Key #1: Yoga is on a Growth Spurt
As an industry, yoga is on a growth spurt like a newborn babe.
According to Yoga Journal, in 2008 in the US alone over 16 million adults practiced yoga. They spent a grand total of $5.7 billion on yoga classes and products. This figure represents an 87% increase compared with a study done in 2004. Even in 2009, during one of the worst economies in decades, a growing number of Americans flocked to yoga.
These are exciting stats for the industry! Is your practice exploding just as fast? Did your bottom line increase 87% in the last four years?
If you’re like most teachers, it probably didn’t. Why?
There are more people getting certified, more venues offering yoga, and generally just more competition. What this means is we will probably see ‘the big guys getting bigger’ (i.e. big yoga companies expanding) and independent practitioners creating more specialized niches.
Here are 6 points to help you put your practice on track for a growth spurt like your industry:
- Get certified with the best of the best. Invest in the highest standard of teacher training as you can. This will lay the foundation for you being a great teacher. Students will return because they love practicing with you.
- Have patience. Treat your business like a good wine – it only gets better with time. Watch that you don’t get burnt out, especially in the early days. You have to be really grounded for your practice to soar. There is LOTS you can do to speed up your results. BUT this is not a quick fix profession.
- Know your big picture. What do you want your business to be like in 3 – 5 years? Set your vision. Make daily decisions accordingly. Ironically, by doing so, you will set yourself up for higher quality short term results.
- Can you afford to rely on your teaching for your whole income? If finances are too tight, you might consider getting ‘another job’ to make ends meet and keep your practice authentic.
- Is your practice strong enough to teach full-time? Make sure your practice is solid enough so you will be in demand enough to support a healthy, full-time practice.
- Team up! Build a network of individuals who will support you with your growth. These can be other yoga teachers experiencing similar business challenges to support each other through common hurdles, to specialists who can offer specific advice in their area of expertise, to people who you will do certain tasks for you, to folks who will be there purely for your emotional support. Whatever it may be, don’t do this alone. Create your own dream team.
Love, Gratitude & Yoga,
Stacy McCarthy, B.S., E-RYT