Everyone knows the story of Goldilocks and the three bears. The little girl was analyzing the bears’ food, beds and the entirety of their house — stating some things were “too big,” “too small,” or “just right.” Yoga studio owners are a Goldilocks of their own sort, constantly determining if something is “just right” at their studio.
One thing that seems to always need this careful evaluation by studio owners is class scheduling — from time slots, to days to instructors.
Keeping your studio offerings just right and appealing to your students is essential to your success, so it is important to constantly evaluate offerings and adjust them to the wants and needs of your students.
Diane Butera, the founder of Eugene Yoga in Eugene, Oregon, explained the health and fitness world is always developing and evolving, which is why it is much more important to make calculated decisions before adding a new trending class to your schedule. Just because a trampoline class is doing well at a studio a couple miles away, doesn’t necessarily mean it will have the same success with your clientele.
“It’s important to ask yourself whether a practice is a fad or a more sustainable trend within the yoga community as a whole,” said Butera. “A studio may add an interesting new class to their schedule, but this does not guarantee it will have long-term viability at that studio, or yours for that matter.”
After evaluating the addition of a class, the day and time you choose is another consideration. It’s hard to determine how it will do before incorporating it into the schedule, but sometimes a slow start is not an ultimate deal breaker. Also, Butera suggested keeping in mind how you will handle subs for the class in the future.
“Our studio offers classes at 4 p.m. on Saturdays, which works well because no other studio in town has this option. Also, think about the logistics of subs when scheduling your new class. If you’re scheduling a class during the weekend or early morning, will you have enough subs willing to show up for that class? In line with this thought, make sure you have enough teachers who are able to fill for the style of class offered. For instance, prenatal yoga is a specialized class that not all instructors feel comfortable subbing for.”
Marketing should start before the class is first held, and should be continued in the coming months to promote it. This sets the class up to have a buzz around it before it starts, and photos of the first few classes could be the push others need to give it a try.
“Create an eye-catching flyer to post in your studio, announce the new class on Facebook, give the instructors free passes to hand out to interested students and make the first class free,” said Butera. “Offering a free introductory class separate from what is on the schedule can also pique interest. Lastly, ask other instructors, staff and friends to help build interest by checking out the class and spreading the word if it’s something they enjoy.”
Finally, the last step is your follow-up process. According to Butera, make sure to review attendance, ask for student feedback and check in with the instructors on how they feel the class is going. The critiques you receive will ultimately create the best classes for your studio.