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Week 11, May 8, Part I Survey Results About Fees

May 27, 2013

Need-money-for-Yoga

Pre-class announcements –

Dorie Silverman  is offering a “Summer camp” continuing ed for yoga teachers, two Tuesday afternoons for 3 months during the summer, 3 hours each class.  “Friend” Dorie on Facebook to learn more.

Geri reviewed the results from the class survey related to fees, policies, privates, corporate classes, etc.  Here are the highlights.

Privates

  • Range of fees for private $60-$125, the average was about $100 per hour
  • Some offer discounts if client pays cash, or buys a package – some never discount
  • Small group rate – $150, or some charged their private rate with $10 per each additional person.  Some small group events included mom/daughter party, couples party, etc.
  • Charge for travel to privates ranged from $10-$20 depending on distance
  • Duration of privates, 60-90 minutes
  • Some studios have very low private rates to help build overall clientele.  The volume is higher, teachers get more exposure.  One teacher talked about teaching as much as 15 privates a week in addition to her group class
  • If you do a private in the studio and that student asks you to come to their house for a private, is that considered appropriate?  If the studio does not have a policy against it, it’s considered okay.
  • If you are doing a private and arrive on time but the client is not ready, make sure the class concludes at the originally scheduled time.
  • Set boundaries.  Some teachers prefer to do privates at studios instead of going to someone’s house, some only do women or couples when a man and woman are both there.
  • Cancellation policy – one teacher said if a private student cancels within 5 hours of class and can reschedule in the same week, she does not charge for the cancellation.  Others have a 24 hour policy, but are flexible.
  • Let new clients know your policy and get it out in the open right from the start.  Good to have rules, and good to be flexible when appropriate.
  • Privates can be good, but they go in waves, should try not to count on privates for financial stability
  • Ideas for building your private clients business:
  • Tell existing clients that your schedule has opened up and if they have a friend to recommend, you would consider it.
  • Announce after class that your schedule has opened and you’re now accepting privates
  • If someone comes up to you after class with some special requests or needs, consider suggesting a private
  • Having a website helps that tells about you, and mentions private instruction available.
  • Waivers for privates – for corporate clients yes, but most did not have waivers for privates

Corporate Rates

  • Corporate class rate $60-$200, some charge $10 per student

Health Club Rates

  • Health club hourly rates range $40-$60 per hour

Studio Rates

  • Most studios offer a flat rate, around $30 per class, with an additional amount per student after the 6th student.  The per student ranges was $3-$11.  For example at one studio, the rate is $3 for students who buy a monthly pass and $5 for others
  • Specialty workshops – $15-$50 per student depending on length of workshop, with 30% going to the studio, and 70% to the teacher.  Some had 60/40 split
  • If it’s an ongoing class, the split with the studio is typically 50/50. An example of an ongoing class is “Teachers’ Conversation”

Retreats

  • Retreats $60-$100 per day per student – a well-attended retreat can be a lucrative endeavor – teach two classes per day.
  • However, yoga retreats are declining in attendance, possibly due to market saturation

Other yoga vacation options

  • Fitnessprotravel.com – vacation option where you can be a teacher for a week at a tropical luxury resort and pay just $500 per week for your hotel accomodations.  Great way to travel on the cheap
  • Teacher is residence – can go for one month or a specific amount of time and keep traveling

Advice about setting fees

  • When setting fees – whatever you charge, you have to feel completely comfortable saying whatever the amount is – have to feel secure with it and can be direct about it with clients.
  • From the studio owner standpoint, think very hard about the initial price you set – don’t set too low – it takes a lot the change the amount, too much paperwork, student pushback, etc.
  • Several teachers ask for a raise annually
  • Keep your prices in pace with inflation – if you haven’t raised you rates in 5 years, you should think about an increase.
  • We have a responsibility to ourselves and the greater good of other yoga teachers to keep our rates at a fair market value and charge what we’re worth.

Non-compete clauses

  • Becoming more common

Liability insurance

  • Good to have liability insurance
  • Most studios and health clubs have their own, but also require teachers to have their own policy
  • With Yoga Journal’s insurance offering, you no longer have to buy journal with insurance
  • Philadelphia Insurance was the liability insurance that most used

Emergency in class

  • What should you do when some in your class has an emergency?
  • Think about how you will handle an emergency in advance
  • Ask people to leave class, call 911, be prepared
  • Keep your CPR certification up to date
  • You can never be fully prepared – it’s scary when something happens – but think through the situation in advance.
  • One studio recently did a CPR training for their teachers.

None of us become yoga teachers because we want to become a millionaire.  It’s a service – a valuable service, but it’s hard to make a living.  Consider keeping your day job for a few years until you can build up your practice and following.  The Core Power and other yoga chains have changed the dynamics of the yoga business.  Groupons also can be a blessing and a curse.

With so many yoga teachers saturating the market, you almost have to have niche.  There is a trend toward developing more specialization in your yoga teaching.  Consider what’s good for you and go with it.

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