Nana Amoako-Anin is the Founder of Bliss Yoga Accra, one of the few full-service yoga studios credited with popularising yoga in Ghana.
What does your business do and how do you differentiate yourself from your competitors?
Bliss Yoga Accra is one of the few full-service yoga studios in West Africa. Offering group/private yoga classes, as well as yoga teacher certifications and stress relief programs, Bliss Yoga Accra has been credited with popularizing yoga in Ghana. Additionally, being one of the few African, woman-owned established studios, Bliss Yoga Accra stands to change the
narrative on the accessibility and face of yoga.
Why did you decide to start this business?
I started the business after moving back to Ghana from New York City. As an avid practitioner who has personally benefited from yoga as an integral part of my life, I hoped I could reach others.
How does technology play a role in driving your business successes?
It allows us to be proactive towards future business opportunities, rather than being reactive. Based in an urban location, the studio really benefits from the diverse clientele that come to see us from across Accra and all over the world. The app/registration database that we use has enabled us to track interests specific to certain yoga classes and the popularity of various wellness programs.
How do you ensure business continuity? If you had to step aside for years, how would business continue running?
Building a solid base of practitioners who know and understand your vision for the business is key. I continue to align with and collaborate with such individuals on key aspects.
How has the current pandemic affected your business processes, and how does technology impact this?
The current pandemic has been a pivotal moment in Bliss Yoga Accra’s business life. For example, having to shift our 200-HR yoga teacher training, to solely online in April, pushed us to get creative about our training offerings. It drove our ability to scale through this period and continue operations. Additionally, venturing into an outdoor class format has also been a positive shift.
It is easy to get caught up in the hype of new products and technologies. What are some things you consider when aligning your technology roadmap with your overall business strategy?
What I consider is whether the technology will add growth, or simply, complicate operations. No technology is one size fits all. We learned quite early, that our technology roadmap, should be well-tailored.
What were the problems you faced when you were starting up, and how did you resolve them?
When I started, the key challenge was building a diverse teacher base to accommodate the demand for classes. We resolved this by getting out into our wellness community and aligning with practitioners who were looking to grow their teaching skills, and be part of something magical.
What are your expansion plans for your company in the next 2-5 years?
Our plans are to stay consistent with our current offerings and plan to facilitate more advanced teacher trainings.
If you had the chance to start over again, what would you do differently?
I would seek out funding opportunities, earlier. I believe a lot of entrepreneurs, shy away from certain funding potential because they think it’s “too early” and they are not ready. It’s never too early.
What’s on the cards for the rest of 2020 and 2021? Any exciting projects underway?
This year we are keeping it simple – continuing to align momentum around the brand, and stay the course through this pandemic.