Pivoting your business in a pandemic takes tenacity, creativity and listening to your marketplace. One entrepreneur who can attest to this formula for success is Tammy Mores, founder of Cocoon Yoga Lab in Bentonville.
Less than a year old when the COVID-19 pandemic emergency was instituted, Cocoon Yoga Lab in Bentonville was just starting to spread its wings with its clients.
“We opened September of 2019 so we weren’t even open six months before we had to close our doors. We were just getting to know our customers, getting people in, getting our business started,” Mores said. “We flipped from being live in the studio one Tuesday afternoon, we closed the doors at one, and by 6 p.m. that night, we were virtual. So we took our entire schedule minus the aerial classes virtual and flipped and pivoted very quickly.”
Over the course of the pandemic, Mores’ team put together more than 400 videos in a digital library for virtual participants. But that was just the tip of the iceberg.
Cocoon Yoga Lab experimented with a variety of other ways to engage with clients, some of which will remain now that COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.
Mores says the studio only releases schedules weekly instead of further in advance as they found there were fewer cancellations. Last summer, yoga classes were moved outside – another trend that clients responded well to that will remain in effect this year.
“We pivoted to a lot of outdoor classes instead of having everything in the studio and people really like practicing at the park, practicing outside, practicing by the lake,” she said. “So we created a lot of unique experiences last year that were COVID-safe like offsite retreats and full moon dance parties outside that we could do safely. We’re still doing all of that now. That was definitely a big thing.”
Another serendipitous outcome was experimenting with merchandising. Mores said with people not traveling and shopping as much, she tried buying unique items and the response was surprisingly strong.
“I bought a lot of unique merchandise that you wouldn’t expect a typical yoga studio to have, but people loved it. And so much so that for Thanksgiving, we had our own Black Friday at the studio and we canceled classes for a day and created a ‘Merry Market.’ We did five figures in one day at a little studio on merchandise, so we definitely will continue to do that and grow our merchandise,” she said.
For Mores’ full interview, watch the video below.