Do you think you want to open or a manage a yoga school? Many instructors would rather teach part-time and leave the headaches to professional business managers who are formally trained in business and marketing tactics. The accomplished teacher who doesn’t want to market his or her skills is much like the author who doesn’t want to spend weekends at book signings. Let’s face it, successful yoga schools are often run by managers who learn the complicated science and arts of business.
Trust and Ethics
Teaching yoga is something that can build trust between the student and the teacher, and which can provide a good environment for one to spread their own knowledge of the art form we love. However, if someone plans to teach yoga as a business, that opens up a whole different can of worms, and it will require a lot of hard decisions on the part of the teacher who should primarily work to always be ethical when making those decisions.
Yoga and Business Ethics
While the idea of turning what was originally a non-commercial way of life into a business might seem wrong to some people, if one is going to teach and run a yoga school professionally then they need to do it right. If you are going to run a non-profit business, you still need the skills of a master grant writer and an accountant. This is still no guarantee that you will receive a grant to open or run your school. If you organize a “for profit” business, you will need to understand marketing, how to stay alive in a business environment, and you’ll need a plan.
To that end it means that someone needs to have a business plan, they need to treat their employees and clients well, and they need to make sure they can provide the services that are paid for. This means that the owner needs to take a long, hard look at the costs a business will incur, and attempt to estimate how much money can be made versus how much will go out.
The Yoga Boom and Struggling Entrepreneurs
While yoga has boomed among the general populace, used by everyone from soccer moms to veterans with PTSD, there has been a struggle among those who run studios. The problem is the same one that befalls many people who attempt to make a business out of something they love; it won’t be successful without business savvy. That doesn’t mean that teachers should gouge their students or underpay their teachers – quite the opposite, in fact. Business savvy is the ability of a business owner to step back and look at what they’re doing as an investment, and as a business, rather than as an art form. Painters, writers, and musicians all have to learn that it isn’t enough just to create; they have to make a commitment to their art and sell it at a fair price.
Yoga business owners should strive to apply the tenets that they use in their teaching to their business practices. Fairness, honesty, and willingness to work hard will grow a business much more efficiently than attempting to make up debts with gimmick offers and merchandise that students don’t actually need. At the same time, charging for services and products is a matter of survival for every business. That is the real key to being able to run a successful yoga school.
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