Resilience post Covid-19
Faye Jones, owner and teacher at Midlands-based studio and yoga store Daily Bread Yoga, explains how her business navigated the trying months of 2020
Pre-Covid-19 we dabbled in online classes but never really took the leap. Looking back this was mainly due to fear: fear of technology, fear of the unknown… it was always on our wish-list, but we wanted to get it right — perfect in fact! Of course, this meant we never got around to it.
Shutdown changed that completely; necessity replaced the luxury of time and ‘the perfectly planned approach’ took a back seat. It turned out that our website platform had the capacity to stream and store online classes and could also create a recurring income through monthly online subscription, something that has been a game changer for us. Pay-per-class requires your participant to constantly be reaching in their ‘online pocket’; a recurring income encourages commitment and ultimately allows you to forecast at a time when uncertainty means income is precious.
We had the inevitable hiccups in the beginning but over time we were able to refine the online offer and now have a library of online classes, available via tiered online subscriptions.
Personally, I believe you cannot recreate the magic of group practice, the energy and connection, not to mention appropriate adjustments and guidance. I also believe that we have to be realistic about the future: Covid-19 may be with us for a long time. Online may not be what your students signed up for but, done right, it can be a positive long-term aspect of their practice.
When it became clear that our sector was (unfortunately) in this for the long-haul we also utilised the financial support available to diversify; purchasing stock and making updates in order to open up as a yoga shop in line with retail re-opening in June. The store sells mats, props, clothing, books,
candles, everything to support a flourishing home practice. We also have regular ‘Zoom socials’, ‘Facebook Lives’ and a fantastic WhatsApp group to connect and share our highs and lows of life in lockdown.
If I have learned anything over the last few months, it’s confidence; confidence to act even when I would like more time to procrastinate and perfect. Also, just how integral our studio community are for our survival, and also for each other. I am full of love and joy when I have seen our members reaching out to support one another in times of need. Our studio brought them together and I am grateful for that every day.
In light of future possible shutdowns, I would encourage other teachers and studios to invest now in ways to strengthen your community and support your students to get the very best out of their practice, beyond generating income.
There is a bigger picture here: building a strong community of individuals who feel genuine connection to you, your studio and each other, is invaluable. Not only are engaged members likely to stick with you should you need to try something new, they are more likely to sustain their own practice and return when you can open again. Our members have gone above and beyond to help us through this time; a big part of our survival and future fortune is down to their loving support. This isn’t just about now; this is about the long-term viability of your business beyond Covid-19 as we begin to navigate our way back to ‘normality’ — whatever that is!
Discover Daily Bread Yoga online at: dailybreadyoga.com