Every yoga practitioner has a favourite pair of pants.
For me, while I love a good funky print, my top yoga pants are almost always my black leggings.
One of my most memorable readings from business school compared a good business strategy to the little black dress. But, as every inversion-junkie knows, dresses have their limitations.
A Black Leggings business strategy, on the other hand, shares its best qualities with your favourite pair of pants:
- It’s Simple. It has a clear purpose and direction. It doesn’t lack anything essential, but it also doesn’t have anything unnecessary.
- It’s Timeless. As in, it doesn’t chase fads.
- It acts as a Starting Point. It can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion (or, business climate).
- It’s reliable in extreme conditions. In the heat, in the cold, in hanumanasana, in a wide-legged forward fold…a good pair of yoga pants will hold up. In fact, your favourite leggings should be so reliable you don’t even need to think about them. Ditto for your business and marketing strategy.
- It allows you to find your edge. You should feel so confident in your business strategy that you can step up to your edge and grow. Find room to continually test your boundaries (physical, mental, real, and perceived), and surpass even your own expectations of what is possible.
What That Looks Like:
I’m going to use Power Yoga Canada (PYC) as an example*. As part of PYC’s strategy, they have decided to exclusively teach a Baptiste-style power flow based off of a sequence called Journey Into Power. That works extremely well for them; students know exactly what to expect when they go to a PYC class.
Let’s run through the checklist.
- It’s Simple. It is clear to students, teachers, and investors what someone can expect when they walk into the studio.
- It’s Timeless. It doesn’t matter if another style of yoga such as Bikram or Ashtanga quickly spikes in popularity. By sticking to their guns, PYC is able to keep enforcing their brand across studios.
- It acts as a Starting Point. The Journey Into Power Flow is the foundational sequence at PYC, but it can be dressed up or down for deep flow classes, core classes, workshops, and jam classes (with music).
- It’s reliable in extreme conditions. It doesn’t matter if the Queen comes to practice at PYC. She doesn’t, but if she did, the instructor wouldn’t have to think twice about teaching to the Journey Into Power flow.
- It has allowed PYC to find its edge (continuously). By being clear on what they offer, PYC has been able to grow to 8 studios and counting, develop new teacher training modules, and offer specialty classes without confusing their brand.
Another studio might differentiate themselves by being price competitive, another might choose to constantly bring in high profile teachers, and another might strive to be the most relaxing studio in the city. Choose a strategy that fits with what you want to accomplish, and keep your eyes on your own mat.
I would love to hear about your yoga business in the comments below! Also, how can you re-imagine your strategy to fit within a Black Leggings framework?
*I just want to be transparent that while I teach for and completed my teacher training through Power Yoga Canada, I am not an owner and cannot speak on their behalf. These are my own observations from years of being part of their awesome community.