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So you want to start a goat yoga business.  You have come to the right place.  Let me walk you through some of the critical points of getting started to the goat yoga nirvana that you are seeking.  Now don’t let all the smiling selfies and joyful looks fool you into thinking a goat yoga business is all fun and games.  A goat yoga business is serious work and you will put in the hours and effort to make it thrive.  In the beginning it is all up hill but the reward comes and work begins to feel like play as the happy faces and good juju fills your heart.

     When you consider starting a goat yoga business there are a really two ways to go.  You can hire a franchise to walk you through what I am explaining here or you can follow this list and keep the profit and ownership to yourself.  From what I have heard, the couple franchises out there want a hefty fee to start (over $20,000) and take a sizable amount out of every class you produce for the rest of your life.  Considering there is no secret sauce or special herbs to start a goat yoga business then a franchise seems like a rip off.  Don’t get me wrong, if you want to work little and walked up to the starting line then a franchise can do that for you, but if you are looking to do little work then having your own business may be a loosing proposition.  If you aren’t scared of work and like the idea of making your own future and not being told what to do then this website is written for you.

     As I go though the list you can drop down the toggles and see what I have to see, if you like it then keep it open.  If it doesn’t pertain to you then close it and at the end you can print out just what matters.  Feel free to reference this when ever you want.  If you have any great changes or suggestions feel free to send them to me joe@howtostartgoatyoga.com  .  If you just want to be nasty and mean then send that to me too so I can show my friends.   Let’s get started.

I.  Do you got what we need?

Like any business you need to have the essentials before you start.  For starting a goat yoga business you really need to have access to two major things:

     This can be the hard part for many.  You can find goats everywhere.  Are they the right goats for starting a goat yoga business.  Now that is the million dollar question.  There are two major things you need to consider when looking for goat when starting your goat yoga business:

#1  You need to have goats that are very comfortable around people, like a mild tempered house cat.  There are too many pictures of new start-up goat yoga classes with all the goats huddled in a corner away from the attendees.  That makes for a less than fun class.  People want goats to interact with them and for the goats to act like they own the joint.  The goats will need to feel comfortable to make the attendees feel comfortable about interacting with them.  Most attendees have never been around “farm animals” before, so the goats need to initiate the interaction.

#2   No Uggo goats!  People want the selfie with the cute goat on their backs or in their laps.  Find photogenic goats that are cute and look at the camera.  I guess if they are amazingly ugly then it could be a novelty to get a picture with them, but that just seems cruel.  Although the goat probably doesn’t care, they rarely check social media.

This part is not as difficult as the first one to start your goat yoga business.  If you are a yoga instructor then you are all set and you can close this toggle and move on.

Assuming you need a yoga instructor for your goat yoga business you can either become one or you can hire one to help you.  Both are good options and maybe hiring someone to get started makes sense until you do your training and feel comfortable 

To hire one is easy, you can look on craigslist or multiple other website where there are a ton of part time instructors who would love a part-time gig helping you start a goat yoga business.  Now the hard part isn’t finding a lesser employed or out of employment instructor they are everywhere.  The hard part is finding someone that is certified and insured and that can make a class as enjoyable as the goats do.  You will want to interview and test sample them with some dummy classes to find the right person.  Pay them well to keep them around.  Having a certified and insured instructor is critical to obtaining insurance for your business.

If you want to learn more about being a yoga instructor before starting your goat yoga business then here is a great place to find a learning center near you. 

Yoga Alliance

 

II.  Structuring your goat yoga business

     So you have the goats and the instructor to make this a Goat Experience……. Now you are ready to make this thing legit.  There are many facits to general business like accounting, record keeping, and billing but I am assuming you can conquer these on your own with help from your accountant.  I want to address some of the items more specific to starting a goat yoga business. Most of these things have to happen simultaneously in order for you to launch successfully.  Many goat yoga businesses have failed to do all this at the same time and ended up having to change names or restructure their business during promotion and this can cause market confusion, so just get it all done at once and make life easy on yourself.  Here are the major points:

Some people think that your name has to be witty or some awesome play on words in order for the public to love what you do.  Most marketing professionals would disagree.  Your name should describe what you do and speak to your target audience.  When you start your goat yoga business you want people to know who you are as soon as possible.  Keep the quick humor for social posts and your website.

If you are in the USA then frequently you need to check with your state’s secretary of state office to see if the name you chose is taken or if it is too close to another name that is already registered.  If you are alone with your name then register that puppy.  Don’t waste time, get this done.  Yes, this will cost you some money, but if you are broke then you should work a different job until you have saved money to start a business.  This is where a lot of goat yoga businesses get in trouble.  No need to promote until this part is done.

This one too will cost you a few bucks (like under $20).  You don’t have to launch the website to own the URL.  Companies like GoDaddy or BlueHost or thousands of other will allow you to own the URL name and launch the website at a latter date.  For the cost of this you would think everyone would do it, but there is a whole industry of website curators who watch for new businesses that are starting up and buy the domain name that matches the business being promoted.  I have seen a few goat yoga businesses promote with social media first and when they go to get the URL it is taken and the person who owns it will sell it to them for a hefty price.

Like I said in the last toggle, there is a lot of companies who only promote in social media spheres.  You don’t want to have a name conflict here either.  Check the big social media providers and search for your name or anything close to it that may create confusion for your clients. If the name is unused then grab it.  This doesn’t cost money so don’t wait just do it.

This can get you in trouble if you don’t do this when you start your business.  I am sure the list is long of the small businesses that offend in this arena.  Once your name is approved by the state you will need to file with the federal government (assuming you are in the USA).  You will need an Employer Identification Number.  I know what you are thinking “but I am going to be a one person show”.  Well this may be the case but you will still need the number to set up bank accounts and other services.  You want your newly started goat yoga business to be seen as its own taxable entity and this is how you start that.  A link to the IRS site is below.  Next you want to check with your local authorities and see if you need a business license or transaction license. These could be by state, county, or even city.  So ask around and see what you need.

 IRS EIN Registration

Take your state registration and your EIN number with you to your favorite bank and open an account in your company name.  Yes, this part will require you to leave some money in the bank.  I would advise you to call around and ask your local bank about their business accounts and what the costs and terms are.  Where I have my business account they have no monthly or annual fees and they only charge me if I process a lot of checks.  Online transactions are free and that is where most of the money for my business comes from.

Every business should have some sort of liability coverage just in case something happens.  Starting our goat yoga business is no different.  You need to cover the things that may happen to an employee or attendee.  Your insurance guy should be able to guide you to the right policy.

III.  Promote the Goat

     Now that you have the business set up and your accountant has given you the nod of acceptance that this goat yoga thing is real, you are ready to promote for your first class.  Now wait, before you do that you need to work on a few things then off to the races.  Here is a few of the tasks to take on in this order.

A great logo is the start to a life of promotion for your new goat yoga business.  This logo will be found on your social media, website, classes, and swag.  Get this wrong and the extra swag sales gravy won’t pour.  Get it right and you will have to keep an extra sack around to catch all the promo dough in.  I would highly advise you to seek the advise of an expert.  All the same here are a few things you will want to consider.

#1 – How will it print.  The more colors it has in the logo the more costly it will be to print, ie. if your logo is photo it will be costly to produce.  IT would be better to have a single color logo that you can add to a picture than have a picture logo that blends in with the picture.

#2 – How does it scale. Does it look good large and does it equally look good and recognizable small.  Will the level of detail be lost as it shrinks, and does that matter.

#3 – Does it have any weird undertones or look similar to anything else.  A goat in a crazy pose may look like a swastika but that was not your intention and you did not see it when you made it.  So step back and give it a day or two.  Ask some friends if it looks like anything or offensive.

#4 – Make sure it Sells your goat yoga business.  Do not get too artsy with it.  Keep the interpretive art on the wall and make sure people can tell what it is and it needs to be relative to your goat yoga business.

You can do this.  Use that awesome new logo to set up your goat yoga business social media sites.  Keep your social media names consistent across platforms.  Throw some details about getting excited and invite a few to follow you.  Let them all know you have started a New Goat Yoga Business and it will be hosting classes soon.

Print some shirts and stickers to start with and a street sign to let the public know where you are.  Find any way to let the world know you started an awesome goat yoga business.

Add legitimacy to your new goat yoga business by launching a thoughtful website.  You can hire this out or you can easily do this yourself.  It takes time and a little creativity but will a small learning curve it has been made way easier in the last few years.  There are great options with wordpress, dupla, GoDaddy Business builder and the names go on.  You will need to pay for hosting but you don’t need any crazy expensive plan at this point.  It will come as you grow.

IV.  Make and Promote Classes

     Making classes and promoting them is a light art in itself.  You should do some youtube searching and with 30 minutes of watching you can be an expert as well.  There are many event ticket systems out there but one that seems to get a lot of goat yoga classes in it is https://www.eventbrite.com/  Here you can make classes and connect them to social media accounts that will help you promote your new goat yoga classes.  As your company develops you may decide to bring the system on to your website and keep things in house.  But that is down the road.  Don’t forget to let everyone you know where to find classes.  Post it on your website as well. 

V.  The Pitfalls to Avoid

So many things are going right at this point.  It is hard to believe anything can get in your way.  For the most part you are correct.  The biggest obstacles are usually home made.  Just watch yourself and keep your nose clean.  Here are a few things to watch out for along the way.

Do your own work.  Make your own logo. Make your own copy on your website.  Look at others for inspiration and to point your nose, but then put use your own words and make your own art.  You do not want to get tangled up in a lawsuit or dog fight over what could have been avoided.  People are touchy about things they take pride in.

There are many a story about having a bad partner.  If you want a partner you should interview them and make sure your views are the same and that your talents complement each other and don’t duplicate each other.  Write a solid obligations contract and make sure you both are in all the way.  Don’t start your goat yoga business with a half baked amigo.  A Partner should be a huge addition to the team, and not easily replaced with an hourly employee or contract job.  I guess this goes with franchise partners.  They take a lot for a little help at first.

Do what grows the the goat yoga business.  It is easy to think of all the extra stuff you can add to the business to make things bigger.  Many starting goat yoga businesses have tried unsuccessfully to branch out into too many things too quickly and end up with a loss.  Think first “does this help me sell more classes” if the answer is no then really ponder if the new thing is a distraction from the main goal.

So really that is about it.  If you found this helpful or would like to give me some feedback you can email me from the link below, or if you think it is crap you can do the same.

joe@howtostartgoatyoga.com

Since I launched this site I have had some questions.  I figured I would put the good ones here.  Feel free to keep them coming, I will do my best to give you my opinion.

Well this is a complex questions.  Where I live I can get section II, III, IV done for less than $2000.  If you are buying goats that can be a variable cost to buy them and keep them healthy.  All the same it is not that expensive to start a goat yoga business.

Again a complex questions.  Goats are herd animals so just one or two will make them uncomfortable.  I would say 4 goats at a minimum for a small class or like 30 for a large class like at https://goatyoga.com  They have a lot of people there.  It has perhaps the largest goat yoga classes in the world.  

The field does seem to be split between the sit in peace style goat yoga where the goats meander around and take a nap near the attendees.  The other is more of an interactive goat yoga with the goats looking to jump on top of you or go under you while you yoga pose.  I have looked around a lot on the web and it tends to be the interactive goat yoga that people post pictures of and are posing with the goats.  I have even sought after the peace style goat yoga pictures and there just aren’t a lot of them.  It may be that either those classes don’t sell well or people just don’t take pictures at them.  I cant say what is better.  I would guess the interactive goat yoga is more profitable, just by attendance size I observe.