Opening a Yoga Studio
Finding the perfect space is just one of the steps to consider when opening a new yoga business. Other steps include identifying the demographic (i.e. who will you serve), rent per square foot, lease term, competition, walk and drive by visibility, signage opportunities, parking, and whether or not you can have showers. These are some preliminary boxes to check off when you are completing a business plan. Additionally, you will need to work out a pre opening and ongoing marketing strategy, pricing of services, hiring of teachers/ staff, purchasing MINDBODY software and create an operations budget and forecast.
One of the most successful pre opening marketing strategies I recommend is offering a 2 month intro offer at a good price as well as a special founding membership. Advertising this in the local paper, large banners on the side of your building/in the windows, side walk signage, google ads, flyers, facebook, and on your website are the marketing vehicles I recommend. The earlier the better! You will want to create a deadline to purchase these special pricing offers to create urgency. Typically a grand opening party takes place 4-6 weeks after the doors open – this would be a great day to end the sale.
Your goal is to get as many clients interested and purchasing by the sale end date. Remember, that an intro offer leads to auto pay membership along with a good sales process. You will advertise the founding memberships to the intro offer clients through a series of phone calls and emails, so that they are privy to the discount.
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Yoga and Sales = More Revenue
In order to create a process whereby you take a new client to becoming a long term member, I recommend creating a high touch sales process. This process is 4 weeks long (the same length as the 30 day intro offer) and consists of 2 phone calls and 3 emails. Each week, the client will receive a communication from the owner or the yoga advisor. The first email is simply to welcome them to your studio as is the first phone call. This personalizes their visit. The second email is a preview on a discount for the auto pay membership that they receive if they commit before the intro offer expires. This email is branded, contains photos, and provides motivating copy as to why they should join and what they get if they do. The next step is a sales call, this is where the owner or advisor calls the client and provides education on packages or the auto pay based on frequency. The last email is sent in the 4th week, and is more urgent – it motivates them to purchase the auto pay membership in order to get the discount.
When a client is new to your studio, they are the most apt to never return. The industry average attrition rate is 50% - this translates to one out of two clients never returning to your studio after the first visit. The way to get them to return is to offer a compelling intro offer coupled with a structured follow up sales process. The key to selling intro offers, auto pay memberships and other packages is optimized pricing.
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How to Sell the Intro Offer on the First Visit
Because retention of new clients is so low for a group fitness (barre or yoga) studio, I recommend selling a 30 day intro offer on that first visit. The intro offer should be “irresistible” - meaning it should compel the client to purchase it. For yoga studios the price is usually between $30 - $89, and for barre studios it’s usually between $79 - $129. The intro price is roughly half of your auto pay membership price and maybe a bit lower depending on how full classes are. In order to get the client interested in the intro offer, I recommend pricing your drop in at a relatively high price in comparison. New clients have a choice of 1 time in a class for high price or a month long pass of classes for a good price. Along with a solid sales process, motivating text on your website, and a big call to action button allowing them to purchase immediately, the intro offer will sell itself. One more strategy includes allowing clients to take class first, while you keep their ID or keys at the front desk, and selling them the intro offer after. Sometimes an experience first goes a long way in motivating a new client to purchase.
Key words: yoga studio sales, barre studio sales, yoga business consulting, barre studio consulting