The benefits of early registration are huge for any school or studio owner. Depending on your calendar and what part of the world you live in typically it is a good idea to get your current clients to register before your long break. For us the best time is in May as we finish our semester the first week in June and have our performances the second weekend of June. After that we hold our company and performance group auditions for the next season and then it is on to summer and whatever summer programs we offer. The bulk of our clientele send their children away to a variety of sleep away camps so we have found that it is truly a benefit to get those people signed up early for the fall classes. It also helps tremendously with the class schedule because no matter how many hours I put into making up the new schedule; invariably we have to shift some of the classes around to make it work. It is, after all, supply and demand!
It also helps with new customers if you know exactly which classes are full and which still have availability. There is a call to action when new parents coming in to ask about your classes see that some are already closed. The peace of mind that comes with early registration makes anything you have to do to make it happens worthwhile. Knowing before your long break that your classes have a healthy attendance will permit you to relax, spend some much needed time on yourself and give you a chance to prepare yourself for the upcoming year.
There are a number of different ways that you can get the word out not only to your current clients but to old and new ones as well.
It is always easier to convince people who already know about your business such as current and past customers than it is to get new people in. So make sure that everyone receives a mailing, email and constant reminders of the dates of early registration. If you are planning to put your prices up for the next year give them the incentive of being able to register at this year's prices. Offer them the possibility of ordering all their approved dancewear on line or co-ordinate with a local dancewear store so that they can be at your studio on the days of priority registration to provide your customers with the convenience of having everything in house. Of course, if you have your own store that is certainly a bonus.
Reach out to past students and give them an extra incentive to come back to you. Perhaps an offer of bring a friend who registers and you both get $50.00 off or a free private class over the summer to help them catch up. Contact local pre-school centers to find ways to get your class schedule and studio information to their clients. Make registering a fun experience, offer refreshments and prizes keep the process upbeat and let everyone see how accommodating your studio is. Everyone nowadays wants things to be easy for them and the more you can show both current and prospective clients that you are there for them the more success you will have.
Many studios do online registering, we do not for the very simple reason that we like to take the personal approach. We do, however make sure to send recommendations out to the parents of each child prior to the registration start date. Our entire faculty receives a packet containing recommendation forms for each of their classes that they fill out.
The main criteria are: Is the dancer ready for the next level?
How has their attendance been? How is their behavior?
Do they practice and fix corrections?
The teachers grade everyone on a 1-5 scale and can also give additional comments if they feel they want to. We transfer all of this information onto a recommendation sheet that has all of the classes listed for the new semester and mark the ones that we feel will most benefit the student. I cannot count the number of times we have been able to get someone who came in to sign their child up for one class to end up taking three or four. Why? Because by discussing the student and their progress with the parent we are able to show them the benefits their child will receive by increasing the amount of classes that they take. Even though we live in the age of computers and text messages there is still nothing better than face to face moments. Our parents are really appreciative that we take the time and show the interest in each student and that goes a long way in customer service and more importantly, customer retention.
Check out our Priority Registration Forms mentioned in this artilce in the Formes, Sample Ads and Tools area of the website by clicking here!