How Xanadu Yoga Adapted Their Business Model in Response to COVID-19
Life was going really well for Stacey Hill, an incredible mother of 5 daughters who just opened her yoga studio, Xanadu Yoga in Rockhampton, Australia early August 2019. She was following her passion and teaching a full timetable of 12 classes, as well as workshops, feature classes, private lessons and collaborations.
When the COVID-19 situation in Australia started to get more serious, she had the idea of looking into how to provide online classes. Stacey had a vague idea of how to go about it but thought she would have more time to plan, structure and understand how to present them.
The Government Forced My Hand
"The government kind of forced my hand" Stacey admitted. One seemingly normal Friday morning on the 20th of March she left her studio ready to come back on Monday morning just like any other week. On Sunday night the Prime Minister of Australia announced the shut down of all indoor activities and by midday Monday she realised she couldn't provide any in-studio classes for an undefined period of time.
Without much of an idea of what to do and no technological talent whatsoever, but with a determined will to succeed and a whole lot of coffee, I decided to just get it done and get online.
Stacey Hill / Owner of Xanadu Yoga
How Xanadu Yoga Went Digital
- SET UP A PRO ZOOM ACCOUNT:
Stacey decided Zoom would be the best platform for going ahead, since she didn't have a website (yet!). She watched a lot of online Zoom tutorials and figured out all of the settings, how to host meetings and invite people to join etc.
- TEST EQUIPMENT:
Stacey made her teenagers join the Zoom meetings from their laptops sitting next to her to test it all out.
- CREATE AN EVENT ON EVENTBRITE
In Eventbrite put the ZOOM link in the invitation after a person buys a ticket to the event.
- CREATE A FACEBOOK EVENT (for one off classes)
Xanadu trialled an online Children’s Yoga class as an event in Facebook to increased the social reach. The Eventbrite link was added to the facebook event. People clicked on the ticket link in Facebook and automatically got an email to the Zoom class once they’d paid.
- INVOICE WEEKLY & MONTHLY MEMBERSHIPS
For multiple classes creating multiple Facebook events would be too confusing and time consuming. Xanadu Yoga decided to keep it simple and adapt the technology they were already using in studio. Square payment processing.
They ask people register by messaging their name, email address and membership plan (1 week or the 4 weeks). Sends an electronic invoice with a payment link. Once the payment is made, members receives an email with each week’s class links.
People sign up, choose which pass they want and send their email address.
The studio sends an electronic invoice through Square that allows people to pay easily through a link. Whenever someone makes their payment Stacey gets an email from Square, so she doesn't have to go through her bank account to check payments.
On Sunday, the studio emails those who have paid with the week’s class links.
How to Stream Fitness Classes on Zoom
PERFECT FOR ZUMBA, U-JAM, DANCE - WHERE MUSIC IS THE MAIN FOCUS
The Truth Behind Success
In truth Stacey said she practiced 1093 times and nearly cried because of various technological issues with laptops and studio internet access!
But the Answer Was So Simple
Despite all the problems, Stacey realised she could just use her phone and shook her head in disbelief.
This process may make a NON-technologically minded person eye roll but Stacey wants to point out that she had zero training and is still just figuring things out as she goes.
Like many people she had lost all her income from classes and didn't have the luxury of being able to pay someone to do all of it for her.
- She didn't have any special equipment.
- She didn't have a website.
- She spent less than $30 to get it up and running
Eventbrite and Square take a small percentage of each payment, but they are quite possibly payments I wouldn’t be receiving in the first place if I didn’t have these systems.
Stacey Hill - Xanadu Yoga
Stacey's Final Words
If I can do this, anyone can!
If there is something you know how to do better than someone else, get it online! This is a whole new world for small business and we have an opportunity to get ourselves in front of a much broader (and captive) audience. Done right and with a lot of “thinking outside the box”, this could be a total positive for small business (having said that I’m still not sure I have done this right, but I’m giving it a crack anyway!).
I really wish it hadn’t taken a pandemic for me to think of going online! This is definitely something I should have already been doing and will continue to do once I can teach classes in my studio again. I am grateful for the motivation to get it done, because I definitely would have procrastinated about it for a few more months if it weren’t for the fact that I now have no other options.
I hope reading this helps to inspire someone else to take their business online, because like I said...if I can do it, anyone can! Stacey Hill Xanadu Yoga
If you are on the fence on whether to stream online and want a supportive community make sure to join our facebook group.