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Welcome to Day 19 of my 21 Day Writing Dare! (Almost there!)

But Jules, I hear you say. You write all the time. You majored in English. Your mother is a retired journalist. Why the need for a challenge?

Well, whether you write publicly for a blog, or privately every morning in your journal, consistency is key. “Practice and all is coming” as Pattabhi Jois said and producing quality content is no different.

The writing muscle is one that needs to be exercised. So here I am flexing that muscle for better or for worse. It will be interesting to compare Day 21 with Day 1….hopefully progress will have been made so here goes!

OM! Jules x

ps. I am taking requests and suggestions for topics so please get in touch…

Looking at definitions of success

I feel like I am warming to a familiar theme with this post – and that is the idea that just because we work in a heart centred industry doesn’t mean we can’t and shouldn’t be as clear-headed and business-minded as the suits in the Square Mile of London.

When most aspiring studio owners are asked what a successful studio looks like I’m fairly sure that the first ideas that come to mind involve full classes, happy teachers and a healthy bottom line. Pretty pretty, and all that.

So far, good start. However, without being able to drill down into the details, how can you understand what kind of process is involved in attaining this vision of ‘success’? How can you double down on what works and throw out what doesn’t work? How can you be alive to opportunity?

At the end of the day the more information you have about your business the better – and this applies to you solopreneur teachers as well as studio owners/managers. It allows you to understand and capitalise on trends, to evaluate and optimise your sales and marketing activity, and to make sure you can not only sustain your studio but also grow the business for years to come.

It’s a bit like having a baby – you would never not know the colour of your own child’s eyes, or what time he/she prefers to nap in the afternoon. So with your yoga business: the numbers, or metrics behind the business should become second nature to you.

But what are these so called ‘metrics’ that can be used to track and scale a yoga studio? Glad you asked. It’s a long and sometimes complex list and every business is different. But here is a quick and dirty rundown of some of the main things you give weight to in your planning and reckoning.

The Key Accounting Terms

Those of you who know me well understand that I am no accountant (my own personal tax return involves much public wailing and gnashing of teeth) and this is by no means an exhaustive list. From a macro point of view however you should have an idea of the following:

  • Total Revenues
  • Fixed Costs
  • Total Expenses
  • Net Profit
  • Margin %

Or in other words, how much your business makes, and how much your business costs. My advice though? Enlist the help of a professional. Paying taxes will pretty much necessitate doing this, although having said that you can uplevel your own skills and knowledge. Over the years I’ve very slowly got more comfortable with business finance – and here is the book that did it Finance for Non-Financial Managers in a Week.

Sales and Retention

Now let’s turn our attention to the lifeblood of your business: your customers. Get familiar with their buying behaviours (although its useful to gather as much information about them as possible in order to deliver them an optimal yoga experience.)

My hot list of metrics here would look like this:

  • total students to date
  • total new students per year/per month
  • total renewals per year/month
  • total current ‘active’ students broken down by sale category…
  • …ie. total drop-ins, class cards, memberships
  • best performing sale category
  • purchase history of current/past students
  • attendance – per month total & per student
  • any and all data on ‘how you heard about us’

If you use a decent back end scheduling/payment system, in theory all kinds of versions of this data should be available, however, if you are just a baby entrepreneur/business don’t be afraid to track things yourself in a spreadsheet – and that way you know the numbers are presented in a way that works for you!

Customer Engagement

There are two ways in which you can influence the experience of your students – offline (ie. when they are physically IN the studio) and online. This includes their user experience of your website and also any and all other interactions you have with them digitally – email and social media being the main ones.

Of the two, email is a great engagement tool and easily trackable. Here’s your hot list:

  • total names on mailing list
  • frequency of newsletters or offers
  • email open rate
  • click thru rate
  • bounce / unsubscribe rate
  • what was the uptake/response like for the last ‘offer’…?

Terrifying isn’t it? and that’s just the start. Get in touch with us for more guidance and help.

Namaste, Jules x

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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