Desk dwellers and beyond…

Last week I wrote an article about providing relief and rescue from some of the less than desirable effects of sitting down a lot. While half the article assumed that people are able to get to the yoga studio at some point, today I want to dig into how you take the studio to them.

Teaching yoga in the office environment as a business offering is extremely attractive in a number of ways, but also brings with it some very particular challenges.

Let’s go with the obvious positives first:

  • Like private yoga, it’s viewed as a high end offering and allows you to charge more
  • While you might only have one point of contact (the organisation) your reach is effectively multiplied, so your profile is raised with little extra effort on your part
  • There is a certain glamour factor. Plus you’re able to dip into the shiny corporate world, but then step out again (I feel this way about being able to give my godchildren back to their parents)

While on the not so great side consider the following:

  • You potentially open yourself up to lengthy travel times, especially if you work with more than a few organisations
  • Prop / mats drama. Should people bring mats? should the business provide them? do you need to bring them?
  • Problems with attention spans of students. If yoga has been somewhat ‘forced’ upon the good employees of a business you may well encounter eye-rolling resistance. Or, people’s bodies may be away from the desk but their minds certainly aren’t. It can be disconcerting!

Still interested in taking the plunge? Excellent. These are the process steps I would consider.

First…

Consider your audience carefully. Is it a 9-5-with-an-hour-for-lunch kind of organisation that you want to target, or the 100 hours a week at a standing desk entrepreneurial crowd? What kind of yoga or wellness programme would these people appreciate? Do some market research.

Secondly…

Work out what the product looks like. It’s like a normal yoga class right, only a bit shorter? I hear you say. Not so. Get creative and think of some different options: Chair yoga. A slow moving meditation. A fast and furious mid-afternoon pick-me-up. And yes, if there is room and time, you can put together a full 60 minute class but think carefully about sequencing.

Thirdly…

Decide on price points. To be perfectly honest I am not an expert in the corporate space (although I used to be the target student, for sure!) and pricing will depend on location, frequency of classes, number of students etc. Two options usually work: the company offers the space for free, and the participants pay direct OR the company pays a flat fee/retainer and it’s a benefit for their students. I would say the latter is preferable, and have your ‘I don’t get out of bed for less than..’ number in mind.

Fourthly…

Leverage your network. Getting your first one or two clients can be hard, and while you of course can approach HR managers or office managers cold, it’s far more effective as always to look to your nearest and dearest first. Reach out especially to old colleagues and co-workers. If you teach studio classes remember to ask your students. Lastly, take a look at collaborative workspaces where you can access a number of businesses under one roof.

Fifthly…

Consider teaming up with another teacher who also wants to work in the corporate space. Two sets of contacts are of course better than one, but should your enterprise take off unless you crack time travel you may find you need to be in two places at once and require back up!

About The Author

Jules Barber

Jules Barber is the Founder & Creator of Yoginomics. Having worked in a golden cage in London for 15 years she sold out of her business to become a yoga teacher, corporate wellness specialist and location independent entrepreneur, on a mission to mentor and coach the next generation of amazing yogis - teachers and students alike.

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