How to Start a Yoga Studio

According to Statista, over 34 million people in the US regularly practice yoga. A yoga studio allows yoga practitioners to meet with fellow yoga enthusiasts and learn techniques. Are you wondering how to start a yoga studio? This article will examine steps like choosing your business name, finding a location, and the yoga insurance needed to boost income.

How to Start a Yoga Studio

To start a successful yoga studio, you must plan your business ahead of time. You must follow steps like choosing a business name, registering your business, creating a website, and more:

Decide Your Business Name

Are you interested in learning how to start a yoga studio business? The first important step is deciding what to call your business. A business name provides benefits like allowing you to register your business under different business structures and opening a business bank account. Take care in choosing your business name. Once you decide what it should be, changing it once it is official can be costly and time-consuming.

Your business name should be simple and memorable. You want your name to stick out in the minds of your customers. Make it easy to spell so customers can easily look up the website for your business online. Your name should also communicate the benefits of your business. Choose a name like “Expert Yoga” to emphasize the benefit of expertise your business provides customers.

Register Your Business

Once you have settled on what your business should be called, you must register your business as a legal entity before starting operations. The steps to register your business legally include:

  • Business structure: In your state, you must choose how your business is structured. A sole proprietorship allows you to be the sole owner and is inexpensive to form. Another business structure is a limited liability company (LLC). LLCs are more expensive to form than sole proprietorships but grant you liability protection from business debts. You could also choose to form a corporation. A corporation is owned by shareholders who are protected from business liabilities. Corporations are more expensive to form and must follow additional rules. In addition, they are subject to taxation on both business profits and shareholder dividends.

  • Employer identification number: An employer identification number (EIN) is a tax number used to identify your business with the IRS. You can apply for an EIN for free on the IRS website. An EIN is required if you want to hire employees or open a business bank account.

  • Zoning permits: To operate a commercial business in your local area, you often need to apply for the proper zoning permits. You can apply for a permit at your local city hall or online.

Open a Business Bank Account

A business bank account is another step toward learning how to start a yoga business. With a business bank account, you have an official-sounding place for your customers to write checks to. With a merchant services account, you can process customer credit card transactions. Below are a few common types of business bank accounts banks offer:

Bank Account Type Benefits Drawbacks
Business Checking Pay bills, send and receive payments Doesn’t earn interest, monthly service fees
Business Savings Earn interest on deposited income Low return on investment compared to other investment strategies
Merchant Services Process debit and credit card transactions Have to deal with scams and chargebacks
Money market Earn interest through a variable interest rate More fees, harder to withdraw cash

Build a Network of Contacts and Clients

As you are starting out, creating a network of contacts is critically important. You will want to reach out to other yoga instructors and businesses to create a working relationship. With a working relationship, you can help each other find employee candidates and keep up with trends in the industry. Don’t hesitate to leverage friends and family members to help you find clients. Use your personal network to help promote and recommend your new business.

Start a Website

One of the best ways to start getting your business name out there and starting new clients is to start a website. Through a website, you can expand your visibility to the millions of people who use the internet daily. According to Zippia, 81% of customers research a business online before purchasing. Customers often look for information about your business and read reviews of other clients. The steps to starting a website include:

  1. Purchase a domain: Before creating a website, you must purchase a unique domain name from a domain registrar or service like Google Domains.

  2. Find a web host: A web host like Godaddy allows your website to be accessible by web traffic. Web hosts store the data for your webpage on their servers.

  3. Design your website: You can use a service like Squarespace or Wix to help design a website from a template. Alternatively, you can build a website from scratch or hire a web designer to create one for you.

Stand Out From Competitors

Your business does not exist in a vacuum. For this reason, you will want to position your brand to address the needs of your target customers. One way to do this is to offer unique services that stand out. You could offer classes focusing on a specific aspect of yoga or with a gimmick. For example, goat yoga is a group-based yoga class that involves the use of baby goats.

Engage on Social Media

An active social media account is key to starting a successful yoga business. Most Americans regularly use social media, so by participating, you have the chance to reach them. Produce posts on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to get more eyeballs on your business. A single viral post could expose your business to millions of people who would have otherwise not heard of it.

Find a Location

An important step in learning how to open a yoga studio is your business location. If possible, you want to try to get a location with high foot traffic. People who naturally walk by your building will see your business and be tempted to stop in. You could also choose to create a home yoga studio. You can turn a room in your house into a meeting place for clients to visit.

Invest in an Email Campaign

How you market your business is critically important. Consider getting in touch with your customers through an email campaign. Email marketing allows you to deliver personal messages to your customers directly, increasing engagement. Email campaigns have a high return on investment compared to other marketing strategies. Some estimates say that email campaigns have a return on investment of $40 or more for every $1 spent.

Hire Employees

As your operations expand, you will want to plan for the needed employees. Some employees that can help boost your business potential include:

  • Yoga instructors: A yoga instructor can increase the number of clients you can handle by offering more classes

  • Bookkeepers: A bookkeeper can help you file taxes, pay bills, and manage your payroll

  • Receptionist: A receptionist can answer the phone when someone calls your business and answer questions for clients at your counter

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How to Get Yoga Certified

Are you wondering how to get yoga certified? With a yoga certification, you can develop additional skills and confidence. Customers will look more highly at your business with a yoga certificate:

Complete Your Training With a Registered Yoga School

The first step in learning how to become yoga certified is to complete officially recognized training. Registered Yoga Schools (RYA) offer specialized courses to improve your knowledge and experience in yoga. A typical yoga training course will prepare you for your certification with 200 hours or more of training.

Master Yoga Routines

Becoming proficient enough to become yoga certified requires a master of yoga techniques. Yoga helps improve your flexibility which allows you to complete harder techniques. Typically it will take a few months to get accustomed to yoga and improve your body. Many yoga poses and techniques require you to be flexible, which can take months or even years to accomplish fully. How long it takes for you to master yoga depends on what level of expertise you are striving for.

Get First Aid Certification

Yoga teachers and instructors should get first aid training and CPR certification. To get CPR certification, you must take a course that only takes a few hours of your time. You can often get CPR training on the same day. Since you will be helping clients exercise, you never know when a health condition may flare up and require immediate medical attention. With medical emergency training, you will know what to do if a client has a sudden seizure, chokes, or suffers a heart condition.

Apply for a Registered Yoga Teacher Certification

Your registered yoga teacher certification is the certification you should aim for. With a yoga teacher training certificate, you can become a registered yoga teacher (RYT). The Yoga Alliance offers this certification.  Typically it will take at least three to five months to reach the lowest certification level to become an instructor. Higher levels of certification can take four more years to achieve. Below is a comparison of the different types of certifications and designations offered.

Certification Description
RYT 200 A registered yoga teacher with 200 hours of teacher training.
RYT 500 Has completed at least 500 hours of teacher training and has at least 100 hours of teaching experience.
E-RYT 200 Stands for Experienced Registered Yoga Teachers. Must have completed 200 hours of teacher training and have at least 1,000 hours of teaching experience.
E-RYT 500 Someone who has completed a 500-hour teacher training course and has at least 2,000 hours of teaching experience.
RCYT Stands for Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher. You have to complete 200 hours of teacher training and have completed a 95-hour children’s yoga teaching course.
RPYT This is a certification for a Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher. You must have 200 hours of teacher training and have completed an 85-hour prenatal training course. To teach prenatal yoga, you must have had at least 30 hours of teaching experience in prenatal yoga.

A woman and her dog practicing yoga.

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Yoga Studio

Are you wondering how much does it cost to start a yoga studio? Starting a yoga studio can cost as little as a few thousand dollars but typically costs $15,000 or more. Below are some typical costs you must account for when starting your yoga studio:

Business Expense Cost
Creating a website $200-$2,000
Equipment like mats, towels, and training tools $100-$1,000
Business building $200 per square foot
Insurance coverage $100-$400 per year
Employee wages $9-29 an hour
Business registration fees $0-$500

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Insurance Requirements for Boosting Income

A critical step you should not forget when starting your yoga studio is ensuring you have the right insurance policies protecting you. You never know when a client might file a lawsuit against you, potentially costing thousands of dollars or more. With the right coverage, you can increase the income you take home instead of spending on customer lawsuits, property damage, and work-vehicle accidents:

Business Owner’s Policy

A business owner’s policy is a comprehensive policy that combines commercial property and general liability insurance. With a business owner’s policy, you typically save money compared to buying these policies separately. For your business owner’s policy, we recommend NEXT. This insurer is highly reviewed, with a 4.7/5 rating in customer reviews. You can save 10% or more on business insurance when bundling multiple policies together. The company was founded in 2016 and has grown to serve over 420,000 customers. NEXT has a gross written premium count of $200 million and previously reached a revenue of $650 million in 2021. NEXT has an A- from AM Best and a B+ from the Better Business Bureau.

General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance protects your business against claims of property damage, bodily injury, and advertising injury from third parties. For example, if a client or member of the public trips on a yoga mat and hurts themselves, this insurance helps you cover legal costs from a lawsuit. This can include your liability for their medical treatments and your lawyer’s fees.

Thimble is an excellent pick for your general liability policy. You can quickly get covered by submitting a quote and purchasing a policy online. You can get your coverage to start within just a few hours. Thimble is a great pick for first-time customers. They have many helpful articles about insurance and a glossary that helps explain terms. 75% of Thimble’s customers buy an insurance policy for the first time. Thimble has sold over 200,000 policies and has an A+ from the Better Business Bureau.

Professional Liability Insurance

A professional liability insurance policy protects your business from business mistakes. A client may sue your yoga studio for negligence in services you provide or failing to provide them. This policy helps you pay for lawyer costs, judgments, and court fees. Professional liability insurance offers protection from copyright infringement, slander, and libel lawsuits. For professional liability insurance, choose Hiscox. Hiscox has a 14-day refund policy and allows you to get discounts when bundling. Their professional liability insurance has extended coverage outside of the US. They have a trusted service award from the review site Feefo. 4.7/5 people surveyed who used Hiscox services recommended them to others. Hiscox has an A rating from AM Best.

Commercial Property Insurance

Your commercial property insurance policy protects your yoga studio building and contained equipment. This policy protects your business property from events like:

  • Fire

  • Theft

  • Vandalism

  • Wind damage

  • Water damage

  • Explosions

  • Lightning

CoverWallet is our top pick for commercial property insurance. They are an online insurance platform that offers policies from top insurers like Hiscox, Markel, Employers, Travelers, and Chubb. You can fill out an insurance form online to get a policy. Alternatively, if you are in a hurry, you can skip the form and call CoverWallet tool-free. They have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial auto insurance protects your business vehicles when they get involved in auto accidents. This policy can cover your business for vehicle accident liability and help you repair damaged vehicles. For commercial auto insurance, you should choose Tivly. Tivly has over 200 insurance providers to pick from. 

The company helps match you with the right insurers and policies through a process. This process ensures you are getting recommended affordable policies that address your needs. While Tivly doesn’t offer online quotes, they have a four-second average phone answer rate. After a quick call, you can get covered with a commercial auto policy with options like gap coverage, rental reimbursement, and more. Tivly has an A rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Workers’ compensation insurance is required coverage in most states if you hire employees. This policy helps employees pay for medical treatments resulting from injuries or illnesses contracted at work. It also provides disability benefits to supplement lost income from a working injury. The Hartford is an excellent option for your yoga studio’s workers’ compensation insurance. Their policy offers employees access to over 65,000 pharmacies nationwide. You can pay as you go and save money without hidden fees. The Hartford has local agents to help you with your policy. Their workers’ comp policy has nurse case managers that help coordinate your employee’s care. You can file your policy entirely online and track claims through their website. The Hartford has an A- rating from AM Best.

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