I’m a small business owner and I provide a service.
When we think about women in business, many of us think about those making or selling goods. For this reason, I wanted to highlight what you might not see about those of us in the service industry – specifically, in my case, as a yoga studio owner.
I’ve been teaching yoga for almost 20 years and run my own studio for nearly 15 years. And things have changed in that time!
Watch: Samantha Longmore's Lady StartUp story. Post continues below.
These days I often see women in Facebook groups or social media platforms asking, “Where can I get free online yoga classes or content?” And on the surface, that might seem like a perfectly reasonable question.
You’re at home, you want to do some yoga and you know it’s probably out there for free. But have you ever thought of this?
Would that question - “Where can I get a free… jacket/coffee/take away meal/pair of sneakers etc” ever cross your mind?
You see, we often view what we ‘get’ from a business as valuable only if we can bring it home and put it on.
I’m exaggerating, but my point is, we often think of a purchase as an exchange for some ‘goods’ e.g. your take away coffee.
But service businesses, like any other, are real businesses too. And they need your support – now more than ever.
Often those of us providing services have trained for years (and years) to get a qualification or experience.
In the style of yoga I teach - which is Iyengar Yoga - it takes a minimum of three years (not a typo – yes years not months) to become a teacher. We need to be able to charge for our expertise.
As businesses we also have expenses just like any other - rent, overheads, staff, marketing… the list goes on. All of which need to be paid for.