Yesterday I had some fun looking at a few commercial spots available at a pretty “hot” part of downtown Los Angeles: main and 6th. I don’t have my business plan complete, so I don’t really know what my budget is. The space at left is $3000/month for 1500 sq ft. I was disappointed at the wheelchair ramp coming up into the room and chopping up the open space. The space is only raised a couple of feet above ground level, and I think the ramp is really more for easier dolly delivery of goods to the space since it’s really a retail space–not sure the guy who showed me it knows the full story. I’m not entirely sure how I would accommodate handicapped people (if bound to a wheelchair) into a yoga class anyway. I have yet to see anyone doing that–unless the facility was specially equipped or it was some kind of hospital-based physical therapy/rehab center. Not sure I’m ready to tackle that yet. I have thought about visually-impaired folks and a special class for them, as I have a close friend who is visually-impaired and looking for more classes structured for that kind of situation. I’d also love to offer a free class to war veterans suffering from PTSD.
It was good to see a space in real life…I know now that I cannot go any smaller than 1500 sq ft. That will be just enough room for a decent-sized class and some kind of reception area. I would need to build some kind of wall around the reception area to close it off from the main class. Not sure if it will be sound-proofed enough. I wouldn’t want to be teaching a class and have the students hear the phone ringing or the front desk person talking to someone. (Note to self: make sure phone has a blinking light/no ringer setting we can switch to when class is in session.) Ideally, my perfect space would have a front reception area really separated/closed off from the main room, the main room would have hardwood floors and windows on one wall, and there would be a half bathroom and tiny office for administrative stuff.
The other thing I didn’t care for was the big old chunky column in the middle of the room. And the sound in the room from the concrete floor/walls bounced all over the place. An instructor and music could really get washed up in all that echoing. I also think $3000 is too much-sounds like the owner was open to taking it down in price, but overall I don’t see the space being right. The only thing that is right is the location near all the 6th/Spring action and downtown Art Walk, and right on the main drag of LA Fashion Walk. Perfect spot to promote the studio with a special event with all those people out there. I have noticed that another yoga studio downtown has had to stop having classes during those events, as it gets too crazy with the crowds.
Anyway, it was a ton of fun to check out the space and “dream” about the possibilities. I just don’t think the space, parking, price, etc are quite right. The space is going to have to be attractive, in a good location, with some kind of parking solution if I want a shot in hell of succeeding.