07: Niche Down or Die

Niche yoga studio

What Is This Episode About…

In this episode, we are going to talk about the problem of yoga studios offering too many styles of yoga which adversely affects their business success because people don’t like being bombarded with numerous options when they’re really trying to get a yoga class that they can gain from.

When we first opened our studio, we had like five different names for the same class, but we later realized that it just got people confused, and a lot of potential clients would just walk away because of that. Listen in as we share some really actionable tips on how to niche down so you can get started on your way to success in business.

Key Points Discussed:

  • Confuses names for the same class (02:05)
  • Understanding what you do best and niching down (05:27)
  • People don’t like too many options (06:42)
  • Executing very well on the wrong things (12:38)
  • Trying to do everything diminishes your energy and effectiveness in everything (17:13)


Learn More About The Content Discussed…

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When Was It Released…

This episode was released August 7, 2019

Episode Transcript…

Disclaimer:    The Transcript Is Auto-Generated And May Contain Spelling And Grammar Errors


00:00          If you try to be everything to everyone, you end up being nothing to no one.


00:06          What’s up everyone? You are listening to Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets. I am Chris Yax, and I’m John Yax. We are part of a small group of yoga entrepreneurs who are committed to making a living, doing what we love, without feeling guilty about making money, or ashamed of being successful, because we know the real value of yoga and how the world needs it now more than ever. This podcast is here to teach the strategies and tactics so we can thrive financially as yoga entrepreneurs. We are the Yax brothers and welcome to Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets.


00:37          Alright. So, what does that mean? That was cryptic? We should write that down. What exactly are you saying? I have no idea what you just said, but before we get into it, have you ever been in a yoga class, and like heard something you’re like, “I have no idea what that says.” Like, I think yoga teachers uniquely like say stuff that has like no relatability, like it’s just like crazy, and you know, you teach, you know what I’m talking about. Sometimes he’ll start down a path, he’ll start saying something, and then like halfway through you’re like, “I don’t know where this is going.” And you just stop. That’s the greatest thing because you can just literally cut it off, like you’re crazy and then start talking about something else, and no one remembers. No one thinks…


01:17          They keep rolling. They’re like, “Okay, what’s the next pose dude, come on. Let’s do it.” Or dudette. Right? “We’re rolling. Come on. Oh, that wasn’t… that was… was that inspiring? Okay. No, it wasn’t, let’s keep going.” Yeah. So niching down. That’s what we’re really talking about. We need to niche down. So, when we first started, when we first opened up our studios, we were at a point, well, we were a little bit into it. Let me… let me rephrase that. We were a couple… a couple of years into it. Yes.


01:44          So let me tell you the timeline, cause my brain does work like this. We opened in 2005, we opened up the second studio 2007, and then two years later, 2009 we renovated our Virginia Beach location, and we added an entire room.


01:58          We expanded. And that’s what John’s talking about. So we expanded and we… Right? I’m not… I’m not lying. Yeah.


02:05          Well, I’m also, well, when we first opened, this is where I was going actually. When we first opened, we had the same class and we had like five different names depending on what time it was. Right. So the 6:00 AM class, we called it a “Rise and Shine class”, but it was the same class we taught at all six at 6:00 AM, 12 o’clock, four o’clock, 4:30, 12 o’clock was…. was a… was a… “Mid-day Escape” call. You got to do it in the Barry White voice getting into this game baby. And then the… and then the four o’clock was like an after… what was it like a…


02:40          yeah, it was like relax and de-stress, or something like that. All the same class guys. All the same class. Oh. So, oh my gosh. It just got people confused. So more phone calls about like, “What’s the mid-day escape?” We’re like, “Oh, it’s just our regular class. Oh, what’s the morning sunrise? Still, the regular class we teach.” Yeah. So fast forward 2009, that’s where I was going to start the story.


03:01          Yeah. When we happened… we had a new… we had another room. We started offering lots of different classes.


03:07          Yeah. We did a, um, a wisdom class for the seniors. Yes. And we did that at like 10 o’clock on two, three days a week. We did a kid’s class. Thought it was like seniors aren’t working there. Have that 10 o’clock time. We had a kid’s class. Like Chris was about to say. That was from a three-year-old, three years old to 12 years old. Like we both have like, so Chris, this is prior to us having kids. We have no idea were like three and 12-year-olds, everybody, you know, cognitively the same. Oh my gosh. We had a meditation class. Yeah, we did a meditation class. We did warm classes. Uh, there’s a couple of long with our,


03:45          along with our flow classes, which we call vinyasa classes at the time in our stability classes. Um, which will hot yoga classes at the time. And then, uh, we had level twos.


03:57          I didn’t, I haven’t actually counted, but that’s a lot of classes. That’s a lot of different classes of classes. And it’s funny cause like the logic seems sound but is totally flawed because we’re like, oh, you know, if we expand our offerings and then add all, like, and start saying like, okay, here’s a wisdom class for seniors and here’s the kids class and here’s a, a warm clash. Are People scared of the heat? And here’s a level two class people that wanna go to the next level. And like there’s, it just becomes show watered down that you don’t know who you serve anymore. And that’s what happened to us. So this is what was really scary is that we just increased our rent. Right. We had another lease that we were, you know, having to pay every single month. We increased our bills, our expenses, you know, having to run the room and all the lighting, all the, he, all the air ac, all that stuff. We increased our overhead for payroll because now we have teachers teaching these classes and we decreased in attendance. How do you some attendance and here’s the thing, we would have meetings. So Chris and I and other partners would have meetings and we have, we’d have this discussion often about like


04:57          who do we serve? What do we say, Chris? Everyone, everyone needs everyone. Everyone needs yoga. Everyone needs to come and practice, right? Yes. I strongly with all my heart believe everyone does need yoga but everyone doesn’t need our yoga or we don’t need to offer every single style of yoga that we try to attract everyone. That is the biggest pitfall for not only studio owners, not only, uh, any yoga teachers that are trying to create a business. But for any business guys, for any business, the, what Chris said, in the beginning, is you have to niche down. You have to understand what you do really well, what you love, like what sings in your heart. Like one of those that have all those things like meditation or kids yoga or seniors or flow or stability or what? Like there are one, maybe two, maybe two that just sing to your heart and that has to be your focus. You have to niche down on those things.


05:55          Yeah, I’m in a part of, uh, another group and uh, there is uh, a woman who was on there and she just made a post and she was like, you know, we offer like 14 different styles within my studio and I almost fell over 14 different styles. I mean, just think about the challenge of how you articulate that to somebody. I’m saying like, because everyone’s coming in to solve a problem that they have, they have a pain point that literally probably a physical pain, like low back pain or a psychological pain like stress that they’re trying to alleviate. And when they see 14 different options, you literally like, I don’t know, as a business owner how would articulate like, well, here’s the benefit of that. Like, here’s why we do this one and this one and this one. Literally, I like you’re vomiting from the mouth within the first five minutes and you haven’t articulated how you’re going to help solve that person’s problem. There’s, and there’s been like a raft of research done. When people have too many options,


06:47          the option they choose is to walk away. It’s to not buy. They literally did this study with salad dressings where they gave people like 50 options or a hundred options, something crazy. They’d look way, way, way, way too many options. And the majority of people did not choose it was decision fatigue. They were already at a point where like, I, there’s too many. I’m not, I’m going to choose none. Right? And then they, they, that same study, I think they, they narrowed it down to like three or something like that. Maybe it was like five maybe. And the majority of people chose one of those three or one of those five. And now, now think about that as from the perspective of a studio owner. Like, so some of you own and run your own studio and you start to think about that like, okay, uh, so and so teaches the, um, Jeeva moved to class and then, and she got sick today. So I gotta get my Iyengar teacher to now sub that Juva moved to class and she doesn’t really know-how. So she’s going to teach like this Iyengar hybrid, you’ve moved to thing going on and he’s going to teach her ion guard class and chant. And every and every one of her students, every one of the Jeeva mooky students that come in for that class that love it are now gonna get a, an experience that is subpar. They’re not getting what they expect. Correct.


08:02          And that, that, that I think our teacher may be phenomenal and it doesn’t matter because they’re just not getting what they fall in love with, which is that teacher teaching that class because that person left and think about this like, it’s so funny how like there seems to be like this blind spot that happens in the yoga world for some reason and if you went to a restaurant and they said, we specialize in Italian food and Brazilian food and a German food and an Icelandic food and American food. And, uh, I’m only six, now I’m trying to get to 14 Chinese food and then choosing some Japanese food and Thai food and Thai, Japanese, there’s eight. Uh, I mean, literally I after five, you’re like, no, you don’t. Because you know, they can’t do any of it. Well because they’re trying to do too much.


08:48          And this is the value of niching down, of saying, listen, like I have, I have this, a gift that what I want to present to the world, right? To a specific person who has this specific issue, this pain, this problem. And this is what I do really well and the way I solve it, right? But if your assumption is if I offer everything because everyone needs yoga, then I’ll capture everybody. The message of trying to tell, like to articulate what you do and how you do it gets so watered down because you’re so diluted and all the different things that you’re trying to offer and all the different problems that you’re trying to solve. Because like each style of yoga, like yes, there may be if you get into the core of it may have this like once like thing that it does really well.


09:35          Like I couldn’t even go into like all the different ones because I don’t know all of them. But like when you provide all of them, like you just can’t get to the heart of what the person is coming in for in the first place. Here’s the other big piece to all of this guys, is that what our focus is and what, what everyone, you know what, what you as an entrepreneur, you as somebody that’s trying to offer something to, uh, to people, to the marketplace that’s valuable, that that changes their lives, that shifts, that helps shift them in a way. You want them to get traction. You want them to be, you want, you want to change your life and how, how is anybody going to get traction when they come in? So we use the studio as an example. They come in and they love the A, they love the wisdom class, but you can only offer that because you have 14 classes on your schedule.


10:27          You can only offer the wisdom class once, maybe twice a week. Does that person then only practice once a week or twice a week? And if they miss those days because of life, there’s no other options on your schedule like this does, like the, the, the model alone doesn’t allow your students to get enough traction to really, to really get the results that they’re looking for. And when I say results, peace of mind, the steadiness of emotions strengthen their body. Like you name it. Like we want results for the people that come in and we want to change their lives. If they, they’re not getting enough of an opportunity throughout the week to get traction to actually do it, they’re not going to get those results. Yeah, exactly right, and that’s the end of the day. Like that’s what we’re, that’s what we’re providing. We want results, right? That’s what people want.


11:12          Think about it in your own life. Like you go to a place because you’re looking for a specific result. Really a feeling like anything you’re really looking for is actually a feeling. But the feeling that you’re looking for is going to be like achieved through this means. And what you know is that when you’ve experienced that feeling through this specific means, I. E. This class, you’re going to go back to that class because you know you can depend on getting that feeling that you’re looking for whatever the feeling is. But if you don’t have the model where people can receive a consistent experience and receive a consistent result over time, then you’re inhibiting them from actually falling in love and getting the benefit that this beautiful has to offer. And let’s be clear, we’re not saying there’s one style that’s better than another style, that there’s one way of doing yoga that’s better than another way of doing yoga.


12:03          And it’s funny, this taken for me personally a long time just to take ownership of like what I, what we do like for us, like we teach hot yoga, that’s what we do. And when we tried to diversify and do all these like warm classes and wisdom classes and kids classes, that’s why we started failing because we moved away from what we do really well. And when we got back to it and we actually made the room just another room that was able to, to provide the same services that people over the last two years had earned, four years actually had fallen in love with. We became way more successful again.


12:38          Yeah, you see this, you see this all over the place. Uh, apple is a great example. I’m going to compare us to apple. Go for it. So in a apple, uh, fired Steve Jobs 12 years later, they hired them back. They, when they hired them back, they were the last four quarters before they hired them back, they experienced over $1 billion in losses, a billion with a B guys, $1 billion in losses, right? So they were like, okay, we are free falling. We need help. Let’s get Steve Back in and see if he can turn this thing around. And what Steve did was he said, he looked at what they were doing and they were doing 150 products, a hundred and 50th products, right? So it was right around 150 and he said, guys, you are, we’re, we’re trying, we have really good people on our team that executing very well on the wrong things, on the wrong things.


13:38          He said, in order to be great, you have to decide what not to do, what not to deciding what not to do is just as important as deciding what to do. And so he scrapped 140 ish of those products left 10 roughly 10 we off a little bit on the numbers but but like legitimately scrapped almost everything they were doing and saying, here are our core products. This is what we do. We have a, we have a dedicated following. We have people that love us, we are going all over the place trying to do way too many things. Let’s niche down, let’s get these 10 products and just do it really well. And he turned that company around.


14:13          Yeah, it’s, I mean it’s everywhere. Look at any like literally from the restaurant world to the tech world. When you look at the most successful businesses they do, they may have a couple like slightly like, like two to three different products, but like they do one thing really well and this let’s start opening your eyes to it. As you look around, like notice the things that you like that you consume already and notice why you’re consuming it because they do one thing really well that you can depend on and it’s giving you a result that you know is going to happen when you consume that product. Don’t you think this, this is the same for our personal life curse? Like, like, yeah. You know, like when, when I notice in my own personal life, when I get distracted, when I start to try to do too many things, when I’m like, when I’m all over the place, I want to like, I want to learn this and this and this, and then, uh, you know, I’m finding myself on Facebook to check these stats and this and like all of a sudden I’m losing deep connection with my wife because I’m trying to, instead of doing the one thing right, then I spent like paying attention to what’s going on in my family, my wife, my kids.


15:19          I’m a work’s getting in the way or the waves are good. And so I’m checking the Sur the check surf line or I’m like you, you feel yourself get spread thin and your life too if you don’t, if you don’t get down to the essentials. Yeah, no doubt. I mean the best example I have of this is when I had children, you know, like all the sudden the life prior to children was like, I’ve got my wife, I’ve got a bunch of friends, we’re running the business and then kids happened and all the sudden I’m trying to maintain the same amount of things I was doing. Now I have this element called children who consume so much of our time and energy. Rightfully so, and like the love that you have is just like indescribable. But there’s so much tension for me and I wasn’t doing any of it.


16:03          Well, I wasn’t being a good husband. I was like losing my ability to be a good partner in the business. I was not a good friend because I was neglecting them and actually like saying I was going to do things that I knew I couldn’t fulfill and then I would, that would also, when I tried to fulfill on it, I would then like I wouldn’t be there for my children when in this like formative time and so one end up happening and this is really what we’re saying for a lot of like people, if you’re listening to this you’re like, man I do. I have like 14 different styles. Then you got to make some hard choices and for me it was like, Hey, I got to prioritize what is it that I want to be in my life? Like what do I want to be known for?


16:39          What do I want to be remembered as? What do I, what do we want to focus on in our business? But for part personally it was like, oh, it’s my, my children, it’s my wife. I have to prioritize that because they’re the most important people in my life right now. And for me trying to do everything else, like as, as I was doing it prior to children, it wasn’t working. And so the hard choice was like I just, I had to, like, I’m still friends with people, but I’m not, I don’t devote time and energy to that right now. And it may sound like, oh my God, like you don’t have a life because you’re not hanging out with friends. No, I just choose, I’m very conscious about the choices I make and the effects of those choices and everything has a trade off, you know?


17:13          And that’s what we’re saying. There’s a trade-off when you try to do everything, you’re diminishing your energy and effectiveness and all of the things. But when you decide, listen, I’m going to take that out and I’m going to take this out. You know, I, I can’t spend as much time as I did with friends and I’ll, I’ll make it a point to reach out and connect, but in an efficient, effective way. And all of a sudden I had the three things that really mattered to me. I started doing those things more, more effectively, and those things grew in abundance in my life and had more meaning and fulfillment. So I think this idea of niching down, like to your point is everywhere in life, everywhere. And when we understand what we value most in our lives, that’s, we can really get clear on, am I spending the right amount of time on the things that mean most?


17:55          We’ll, we’ll, uh, we’ll talk about the values in another episode, but yeah, I think that’s it. Yeah, that’s it. And so, you know, there’s, after this one, some of you like, you’re like, man, let me, let me look at my life. Let me look at my business that look at Your Business, right? This is Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets. Look at the business and see it. Are you watered down? Are you trying to do too much for too many people and doing so, not being effective for the people that you really want to be serving? Yeah. So thanks everybody for listening and, uh,


18:21          join us on the next episode of Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets. Peace. Yes, thanks so much for listening to Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets. Do you have a question that you’d like us to answer raw and uncut on the podcast? If you want your questions answered, all you need to do is head over to Apple Podcasts, and do three simple things. One; rate and review telling us what you think of the podcast. Two; in that review, ask anything you want related to yoga, and three; if you want to shout out, leave your Instagram handle or name and that’s it. Then listen in to hear your question answered Live, raw and uncut. Join us next time on Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets Podcast. Thanks.

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