The time has come to reopen your yoga studio and phew, thereâ€™s a lot to consider! In a previous article, we outlined some high-level tips for any small business owners reopening their doors.
But your business is a little different. Youâ€™re dealing with customers face-to-face (or sometimes butt-to-butt) in confined spaces. Thereâ€™s sweat. Thereâ€™s equipment. And there may be limits to the number of yogis you can allow through your doors.
Below, weâ€™ve outlined some helpful tips to consider as you plan for reopening your yoga studio. From building out a clear communication plan to modifying your pricing and schedule, weâ€™re here to help you make sure youâ€”and your customersâ€”feel confident in returning to the mat.
1 | Show your customers that youâ€™re taking their safety seriously.
Remember when people felt healthy and righteous on their way to work out? So do we. But these days, the threat of sweating and sharing small spaces is giving more people pause.
If you want your customers to come back to your yoga studio, itâ€™s critical they feel safe.
There are plenty of resources that can help you stay on top of the latest public health protocols. For starters, you can check your cityâ€™s website to see if there are safety standards you can follow. Many cities are offering free posters with information about public health orders (kind of like health code ratings) that can be displayed outside your studio to let people know youâ€™re following the highest standards.
Many yoga studios are making sure distancing signage is visible throughout their studio. Theyâ€™re taping their floors with painterâ€™s tape to measure mat distance, including adequate space for the instructor up front. Theyâ€™re marking every other locker or cubby for customerâ€™s belongings, as well as 6 feet of spacing at the front desk. These safety signals can help your customers feel more comfortable and confident that youâ€™re keeping their health in mind.
2 | Diversify your offerings and pricing.
During quarantine, you may have experimented with streaming classes online. (Maybe you even tried Acuityâ€™s Zoom integration). As you head back to the studio, you might be limiting the number of in-studio yogis per classâ€”but that doesnâ€™t mean you need to limit your customer base or potential earnings.
Many yoga studios are continuing to host online classes to make up for the difference. Weâ€™ve seen instructors pre-record classes with an empty studio, stream classes live, or record live classes and post them later.
These options might affect your pricing strategy. Maybe you charge more for attending in-person classes and offer a discounted rate for the online streamers. You also might want to create hybrid packages to accommodate people who attend both in-person and online classes. You can even consider offering a â€śback to the matâ€ť promotional discount.
Worried about making ends meet while teaching at 50% capacity and offering discounted online rates? If you donâ€™t have the space but do have more instructors with availability, you can always get creative and teach in public parks or beaches. Just be sure to check your cityâ€™s website for permit requirements first!
3 | Set your customersâ€™ expectations with a re-opening announcement.
While their downward dogs might look the same, their experiences in your studio probably wonâ€™t.
Before you re-open, you might be getting ready to send a communication to your customers to ensure they know what to expectâ€”or not to expectâ€”in your studio.
Below are some topics you may want to include in this email or social media announcement:
Your pledge to cleanliness: Let them know how you plan to keep your space safe and clean. Are you following distance guidelines provided by the CDC or your city officials? Are you sanitizing your studio consistently between clients? These safety details will go a long way in easing customersâ€™ concerns.
Let them know how your services have changed: Are you only offering a limited number of classes per day? Have your hours shifted? Do you no longer accept walk-ins? Provide a clear outline of how your studio will operate in the coming months and make sure they know what this means for them when they arrive (i.e., longer lines at check-in, pre-registration required, limited capacity). Additionally, if you plan to offer online classes, make sure the option to register is on your website, as well as your communication.
Include a list of what theyâ€™ll need to bring to class: If youâ€™re no longer providing props, towels, and studio-owned mats, make sure customers know to bring their own supplies.
After your first re-opening announcement, you can customize specific automated reminders to customers who have registered for classes by using Acuityâ€™s email and SMS reminders. Check out this article for a full rundown on how to set up reminders that will help customers stay prompt and in the loop.
4 | Minimize face-to-face customer interactions with smart scheduling and contactless payments.
As we outlined above, one of the big changes to your studio might be limiting the interaction you have with customers in the studio.
If youâ€™re not accepting walk-ins, for example, itâ€™s important that your customers know they can easily book classes ahead of time online. With your Acuity scheduling page, itâ€™s easy to set up different class types, share availability with customers, and let them book in a few quick clicks.
Looking to accept contactless payments? Add payment processing at the point of scheduling, so your staff and customers donâ€™t have to exchange cards or cash at check-in. You can help customers feel more comfortable with this new payment requirement by highlighting why youâ€™re doing it on your scheduling page, or even in your automated confirmation emails to customers.
5 | Build cleaning into your daily schedule.
It used to be that a quick wipe down between classes and an end-of-day cleaning could be enough, but now you have to clean. Like, eat off the floor, your mother-in-law is coming to town clean. This is going to take time, so make sure to build cleaning into your day. Stay on track by , which will automatically reflect on your Acuity availability.
To minimize your cleaning time, it might be smart to do away with props, towels, and studio-owned mats. But make sure to communicate this ahead of time with your customers so they can bring their own. Also, consider setting up a few self-service sanitization stations around your studio. Ask that yogis wipe down their areas post-flow, and encourage them to sanitize their own mats.
We know that things might not look â€śnormalâ€ť for a while, but weâ€™re here to help you navigate a safe, profitable return to the studio during this latest version of the new normal.
Re-open with the scheduling tools you need to succeed.
Automated reminders, integrated payment processing, and a client scheduling page embedded in your websiteâ€”these tools and more are available on all paid Acuity plans. But you can try them for free first!
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