Owning your own yoga studio can be an adventurous and rewarding experience. The profit potential of opening a Bikram studio is encouraging, as well. The number of yoga practitioners in the United States has reached about 15.8 million, and a recent study found that Americans spend 5.7 billion dollars a year on yoga classes and products (Yoga in America study, 2008). With yoga increasing in popularity and new markets opening up, opening a Bikram studio could be a worthy investment.
You will need to complete six months and 75 hours of teaching at an authorised/franchised Bikram Yoga studio before you can apply to become a franchised studio owner.
To apply, fill out the franchise form on the Bikram Yoga website.
Once approved, you will receive a copy of a franchise disclosure document. This will detail minimum total square footage and minimum amenity requirements for a franchised Bikram studio.
Create a business plan by determining estimates of start-up costs, analysis of the market, description of your marketing strategy and estimates of revenues and expenses.
Find a suitable location for your Bikram studio. The best location will be easily accessible, located in a relatively populated area and visible from a major road, and will also comply with the Bikram franchise requirements.
Name your business. Contact a trademark lawyer to verify the availability of the selected name and register the name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Purchase small business and liability insurance.
Purchase equipment needed to run your business, such as yoga mats, towels, decoration, lighting, computers and phone systems, along with business software that helps with bookkeeping and payroll.
Hire qualified yoga instructors to teach your Bikram classes, and set up an initial class schedule that meets the needs of your clientele. Both day and night classes are recommended.
Advertise in local publications and even offer coupons to attract students and bolster your new business. Having a website is also recommended to ensure your business is visible to a large number of prospective students.
Seek assistance from those experienced in starting, running and growing small businesses, as well as those familiar with Bikram yoga and catering to the interests of this niche clientele.
Do not rush into anything. Make sure you have a solid business plan, desirable location and funds to get your studio off the ground. Also be prepared as your Bikram yoga studio adjusts to volumes and unforeseen circumstances.