Working for yourself can be overwhelming.
Especially when thinking about all the things you are “supposed to” do, like making a 5 year business plan (which most of us were never taught how to do!) Let’s be honest, most people who start businesses don’t have a business degree.
But not having a biz degree shouldn't hold you up in creating traction and growing your yoga business.
In all these years of being in business for myself, being my own boss, I’ve realized there’s more power in making flexible yearly vision plans than having a traditional 5 year plan.
Instead of focusing on a complicated and time consuming 5 year goals, making a Yearly Vision Plan for your yoga business could work better for you. Why? For starters making a plan for the next 5 years is not realistic. I don’t even remember what I wanted 5 years ago!
We are constantly changing and so is the world around us. In today's globalized world things just move faster, A LOT faster. And in order to keep up, we have to be flexible and adaptable and stay open to new possibilities. As yogis we work on practicing this flexibility everyday, right?! Same in your business.
Here are a few reasons why you should do a Yearly Vision Plan:
- It allows your yoga business to be flexible and adaptable to the changing circumstances in your life, i.e. financial situations, partnerships, relationships, or moving.
- It doesn't tie you down to a plan you made 3 years ago or a goal that may have expired.
- It allows you to be creative and innovative when it comes to creating new projects and offerings.
- It's more realistic and relevant to the present moment and more aligned with what you want right now in your life and in your business
So with 2016 around the corner, we have a special gift to help you get started planning for the new year: The Yearly Vision Plan Workbook. It guides you through the steps of vision planning for your yoga business in a pretty PDF format you can and use over and over again. Download it for FREE below, print it out, get your pencil (and markers), block out some quiet time, and start vision planning right away!
First, you'll brainstorm about the big picture of what you want in your yoga business.
Next, you’ll reflect on the past year and decide what worked and didn’t work for you.
Finally, you'll look at the big picture and past in order to gain clarity in 3 specific areas of your business: what you want, what your students want, and what makes you and your yoga business unique.
So, you get the gist. Let's go a little deeper.
The Big Picture
Before you buy that pretty 2016 calendar at Target (the one with sparkles and cool fonts) take time to ask yourself what YOU WANT for your business.
Take some time to brainstorm. Don’t hold back. Think about what inspires you in your yoga teaching. It could be things you are already doing, things you want to expand on, or new things you want to explore. Ask yourself how you want to live your life in the coming year.
Think about the details:
- "How much do I want to make in order to have a sustainable business?
- How can I transition from a part time job into full-time teaching?
- How can I incorporate more private classes? How can I have a balanced work week that supports the life I want?
- How can I continue to deepen my own practice? How do I want my day to day life to feel?"
Focusing on the past is not always good, BUT when planning for the new year it can be helpful to think back on your previous year. With reflection you might notice it’s time to scratch some projects or write new ones.
Life is in constant change and so is your business.
This is especially important when planning retreats because you are constantly learning from past retreats in order to make the future ones better.
This may mean refining retreats you’re already working on, or re-imagining whole new projects and goals.
Now, it’s time to get more concise about your brainstorming vision. You need to get clear on these 3 things:
- What you want
- What your ideal students want
- What makes you and your yoga teaching unique
What You Want
Go back to your big picture and make some choices about what you really want to focus on in the coming year.
- What are the things that inspire and motivate you the most?
- Which goals are most aligned with how you want to spend your days?
When thinking about how you want to run your business, you want to think about how you want to live your life.
Let’s use an example: you want to teach more workshops, but also realize you don’t want to work weekends. Then you need to align your goal of teaching workshops with how you want your work week to look and feel in order to stay true to yourself. Sometimes this means saying no to some opportunities in order to create what you want.
What Your Ideal Students Want
What do your ideal students need and want from you? One of your biggest jobs as a yoga teacher is to observe and listen to your students. Do you know what they really want and need? Have you taken the time to ask them? If you haven’t, it’s a great time to do so.
Before you make big plans for the future of your yoga biz, you gotta make sure that what you want is also aligned with what your students need and desire. Otherwise, it’s a personal goal and not a business goal.
Also, it’s a good time to think about whether your current students are your ideal clients. If you want to teach more restorative and gentle classes, you wouldn’t necessarily want to take on another power vinyasa class. Or if you want to lead yoga retreats for women, you’d want to focus on teaching more classes for women in order to build your shakti yoga tribe.
What Makes You and Your Yoga Offerings Unique
This is essential to the success of your yoga business. If you focus on your unique offerings you won’t have to worry about competing with everyone else. Yes, there are plenty of yoga teachers out there offering classes, workshops and retreats. But there is only one of YOU.
What are your greatest strengths, skills and talents? This ties into all of the above. When you are doing what you love, honoring your truth in how you want to work, live and spend your days, you will be more able to be in the flow of your own greatest gifts.
When you really take a look at your students and understand WHY they are drawn to you and why you are drawn to them (it’s a 2 way street), you can continue to cultivate those relationships. And when you know what makes you unique in your business, you can focus on honoring that uniqueness and sharing your gifts with the world.
Download the Yearly Vision Workbook to help you get all these steps down and get super clear on what you want 2016 to look like for your yoga business. Follow the steps in the workbook and you’re golden. Let’s make this year the best one yet!
Now we want to hear from YOU:
What new projects do you have in mind for yoga business? We'd love to hear about your goals for 2016 in the comments below.
Paloma Neuman & the RYYR TEAM
PSST...if you found this helpful, please send it to someone you think may benefit from it too. We appreciate you thinking about your fellow teachers and peers!