In 2001, when they opened College Park Yoga in Orlando, Florida, Theresa and Calvin Curameng did not have a business plan.
“It was really funny because when we told people we were opening a studio, the first question was always, ‘What’s your business plan?’ Calvin and I would look at each other and were like, ‘Why does a yoga studio need a business plan?’ Because we weren’t looking at it as a business. This is something we love. This is something we want to do,” said Theresa.
Their business plan became very “organic,” according to Theresa. And marketing came the same way. When they wanted to get the word out that College Park Yoga existed in Orlando, they went with the truth. “For us, marketing was more about honesty of what we’re doing, as opposed to trying to compete with anyone else or trying to show up anyone else,” said Theresa. “It was solely based on telling the truth of what we do and saying it in a way that motivated people.”
When Andrew Seifert took over Yogatiques in October 2015, his first step as the owner was putting up fliers in local businesses. Seifert partnered with a graphic designer who made 4×6 print cards with pictures of the studio. To him, the cards were twofold: they displayed the studio in an aesthetically pleasing way, and they offered one free class at Yogatiques.
But he soon realized that marketing to local businesses needed parameters. People 10 miles outside of the studio located in Hopkins, Minnesota, were likely to come, but people 15 miles away, or more, were less likely.
And this realization has helped him save money on print or TV marketing. “Yoga is one of those things where you go to it if it’s convenient,” said Seifert. “For the most part, it’s really local. So we changed our marketing to, rather [than] do print ads and ads in newspapers to a big region, we narrowed everything down to what’s in 5 miles of the studio. Just because I want to focus on where people are.”
Seifert also realized that fliers wouldn’t be enough to market the studio. He said to best let the community know his studio exists, he’s had to be creative and rely on multiple mediums — word of mouth, fliers, social media and advertisements.
Though she opened 15 years ago, Theresa still does not have a business or marketing plan. She simply relies on what feels natural to her, not stressing on ensuring she has a Facebook post or invitation for each class, or putting up a certain number of fliers each week.
“I would suggest to future yoga studio owners — don’t take a marketing class at a local college that’s going to tell you to open up next door and beat your competition,” said Theresa. “My recommendation for yoga studios is to do what’s natural for them.”