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Accountant launches yoga studio with new business plan

CompanyTrue Path Yoga
Industry:Arts, Entertainment and Recreation
City:Stouffville, Ontario
Amounts: various  Find what funding programs you qualify for

Yoga studio looks toward government funding with new business plan

When Maria Liscio had her third child, the full-time accountant decided she needed to find balance in her life. Today, that move has led to a rewarding new business which incorporates a healthy approach to life while giving her the opportunity for more financial and personal freedom. With the help of a new business plan, Liscio is exploring government funding as well.

Entrepreneur turns love of yoga into a business

"After my third child, it was just becoming too much with a full-time job so I decided to take a little bit of time off," she says. "That's when I got into yoga. First off I got into it as a physical thing, but then I realized there was more to it. It was therapeutic and physical, but it also made me feel good."

After practicing yoga for some time, the Stouffville, Ontario mother decided to become a certified yoga instructor herself – and she continued to learn about the discipline, including such specialty techniques as pre-natal and therapeutic yoga. Then, she decided to turn her love of yoga into a business: True Path Yoga.

She found a 700 square-foot upstairs suite in Stouffville that she thought would make a good studio, and as soon as she'd signed the lease last November, she set to work shaping it to her vision. "We pretty well gutted it," she says. "It needed a lot of work." Knocking out walls and drop ceilings, she turned the three small rooms and "skinny little hallway" into an inviting space with high ceilings and fresh hardwood floors. She opened her doors, and now visitors are welcomed in a small reception area before going into the large, bright, freshly-painted studio.

New business plan for ongoing investment required

Naturally, all this took a significant investment. Liscio began by trying to pay for everything herself, but she soon learned that launching and growing a business requires ongoing investment – and that meant she needed a new business plan. "I've been doing it all on my own, and I began to realize that I needed more," she says. "Business is going well. I can't complain. In only two months, I've got members and classes going. It's hit off already. But I need to expand further and I know that it's going to take a lot more money."

To begin with, she knew she needed to do more advertising. She's also had opportunities to teach at different facilities, including a seniors' home and on-site with various sports teams. That means she needs to have equipment, such chairs and bolsters for the seniors, and a vehicle to take mats and other equipment to the team facilities.

Government funding becomes a possibility with professional business plan

She learned about the opportunity for alternative financing from a friend. "I didn't know about government grants until a friend of mine mentioned if you need it, there are grants you can apply for," she says. And she realized a business plan was the first step toward any type of small business financing.

She found working with the Centre for Business Plan Development relieved her of the stress of getting a professional plan done while giving her time to focus on running the business. "It felt good to have somebody else prepare my business plan in such a professional manner," she says. "I still had to answer the questions – the insight still came from me, but I just felt good that there was somebody at the other end. It's well worth the money."

She felt that the team she worked with at the Centre for Business Plan Development was clearly attuned to her goals. "She was very warm and caring from the first email she sent me," she says. "Her work complemented her professionalism."

”Business takes time”

Her advice to other entrepreneurs? "I just say don't give up. Business takes time. It doesn't happen overnight. You have to work hard at it and you have to get out there and promote it. If it's something you really love, and you've gotten into this business, then you need to make a go of it." And her decision to invest in a professional business plan is part of that attitude. "It gave me time. I was really relieved with that. It was money well spent."

Imagine how a professionally prepared business plan could help grow your business. For a free consultation, call 1-800-481-8434.

Please note our Centre is not affiliated to programs profiled in the above article and no claim is made that funding is due to our Centre unless stated.

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