Businesses thrive when there is a growing demand for their services and/or products. A Yoga practice is no exception. The information below will help you whether you are planning to start a new Yoga studio or move your existing practice.
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1. Identify where the demand for Yoga is.
Search volume for the terms "Yoga" and "Yoga Classes" is a great indicator of demand. The chart on the right labeled "Top metros for yoga", shows the metro areas where the demand is relatively higher.
Note: If you can’t see the chart on the right, there should be a link in the box to open the chart in a new window. You can also try reading this article in Firefox.
The Data is based on the Country and State of your current location. Your location is determined based on your IP address. If this is not the location you are interested in, you can choose a different location by going to Google Trends.
You can drill-down further to see the relative demand in the cities and suburbs within the metro area of your choice.
2. Is the demand growing in the area?
Study the search volume trends displayed in the chart labeled "Interest over time". This graph represents the interest in the term "Yoga" over the past 12 months in the state of the location determined from your IP address. If the graph is trending upwards or somewhat flat, that’s a good indicator of growth in demand or steady demand. If it’s trending downwards, you’ll probably need to think twice before you start a new studio in that location. It might help to increase the time range to get a good picture of the trend over a longer period of time.
Take a look at the trends in Census data to see if the population in the area is increasing. This will give you some data for longer term planning.
Identify if there are some good demand generation opportunities in the area that can help increase demand.
3. Are the Demographics of the location favorable to a Yoga practice?
Check if the demographics of the location of your interest match those of a typical customer. The chart on the right titled "Age and Gender Demographics" is just an example for a certain location. I plan to provide a tool where you can get something like this soon, so please bookmark this article and check back soon (You can use the Share button conveniently located on the right ;-). If you need to find out sooner, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn and I’ll provide what I can.
The demographics of Yoga practitioners according to statistics published by Statistic Brain in July 2012 are as follows
72.2% of Yoga practitioners are Female and 27.8% are Male.
40.6% are between the ages of 18-34, 41% are between the ages of 35-54 & 18.4% are 55+.
44% earn more than $75,000 annually and 24% earn more than $100,000.
The age group, the gender, the income level and the race are the most important demographic attributes you will need to look for. Call a few Yoga studios or gyms and ask them about the demographics of their customers.
If there is a reasonable match between these two sets of data, then the location is good for a Yoga practice.
4. What does the competition look like in and around the area?
When there is growing demand for Yoga in an area which is not being met, there is an opportunity. Use this site to find out how many Yoga Studios there are in a particular location. By the way, I own
this site. You can browse Yoga Classes by city, or search by zip code and/or city. On the map you can see where they are located visually. This should give you a very good idea about the competition in the area. While you are at it, submit your Yoga practice to get some free exposure.
5. What are the upsell opportunities?
Typically Yoga Studios also sell Yoga Gear such as Yoga Mats, Bags for Mats, Yoga DVDs and Yoga Music. Check the local retail stores for availability of these products and pricing. If they are not available conveniently, this is an opportunity for you to upsell these to customers. Identify wholesalers in the area where you can source these products at wholesale prices.
Selling gift cards for complementary services such as Day Spas and Gyms is another option. You can find out how many such businesses there are by visiting the corresponding sites. The more the merrier.
6. Marketing and Promotional Opportunities
Local businesses whose customer demographics match your desired demographics offer a great opportunity to market your Yoga Studio. Look for Gyms, Spas, Martial Arts (for the parents of kids who are into Martial Arts), Sports facilities and the like. You can work with them to distribute your business cards and fliers. The more there are in the area of your interest, the better. You can develop demand generation programs that are mutually beneficial.
Local websites also offer advertising, guest blogging and press release services. You can reach local audiences effectively through them.
Since there is a reasonable amount of search volume, meaning there are quite a few people searching the internet for Yoga and Yoga related products and services, you can also start an online search marketing campaign. Pay per click advertising on Google, Bing and Yahoo, optimization of your website for search engines and visitors are some very effective ways of getting new business. If you’d like a professional to setup your campaigns connect with me on LinkedIn and I’ll be happy to do it for you.
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7. Availability of Commercial Real Estate & Cost
Last but not least, check if good commercial retail spaces are available in the area. Find out the lease cost and terms. Based on revenue projections, you can determine if you can afford the space. A lot of people rent space in a local Gym, Spa, Community center or School and start offering Yoga classes. Once they have a large enough client base, they setup their own.
I hope you enjoyed this article and that these guidelines and tools help you identify a good location for your studio.
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