The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

102 Yoga Studio: Mission Statements & Core Values with Steve Hart


What does your yoga business stand for? Who are you serving? And what do you hope to achieve? Steve Hart, founder of Riffs Studio, joins Shannon in the second of this 5-part mini-series, Yoga Studio Business 101, to share more, not just about mission statements and core values, but also pricing, memberships, marketing and the business of running a successful yoga business.

Steve Hart started Riffs Studio, a unique music and yoga studio in 2012, and offers a full-service yoga program with beginner to advanced classes in a variety of disciplines, with live music. Steve didn’t always have it all figured out – he shares some of his struggles in finding a structure that worked, and why having his mission statement and core values made the journey all the easier.

Shannon and Steve dive into the nitty gritty details of what it takes to build and run a successful yoga business – from establishing a membership system that works to managing teachers and paying them fairly, from marketing techniques and strategies to the importance of ensuring the team buys into the core values and mission of the business – they talk about it all.

Whether you’re a yoga studio owner or a yoga teacher working with yoga studios, this episode will shed some light on the intricacies of running a yoga business, and how to bring the different aspects of your yoga business in alignment with each other.

Key Takeaways:

[6:17] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode – Steve Hart.

[8:08] Where did Steve’s yoga journey begin?

[12:15] Steve explains more about how yoga was a part of his music store when he first started out, and how it has evolved since.

[13:25] What shifted for Steve that brought everything about his music and yoga studio into alignment?

[17:12] What systems did Steve have in place and what did he shift to that had the biggest impact on his business?

[18:43] How does the membership system work in Steve’s studio? He takes us through the process of going from new student to studio member.

[21:36] How does Steve ensure that his membership model for the yoga studio is profitable for the business?

[24:10] What does Steve pay his yoga teachers as their flat rate per class?

[26:09] How many teachers work at Steve’s studio, and how many classes does the studio offer? Steve elaborates on the schedule he runs.

[27:22] When did Steve decide to add in the idea of a well-defined mission statement and core values to the running of his yoga studio business?

[29:29] How does Steve convey his mission statement and core values to new hires as he on-boards them?

[30:25] Steve shares more about how he conducts the quarterly review of the core values and mission statement with his team.

[32:05] What does Steve’s team look like now, and how has it grown from when he first opened?

[34:31] What are Steve’s mission statement and core values?

[35:54] What were some of the key things Steve has learned along the way in his journey as a yoga studio owner?

[38:25] Good marketing is key to spreading the word about the good service that you provide.

[39:26] Where should yoga business owners start investing, in terms of marketing? What has the marketing that has been the most helpful for Steve’s studio.

[42:45] Steve explains why it is important to surround yourself with different types of people.

[44:37] Steve works with yoga teachers and yoga studios in a consultant’s role. He elaborates more on what he does how it aligns with his mission.

[45:34] Get in touch with Steve via email to find out more about his work and how he can help you in your yoga business.

[46:21] Steve leaves us with some final advice.

[47:59] What do you think that you could use from this interview in your own yoga business? Shannon shares her biggest takeaways from this interview.


Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity

Quotes from this episode:

“My first impression of yoga was actually pretty negative. I didn’t really like it all that much!”

“I fell in love with yoga and I saw the impact that it had in my life, and the impact it was having on others around me.”

“I really, at that point, fully believed in what we were selling, and I think that was probably the most important thing.”

“My job is to bring people in the door, as the yoga studio.”

“There’s so many people around, and there’s so many potential new students around that at any given time during the day, there’s enough students to make a class profitable.”

“This mission statement / core values probably, first and foremost, above anything else, I think is the hands down most important thing that needs to be defined, sooner rather than later, in any company.”

“Providing a good service doesn’t really matter if you don’t have good marketing.”

“Providing a good service without good marketing won’t get you very far.”

“Focus on teaching great classes and connecting to people.”

“Being a teacher, I think you focus on teaching. Being a yoga studio, that’s when I think the marketing becomes a really important thing.”