We spoke with Terri Fry of The Hot Yoga Factory about how she grew retail to 20% of overall sales at her yoga studio in Chelmsford, Massachusetts.

Terri’s success landed her a speaker spot at MINDBODY BOLD this year.

How did you get started in this business?

My background is in corporate sales and marketing.

I became certified to teach Bikram yoga in 2005, and taught classes, but never planned to own a studio. It just so happened my friend’s husband who owned The Hot Yoga Factory, unfortunately passed away from cancer, and she needed to sell the business. At the time I was traveling to different studios to teach and growing weary of that. Since I had previously managed The Hot Yoga Factory, we thought it was good idea for me to buy it. This was about six years ago. The studio has been opened for six years, I bought it in January 2015.

To this day, my friend and I are still close. She’s a teacher at the studio, and is one of my most valuable teammates.

What are your goals with the business?

My goal is to have our basic expenses completely covered by monthly memberships.

I transitioned the business from a paper-based system when I took over. Now we run the studio with MINDBODY software and it’s done wonders for our profitability. I was able to grow 20% in the first and second year alone.

How do feel Perkville has impacted the business?

Our rewards program is driving revenue at the studio. We’ve seen the following:

  • An uptick in referrals
  • More online bookings
  • An increase in our social media presence
  • More spending on retail

What advice would you give to other owners looking to grow their studio?

My advice is to make managing the business side a priority:

  • Have a sales goal for total sales and auto-recurring memberships
  • Set goals and expectation for your employees, and have a bonus program in place to compensate them for actions that contribute to your business success
  • Use a good operating system to manage your business such as MINDBODY
  • Price auto-pay so it’s affordable for someone coming at least twice a week
  • If you’re a MINDBODY customer, attend a MINDBODY University, it’s well worth it and many of the things I do are a direct result of what I learned from MBU.

These strategies will help drive profitability. Once you have the business side covered then you’ll have more time to focus on the fun part like training teachers and selling retail!

You spoke at MINDBODY BOLD about how studios can grow retail sales to become a significant part of their success and profitability. Can you tell us more about retail at your business?

Retail comprises 20% of our overall sales at the studio. I keep a small amount of inventory investing about $500 per month to keep the shop dynamic I maintain between $3000 - $3500 of inventory. You need to have enough inventory to a statement that you are in the business of selling retail .  This encourages customers to buy something while it’s still available.

We’re proactive about selling merchandise and making sure everything is displayed in a visually appealing way. We have a French door leading into the studio and one of our retail walls is visible from inside the studio. Many a student has come out of class and said, “I’ve been staring at that top for the whole class and I just HAVE to get it! Also, I don’t wear anything we don’t sell which has become an effective way to get customers attention and inspire them to buy retail.

I’m covered retail strategy at MINDBODY BOLD such as how to choose your  retail partners, establishing your goals and budget, what fixtures to buy, promotions and cross marketing strategies. And, of course, how you can use Perkville to help with all of this!