In this special 2 part series we will explore tips to running a successful studio. While you read through the list I encourage you to stop after each point and consider it carefully. Think about your business and how it applies to what you are doing. Think about how you handle each topic and take some notes. The key is to think in ways of how you can do it better than you’re doing now. Even if you are doing what I recommend, try to think in terms of how you might switch up your approach for even greater success. Remember that part of growing your business begins with self-examination. Don’t worry if you find yourself lacking in one area. Just make a plan to get better at it. Once you do, everything else will fall into place. So let’s get started!
I. Keep in contact with your current customers.
This means emails, newsletters, surveys, customer events and anything else you can think of. The reality is that everyone is busy and you are low on their radar! If you lose contact, then you risk losing business. Most people stop coming to a business because they think you don’t even know they exist. And don’t worry about being a pest. Just keep giving them useful information and special offers that they will love to receive.
II. Keep marketing to your current customers.
Most businesses focus on attracting new clients and marketing to them. But think about this: If you are doing business with a company you like, you are more apt to buy more of the same. A lot more! When you have this kind of devoted clients, you can ask them to give you testimonials so you can then promote what they love about you!
III. Create WOW moments for your customers.
Make plans to have special events that are both publicized and unannounced at your school. Think of ways to surprise your students and their families. Ideas include special student of the month, free giveaways for students who work hard, special projects where everyone wins something and just random acts of kindness will make you the talk of the town.
IV. Get your staff and faculty to buy into your philosophy…or sever the relationship.
Donald Trump likes to say 'hire slowly but fire quickly.' Most people do the opposite. They hire on a gut reaction and then try to hold on when things go south. If you are having an issue with any faculty member or staff member it is best to try to resolve the issue immediately! If no solution is at hand then use that apprentice line—'You’re fired!'
V. Build your preschool program.
If you build it they will come! Make a special brochure or schedule exclusively for them. The more time offered the bigger your program will get. Try doing a special show that is short and informal with just these younger students—both enjoyable and easy on the families and their time.
VI. Build programs for each niche.
Beyond preschool, offer programs for all ages and special areas that include athletes, kids who are singers and actors, recreational, competition teams, dance teams and even adults. Now the key is to find ways to market to each group exclusively. 'Find a need, fill a need'—if you do, you will always have plenty of business.
VII. Don’t let the parents run the ship.
Parents will love to give you their two cents about all kinds of things: Who should be teaching, what they should be teaching, during which hours they should be teaching. And it doesn’t stop there: Who you should hire, fire and where to move your business to. Listen to your customers, but do not waiver from your company vision. If someone is just a problem, then it may be time to fire your customer! Your parents will take over if you let them and then you will have a hard time regaining control. It’s your business, you are in charge. Make sure they know that and they won’t over step the boundary!
Next month we will offer more tips for you to consider. Remember to look over these tips and see how you stack up. Now find ways to do what you do better. We do this every year and find more ways to differentiate ourselves from everyone else, building both a stronger business and business reputation.