How to build a physical studio - from scratch

December 16, 2021


Your own studio space - sounds pretty good, right? If you offer in-person services and have been dreaming of the idea of opening your own studio for a while, this article is for you. We’ll guide you through the steps that our latest podcast guest Kristina took to set up her beautiful space and the lessons she learned along the way.

Have a vision

Start with collecting ideas from spaces that you visit. Are you a yoga instructor and the colored yoga mats bother you because you like everything to be aesthetically pleasing in neutral? Great, take note so in your space you can make sure that specific vision comes to life. Walk around your favorite areas in your city, would something that you offer fit?

Have a purpose

What specifically is it you are planning on offering? Are you able to use that studio space for events, networking groups, for photoshoots? What’s the purpose beyond offering your in-person services. A yoga studio can easily be transformed into other great temporary places like an evening event. Especially with Covid, it’s become more important to make sure that spaces can function with multiple purposes, so if you need to pivot, you have the chance to do so.

Find your location

This one is definitely easier said than done. Truth is, you’ll probably look for quite a while until you find a space that feels right for you and your service. It’s not just the location itself, it’s also things like access to your studio, is there parking, does public transportation reach it? Is it close to busy roads - not the best if you offer mediation or relaxing services? Be selective about the pros and cons of the space.

Benchmarking

What are others in your industry offering? How can YOU stand out? Is it maybe through a membership? Or through other services that you can partner up with other freelancers in different areas. How much are others in your industry charging, how can you justify your price point, what’s your added value compared to others. For example, if you are building a healing studio, go to fancy massage places (like 5* hotels) and see what they are doing. Take note and see what you don’t like so you can improve it for your space.

Is your clientele where you are?

The area that you selected, is that where you’ll also be able to find most of your clients? Or are those far away from that specific spot and will have to travel a lot? Then this is probably not very helpful because you want to make sure your studio has at least some of your ideal clients around you.

Funds

This - besides finding the space - is for sure the biggest dealbreaker. First of all - rent can get really expensive. Unless you’ve been freelancing for quite a while and have a steady grip on your expenses and income, we don’t recommend jumping straight into owning your own physical location. Setting up a studio can get really expensive. Especially if you want to make sure it’s quality reflects the price of your services. Kristina for example decided to only source from small businesses and medium retailers that she could tag on Instagram when she posts about her space. In return, she’s gotten some great reshares from accounts that she bought from. But if you buy everything off really big retailers, this will not happen to you. Be selective about who you give your money to and be extra careful with how much you spend on certain things because it can get expensive real fast. All expenses that come with setting up a physical location are business expenses and Lunafi can help you identify those for the upcoming tax season and also guide you towards limits because some expenses can’t be written off once but through depreciation.

Bringing your vision to life

It’s like putting all puzzle pieces together. Sounds cheesy but is very true. Good things take time. Do not rush into making quick decisions. Have a 3- or even 5- year plan. And make that a real solid one so you have enough funds to fall back on if things are slow in the beginning.

But we promise - once you did it, you will be so freaking proud. And we’ll be too!

Kristina is a graphic designer and studio owner based out of Los Angeles, California. After ditching her corporate career she decided to turn her passion for healing others into her career. Her studio Aether just recently opened and is one of the most beautiful spaces you have ever seen - trust us!



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