Dreamt of having your own yoga studio? Franchising could make this a reality explains Michelle Nicklin of Sandstone Yoga.
There are thousands of yoga teachers across the UK helping people live healthier and happier lives every day… while dreaming of maybe one day swopping the community hall or local studio for a place of their own. Of course it feels like a hugely daunting and risky prospect, requiring major investment of time, money and energy. But this doesn’t have to be someone else’s dream – there is a way for people just like you!
From cafes, car cleaning, fitness to fast food, franchise businesses are all around us and are today more popular than ever. Franchises provide a quicker and safer route to follow your passion as they provide an established brand, existing business structure, step-by-step guide to success and a support network. The British Franchise Association says that nine out of 10 franchises are profitable in year one. The first 12 months are a critical period when many new businesses fail as they run into inevitable teething problems.
My own experience in setting up a studio illustrates that it is inevitably going to take 12-24 months to develop you own studio/brand and business infrastructure to the point where you can feel comfortable that you are truly ‘up and running’. Franchises remove much of the risk, uncertainty and work from that start-up process.
But who are franchisees? There’s no set profile because everyone is different. But good people skills, a passion for what you do, hard work and an ability to follow an established system are all traits which underpin success. Franchisees often have an entrepreneurial spark but tend to want to start a business that doesn’t present too many risks.
By paying an initial fee and then an ongoing percentage of turnover a yoga franchise allows you to buy a ‘ready made’ business with an established infrastructure, trusted brand, marketing materials and step-by-step guide to success. A wider support network ensures you can short cut any problems and focus on making your studio a success as soon as possible.
Cost-effective booking, revenue management and customer relationship IT systems mean that online bookings, marketing and cash-flow are all taken care of. A tried and tested core class schedule you can tweak over time means you won’t have to worry too much about finding out what works with months of trial and error.
Of course, you still have to find a suitable premises, secure planning permission and invest in refurbishing to the right standard but there is advice and core templates to make this initial step as painless as possible.
Being a franchisee reduces the stress & risk of opening a yoga studio. For those that want the ultimate – their own yoga studio, providing a professional income with a business providing services they love – franchising might just be the way to truly live the dream. And remember your studio in a franchise is ultimately your long term asset to sell on. Could this be you?
Michelle Nicklin is the Founder of Sandstone Yoga & Pilates and successfully franchised her studio model in 2017.