Through the years have we have found ways to keep that all important cash coming in year round! The beauty part of our type of business is that we can look at our slow cash months in advance and build in an event that will help to bring in some much needed cash during that time. The best way to make these events work is to target not only new people but your existing clients as well. If they are already buying from you there will be no wasted time or money in cold selling. You will need to also promote it to new clients but they will not be the ones that will make or break the event.
First let's take a look at some ideas that you can try, then how you can spread the word with the least amount of money spent.
1. Hold a young children event at your studio. This can be some type of class that is different from the normal class. It could include arts and crafts. You could make it a special fairy princess day that will include a tiara and magic wand, that you can buy really inexpensively or a theme party day. Set the studio up to look like a lake and do a Swan Lake spin off. Try to make it a couple of hours long. The parents can go out shopping or just have the afternoon away from the kids. Make it on a Sunday so you do not have to change any of your regular classes. You will need to hire staff for the event. Try to get student assistants who are on scholarship or students that owe you some time.
2. Do a workshop or special "how to" seminar. This is a great way to build a lot of excitement at your studio and get free publicity. The workshop can be done by either your staff or guest teacher. Make sure that you charge enough if you bring someone in so that you make money too! The "how to" seminars are a terrific way to give your clients something that may be of interest to them. Like learning audition techniques so that they will have an edge when they go to that school play audition or how to put on stage makeup like a pro where they would get a makeup kit as part of the seminar. If you, as the studio owner, have a unique special skill that you can use to put a certain twist on a particular event to make it different from your regular curriculum then that would be something you should consider incorporating!
3. Hold a parents dance and party night. We have had this event and it was a lot of fun. You can charge admission and offer a cheese tray and some soft drinks or wine and give them the opportunity to learn steps from popular dances. Position it so that they feel like they are getting a crash course of dances that will come in handy at weddings or other special events. If you have a working knowledge of ballroom dancing that would be great. If not, hire a ballroom couple with good personalities. Make sure they understand that they are there to make it a fun event so that they give the people something that they can master pretty quickly and be able use right away.
You can try these or any other number of events at your studio that will be low cost to you but can be a nice money maker during a down month. Next let's focus on how you will get the word out.
1. Send out a series of e-mails. This is one of the best ways to get the word out to your people. The one negative is that not everyone reads all their e-mails and they are a bit impersonal. Still it will cost you nothing. Encourage them in the e-mail to pass the e-mail onto a friend. Start to send them out one month before the event and once a week leading up to it.
2. Send home flyers. At the end of each and every class have your faculty hand out flyers promoting the event. I know they don't always get home but enough will. Put the parent's name, hand written on the flyer somewhere.
3. Give a quick call or voice broadcast. Depending on how many students you have will depend on which one you will do. If you have time for your staff to personally call then you will get a great response. This way, however, is time consuming! You could also do a voice broadcast using a service that sets you up to record your message and then send this message out to a call list you have uploaded to their website. There are several companies that provide this service.
These are some inexpensive ways to get the word out. You could also mail something out but it will be more costly that way. Which ever way you choose it is a good idea to contact your clients in a different way then usual. As this way it will show them that this is a special event and that they need to act quickly.