As a yoga studio owner, you may be tempted to diversify your class schedule in order to attract a wider demographic of customers. Although this can be a good move in many instances, it’s not always the only solution to growing your reach. Instead, you could try focusing on the quality of your teachers.
At least that is what Stephen Fletcher, the owner of The Yoga Circle in Birmingham, Alabama has done. He does offer a wide variety of classes. But in his case, students are more attracted to the teachers who lead those classes.
“Our most popular teacher is Pilar Taylor,” said Fletcher. “She teaches heated vinyasa, but it’s about her more than the style. She’s a role model for almost everybody. She has so much energy. She just draws them in and people love being in the space with her.”
Attracting good people allowed The Yoga Circle to grow from a small studio, to being one of the most prominent locations in town. “We were in a crappy, little hole in the wall and it didn’t matter because the students were there for the right reasons,” he said. “I have to give credit to my teachers. I look for people with good messages and good philosophies to present to the students, because that’s the stuff they really take into the real world.”
To attract good people, Fletcher said you, yourself have to be a good person. “Be open to people where they’re at,” he explained. “I’ll be honest, some of the [teachers] I don’t agree with. I don’t even like some of their classes or approach necessarily, but I understand that other people would, and I can see something that is sincere about them.”
During the interview process, Fletcher said he tries to get to know who a teacher is as a person, versus going through their resume. “I care about their spirit, and do they really care about what they’re doing,” he said. “If I see that, then they’re in.”
When it comes to growing your reach, Fletcher advised again to keep it simple and focus on what matters, which is building a community of passionate students and teachers. “When we started, I didn’t get a big business loan, I didn’t try to overdo it, I didn’t go over the top and think people wanted all these great amenities,” he said. “They want a good person, they want a good class.”