Focusing on your strengths, widening the wellbeing market, and finding your niche will make competition irrelevant.
Every business is different from every other business and each will suit an individual for a period of time.
What makes your business different is, in marketing speak, your unique selling point. Identifying, developing and marketing your unique selling point helps your business succeed – by playing to your strengths and passions, you attract the perfect clients who suit your business.
Particularly in healing arts such as yoga, Pilates, massage, and energy work, the personality of the natural therapies practitioner plays a large part in attracting clients.
Don’t be afraid to unleash your personality with all its quirks and idiosyncrasies, even the ones you might secretly think are ‘un-yogic’. Chances are there are lots of people who fancy themselves as similarly ‘un-yogic’, looking for someone to speak to them in their language.
Remember that a big personality isn’t appealing to all people and while superstar yoga teachers and celebrity healing practitioners may well boast a crowd of fans, they are also likely to repel others in equal measure. Who else can you be but yourself?
Widen the market
As yoga teacher training courses proliferate and competition intensifies, you may be tempted to give it all away, retire to the country or turn your once-booming business back into a hobby.
A simple solution is to boost the overall number of potential clients – increasing abundance for all. It may require yoga teachers and natural therapies practitioners to change focus and find a new niche to suit these newcomers as well as appeal to ‘non-yoga’ types who hold strong misconceptions or have had prior bad experiences.
The demographic of your business location can help you can cater your offering to your neighbourhood, or you may decide to develop your special skills and passions to attract clients from all over. Remember, not every yoga school needs to jump on the bandwagon with a prenatal class, a restorative class or a monthly kirtan and satsang.
Rather than target fit, urban women in their 20s and 30s, consider focusing on older men with flexibility issues, or workers with disabilities, teenagers with eating disorders, or middle-aged people with type 2 diabetes (etc, etc)?
Urban-dwelling ‘yoga types’ have more than enough choice of studios. What about the rest of us?
Learning from your competition
Not worrying about your competition is not a valid reason to become complacent. Applaud your competition for things they do well and learn from what they aren’t great at. Introduce yourself and see how much less intimidating your competition becomes.
Having a strong network of friends and colleagues in your industry makes it easier to learn and experience new things, to seek and refer work, and to keep your attitude fresh.