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Assess Your Existing Business

This is an excerpt from Your Yoga Business by Ava N. Taylor.

Everyone wants to get to their next level, and everyone can—but if you don’t know the level you’re starting from, it’s a heck of a lot harder. This simple truth means that an honest, comprehensive, and granular assessment to uncover precisely where your business is, is crucial to the development of your yoga business. It’s like setting the beginning destination when you use a ride-share service like Uber or look for directions on the map app on your smartphone. You cannot choose the best route to a destination without knowing your starting point. This is the same for your business. To get to your next level, you have to establish your starting point. The destination will be the goals you want to reach in your yoga business, and the route you choose to get there will be your business plan. Without knowing point A, you cannot get to point B.

As entrepreneurs with daily duties and urgent issues to tend to, yoga professionals are often too busy running the business day to day to take the time to pause and assess. They are often too busy putting out fires to identify and track their successes (both monetary and nonmonetary), let alone to spend time thinking about how to capitalize on these successes. They are too busy going from one event to the next to identify and track failures: what they learned, how to resolve the issues, and how to avoid these issues moving forward. They are too busy managing the team to see the growth opportunities sitting right under their noses.

The reduction of busyness caused by the COVID-19 pandemic was a bittersweet silver lining. We were all forced to pause and assess. The busyness was eliminated or shifted enough to give us an opportunity to gain perspective and to ask ourselves what was working in our businesses and personal lives and what was not. What was most important in each of these areas? Were we acting in alignment with our priorities? This contemplation and assessment is more important now than ever before because there is more opportunity to create now than ever before. For in the upheaval in our yoga industry, we found new possibilities and ways to create. The great pause gave us an incredible chance to assess, reset, recreate, and refine our goals.

I did a lot of one-to-one and group sessions of business support during all phases of the pandemic: as the wave was swelling and we speculated on what its encroachment would mean, as it crested and its true height finally became clear, and when it crashed down on us, mightier and more devastating than any of us expected. I surveyed the damage in awe of how some businesses were devastated entirely and how some were spared, and I watched with bated breath as the effects of the pandemic ebbed and then rose up to come for us again. Even as I was writing this book, three years after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, its effects on our industry were still rippling, and it appears that those ripples were wide and far reaching.

Because the business support sessions happened in an existential moment, my clients, colleagues, and friends were honest—really and truly honest—which allowed me to make great observations that I believe are felt or thought, whole or in part, by all yoga professionals. These observations are essential to our experience as yoga business owners and inextricably related to the future of the yoga business. I assessed that we were tired, we had sacrificed our priorities, we were making decisions based on “keeping up with the Joneses,” we had forgotten our purpose, we were losing money rather than making it, and, most importantly, we vowed not to go back to the way things had been.

I believe that as an industry, we have arrived at a great moment, a moment where these assessments are worth considering and sitting with as we determine where we will go from here. I invite you now to pause, contemplate, observe, and assess your existing yoga business using a set of tools I’ve created to help you see, as clearly and thoroughly as possible, the state of your yoga business. These tools include a service model assessment, a visual identity assessment, a weekly workflow assessment, and a cash flow assessment. Getting to your next level starts here and now.

More Excerpts From Your Yoga Business