Post-pandemic, Yoga and pilates are the hottest they’ve ever been. People are getting back into the gym to work off that pandemic fat, and as the global travel restrictions have been lifted, it’s never been a better time to start a yoga retreat business.
According to creative wellness co, Fitness tourism, which includes Yoga retreats, is expected to reach $915bn in 2023 (Statistica).
It’s a well-trodden industry, but it has enough room to accommodate new yoga instructors and entrepreneurs looking to make a name for themselves.
Currently, there are over 48,000 yoga studios and businesses in the United States (Zippa), and the number grows each year. Thousands have built successful businesses before you, and you can find similar success if you follow these 9 simple steps to setting up your Yoga retreat center business.
This Post in A Nutshell
- Every good yoga retreat business understands its target market and builds the business from the ground up with a detailed business plan.
- Finding a great partner and employees in the beginning can help you delegate the more demanding aspects of making your retreat business work, like administrative work, cleaning, teaching classes, etc.
- Take your time to develop a great marketing campaign and set up your yoga retreat at a location that gels with your brand and provides the most legal and financial incentives.
9 Steps to Setting Up a Yoga Retreat Business
1. Define Your Niche
If you’ve been teaching Yoga for any length of time, you might already identify the niche of your target market. However, if you’re new or looking to switch up niches, you might want to take the time to know what sort of travelers you’ll be marketing to.
Are you looking to work with solo travelers, families, young couples, moms, corporations, etc.? Knowing your potential students/ clients intimately makes it easier to create a unique selling proposition for your marketing strategy and decide on which social media platforms you market.
Your clients should also dictate your retreat location, the amenities, hires, program, and just about everything else. Do not rush this stage of the process.
2. Develop A Business Plan for Your Own Yoga Retreat Center
Every successful business starts with a decent business plan, and as soon as you’ve figured out who you’re selling to, you can start working on your business plan. It should cover the following:
- Your mission statement for your yoga retreat center
- Executive summary of your retreat center
- Products and services
- Overall business structure and job responsibilities
- Marketing analysis
- Sales strategy and forecast
- Pricing strategy
- Startup capital and expenditure
- Expansion strategy
Don’t know the first step to drafting a business plan? Look up examples of great business plans from yoga retreat companies that have succeeded in the past.
The benefits of a written financial plan for your yoga retreat center are two-fold. Not only does it give you the means to measure and track the development of your retreat center. It also opens you up to business offers and allows you to look for investors, partners, or firms that can shoulder some or all of the costs of setting up your retreat business or yoga studio.
3. Get An Estimate on The Funds and Your Budget For The Center
While it might seem like obvious advice, it can save you a lot of grief in the short and long term. Bust out a calculator and calculate what your dream venture costs.
Factor in permits, legal support, cost of a lease, and general facilities maintenance like electricity, water, and insurance. Don’t forget permits and security too.
Once you have a figure, include it in the business plan you present to investors, and use that as a jump-off point to create goals for financial cash flow. Businesses can’t operate at a loss forever. Even specialist travel companies set long-term goals to ensure financiers and investors.
Having strong goals and an adequate financial flow is vital in the premature stage of a business.
4. Choose The Right Partners
A yoga retreat business is usually too big an undertaking for one yoga instructor or teacher to handle independently. Finding partners that shore up weaknesses could mean the difference between success and failure in the long run.
Silent partners who can bankroll your business are ideal, but if you have a smaller pool of resources to draw from, focus on individuals experienced in administration, travel, and practicing yoga. They are a huge advantage in an industry as cutthroat as the yoga retreat center business.
5. Structure Your Business
Asides from the service your business will offer, you need to consider what general business structure is most appropriate.
As early as your first year, you want to work on building your business with the intention of selling, even if you don’t intend to. That means no administrative ambiguity, overburdened staff, or making the business over-reliant on you.
Hire a yoga teacher or multiple yoga instructors besides yourself to help take the pressure off. Caretakers and hospitality staff are also a must if you have plans to expand your retreat business.
You also need to consider what type of business structure best suits your business in the eyes of the local law.
What tax benefits, write-offs, and grants do identifying as a limited liability company bring, or does branding yourselves as retreat organizers present unique opportunities?
6. Set Up Your Retreat Center
Once you have the basics squared away, turn your full attention toward the yoga retreat location. It can’t be just a regular Yoga studio in any remote location.
You have to pick a country, state, or destination that appeals to your target demographic. Costa Rica, for example, draws in the adventurous and spiritual crowd and could mean big local and international business for your yoga retreat center.
Also, whatever building you choose to buy or lease should have great general facilities and account for how much space your clients might want.
It should also have big open spaces, decorations, wall paintings (optional), and attractions that add to the ambiance of the location and encourage a healthy lifestyle, emotional bonding, clear communication, and empathy.
Security is also a big must. Your students trust you with their safety when they’re signing up for your yoga retreats. Hire as much security as you think appropriate, and make sure your location is not too far from a town or city.
7. Hire Staff
Hiring people might prove to be a challenge if you run a retreat center in a foreign country. Yoga teachers might not be as popular over there, or you might find it next to impossible to find a high-quality teacher willing to work for your new company, especially if you have limited startup capital.
Finding instructors who are willing to travel or teach at your own yoga retreat center might be a great compromise when you’re starting out. Chefs and other staff members could also be sourced locally or flown in.
8. Marketing Your Yoga Retreat Business
Getting the word out about your new Yoga retreat business is arguably the most important thing you can focus on in this list.
Good marketing helps you attract potential customers or clients, and knowing your niche can help you lay the foundation of a solid marketing strategy.
At this point in the process, you’re probably asking yourself how much you can expect to make as a yoga business owner. Check out the linked post for the answers
First, you’ll need a website with all of your information as well as details on how to contact your yoga retreat center or yoga practice.
Then, you’ll need SEO blogs and web content, so you rank appropriately on Google.
At this point, you can now invest in Ads, Google ads, post on all social media platforms, and leverage other unconventional means to make business offers.
This could mean you have to attend retreats and meet other Yoga instructors in your other Yoga instructors with varying mindsets.
We also recommend conventions, networking events, or talking to business owners.
9. Launch Your Project
If your marketing round goes well and you’ve managed to gather enough clients, you’d be ready for launch. That often means weeks of hard work scrambling around to make your dream happen.
You might have to rely on friends, go as the sole teacher, or spend more money than you’ve budgeted, but you’ll be laying the foundations of a business that’ll thrive in a fiercely competitive industry.
Starting a yoga retreat center is no walk in the park. It takes a lot of hard work, resources, and mental preparation on the business owner’s part to come to terms with how much their dream venture costs. As a new comer, you should come mentally and physically prepared for the highs and lows of starting a new business.
The Bottom Line
Launching a yoga retreat business is certainly not a walk in the park. It requires planning, commitment, and consistency. But with the tips in this guide, you can be well on your way.
As with other endeavors, it helps to break them down in to small actionable steps that you can follow everyday. Goodluck!