Before Suzanne Scholten started her own business, she was happy to work 24/7 as a yoga instructor. However, there was a small hitch: she was already working nearly 24/7 in corporate America. Already a Peace Corps veteran, Suzanne was working in advertising in New York City, but she knew that her calling was not on Madison Avenue. She dreamed about owning her own business – a yoga studio – so that she could make a difference.
As an owner, you have the voice to start a program and invite people to join, to create a community that can impact the world. Our actions do impact on the whole universe.
With the help of Wicked Start, Suzanne set out to start her own yoga business. But first, she needed relevant experience. So she left the advertising world to manage a yoga studio. After several months, she had a frank conversation with her boss about how to open her own studio without being in direct competition with him. “He said, 'You have a lot of good ideas here,'” she remembers. Then he told her that he really would rather just be teaching. They agreed that it made the most sense for Suzanne to buy out his share of the business and move the studio to a new location with higher foot traffic and greater sales potential. At this juncture, Suzanne was in full swing for planning to get this business off the ground the right way. Wicked Start was especially important in helping identify the business model, including understanding the financial potential and forecasting revenue. Wicked Start was “…helping me think about how much money I should have in the bank for my first six months of business, how many employees I was going to have, when I was going to do marketing, and when I was going to teach. We went through my schedule and figured out that I'd have to hire staff.” Wicked Start also helped Suzanne identify the best new location. The new space has a second healing room for massage therapy and private yoga sessions, which allowed the studio to go beyond yoga classes to house lectures and professional services that would both help the students and bring in additional revenue. It also has an office, which enables Suzanne and her staff to get through the business side of things more efficiently, without the interruptions inherent in working in a lobby. Suzanne is passionate about what she does. Not only can she earn a living, but she is helping people, which is at her core. “People come to a yoga studio to get love, to find peace in their daily crazy life. They want a Zen atmosphere. They don't want to see people on computers and working with numbers when they walk in, as they did when we had to do that work in the lobby. “Today, we have 16 employees. I'm focusing on big-picture stuff like generating sales and building the brand rather than micro-managing the day-to-day details. We have a great staff to ensure that everything is taken care of.” And — thanks to good planning — “we're able to pay our bills and salaries.”
To learn more about Bamboo Moves, go to http://www.bamboomovesyoga.com