With 33 year of experience as a dance studio owner and business consultant for dance studio owners from around the world. I have seen and heard many issues that are challenging and can be very stressful. However, keep in mind you are in control. You just need to apply these 3 easy to implement ideas place moving forward.
1. Letting your parents take over. This is a major problem I have seen have a major impact on dance studio owners. Once the parents start to impose their will you will have a mutiny on your hands! Yes, parents are VERY important to your dance studio business but it is YOUR business and YOU need to be the one in charge. You know what is best for your dance studio. If you need business help or suggestions go to a professional for that help. Now, I do recommend you take surveys to discover what your customers like and dislike about your dance studio. Then explore ways to add curriculum and improve what you do. That is very different from having parents come in and tell you how to run your business or how you or your faculty should teach classes. A professional atmosphere starts with you, the dance studio owner. Friendly, welcoming but ALWAYS in charge. And that line should never be crossed.
2. Do not have systems in place to run your business. Systems do not have to be long complicated documents that no one ever reads. A front desk, teacher and operations manual are not that hard to create and you can and should have your people help you to build them. If by some chance, God forbid, you were unable to be at your studio to run your business for an extended period of time these manuals should help your team move forward in a smooth transition until you can return. Yes, there will be some things that will still need your ok to move forward but getting your ok to a plan that is already in place is a lot easier to navigate through than having no idea on how to proceed. If you are looking for templates on where to start, go to the ‘Dance Studio Owner Curriculum” dashboard here on Dance Teacher Web and click on the templates and forms module to access word docs that you can edit and alter. One more word on this. Keep these documents as word docs that are easily edited so they are ever improving and finetuning as you move forward. Also, if you want to sell your dance studio one day this will definitely add value to your business.
3. Don’t continue to market your business. I have had dance studio owners say to me that they ran a few newspaper ads or sent out a post card and didn’t have great results. Marketing your dance studio goes way beyond this. Marketing has many different avenues to go down and they all help in the success of what you are trying to do. Get new people in the door! You need to have a strong referral program in place and use both online and offline marketing. It has been said that a prospective customer needs to see an ad 7 to 12 times before action is taken! If you use as many different medias as possible your chances of success grow. Think about it, if you see something on social media, then in an online search then get something in the mail that has a very powerful effect. I also recommend that you keep marketing well into the New Year at this time. Options are few for after school activities and families will be looking for other indoor things to do as the weather gets cold. For the best results I recommend you do Pay Per Click and Press Release online like through Newswire. Post cards for hard mailings and referrals to your customers offering very attractive rewards for referrals who sign up.
So, there you have it. If you are making any of these mistakes the good news is you can quickly adjust your course and make the necessary changes to get things right. Change can sometimes be challenging and stressful but once you set things up the right way for you and your studio you will be thrilled with the results in no time at all.
Here's to you success!