I recently found out the yoga studio I frequent is being absorbed, shut down, and relocated to another part of town. I, along with many of the other students, were shocked, saddened, and dismayed. This studio has been a pillar of our community, a place we come to sweat and decompress and connect. We all hoped a suitable alternative would present itself. Good news! The community inspired two of our favorite teachers to open up their own studio. They announced their plans, and of course my mind went into overdrive! How can I help? What can I do to insure their success? How can I use my experience to prevent them from making the typical mistakes many first-time entrepreneurs make? Below is what they have done and are doing to set themselves up for success as well as additional 5 tips to make your business launch successful.
Starting a business is an exciting proposition but if not executed properly, it can go wrong quickly. Do your research! Make sure you understand your costs and from where your business/clients/customers will come.
The upside for these two yoga instructors is they already have a loyal customer base; hopefully people will follow them to their new location.
Like every new business, there are risks. The two instructors have no assurances that customers will follow them. How do they convert their existing student/fan base to paying customers at the new location?
Their first step was reaching out to their students/fan base. They engaged them on social media, starting a crowd funding page (which has received positive response). They have done their homework; they understand their market and how to serve it. They are filling a void in the market they are uniquely qualified to fill. Time will tell if they are successful but I’m putting my money on it. (I too contributed to their crowd funding.)
Whether your business is a yoga studio or a restaurant or an investment firm or a dog-walking business, here are some tips on what you can do to retain clients and customers as you transition to a either a new business or place of employment:
1. Communicate with your clients and customers.
Tell them you are embarking on a new exciting opportunity. Get them excited for you.
2. Ask them what they would like to see.
Find out what new services they want that you are not currently offering or able to offer at your former position.
3. Increase your digital footprint.
Create an email campaign to directly reach your contacts. Engage more on social media with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and/or whatever platforms work best for your customer base. Invite them to like and follow you on social media. I recommend posting 2-3 times a week. Don’t overdo it but don’t underdo it either; find your sweet spot.
4. Network your butt off!!!!!
Don’t be shy. Let people know what you are doing. Create business cards with your information so people know how to get ahold of you (only after you have left your previous place of employment).
5. Never bash your former employer.
Stay classy. Putting others down reflects poorly on you.
If you’re considering starting a business, do your research to understand the market so you know from where and how to grow.
I love seeing people get out there and take a chance. It’s such a gratifying experience.