When practicing and instructing yoga is a passion, it can be hard to get your head into a business mindset. But if you don’t, you’ll have problems creating the best yoga business that you can, and making it successful!
Part of running a successful yoga business or being a successful retreat leader is about realizing that as much as you love yoga, you can make this is a business and you can make money from it. Some of that is about being comfortable with that idea that making money as a yoga instructor is not a bad thing, especially when you’re making money doing something you love and sharing that with others who you know can really benefit from.
To help you get your head into a business mindset and improve your yoga business, we’ve outlined the following 8 steps.
The first thing you need to do to build your business and get into a business mindset is to actually get qualified as a yoga instructor. There are plenty of options for this, from going on a retreat to get qualified, or attending a local course. It can take anywhere from months to years to complete yoga teacher training, depending on what sort of course you choose.
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When choosing a course to become a yoga teacher, it’s worth looking into the accreditation to see if it is highly regarded. You want to come out the other side of yoga teacher training with a certificate you can show to really prove your level of knowledge and skill.
You’ll also want to consider yoga teacher insurance, and whether you want to become accredited as a yoga instructor by an organization such as the Yoga Alliance or Independent Yoga Network. This can add credibility to your yoga business, or help you to secure yoga jobs in future.
Have a business plan
To have a yoga business, you need to have a plan. Decide what kind of business you want and how you’re going to set it up. Will you offer instruction through a studio? Your own, or for someone else? Will you partner with other instructors? Do you want to be a traveling yoga teacher or plan yoga retreats around the world?
Work out what you want to do, and then how you’ll execute it. You may want to start off by trying a lot of different things to see which one fits you best and to open up your network so you can learn from other instructors.
Look at ways to make money as a yoga instructor beyond the studio
Being a yoga instructor isn’t just about teaching in a studio. There are many ways that you can make money as a yoga teacher, including but not limited to the following:
Yoga instructors may work for health spas teaching private lessons, or in small groups.
Corporations and businesses
Companies may look to hire yoga instructor on a contract to come in and teach occasionally, or as part of company retreats and workshop days.
Community centers or public areas
Don’t think you always need to take classes in a purpose built yoga studio. Consider natural public spaces like the beach or local park, or look at community centers.
Working in a senior center could involve running yoga classes adapted for seniors, for example, where they can stay sitting in a chair. You may be able to work regularly or on a freelance basis.
Yoga instructors can be found in schools of all levels, from pre-school through to senior year.
Set yourself up as a business
If you set yourself up as a freelance yoga instructor, or you choose to be a traveling yoga teacher, then your yoga business may not be much more than yourself. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat it like an official business, and all official businesses nowadays have a website and social media setup.
There are simple ways to set up a website that still looks beautiful, and may not be much more than a little about yourself and a link to your latest retreats or classes. Be active on social media, as students may look for you there to get an idea of what going on a retreat or taking a class with you is like.
Build your client base
To have a successful yoga business you need to work on building a client base. This is whether you’re in one place or traveling, because students will come to you if they like you enough! Work on gaining regular customers through classes and look to them as your first retreat clients.
Networking is key, and so is keeping track of your client base. Building a mailing list is a great way to do that. You can use a program that’s free initially, like MailChimp, and ask customers to sign up to receive updates on classes or retreats. That way you have a direct line to their inbox when you want to advertise something new.
Choose a niche or theme
When you’re building a yoga business, you may want to think about having a niche, or a theme. What is your specialty, or what will make you stand out from the crowd as a yoga instructor? It might be your background and a particular type of training or class, or it could be the profile of your customer base.
Use tools to help you
Getting into a business mindset and building your own business isn’t easy, so use the available tools around you to help. If you’re planning a yoga retreat, whether it’s a short retreat close to home or something more international, you can create your trip for free on WeTravel and advertise it in our marketplace. Rather than having to worry about taking deposits and payments from students yourself, allow the WeTravel system to do it for you.
Remember why you’re doing it
When you’re finding it hard to concentrate on building a business, or it feels like an uphill slog that’s never ending, remember why you decided to go down this path to becoming a yoga instructor. You know if teaching is the right thing for you, and you just need to make the business side of it work!
Immerse yourself in the yoga community and see other instructors as allies, not competitors. Be constantly learning as well as teaching, and remember how good it feels to have a student tell you how much you’ve helped them.
Becoming a yoga instructor isn’t just about learning the poses and how to teach them. It’s about getting your head in the business game, working out how to really make money doing something you love, and not just scrape by. You can do it!
If retreat planning is part of your yoga business plan, then don’t forget to check out all our WeTravel Retreat Planning Resources.