I met the owner of a Chik Fil A at the park with my daughter the other day. He was a great guy and savvy businessman. I expressed it was hard chasing a kid around all day. He told me he had 3. We got to talking business. He asked how many employees we had. I pushed Siana on the swing. I said about 50 across the Om’s. He said he had 115.

I asked what his revenue was.

He said $7.5 million.

I changed the subject.

We got to talking about the transition we went through with rebranding our studios and he laughed. I said it was like taking Chik Fil A and then changing it to Eddie’s Chicken Joint. He laughed as in Funny Not Funny. That’s crazy he said. It got me thinking about the steps we have taken both smart and not so smart, and about the balancing a studio rebranding goes through.

Here is what I think we have gotten right.

  1. Rebranding the studio was in line with our perception of pursuing the highest good for our practice and our clients. It was a spiritual choice even more than a business choice.
  2. Adding in a few different classes wasn’t enough. It had to be a whole hearted commitment to finding things that inspire our practice and others
  3. Hot Pilates has worked. Yoga with Weights has worked. Vinyasa has worked. Yin to some extent. Kundalini to some extent.
  4. Our Teacher Training produced either as good or better than what we have seen come out of the last few bikram trainings. It was also really good for our practice and teaching skills.
  5. Watching Core Power and trying to do more and offer more than what they do has helped
  6. Yoga Retreats have totally worked
  7. My motto with the rebrand was “Better to die on my feet than live on my knees “. That mentality of no turning back helped.
  8. Hot Barre is in the infant stages but from what I can see those classes are going to work.
  9. While we love the bikram practice more than ever, there is tremendous challenge to keeping all teachers on the same page when trained from numerous places and varying opinions on yoga. I think we have done a pretty good job avoiding cliques and building a supportive environment. It could have been a major challenge though.

Here is what we have tried by not quite got right

  1. Kids classes. They really need a champion and a system beyond just a yoga class. Like snack and some education of some kind
  2. Massage just hasn’t been something we have figured out
  3. I wish we had moved faster.
  4. I think we should have anticipated how much more marketing we have to do to build our brand and other classes.
  5. Adding classes is super tricky without alienating your core students. It’s a 2 steps forward 1 step backward balancing act.

I think the main thing we have learned with the rebrand is that its starting a new business. Those that don’t take that approach and just change the name will realize they are in for a lot more work than they thought. I am reminded often that the only risk is taking no risks at all.