Like yoga, there is a flow to your client’s day. And for Kerry Bestwick, it’s discovering that particular flow that determines a studio’s schedule.
As a co-owner of PYP Studio in State College, Pennsylvania, Bestwick explained determining her studio’s class schedule has consisted of trial and error. Demographic and culture of the clientele varies from studio to studio, something Bestwick — who owned a studio prior to PYP — realized. “It’s really what does and doesn’t work,” she said.
At PYP Studio, Bestwick puts herself into her client’s shoes. She said to ask yourself how your clients probably feel at the different times of day. “Explore across the board,” she said. “What does it feel like to move at the time of day [you’re looking to schedule a class]?”
For example, at 6 a.m., PYP has an awakening yoga class, because its clients are just getting out of bed. Then at 10:30 a.m., the studio offers a restoration yoga class, because many athletes who do another workout in the morning will come for rejuvenation. Late evening classes are more relaxing, as people are slowing down for the day. “Speak to your clients,” said Bestwick. “They are great at letting you know what you need.”
Scheduling is also about balancing your client’s needs and the needs of your instructors. Bestwick explained her yoga teachers have jobs, families and lives that she and her co-owner have to consider. “They tell us what works for them,” she said.
Plus, she always makes sure her instructors are not overextended in terms of classes and teaching times. She said it’s key to maximize your yoga teachers, while making sure they don’t get burned out.
When first starting PYP Studio, Bestwick noted they changed their schedule of classes too often. “We’ve made mistakes in the past,” she said.
Now, the schedule only changes four times a year as it flows with the seasons. In summer and fall, there will be less evening classes, as the studio’s clientele typically want to go outside and enjoy the nice days. In the winter and until about April or May, there will be more evening classes.
All in all, Bestwick said the class schedule that works for one studio might not work for another. She said listening to your clients is key, as well as listening to how the body feels at different times of day. From there, you can build not only the number of classes you offer, but also how the daily schedule is structured. “Try and have a balance,” she said.