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April 27, 2015
You are going through something that everyone on this forum has experienced, but let's look at it closer.
1. Friday night yoga students are dedicated beyond average or they don't have any plans. This is a couple's night and so is Saturday. If possible, switch to a Monday night, which is Yoga prime time.
2. Berkeley is very competitive and probably the second most competive yoga market in comparison to San Francisco.
3. It's only going to get slower until January. The holidays are a good excuse to slack off and eat too much.
4. Are you locked into a lease? Can you switch the time for that space to Monday easily? That price is too high, if your access is only for 75 minutes a week. In that case - renegotiate. If you have 24/7 access, bring some partners into that space (pilates, chi kung, other styles of yoga, tai chi, meditation, etc).
5. This economic downturn will not go away instantly. Even if Obama can perform miracles, 2009 looks like a very rough ride for all of us that are NOT getting a government bail out. We just pay for bail outs to rich bankers.
6. Do you have a site or a blog? You can get a free blog at http://www.blogger.com you could title it Berkeley Yoga, Sherry Fraser Berkeley Yoga, or anything creative that points to your neighborhood. If you keep posting daily, you will have a free web page with a first page SEO ranking (priceless).
7. Business is just plain tough everywhere, but if you have the patience, you will build a student base. If your rent is $140 or $170 per month that is an experiment not a financial disaster. Use it as a test. Hang on, if you can afford to. If you can't, then break the lease and find a better deal.
Let us know about the details of your lease.
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