Shannon Brasovan, Two-Brain Yoga Business Mentor
So you’re out of cash again and wondering how you’re going to pay the rent next month.
Or maybe your studio is stable but you’d like to increase revenue.
Whatever your situation, this plan can add about $25,000 to your yoga business:
Start a foundations program.
Foundations: One on One
When we talk about foundations programs in yoga, we’re often referring to a group course that runs two weeks to a month or a “beginners yoga class” that sits on your schedule and is rarely attended by more than five people at a time. Both of these programs might make a little money or perhaps help with retention, but they are generally money pits.
I’m not talking about this type of program.
A better foundations program: five to eight one-on-one sessions geared to a student’s goals and exact level.
A private foundations program helps a student come into the practice less like a deer in headlights and enables the practitioner to feel prepared and secure. It also creates a deeper personal relationship with an instructor and adds accountability that can help turn a short-term commitment into a lifelong practice.
A foundations program like this provides:
1. Comfort. Instead of dropping into a class and wondering what’s going on, students have a one-on-one experience. They safely go through the movements and decode the lingo. Meeting privately allows students to ask the questions they might be too nervous to ask in a group setting: “What do I wear?” and “Is it a cult?” and “Can I do yoga if I can’t touch my toes?”
2. Safety. We have all had students whose movements are far from perfect. We gingerly walk over and try to whisper some options to increase safety, and they grumble, try but don’t get it or flat out ignore us. Meeting one on one adds accountability and increases safety. You can work with students to find the alignment that’s best for their bodies without embarrassing them or growing frustrated yourself.
3. Focus. Yoga is thousands of years old and has hundreds of different goals. The practice has a different meaning for everyone. Trying to explain all that to new students in a class setting is confusing and won’t let them determine exactly why they want to practice. Meeting one on one allows you to work with students and guide them to focus. With that base in place, they’ll approach yoga with a steady mind instead of feeling pulled in a thousand directions.
4. Financial benefit to the studio. If you offer a foundations program that is five sessions long for $375 and then sell 10 a month, you will generate an extra $45,000 a year! We recommend holding staff costs at or below 44 percent of gross revenue, so if you give your teachers about 44 percent of that, they will make an additional $19,000 a year or so, and the studio will still earn $25,000. It’s win-win—plus a third win because the student who receives one-on one teaching will be set up for long-term success.
How to Start a Foundations Program
Begin with the end in mind. Decide what a student at your studio would need to safely start practicing in class. Write out a curriculum that can be delivered in five to eight sessions. Would they be 45 or 60 minutes? What would the focus be—asana, pranayama, meditation? Do elements of the program change depending on the student?
Start to develop the program. Consider offering it first to current students who could use a refresher. Evaluate their experience and ask them for feedback.
Next, decide when you can offer foundations. You’ll have to coordinate both space and staff availability. To line up your instructors, find out who has the availability and flexibility to lead foundations sessions. Offer staff training and be sure to clearly state the financial benefit for them.
Now, begin! Start asking your best clients if they know anyone who would benefit from a yoga practice but is too scared to try (we call this “Affinity Marketing”).
So how will you utilize the extra $25,000 you generate? Leave a comment below!
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