If you’ve decided to start your own business, you should be aware of the challenges of running a yoga studio. 

This article will touch on obstacles you could face, and offer advice on how you can overcome these issues, and thrive as a studio owner. 

Advancing your industry related skills and knowledge through a Level 4 yoga teacher qualification can help with this process. With this experience under your belt, you’ll have the expertise you need to tackle any issues as and when they arise. 

You can also download our FREE course prospectus to learn more about all of OriGym’s qualifications.

Solving 9 Challenges Yoga Studio Owners Could Face

Solving challenges of running a yoga studio

This section will cover 9 potential yoga studio problems that may arise in your own practice. This will be accompanied by advice on how you can best combat that issue, to ensure that your business is not damaged by its effects.

#1 –  Yoga Studio Problems Arise When There Is A Lack Of Diversity Among Classes

why yoga studios fail example diversity

One of the most common reasons why yoga studios fail is that they run the same classes repeatedly, with little to no variation. If you don’t offer anything new for returning customers, there’s no incentive to keep paying for your services. 

According to a study conducted by The Telegraph, most businesses that don’t offer anything new will lose their dedicated customer base, and collapse within 3 years of launching.

Due to the mass popularity of yoga in the UK, your students could easily go to a competitor who can offer them what they want should you fail to provide such service. 

To avoid these problems for yoga studios from occurring, you should be sure to offer a variety of classes to avoid repetition. 

For example, take a look at the class time table for Born Yoga to understand the vast array of services on offer:

yoga studio owner challenges Born Yoga

Earning a Level 4 yoga certification will help greatly with this, as through this course you will be able to develop a speciality in one of the following areas:

  • Hatha Yoga
  • Iyengar Yoga
  • Hot Yoga
  • Ashtanga Yoga

Alternatively, when faced with the challenges of running a yoga studio, another solution can see you switching up the general flow of the class. 

This can even include how you open your yoga class. For example, instead of opening with a philosophical reading, you could instead focus on breathing principles.

If you mindfully add diversity and challenge to your classes, this will make a huge difference in improving the loyalty of your existing members, and combating this common yoga studio problem.

#2 – Balancing Your Finances Effectively Will Help Overcome Any Yoga Studio Risks

Balancing Your Finances Effectively Will Help Overcome Any Yoga Studio Risks

Creating a budget and sticking to it is arguably one of the greatest challenges of running a yoga studio. This is especially true if you have prior experience, as if you fail to keep a balanced budget your business could risk haemorrhaging money.

Organising both your business and personal expenses will therefore allow you to determine what purchases are appropriate, and what can be deemed as too costly. 

For example, some professional expenses you will be expected to cover include:

  • Cost of yoga equipment 
  • Rent for a workspace
  • Insurance and legal coverage
  • Yoga marketing materials – e.g. Google Ad Space, social media advertising

Whereas personal expenses will include:

  • Your bills – e.g. Rent/Mortgage, Gas, Electricity 
  • Basic amenities – e.g. food, clothing, etc.
  • Travel costs

Challenges for yoga studio owners money

Financial imbalances can cause problems for yoga studios and your personal life, which is why you must make an effort to budget effectively. 

Part of this process will involve understanding your monthly outgoings – which will require you to calculate all your spendings for any given month.

Once an estimated figure for your outgoings has been calculated, you’ll then know how much money you need to earn to generate a profit. With this information you should consider every way in which your studio generates income, including:

  • Memberships: You can charge per class, but setting up a membership option where clients pay a lump sum and get access to an unlimited number of classes. Check what your local competitors are charging to ensure you aren’t over or under-charging, and learn more about how much to charge for yoga classes here.
  • Selling Merchandise: Most yoga studios offer a variety of yoga-related gear for sale. This ranges from towels and water bottles to branded gear with your yoga studio’s logo on it.
  • Locker Hire: An easy way to make a small passive income is to charge a nominal fee to use the on-site lockers.
  • Renting Out Space: Outside of your normal class hours, you can rent out studio space for events or non-yoga classes.
  • Partnerships: You can sell a company’s products, like snacks and supplements, and take a cut of each sale or negotiate a flat fee with the provider.

 financial challenges for yoga studio owners

If you need assistance with this process, you can download a yoga studio management software which has designated tools specifically designed to help business owners budget. 

Alternatively, you can choose to hire a professional accountant to help manage your business expenses for you. 

Whilst financial challenges for yoga studio owners will likely always exist, they can be avoided through careful planning and research. Take your time with this process, as rushing it will likely lead to costly mistakes.


#3 – A Poorly Chosen Location Can Create Challenges For Yoga Studio Owners

A Poorly Chosen Location Can Create Challenges for Yoga Studio Owners

When discussing why yoga studios fail, another influential factor that can break a business is its location. 

For example, you will likely financially underperform if you open a new yoga studio in close proximity to a competitor that has had the space for a long period of time. 

This is because that studio will already have a dedicated group of customers from the local area, leaving very little room for you.

These yoga studio risks can therefore be avoided by carefully selecting an area in which there are little to no existing competitors. 

You also need to consider the size of space you’ll need. If your yoga studio is too small, you will only be able to accommodate a certain number of students at a time. 

why yoga studios fail location

This in-turn could result in you having to turn away business, or your customers viewing your space with negative connotations, such as being too cramped.

Likewise if your space is too big, it could draw connotations of being cold and empty. This is why it’s so important to strike a good balance between the two factors, ensuring you find an appropriately sized studio that sticks to your budget. 

As the owner of a successful yoga studio, these challenges can be avoided by ensuring you attend viewings in-person. This will allow you to visit the space prior to signing any rental/purchasing agreements in order to determine it is appropriate.

According to yoga business experts at Studio Growth:

challenges for yoga studio owners size of building

This recommendation was accumulated by experts in the yoga industry who hold years worth of experience. You’ll also need to take into account additional facilities, such as:

  • Storage space
  • Ventilation
  • Audio and Acoustics 

For example, a space with poor ventilation may cause problems for yoga studio customers as they could overheat. This again reinforces the importance of visiting a location prior to signing contracts.

#4 – Yoga Studio Owner Challenges Can Be Caused By High Customer Turnover

problems for yoga studio customer

In order to determine why yoga studios fail, you’ll need to consider the business’ customer retention rate. If your customers are constantly dropping off after a specific point, then there’s clearly an issue.

This problem often occurs when business owners choose to favour attracting new customers over appeasing their existing ones. 

According to Forbes, these existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products, and spend 31% more than new customers. 

This therefore makes this the more lucrative yoga demographic to target, meaning you should be putting your efforts into client retention.

Reducing customer turnover may sound complicated, but it can be boiled down to understanding what your customers want, and providing them with this service in an incentivising manner. 

For example, you could create an awards scheme that benefits existing customers by providing them with a reason to stay signed up. This can be seen in MoreYoga, who offer existing students points, as so:

problems for yoga studio point system

These points will gradually accumulate over time, and can then be traded in for rewards such as:

yoga studio risks and rewards

This system helps to combat the challenges yoga studio owners face as it gives existing students a reason to stay signed up. 

They will want to accumulate points in order to generate these perks, so the more appealing they are, the more likely the students are to remain in your studio.

The idea of rewarding customers to increase retention rates is explored further in our article on how to make money as a yoga teacher.

Another solution to client related yoga studio risks is to look at your class times. Should these be scheduled at inconvenient intervals throughout the day, students may be less likely to remain in your service.

To overcome this, you should conduct a simple survey in order to create an appropriate timetable that suits the majority of students.

When learning how to overcome the challenges of running a yoga studio, these other OriGym articles will be of interest:

#5 – Potential Marketing Problems for Yoga Studios 

Potential Marketing Problems for Yoga Studios

Throughout this article we have discussed how many of the challenges of running a yoga studio are a result of a competitive field. 

To stand out from the crowd, you will need to learn how to market your business in a way that attracts customers to your business. 

Poor marketing can result in clients not wanting to invest in your business, which could cause financial instability along with other money related issues. So what are some examples of ‘bad marketing’:

  • Repetitive campaigns – This can come across as spam and annoy customers.
  • Ads that lack information – Customers won’t be able to tell what services are on offer e.g. what variations of yoga you offer.
  • Fail to target your ideal demographic – If you’re advertising yoga to customers who aren’t likely to attend classes then this will be a wasted investment.

When running a yoga studio, these risks can be avoided through learning how to market a yoga business

One simple method that every business owner can do, regardless of how much experience they have, is create a Google My Business account.

Once a profile has been created, your business will begin to appear in the map when a user searches for services within their local area. For example, should they search ‘yoga studios near me’, the following local businesses will appear: 

problems for yoga studio Google My Business

Using GoogleMyBusiness as a fitness professional is a highly effective marketing tool that can assist with the marketing-related challenges of running a yoga studio. 

Think of it this way – you’ll never have to worry about targeting the wrong demographic, as those searching the term will be of ‘high intent’, meaning they already know they want to invest in a yoga business. 

Likewise, this ad will never come across as repetitive, as it will only appear when clients search relevant key terms. 

GoogleMyBusiness allows yoga studio owners to have direct control of the information that’s made available to the potential customers. 

This ensures that your brand is accurately reflected, leaving little room for misinterpretation as a result of bad marketing.

#6 – Yoga Studio Problems Can Occur When You Lack Management Experience

Yoga Studio Problems Can Occur When You Lack Management Experience stock

One of the most common yoga studio owner challenges is a lack of experience in a managerial role, as this could have rippling effects throughout your entire business.

These issues typically arise when individuals jump straight from a tutor role to opening their own studio. In doing so, they might lack experience in the following areas:

  • Covering Business Expenses
  • Creating Staff Rotas
  • The Hiring and Firing Practice 

An inexperienced manager is therefore at a higher risk of creating a hostile work environment for their employees. 

For example, when it comes to creating rotas, certain staff members may feel that you aren’t taking their needs into account, and view you in an unfavourable light as a consequence. 

From poor reviews and high staff turnover to low member retention and a bad reputation, these issues all arise from poor choices in management. One solution would be to personally gain experience in the role prior to opening your own studio.

 managerial challenges of running a yoga studio

This can be achieved by applying for roles such as this example from Mission Studios in London.

From the screenshot provided below we can see that yoga studio managers can gain experience in:

  • Budgeting and financing 
  • How to communicate with employees 
  • Using yoga studio booking software that can help with the general maintenance of a business 

yoga studio risks lack of experience

Gaining employment experience isn’t the only way that you can overcome these yoga studio problems. 

You could take a business management CPD course as an alternative solution, where you can enrol in order to learn important skills and knowledge required to manage a studio

Yoga Studio Problems Can Occur When You Lack Management Experience

Another solution for studio owners to implement is to hire a manager who has experience. In this instance, you should look for a candidate that has the following qualities: 

  • Ability to delegate
  • They demonstrate empathy
  • They set clear expectations and goals
  • They bring out the best in those around them
  • Ability to handle responsibilities

To summarise, when faced with the managerial challenges of running a yoga studio, you’re always best gaining as much experience as possible. 


#7 – Yoga Studios Fail When When They Don’t Maintain Facilities

Yoga Studios Fail When When They Don’t Maintain Facilities

As the owner of a yoga studio one of your main responsibilities will be ensuring the daily maintenance of the facilities. This includes making sure that everything is clean and in working order. 

Failure to do this could result in your customers viewing your studio as being unworthy of their money. Should they leave a negative review expressing these opinions, this could taint the general perception of your studio, leading to a lack of business. 

Think of it this way – if you saw a review similar to this example below, would you want to use the facilities?

Negative review challenges for yoga studio owners

Factoring in maintenance and cleaning costs to your budget is one way to combat this problem for yoga studios. For example, you should take into account that you may need to replace damaged equipment or deep clean your studio at a moment’s notice.

One method to tackle this problem is to create a list of every maintenance and cleaning duty that needs to be done in your studio. You can then decide how frequent these tasks need to be completed, as so:

Daily Duties:

  • Clean all equipment (mats, blocks, hammocks, etc.)
  • Clean bathrooms & locker rooms
  • Check the pH level of the pool if you have one
  • Replace antibacterial stations
  • Clean the walls and floors

Weekly Duties:

  • Clean windows
  • Restock vending machines or food bars
  • Check equipment for damage

yoga studio risks image

One of your responsibilities as a studio manager and owner will be to delegate these responsibilities to your staff members. It will then be your duty to check over their work to ensure that the task has been completed efficiently. 

Ultimately, these yoga studio problems can be avoided by using your initiative, remember this is your business and you should take pride in the way it appears to others. 

#8 – The Staff May Create Challenges For Yoga Studio Owners 

 The Staff May Create Challenges For Yoga Studio Owners

When discussing reasons as to why yoga studios fail, sometimes the blame may fall on to the staff. 

For example, whilst someone may look great in their yoga teacher interview, they may fail to connect with the customers during the class itself.

Staffing problems for yoga studios can be avoided through the creation of a reliable hiring system. For example, you could:

  • Offer above-average pay rates to attract more qualified candidates 
  • Ask for referrals and proceed to follow up on said referrals 
  • Ask candidates to lead taster sessions to see how they interact with customers

Following a similar hiring format will ensure that these issues are mitigated before they ever arise. But this isn’t to say that high-quality service is guaranteed following the employment process. 

Realistically, the challenges of running a yoga studio’s staff will never stop and to ensure that they’re always performing to the best of their ability you will likely have to conduct performance reviews.

The Staff May Create Challenges For Yoga Studio Owners

Employment experts at Indeed recommend business owners should follow this simple format when looking to conduct performance reviews:

  • Prepare all feedback in advance – Sit in on their classes and talk to students directly 
  • Keep remarks clear and concise – Offer complete clarity using examples to support your claims, e.g. if they are good at motivating students use instances that this occurred to support your claims
  • Frame the meeting as an open conversation – Give the employee an opportunity to discuss how they felt they performed 
  • Look to the future – Outline new goals and share potential plans for improvement. This ensures the employee has goals to work towards e.g. if they underperformed in an area, outline how they can improve their performance.
  • Provide a full copy of the review to the employee 

By regularly monitoring your employees performance you will ensure that your business thrives, as a good teacher will continuously keep students returning for further sessions. 


#9 – Not Dealing With Competitive Threats Can Pose Challenges for Yoga Studio Owners

Not Dealing With Competitive Threats Can Pose Challenges for Yoga Studio Owners

According to research conducted by Reebok, in the UK alone, the yoga industry is expected to gross £1 billion by 2026. This figure alone should help to reinforce just how competitive of a field the yoga industry is.

When faced with these challenges of running a yoga studio, you will need to conduct competitor research and see what other yoga businesses in your local area are offering.

For example, you can use competitor research to determine an appropriate price for your yoga sessions. 

When conducting this study, you should look at businesses that are performing better and worse than your current circumstances, this will help to inform where your business fits in relation to your local competitors. 

For example, let’s say you have specialised prenatal yoga classes. By searching ‘high-intent’ phrases on search engines, you can essentially find out who your biggest competitors are within your local area, like these prenatal yoga studios:

yoga studio owner challenges Google Search

Should you click on any of these results, you will then be able to assess your competitors pricing structure, and decide on the prices you’d like to set for your own prenatal yoga teachers

For reference take a look at the following breakdown from ‘Yoga Bumps & Babies

why yoga studios fail example competitor

Say a business of this nature was your biggest competitor within the local field, with this research  you will be able to determine how your pricing structure compares. For example, if you offer more sessions across a longer time period you could realistically charge a higher price.

For example, if you ran a 12 week course, consisting of 8 sessions, you could charge a £100 fee. 

This is because you have conducted the research, determined that your business offers double what your main competitors do, and therefore your prices should reflect this.

If you’d like to learn more about this topic, check out our in-depth exploration of how to find your target yoga market.

Before You Go!

Learning how to overcome the challenges of running a yoga studio is part of the role, and our guide has provided ideas on finding solutions that work for your business.

Remember, by completing a Level 4 yoga teacher course, you can effectively strengthen your problem solving skills. This is achieved through building upon the existing skills and knowledge you have acquired as an instructor working in the industry.

OriGym’s FREE course prospectus is also available to download now! 

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About the Author: Erin McDonough

Erin OriGym Author
Erin holds a BA in English Language and Linguistics, which she attained whilst studying at Bangor University. Whilst studying, she found a passion for editing and writing, and has worked with writers from the Wirral and Liverpool area over the past 3 years. Erin also has a keen interest in strength training and yoga, often incorporating mindfulness techniques into the latter. Outside of work, Erin can be found gaming, catching up with the newest book releases, or song writing.

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