Some yogis are good (or even awesome) when it comes to financial stuff. If this is you- HOORAY!
But for many of us, the money part of yoga business can often feel scary and overwhelming.
We didn't get into teaching yoga for the money.
We teach because we are passionate about yoga and want to help others.
But when it comes down to it, we all gotta eat! As teachers and retreat leaders, we need to be able to make a sustainable living in order to keep doing what we love! If we can’t pay the bills teaching yoga, we may end up having to go get a “real job.”
So what’s a yoga teacher to do?
As yogis, we all know that if something feels scary or intimidating, it's a green light to lean in, get curious, cultivate understanding and courage, and ultimately to transform. Fear and uncertainty can be amazing catalysts for growth and new opportunity.
So if you’ve been feeling uneasy and uncertain about all the financial stuff for your retreat, it’s a actually good sign that you are READY to get more clear and to transform that murky energy into confidence and courage. So let’s dive in!
How to Budget & Price Your Retreat
Now, budgeting is not really a sexy or exciting word. And it's not the first thing we think of when we decide to plan a retreat.
It’s way more fun to focus on choosing your retreat location, deciding on your menu, and planning out your class themes.
But ultimately, your budget is the foundation for your retreat.
It's like the structure, the sthira, that supports the rest of your retreat planning process. Without a clear budget, how are you going to know how much you are really spending (on supplies, marketing, etc), how much you are making, and... gulp...if you are losing money?
Here are some things to consider when creating a budget and pricing your retreat:
1. Budget before Price
Understand your retreat expenses BEFORE setting the price for your retreat. Getting clear on your expenses will help you price your retreat so that you can cover your costs + make a profit.
2. Map it out
Make a spreadsheet of all your expenses on a word or excel document. Write down everything you can think of + leave some room in your budget for unexpected expenses.
Here’s a basic list of Common Retreat Expenses:
- Accommodations/ lodging
- Your travel
- Your students' travel (if included)
- Marketing Costs
- Credit card transaction fees
- Staff or co-teacher pay
- Gifts for your students
- Extra excursions
- Gratuities for retreat staff
3. Analyze your costs to determine your price
Once you are clear on your retreat expenses, figure out how much you need to:
1) Break even
2) Make a profit
3) Actually make the retreat worthwhile for you!
Now that you have a clear picture of your expenses, you can determine your cost per student. Once you know your cost per student, you can then price your retreat so that you cover your costs + make a profit.
After you price your retreat, do a little more analyzing to see if the price will work for you. How many students do you need to break even? How many students do you need to make a decent profit? And how much could you make with your maximum # of students?
Remember, your goal is to make a profit you are super happy with and that compensates you for all the time, energy and love you put into planning your retreat. If you aren't happy with your budget, price & possible profit, go back and play with the numbers. Is there anything you can change in order to save money (change the venue, menu, extra excursions)? Or do you need to think about raising your price? Setting a budget and price for your retreat is a process. So give yourself liberty to explore different options.
4. Consider your time
You are putting in A LOT of time to plan your retreat, and you will also be taking time off from your regular teaching gigs to lead this retreat. So when deciding on your retreat price, be sure to know the value of your time and energy. This is a big one for yoga teachers, don't you think?!
Remember to factor in how much you WILL NOT be making at home so that you know what you SHOULD make while you're away.
5. Do your research
We DO NOT advise you to price your retreat based on what another teacher is charging. However, IT IS a good idea to do your research and see what’s out there. This will give you a general ballpark of what’s on the market.
But remember that you don’t know the back end of someone else's retreat- what their actual expenses are, everything that's included in the retreat, or even HOW they decided to price their retreat.
Do your research to be informed, but don’t base YOUR retreat price on someone else's retreat.
6. Remember the the bigger picture value
When deciding on the price of your retreat, consider what we call the BIGGER PICTURE VALUE of your retreat. What are your students REALLY getting? What is the transformative experience they may be looking for AND how can your retreat meet their needs?
They aren’t just signing up for 3 yoga classes, 6 healthy meals, and beach time.
Your retreat may offer someone the chance for some long-overdue “me-time.” You may have students who have health issues, who are grieving, who need a break from parenting, or who are having trouble in their marriages.
Remember your retreat is a space for connection, healing and transformation. Your retreat has the potential to change people’s lives. So always get clear on the BIGGER PICTURE VALUE of what you are offering when you price your retreat.
Let us know in the comments below if this was helpful for you and what you struggle with when pricing your retreat.
PS. Want to learn more in-depth about how to create a rockin' retreat budget + how to price your retreat right? We have an online yoga teacher training coming out soon! We'll teach you the the A-Z of planning successful yoga retreats that stand out from the crowd.