
    • TRY INSTEAD: Bring in a Racial Equity speaker to educate yourself and your staff. Make sure everyone is ready to actively build equity.

 Confronting roadblocks to racial equity in your business can be hard and uncomfortable, but it’s necessary. It’s okay if you’re not where you want to be. The key is asking for help and moving forward.

 Truth → Nobody does anti-racist work perfectly. You have to keep learning and taking action!

Tangible changes you can start today!

Racism is a daily reality for Black and Latinx people in your community. It doesn’t take a day off or end when it stops trending on social media. Your anti-racism work can’t stop either. How can you make tangible changes in your business to get to racial equity?

Build a FOUNDATION

Equity Statement – Every studio should have one. Stand behind it and call people out if they don’t follow it!

Update your Website – Show different people on your website. Yoga is for everyone!

Check Social Media – Make sure your messaging lines up with your equity statement. Who is being represented in the photos you post? Who is NOT being represented?

Build the EXPERIENCE

  • Learn your client’s names! If you don’t know how to pronounce them, ASK!
  • Start a book club showcasing Black or Latinx authors.
  • If you have a shower, offer shampoo for different hair types.
  • Buy art from Black and Latinx artists. Diversify your music!
  • Invite Black or Latinx guest teachers to teach a class.
  • Reassess the organizations you donate to. There isn’t anything wrong with donating to animal rights, but are there other causes you could financially support?

Build ACCOUNTABILITY

  • Choose an accountability CHAMPION – someone on staff whose job it is to always bring racial equity to the forefront. Pick someone who will hold the studio accountable and help you think outside the box.
  • Train your teachers – Get your teachers to attend courses, see speakers or read books to keep them educated.
  • Include racial equity in EVERY DECISION.

Building racial equity is going to be hard work. It’s your responsibility – as a yoga enthusiast, as a business owner, and more importantly as a human being – to make this a priority.

Truth →  Yoga is for every body.

Put that truth into action by doing the hard work to make racial equity a reality in your studio.

For more super relevant information, including our racial equity webinar recording, join us for The How to Re-Open your Studio Strong Bootcamp Webinars, included in the Yogapreneur Collective. Get these lives webinars, plus the huge online resource library, private Facebook Group, and access to 1:1 coaching all for just $125.

➡️ To access the YC Webinars and so much more, sign up here.

Read More

How to make your yoga studio a safe, profitable and fun environment when you reopen

How to make your yoga studio a safe, profitable and fun environment when you reopen

A successful reopening is about more than going back to the way it was before. Now is the time to make your yoga studio better than ever! You’ve changed and grown as a business owner through these uncertain times and your back with more passion, determination and energy than ever before.

Golden rule of reopening → Know your local laws

The first step to reopening is to learn your local laws. These are going to make or break your studio when it comes to negligence and potential lawsuits. Don’t go by what the news is saying or what other studios are doing. Every area is different, and you don’t want any costly mistakes.

We’re all dealing with a brand-new situation. It’s okay to be overwhelmed. It’s okay to be confused or scared about what comes next. The key is creating a clear strategy to make your opening safe, profitable and fun for you and your members.

Here’s what you’ll be dealing with: limits on the number of people in a room, minimum distances between people, or both. Plus up-leveling your cleaning to make members feel ultra-safe. Let’s take it one step at a time.

Re-design your yoga room

Let’s start at the yoga room. You’ll need to grab a measuring tape and figure out exactly what your rooms dimensions are and how many members can fit. Plan where each mat will be and mark it with tape. The average person won’t be able to correctly space themselves without a mark. Save your members, teachers and yourself the stress and label it ahead of time.

Don’t have a distance requirement? Mark the floor anyway. Even if your city is limiting participants to say 25% capacity in the room, they still won’t want all 25% crammed in the front row. Your members not only want to be safe; they want to feel safe. Taking the time to plan your room layout goes a long way.

Think of it like choreography. How will members enter the room, how will they find their spots and exit? Consider adding taped marks outside the room so members remain spaced apart while they wait to enter. Dismiss them by row so there isn’t a big group socializing by the door.

Test it out with your staff. Don’t skip this step. It’s a great way to get your staff dialed in and identify problems before the members show up. Once you’ve ironed out the kinks record it and send it to your members.

Communication is key to a smooth opening

Make sure your members know what to expect. Send an email blast and let them know they can’t congregate in communal spaces. Give them a heads up on closed changing rooms and any other changes. Include a video on how they’re supposed to enter and exit the yoga space. Demonstrate proper mat set up and hang pictures of what that looks like.

Truth → The more prepared your members are the easier it will be.

Put yourself in the member’s shoes. What kind of questions will they ask? What will their concerns be? Answer all those questions ahead of time in an email sequence, on social media, your website or all three.

  • Will you have mats available? Are you expecting your members to bring their own mats? Will the rental process look different than normal? Will they only be available for purchase?
  • How will the mats be cleaned? Most yoga studios provide spray cleaner or wipes members grab after class. That’s not a great option now. Do you want students to clean their mats at home? Will individual cleaning supplies be offered?
  • What extra cleaning precautions are you taking? Show that your cleaning processes are more robust. Use chemical cleaning agents and make sure you’re cleaning high touch hard surfaces often. Don’t be shy about these changes. Members want to know to make them feel safe.
  • Do members have to pre-register? Classes will be smaller than before. You’ll need to have members pre-register for class and sign a new waiver. Denying drop-ins, even if you have room, will go a long way to making members feel safe in the space.
  • Can members pay in person? Encourage your members to pay online. This will streamline the class set up process and cut back on exchange of credit cards and money. You’ll limit close quarters interactions and keep everyone feeling safer.
  • Do members have to wear a mask? Your area may require all members to wear masks while they’re in the studio. If it does that’s an easy answer. If not consider having your staff wear masks to protect members in case they’re asymptomatic carriers. Either way, providing masks for free or purchase is a good call.

Remember to keep it fun

You need to follow the new rules to keep yourself, your staff and your members safe. That’s a given. But people are still coming to you for a yoga experience. Do what you can to give them the experience they expect from your studio.

You want your studio to be clean, but not so sterile and clinical people don’t enjoy being in the space. Rearrange your furniture or put up a fresh coat of paint to make the space feel new and inviting. Pleasant scents, positive music and fresh flowers brighten up any space. Welcome back signs are a MUST. Let your members know you’ve missed them and you’re excited to have them!

For more super relevant information, join us for The Re-Open Strong Challenge, For just $27.

This Challenge and so much more is included in the Yogapreneur Collective.

Read More

Inclusivity in the Yoga Industry

Inclusivity in the Yoga Industry

Yoga business owners are being called to action, to talk about inequality and marginalized groups in their communities. 

Yoga studios have always had a mission that is inherently humanitarian: they aim to help people improve their lives and ultimately improve the world. 

Over the last decade almost all the studios I’ve worked with desire and claim to be safe, inclusive, non-judgmental spaces for all people. In fact, I can definitively tell you that the most common core value amongst yoga studios is “Inclusivity” and the most common marketing catch phrase has been “Yoga For Every Body.” 

But recent worldwide protests and demonstrations against inequality and racism have called all of us to action in a new way.

How can studio owners take action to improve racial equity in their business and in the yoga industry as a whole? 

I’ve been getting a lot of contact from studio owners asking, what’s the right thing to do here? What actions can we take to support this movement? And should studios even do or say anything? 

And for many of you as owners, I know that the answers to these questions may not be obvious.

TRUTH —  Not knowing exactly what to do is okay. Doing nothing is not.

But the other thing I would highlight is that just by reading this, you are actively looking for an answer. And this already indicates that you’re on the right path. 

I need to preface everything in this article by saying: I’m not an expert in this subject matter, especially not around the black lives matter movement. But I believe we are all being called to action to learn more.

Let’s talk about INCLUSIVITY.

I find it fascinating that most yoga studios that I’ve worked with over the last 10+ years list “Inclusivity” as one of the pillars, or core values, of their business. 

It’s important to look internally, as yoga teaches us, and understand that saying that Inclusivity is one of our core values does not actually make us inclusive. 

TRUTH — Simply saying that you’ll accept anyone in your business, and that you would be happy for them to be there and take their money does not make you inclusive.

We’re at a moment in time where we have a really powerful opportunity to actually ACT ON what we’ve been saying all along. 

It’s important that we take advantage of this moment and take action now. 

Remember, when COVID hit, you were forced to modernize your business and create change very quickly. From figuring out how to digitize your offerings, renegotiate with your teachers and your landlord, and get a lawyer involved to update your waivers and contracts, you got it done because you were called to action and there were no other options. 

That ability to be flexible and pivot in the moment demonstrates the strength that you truly have. 

Right now you are being called to action by this movement, these protests and worldwide demonstrations. You are being called to act just as quickly and decisively and to potentially be willing to shift aspects of your business. 

The truth is these are all things that we should have been working on for a long time now. I’m sure for example, that creating a virtual yoga studio prior to COVID is something that you had always thought was a good idea and meant to get around to, but just didn’t prioritize. 

Studio owners want to be inclusive, but the truth is, this takes education and work. It doesn’t just happen on its own. We should have been working on this equally as diligently but for many owners, it just hasn’t been the primary focus. 

Now is the time to put inclusivity into practice.

The first question that I’ve received loud and clear is: Should we say or do anything at all?

The absolute answer is yes. There are a few reasons for this.

  1. GET OVER YOUR FEAR. If you’re questioning doing or saying something, it’s most likely because you’re afraid. It might be a fear of not knowing what to say, saying the wrong thing, being ridiculed, or appearing to align yourself politically in a way that would deter some people from patroning your business, ultimately —  it’s a fear of potential loss. 

TRUTH — Fear is something you’ve got to get over. Right now there are more people watching and taking account of businesses that are doing nothing. The silence from many people, organizations and businesses is extremely loud… it’s deafening.

  1. THIS IS HUMANITARIANISM. As a wellness business owner, you’re aligned with the humanitarian cause of improving people’s lives. Racial discrimination is not a political issue; it’s a humanitarian issue. It’s really as simple as that. 
  1. YOGA FOR EVERY BODY. This catch phrase has dominated messaging in the yoga industry for years. Clients that we work with on marketing and branding for their website and social media regularly have the awareness of wanting to represent clients who are male and female, young and old, and of varying body shapes and sizes. But I honestly cannot say the same focus has been placed on representing different races and ethnicities. And although I think that it’s totally unconscious, that omission — that silence — says a lot. 

This is not about pointing the finger and laying blame. This speaks to the need to become aware of our complete ignorance to the situation — as individuals, businesses, and as an industry.

So what should you say? 

If you believe in anti-racism, it’s really important that you do say something. 

Say exactly what you think and feel without fear of negative repercussions. But speak to what you actually know. This isn’t political. It’s not just business. As a studio owner, you have the opportunity for a deeper interaction with your clients and community. 

I cannot tell you exactly what you should say. But I can tell you that it needs to be authentic. 

And importantly, what you do say to your community should not be about you. The number of messages focussed on how the writer feels bad, hasn’t done enough, and acknowledges their white privilege is surprising. Introspection is clearly important but your message needs to be empowering and illuminating to your community, and give them an opportunity to be the main character in the story – not you.  

What can you do right now?

  • Most importantly educate yourself and do your own internal work. This may start with a complete dismantling of your current understanding, lack of understanding or misunderstanding of the situation.
  • Lead your team. Organize and pay for education for your staff on this issue. Promote their continued learning on racial discrimination and improving racial equity. 
  • If inclusivity is part of your business values, update your staff training and studio policies to reflect this.
  • Consider putting up signage and/or posting on your website that your business supports the rights of all human beings. Your business is your platform for communication and you have an opportunity to create awareness and positive change. This also clearly demonstrates that your studio is a safe space for all people to come and participate in your classes. 
  • Take inventory of the images on your website and social media channels and become more aware of the message you’re sending. Your online images are sending a very clear message of who your product is for and who is welcome in your studio.

What about fundraisers? 

Many studios have already done fundraisers and made donations to charities. This strategy has potential, but a super important detail is often missed. 

TRUTH — Businesses and their clients can’t pay their way out of racial inequity.

Money is not an answer to this problem, and giving your community an opportunity to pay their way out of the conversation is not an answer either. So having a fundraiser in itself is not enough.

Raising funds for an organization or charity IS a good idea, but be sure to have a clear purpose and include an educational component to the event. The event needs to raise awareness if it’s going to make a difference, not just money.

Finally, please understand that creating racial equity is not a right now thing, and it never has been. There’s no single statement you can make, email you can send, or social media post you can put up. This has to become part of the fabric of the business. 

What we’re doing right now:

We believe business leadership is the most important leadership of our time. This is why we’re bringing in an expert to educate our team and members of the Yogapreneur Collective on how to bring more racial equity into the yoga business.

Join us Tuesday June 16th 1:30-3:30 CST for a special Bonus YC Webinar, Racial Equity in the Yoga Business, led by a special guest presenter with a doctorate in sociology and political science who is a Racial Justice Educator and Certified Yoga Teacher. 

In this webinar, members will learn: 

  • Mindfulness techniques to break down racism and rebuild a foundation for racial equity in your business. 
  • Racial equity vocabulary to develop shared language.
  • Tangible steps that you can take to embed racial equity into your business model. 

You’ll also receive access to the webinar recording. To access this webinar and all member resources, join the Yogapreneur Collective. 

Read More

Position your virtual library to support your brick-and-mortar yoga studio

Position your virtual library to support your brick-and-mortar yoga studio

Setting up a virtual yoga studio might not have been in your plans, but you have one now. Yoga studio owners around the world had to transition to online classes to make their studio work during this challenging time.

It was unexpected – maybe even unpleasant – to try new technology and expand into the virtual marketplace. But now that you’re there… you can take advantage of exciting new opportunities.

Truth → With the right positioning, your online classes can drive membership sales.

You may be tempted to step away from video recording all together once your studio opens again. That’s a mistake. A strong virtual yoga library is a MAJOR value add for your studio membership. Think of it as a tool to drive your membership sales.

Your virtual studio exists to support your in-person membership

Selling memberships is all about communicating value. If all people wanted was to do some stretching postures at home, they’d look up a few free videos and call it a day. Your members come to you because your studio offers them something special.

They value the community, experience and expertise that you offer. People are sold on emotion, not logic. Your members believe a regular practice at your studio will make their lives better – more balanced, healthy, relaxed. They’ll in turn be able to better care for their families.

Truth → An on demand video library is another way you can show up for your members.

Knowing you offer an on demand video library with membership shows you have a comprehensive, holistic view of their health. Even if they don’t participate very actively in your online studio, it adds value to your membership. This feature can get people over the hump to sign up, especially if they live further away.

Your virtual studio has to be high quality

The virtual yoga library you’ve created is its own product line. Even though its primary purpose is growing your membership, it has to stand on its own two feet. It’s time to up your game.

Truth → People accepted lower quality video during quarantine; they won’t forever.

You had to pivot quickly while your yoga studio was closed. Your members understand that you weren’t any more prepared for a global pandemic than they were. If your video was a little rough or the sound quality was just okay – they got it.

Now it’s time to up your game. Moving forward your virtual studio must be at a higher standard. If members are paying for it as a value add they expect it to add value. The good news is, you probably won’t be running online classes.

Shooting on demand videos is easier to fit into your schedule, and you have more time to test your setup. If the video looks a bit off, don’t post it. Make sure your on demand library lives up to the experience your members expect every time they walk into your studio.

Don’t devalue your virtual studio.

Don’t get caught in a race to the bottom. You’re not competing with larger virtual brands that charge $5 a month. Their business model is to get as many people around the country or globe as possible to make those numbers work. Yours is locally focused.

A virtual studio isn’t just a small perk members get when they sign up. It can be much more than that. Your expertise is valuable. Members show up because of the unique experience they get at YOUR studio doing yoga you’re an expert in. An ultra-low price point undermines your value message.

Truth → A quality virtual studio can also be used as a down sell or a stand alone product.

Post quality content regularly and your virtual studio can be more than an addition to your membership. You can offer it as a stand-alone product for members who live farther away. Try throwing in a few live classes a month with it and price it lower than an all included membership.

For more super relevant information, join us for The How to Re-Open your Studio Strong Bootcamp Webinars, included in the Yogapreneur Collective. Get these lives webinars, plus the huge online resource library, private Facebook Group, and access to 1:1 coaching all for just $125.

➡️ To access the YC Webinars and so much more, sign up here.

Read More

How Can I Lower my Studio’s Expenses?

How Can I Lower my Studio’s Expenses?

Things are tight right now. Your studio is facing a completely unexpected financial hurdle. The good news is everyone else is, too… so you have a lot of options.

Most countries and states have programs available to help small businesses, and EVERYTHING can be negotiated.

Now is the time to guard your cash flow. You want to lower your expenses as much as possible, so you have the assets you need to run your yoga studio. Most businesses fail, not because they have nothing of value, but because they lack cash flow.

Truth → Lowering your studio’s expenses is the first step.

Your biggest expenses are rent, any business loans or debt you’re carrying, and your payroll. There may be some wiggle room. It never hurts to ask.

Let’s talk about rent.

Your landlord may be willing to work with you on the rent. That might mean they’re open to negotiation or payment flexibility, especially if they’re getting a break on their own mortgage. Get on their radar now.

Truth → Ask BEFORE you get to a place of desperation.

Don’t burn through your entire rainy day fund and then ask your landlord for a break. Go to them NOW, before every other tenant does. Be professional and clear about what you need.

Emphasize that you’re working hard to make things work long term. Your studio’s success will be a win for both you AND your landlord. Come from a place of teamwork and long-term partnership.

Give your landlord the opportunity to be the hero. They might be more open to negotiation than you’d think, especially if you’re one of their anchor stores. Finding another tenant can be challenging in the best of times. Right now, businesses aren’t looking for physical spaces to rent.

Bring the best version of yourself to the table, keep things professional, and get the conversation started. The worst they can do is say, “No.”

Everything is open to renegotiation.

If you have business loans or other debt, now is the time to talk about refinancing. Interest rates are incredibly low due to economic instability, and many countries have assistance programs in place.

Truth → Banks are willing to work with you more than ever before – that goes for personal loans and mortgages, too.

Your business may also qualify for a new, low-interest loan if you need it. These programs are new, and the infrastructure isn’t always there to process applications. Get your application in as soon as possible if that’s something you want to take advantage of.

Restructuring your payroll

Payroll is another huge expense for your yoga studio. It’s going to shrink somewhat as you transition to online classes because you won’t be running as many classes each day. You won’t necessarily have much for your front desk or cleaning staff to do. But that may not be enough.

You want to stand by your staff and help them as much as you can, but you simply won’t be able to pay them as much as a few months ago when the studio was fully operational.

Truth → The most important thing you can do for your staff is make them feel supported and cared for.

You’ll probably have to cut pay for online vs. in person classes, but those classes also require less prep-work and time talking to students. That pay cut might make sense when you explain it as if they were hourly employees.

No matter what happens with payroll, make sure your staff know you care about their success. Keep the conversation going and control the narrative.

Check your recurring expenses

While you’re lowering your studio’s expenses take a look at your recurring payments. Autopayments can fly under the radar, especially if they’re lower amounts. Now is a great time to make sure you’re still using all those services regularly and they’re essential to your business right now. These expenses are typically smaller, but they can add up.

None of this is easy. Things are changing so quickly in the world right now. Making sure your studio changes along with it is hard work. Remember to prioritize your mental health as you make these hard choices. Take a moment to exhale. You can do this.

Struggling to adjust your studio to social distancing rules? Confused about what to do next to keep your studio running? Get The Ultimate Studio Survival Guide during Social Distancing so you can respond with confidence and keep money coming into your studio during this time. Take action now to get our special PAY WHAT YOU CAN pricing. Click here to get started!  

Read More

Want your yoga studio to stand out? Focus on messaging.

Want your yoga studio to stand out? Focus on messaging.

Your studio can become a local authority, synonymous with quality yoga. 

Your messaging will get you there…this strategy has worked for many well-known brands. Coca-Cola has even made themselves synonymous with Christmas. Not only are they recognized around the world, but when we think of a polar bear it’s often Coca-Cola and not melting ice caps that come to mind. That’s the power of messaging.

That didn’t just happen for Coke. Brand recognition didn’t just fall into their laps. It took years of messaging and marketing to get them to the forefront of everyone’s mind. But, don’t let that discourage you. The good news is you don’t have to create a globally recognized brand like Coca-Cola, at least not when you’re starting out.

You just need recognition in your own market. When a local mother standing in her kitchen realizes her shoulders are tight her first thought should be “I need to destress and loosen these muscles”. Her second thought should be, “I should book a class at *insert your yoga studio here*”.

When people in your community know who you are, what you do and what benefits you’ll provide them they will flock to your doors. Set yourself up as an expert in your signature style of yoga, meditation or whatever makes your studio unique. Make sure the people you serve know what to expect when they visit and why you’re different from your competition.

After a while, your competition won’t even exist in their minds. Any mention of yoga in your town will make people think of you. Be different early and often, so you stand out. Find your sweet spot and use it to set your studio apart in your community.

You’ve settled on your brand identity. But, how do you let everyone know? Messaging. 

This is where consistency and content domination come in. People need to know about your studio and what you’re doing. You have to interact with them, and the best way to do this is with content. Create quality content that adds value to your students’ (and potential students’) lives.

Creating content can seem daunting. Where do you even start? The first thing to realize is your content must be quality content – something that’s usable, actionable and strong. 

It’s not always easy to think through what your audience wants and create it for them. The good news is it’s hard for everyone. From the biggest brand names to the smallest mom-and-pop shops, creating quality content is hard for everyone. It’s one thing that levels the playing field.

Ready to get started? Here’s what I recommend. 

START WITH THE BASICS. Yoga is pretty mainstream now, so you don’t need to explain yoga to people. But, lots of people in your town are probably still unclear on its benefits. What do your students get from the type of yoga you offer? Why should people practice yoga (and check out your studio) instead of doing other forms of movement? What makes your yoga studio special?

Competition is high and income is low, so people often choose based on convenience and price. That’s our normal default decision making, but we are willing to make better decisions when we have more information. Your job is to give potential students the info they need to make good choices. 

Who among us isn’t willing to go an extra 10 blocks and pay four times as much for good coffee? And just think of the arguments over what defines “good coffee.” We go to these lengths because we understand the value our favorite coffee offers.

Take charge of the conversation about your type of yoga. Teach people how to think about “good movement” and why YOUR STUDIO is worth the effort. 

THE NEXT STEP IS CONSISTENCY. You’ve provided high quality content and gotten new students through the door. That’s awesome! But it doesn’t stop there. In my experience it takes three to six months for people to become committed regulars.

During that time, they haven’t fully grasped what your studio is about. They haven’t  made up their minds or embraced your community. That’s why consistency is so key. Communicate your value to new students – -> heavily and frequently. Plant those seeds and water them so they clearly understand what you do and why you do it. That’s how you take them out of the intro offer and into membership.

Clearly defined messaging brings new people into your yoga studio and keeps them there for the long haul. 

Once people in your community know who you are and what you do, your classes will fill up. Your retention rates will increase. People in your town will even become brand evangelists for you… bringing new people in your doors. All this goodness starts with clear messaging and content domination. So, get busy! 

Unsure what your messaging should be and how to create great content to promote your studio and make your brand memorable? Hop on a FREE Strategy Session with me. Let’s talk about how you can use content to keep your classes filled and build the amazingly successful studio of your dreams. 

Read More