Sometimes we spin out of control. It takes time to dial it in, return to yourself, create the space you need to align back with priorities and routine.
Revaluation happens during this period – and you get the chance to see your choices and opportunities with fresh eyes.
Since starting my job with Athleta more than 6 months ago, I’ve learned so much that I can barely wrap my head around it. This position has given me the chance to connect and collaborate with an incredible amount of women who are trying to help people get healthier by building spaces and communities around health and wellness. It’s the sweetest gig ever.
I have taken over 30 different fitness classes at more than 15 local studios since I started this job. My personal experience as a yoga teacher and fitness instructor allows me to notice what is truly working for a studio – and what isn’t. I notice the special sauce, because every studio or gym has it. It’s their yang of wellness + business that keeps clients coming back. I also pick up on the yin – the pressure points, the rough edges that could use some smoothing.
ENOUGH with the analogies, Liz, here are a few things I’ve learned along the way since my wellness adventures with Athleta began:
1) What matters first is how YOU show up – cultivate CARE + ABUNDANCE.
If you own or teach at a studio, one of the most important factors is the WAY you show up for your clients AND your fellow teachers who are backbone of your studio.
Every single person needs to feel well taken care of – loved, seen, and important. If you can do this and without making people feel guilty about going other places – you’re going to get more people from more places walk in your door.
It’s the abundance mindset and it’s crucial for a successful studio. I believe 1000% there is room for all the yoga studios and gyms to meet the needs of their personal clients and themselves. There is the ideal client for every place – however, that fluctuates over time and overlaps with other offerings. Wanting a member to only attend your studio is silly – you simply cannot offer everything they need.
Own what you CAN offer. Offer your unique niche in the best possible way. Focus on THAT and support your people. Let them leave with love and always welcome to come back. There is more than enough room for everyone. This leads to point number 2.
2) People require variety – collaborations are smart, competition is stupid.
People plateau faster than their monthly membership. That’s how the physical body works and we all know it. The body gets good at things quickly. Studios that offer variety – classes, teachers, events, deals, workshops, etc do the best because student’s bodies and minds don’t get bored.
This is an opportunity not a setback. Studios who see it like that THRIVE. Collaborate with teachers from difference studios. Explore each other’s energy and audience. The more you genuinely want to help students achieve and maintain optimal health, the more you’ll send them to explore other offerings, and the more they will trust you have their best interest in mind. This pays back ten-fold.
3) Cultivating community is the smartest business plan professionals can invest in. Give back, include your clients, & ask for help! Your members are your people.
The more you do numbers 1 and 2, the more expansive your community becomes. This brings opportunity into your space – use it! You might have a member who is into photography – ask THEM to take photos of the space for a free class pass. Maybe a local business owner who comes to yoga would love to do a pop up shop. You can’t get to know your members if you’re not present and aware.
Instructors NEED to be able to step away from the desk. Let a “volunteer” check people in and give new people a tour and a towel. There are so many tasks that studio owners take on that could be easily delegated to a volunteer (someone who works for a membership.)
The owners/teachers should be speaking with her students before class, not feeling rushed because the MINDBODY swiper isn’t working. Cultivate a loyal and engaged community all day every day and it will pay off.
I have been to and taught numerous classes where there is barely a breath shared between teacher and student before class starts. It depends on the teacher and the students. But I think at the end of the day, my philosophy is if you consistently have 10 or more people, with regular drop ins and newbies, the instructor probably needs help to make this experience smoother, better for all.
Think about the studio you LOVE that is worth every penny.
What is it that you love most about it? Why does it make you feel the way you do? What about the experience keeps you coming back?
I would love to hear your feedback in the comments below! Or feel free to reply on social media. Let’s keep dialogue going!
XO + OM