The decisions you make before you open the door to your yoga studio can catapult or kill your business. One of the key choices you’ll make is your yoga studio space.
It’s said that the desirability and value of all real estate is location, location, location. But when it comes to leasing a space for a profitable yoga studio, the definition of “location” needs to be a bit broader in scope. Simply being on the trendy strip will not ensure you of a financially successful enterprise. It will ensure that you’ll be paying high rent. It will also mean that because your higher rent you will have less flexibility to last when and if your studio stumbles. Don’t get me wrong. Being on the most popular street with unbelievable foot traffic and exposure can be a boon to opening a studio and could ultimately be a fantastic choice. But it is a calculated risk and one that should be considered greatly.
Another option might be a location just off the beaten path. Yoga studios can be considered a destination in themselves. They don’t need to be located next to retail, or Starbucks, or anything for that matter. But what has to be considered is: how difficult is it to get there? How is the parking? What is the rent cost? And how many yoga studios are already in the area? These are four external consideration that can directly impact the performance of your studio.
What about the space itself? Is it the right size and shape? Does it accommodate enough students in an average class to meet your business costs and profit projections? I remember a fairly successful Yoga studio I once knew opened a studio in a new area. They chose a converted house. It looked cool from the outside, but the shape of the room was so odd that it was uncomfortable to practice in once there were more than ten or so people. Ultimately, the location failed. Layout the mats, on paper at least, to ensure you have enough space based on your business model.
The floors mean everything in your studio. Concrete in the boutique area is fine, but the practicing rooms I like best have wood flooring. Students are barefoot and the difference in a room with a floating wood floor versus a wood floor sitting flatly on a concrete slab is noticeable. The floating wood floor with joists or risers below allows the floor to give slightly under the weight of someone. It is forgiving and warm. A wood floor on slab will feel hard, inflexible and even cool to the touch because the temperature of the cool concrete underneath can radiate up through the floor. Make sure you factor in the cost of floor improvements if they are going to be needed. Get multiple quotes because this cost can add up.
What about the ceiling height? The higher the better. You often look up in yoga. And staring into a ceiling that is just a few feet away can feel claustrophobic, specially for tall people. You want your gaze to be soft when practicing. So get some space above you and make sure it is clean, if not unremarkable.
How is the heating and cooling? How old is the unit? Who will pay for it’s repair if it breaks? Building owners can bury these details in the fine print, sometimes with aging units operating in the space. HVAC repairs can be expensive and not always timely, which if you are offering a Hot Yoga Class can be crushing to your students and you. My wife worked for a huge studio that had a heating unit not working for more than 6 months. It took that long just to negotiate expenses with the building owner. Needless to say,class size dwindled.
You need bathroom facilities. Not every yoga studio is going to warrant a large footprint for a bathroom, but there are some bare necessities. People need to change clothes if not use the facilities. It must be clean, and function well. I’m a huge believer that a bathroom is a reflection of how any business is cared for as a whole. It’s a place that you may be silently staring at your surroundings. So if need be, factor in the cost of paint, replacing a toilet or faucet or even a lighting fixture to give it a little character. You don’t have to spend a lot, but let them know you care.
Finally, what is your vision for this space? Can you see the character in it, or what you can create with it? A yoga studio is often a spiritual place for people. And the atmosphere plays a real role in the students experience. Is there natural light? What view if any does it have? How can you give it the character you want with color and lighting? Imagine what the photos of the studio will look like when it‘s completed. At My Best Studio website design and yoga Studio software we suggest to clients that they use, among others, photo’s of their yoga space to capture the essence, the feel of their studio. Your website’s your calling card so make an impact!
Education, clear vision and a willingness to make the right choices is the path to happy studio doors swinging wildly! If you have an experience to share, maybe something that worked or didn’t work for your studio, please send me a note.Jeff@Mybeststudio.com