I’ve been working for The Yoga Lounge, based out of Canmore, AB for nearly 3 years. I’ve done a lot of different tasks as one of the three studio managers, and had the opportunity to work as the primary studio manager this past summer for 5 months. Throughout my time working for The Yoga Lounge, I’ve learned a lot.
Here’s are 6 important lessons I’ve learned about managing a yoga studio:
The Little Things Matter
Within the first 3 months of me working at the studio,, the studio owners’ wife went into early labor with their second child and they were rushed to the city unexpectedly. We all touched based to find out how we could make sure that everything went smoothly at the studio while they were at the hospital. I never could have expected what he asked me to do – feed the cats! I thought there would be some big important task that I needed to do, but it ended up being that he needed the cats fed while they were away.
This was the first of many times where I was needed to take care of small, menial tasks that meant a lot in the bigger scheme of keeping things running smoothly. Sometimes it’s as simple as picking up toilet paper, grabbing extra stickers for the 30-day challenge you’re running, or taking care of the studio owner’s cats.
Communication is Key
This is huge. As a studio manager and a studio owner, you can only do so much behind the scenes. We need to have clear communication between the managers and the teachers in order to have everything running smoothly. At The Yoga Lounge, we use a book to write notes in that everyone is responsible for checking when they are in the studio, and it works well to ensure that student questions or problems aren’t missed and that everyone is clear on what’s going on.
It is also important to set clear communication guidelines around subbing out classes, running workshops, etc. so that all the staff is clear on the procedures and how to go about these processes.
You Work All Hours of the Day
I’ve been at the studio pulling cash outs before the 6am class, and I’ve been at the studio well past midnight for meetings with the owner or doing cash outs. The reality of running a studio is that, at the end of the day, you are responsible for everything that happens at the studio, and that means that you often work all hours of the day with no set schedule.
Train Your Staff & Hire Karma Cleaners
Running a studio is a lot, but if you do the leg work to ensure that your teachers are properly trained on how to use the software, that will save a lot of hassle and headaches. As well, having karma cleaners to clean the studio allows the teachers to focus on teaching and the managers to focus on higher level admin tasks.
With every new person that comes on, whether they are a manager, a karma cleaner, or a teacher, take the time to train them on how to use your check-in / booking software, outline the procedures and processes of the studio, and make sure they are clear on how things should flow before and after class. Similarly, make the time to rain your karma cleaners on what is expected of them as a karma cleaner and the tasks that need doing. This will take a huge weight off of your shoulders as an owner, and as a manager.
It’s About the Students
This is one of the most important lessons we learn as yoga teachers, and it translates into running a studio as well. At the end of the day, it’s always about the students and it’s important to always come back to that.
Whether someone is rude to your face or over email, it’s important to hear what they are saying and do your best to please them. If there is a conflict between teachers, it is important not to let that effect the experience that the student has. Regardless what is happening behind the scenes at the studio, make sure that you always remember that it’s about the students and not yourself.
It’s Rewarding Work
Managing a yoga studio is one of the most rewarding jobs I have ever worked. There is nothing like seeing a workshop you facilitated fill up and get really good feedback on it, or see your poster designs around town. There is nothing like a wrap-up party for a challenge where everyone thanks you for the amazing summer they had because of you. Knowing that you are making a different in someone’s day-to-day life makes all the early mornings, late nights, and toilet paper runs totally worth the time and effort!
Have you owned or managed a yoga studio? What lessons have you learned?