A vision is unique and personal to who you are and what you dream of. For your business it is the first place to start when looking to formulate what you hope to create! The last two months we have looked at the overall plan to make your studio not only better but to create a business that is unique and special to your needs and wants. Last month we focused on the Profits part and how you need to not only focus on your business but also on other studios in your area and what their price structures are. As we previously discussed, do not undersell yourself, as a matter of fact, to be on the high end is better.
Now, we present the third part of the plan and that is to focus on what I think, is perhaps the most important to you personally, your Vision. This is your thoughts, hopes and dreams of what you want your business to be. No one can or should tell you what that is, although people from all over will try! This is really private to you and your closest confidents. Those who understand your vision and will be instrumental in helping you to achieve that end goal. Be careful who you share this information with. Now you will probably need to take advice and make adjustments as you go along. But the deep rooted belief that you have of your business should be private to you.
Probably a lot of you began your dance studio in the same way we did, with a passion to teach, dance and create. Along the way we learned about business, parents and a whole lot of other things that were not part of the original plan. When Angela and I first bought our studio we believed that teaching was the beginning and end of running a studio. We had faith in the fact that we knew our stuff and could get our point across to our students. Our vision was one of teaching and creating great dancers. To that end we were successful. We knew about marketing and business management but had no real formal plan set up to start our business. The problem was that we didnt have a detailed vision for the overall business when we first started. We learned a lot along the way and were able to adapt to the needs of our business. In retrospect, I wish we had planned that part of it better. To operate a studio successfully you must include all aspects of running your studio into your vision. If not, then you will not have a real formula for where you want it to go. If this happens the business will go where ever the latest problem, issue or circumstance takes it.
Once you have firmly decided what you want your studio to be, not just artistically but from a business standpoint then your true vision of what your business should look like will start to crystallize and become your plan. Here are some pointers to use when formalizing your vision.
Think about what you want your business to look like. From the colors you use in your advertising materials and decor to how it is perceived by the outside world. Once you have a clear vision of this, make sure that everything you do for your business conveys this picture. The big picture is really the key.
Think about your vision of where you want your studio to be currently and two, four, and six years from now. This will keep you focused on where you need your plan to take you.
Write your vision down and look at it regularly. As you know, once the season starts you will get pulled in many directions. Put your vision statement somewhere where you can look at it on a weekly basis. More, if you are having a tough week! All of your plans will revolve around your vision. If something is not part of what you envision for your studio, then I recommend not adding it to your program.
Thats it! This master plan for your studio in three parts will help you at the end of each season to review the good, the bad and the ugly. Every year there is some of each. Just focus on where you are going with your business and you will be able to track how you are doing on a yearly basis and have a clear idea of where you need to make improvements. Not everything will be perfect but what in life is? Every year review and then proceed from there. By using our formula of Evaluation, Profits and Vision I think you will find it a great tool for you to run and grow your business. Heres to your success!