Yoga is a fitness modality in its own right, but a yoga studio can benefit from partnering with a fitness center or gym. This setup can look a few different ways: a professional relationship with a nearby gym or using a gym as a space for teaching your yoga classes. Either way, these partnerships can benefit both parties by increasing word-of-mouth referrals and potentially decreasing operating costs.
Why should your yoga studio partner with a nearby gym? First and foremost, partnering with a gym puts your yoga studio in front of lots of potential customers. If you are teaching your classes within the gym, you can also save on start-up and location costs. By working with a gym, you also have access to fitness professionals for you and your members.
Building a relationship with a gym can look many different ways. It is important to create a connection that works best for your studio.
Benefits of Partnering Your Yoga Studio With a Gym
The benefits of a partnership with a local gym will vary depending on how to set up your professional relationship. The possibilities are endless and you can create a contract that works for you.
Working with a fitness center or gym allows you to get your brand in front of more eyes. Gym-goers are already interested in health and fitness, making their demographic full of probable customers. You can discuss things like displaying business cards, hanging signage, and accessing an email list with the gym managers.
Yoga students can benefit from strength training to improve their practice. All fitness modalities can use yoga as a way to relax, practice breathing techniques, and improve balance. Partnering with a gym allows both parties to refer members to the other.
You can even offer commissions for both parties when a new customer signs up for a membership. A small commission can be enough to entice both businesses to recommend the other.
One option for partnering with a gym is to use the gym space as your yoga studio. This helps a new yoga business save on start-up costs by avoiding fees for a commercial real estate agent, security deposits, and renovations. Ongoing costs of teaching your classes in a gym space will most likely be a percentage of student members or a flat rental fee. Either way, the cost will still be lower than renting or owning your own studio space.
If you are teaching in a larger, full-service fitness gym, the business may already have yoga mats and accessories. This allows you to save on equipment costs and maintenance.
Access To Fitness Professionals
When your yoga studio partners with a gym, you can network with other fitness professionals. These individuals may be gym managers, personal trainers, or massage therapists. As with any industry, network connections can be a huge asset when building a business.
Additionally, having access to trainers and coaches can help your students. If you have students that are looking to build more strength, deal with an injury, or make larger lifestyle changes, they may be interested in working with a personal trainer or coach. Since your students know and trust you as an instructor, they will be more likely to listen to your referrals when they need additional help.
Depending on if you have your own yoga studio space and the type of gym you are partnering with, you can also ask trainers to teach classes at your studio. These classes can be a one-time fee for your members or you can include them in your unlimited membership. For example, your students may be interested in classes that focus on certain muscle groups so they can build strength in their weaker areas.
How to Partner With a Gym
There are nearly endless options for how your yoga studio can partner with a gym in a professional relationship. These are not cookie-cutter options and you can figure out what works best for your studio.
Yoga Studio Within a Gym
Larger gyms and fitness centers oftentimes have rooms available for group classes. Talk with gym management about the opportunity to run your own yoga studio within one of these rooms. Discuss things like gym members getting free or discounted classes, paying a flat-fee rental rate or percentage of class fees, and equipment usage.
Depending on your schedule and how you want your business to be structured, you can ask to use the rooms as much or as little as you’d like. Ideally, you would be able to have a dedicated classroom just for your yoga studio. You are paying to utilize the classroom, but the responsibility for maintaining the space falls on the gym.
If you go this route, it is important to make sure you can sell your own memberships and collect drop-in fees. If the gym is handling the memberships and payments, you have essentially become an employee.
Yoga Classes Offered Within a Gym
Fitness businesses that offer personal training or small group classes often have periods during the day when the space is empty. You can make a deal with the gym to pay to rent the space during these unused times. The downside to this is that the slow parts of the day are usually slow for a reason. You’ll most likely be able to use the space in the middle of the day or in the evening, which is not ideal class times.
Other fitness facilities that you can partner with include dance studios, martial arts gyms, and children’s fitness activities (ie. cheerleading and gymnastics). These businesses tend to be focused on children’s classes (though many will offer adult classes). Since kids are in school for most of the day, the spaces are being utilized in the afternoons and evenings. You can rent the space in the mornings for your yoga classes.
Just like operating your yoga studio within a larger gym, you’ll want to talk to management about the details of your partnership. Will you be paying a flat rate or percentage of memberships? Will you be able to use the gym’s equipment? Will you offer discounted memberships to the gym’s membership base?
This is the easiest partnership to establish because there does not need to be an exchange of money. You operate your own yoga studio in your own location and the gym has its own business. A professional relationship allows you to benefit from exposure marketing by offering reciprocal discounts and referral commissions. Your studio and the gym can also work together for special events.
If you are opening a new yoga studio or mobile yoga business, it can be helpful to create a partnership with a local gym. You’ll be able to save on costs, increase your exposure, and have access to fitness professionals. It doesn’t matter if you operate your yoga studio within a larger gym, offer yoga classes within a fitness space, or just maintain a professional relationship with another gym, you can still reap the rewards. When fitness and health-focused businesses work together, everyone’s businesses can grow while supporting a larger group of clients.