When you’re ready to open a yoga studio, one of your first considerations should be the location. While your budget will play a huge role in narrowing down your location search, additional factors will help you pinpoint the best location for your yoga studio. Your location should be in a convenient and accessible location for your ideal clientele.
Factors for Choosing Your Yoga Studio Location
When searching for your studio’s location, it can be helpful to start by looking at the big picture. Once you’ve determined the town and specific neighborhood for your studio, you can start filtering through locations by defining your goals for the studio space itself.
Many people looking to open a yoga studio already have a town or location in mind. Most commonly, this is the area that they already live in. Others may be looking to start fresh in a new city or take advantage of an open market.
Town or City
Unless you’re considering opening a yoga studio in another state or country, this is the “big picture” decision for your location. If you want to open a studio in your hometown, this is an easy decision. For larger metropolitan areas, you may have several suburban towns to choose from.
When choosing the town or city for your yoga studio, make sure that there is a large enough population. Not everyone in town does yoga and not everyone that does yoga will come to your studio. That means you want a large group of potential clients to market to.
It is very helpful to take a look at how many competitors are located in the area. You can look for other yoga studios, but you should also look for big-box gyms that offer yoga classes. Don’t let competing studios stop you from opening your studio in a town. It can just be harder to succeed in an oversaturated market.
Once you’ve chosen the town or city for your yoga studio, the next step is looking at which neighborhoods you can consider. For a small town, there may be limited options. Large cities, like Chicago or Miami, have many neighborhoods within the city. Each neighborhood has a different demographic and different competitors.
First and foremost, you should find the neighbor where your ideal client is most likely to reside. You’ll probably have a wide variety of clients once you open, but having an idea of who your average client is can help you narrow down marketing and location. For example, middle-class stay-at-home parents often have the means and time to enjoy yoga classes. Being located near large subdivisions in a suburban setting is perfect for this clientele.
It is also helpful to look at demographics like median income. Your clients need to have a certain amount of expendable income to afford a monthly studio membership. You don’t necessarily need to be in the most well-off neighborhood, but you also don’t want to place your studio in an area where people cannot afford your classes.
The vibe of your studio may also affect your best neighborhood. If you are opening a trendy boutique studio, a hip downtown neighborhood would be best. If you are looking to offer affordable yoga to many people, a strip mall in the suburbs may be well suited for your business.
Location of Competition
It will not necessarily kill your business if there are competing studios nearby. However, less competition is usually one of the goals in choosing the best location. Try not to open your studio in a retail center or location as another studio. You may see studios that offer different forms of yoga (aerial vs Hatha vs hot) very close to each other, but it is not recommended.
In addition to other yoga studios, it can be helpful to know the locations of big-box and community gyms. These fitness centers sometimes offer yoga classes that can compete with your classes. While yoga is more than just an exercise modality, any gym can be considered a competitor in the fitness space.
Type of Building
Once you’ve decided on the neighborhood for your yoga studio, it can be helpful to think about what kind of building you would like to be in. A yoga studio can flourish in a business park, industrial center, strip mall, stand-alone building, or any location.
One way to save money on your location costs is to not have a brick-and-mortar location. You can operate a mobile yoga studio that offers classes at community centers or outdoor locations. Alternatively, you can rent out time in a cheerleading or gymnastics gym for your yoga classes.
Another consideration is whether you would like to rent or buy your studio space. In many cases, a studio located in a strip mall or retail complex will be leased through a management company. Even stand-alone locations can be leased from the building’s owners. If you are interested in owning your studio, you’ll need to look for commercial buildings that are for sale or available land to build a new studio space.
Yoga Studio Specifics
Once you have the general area for your studio chosen, you can start looking at different properties. You should have an idea of the size, layout, and amenities you are looking for. You may not find your perfect space, but you’ll be able to visualize your goals as you tour different locations.
Size is one of the most important factors in choosing your studio space. The studio size that you need will be determined by your class sizes, how many classes you want to offer at a given time, any other fitness offerings and their equipment, bathrooms, showers, a waiting area, and more.
The cost of your monthly rent will most likely be determined by the size of the space. This means that your budget will also affect the size of your studio. When looking for spaces to lease, you’ll usually see the rent listed as price per square foot per year. You’ll need to do a little math to determine what your monthly payments will be.
Keep in mind that a larger space can accommodate more clients. On the other hand, a larger space will cost more money. Try to strike the balance of finding a space large enough to fit plenty of clients but also falling within your budget.
Your clients will appreciate a studio space that has lots of parking. No one wants to circle a parking lot looking for a spot when they are on their way to a relaxing workout. Additionally, look for buildings with indoor hallways or covered walkways. These aren’t necessary for most of the year, but during periods of inclement weather, they are nice to have.
Air conditioning is another amenity that may not be found in every building you look at. It is standard in retail or business locations, especially in warmer climates. If you are considering industrial spaces, they may not come with central air conditioning.
Since yoga includes relaxation in the practice, you’ll also want to look for a space that will not be affected by the noise of neighboring businesses. Ask about the building materials and insulation in the walls. You can also look for a space that has quiet surrounding businesses. Some nosy neighbors include dance studios, hair salons, trade workshops, and restaurants.
A great location is useless if it is a pain for your clients to get in from and out to the road. We all know those businesses that have one-way only, no left turn, or traffic-blocked entrances. The hassle can make you want to avoid visiting the business altogether.
It is best to find a location that can be accessed from multiple entrances or multiple side streets. The best-case scenario is that a client traveling from any direction will have no issues getting to your studio. In another case of finding the balance, high traffic areas can be frustrating for clients to navigate but also allow more potential clients to drive past your studio.
One thing to consider in your location search is proximity to major roads, intersections, and highway on-ramps or exits. These can help decrease the travel time for your clients and make your studio easily accessible to more people.
One of the great things about yoga is that you just need an open space. Most studios have a mirrored wall and wood or concrete floors. If you are moving into an existing building, you will probably have some renovations necessary to get your studio open. Make sure that your property manager will allow you to make all the changes you need.
Many new commercial buildings are left a blank slate until the first tenants sign a lease. By blank slate, we are talking about dirt floors, no central air conditioning, no bathrooms, etc. At this point, some management companies will offer a “build-out budget.” Since the tenant takes on the responsibility of finding a contractor and finishing the space, the management company will help offset the cost. Sometimes you can negotiate the build-out budget and other times it is predetermined. A simple yoga studio with a single bathroom can often be completed for less than the average build-out budget.
If you are planning to offer any specialty yoga, keep that in mind when asking about renovations. Aerial yoga requires silks to be hung from a high ceiling. Hot yoga requires a contained space where the temperature can be easily controlled.
Is the Location of Your Yoga Studio That Important?
Yes and no.
Your priority should be offering the best classes possible. You should aim to have the best instructors that teach engaging, well-planned, and fun classes to your clients. Even the best location is useless if your studio doesn’t provide top-quality yoga classes.
In terms of everything else needed to have a successful business, location is extremely important. If you are located somewhere where no one does yoga or there are too many competitors, your business will not have the opportunity to flourish.
Do your best to find the ideal location for your clients and your business.
There is no one best location for a yoga studio. The best location for YOUR yoga studio will be determined by your business goals, your clientele, and your budget. Start by finding a neighborhood that fits your target market. From there, find a studio space that is the right size, offers the amenities you need, has easy access, and you can renovate to make it your own. The search may take some time, but you’ll end up with a fantastic studio location for your thriving yoga business.