For most dance studios in the United States your season comes to an end in May or June. This is a good time of year to look ahead and to start to organize for the fall season. For those of you in other countries whose season is just beginning, you can start to map out your year and build in the ideas I will present in this article.
It’s time to take a deep dive into your overall business operations. Additionally, look at how do you get your current families to register for next year and which of your teachers and staff you want to retain. These three year end practices are all VERY important factors to getting your new season off to a great start.
My Top 3 Season Ending Business Tips
1. Time to review all of your business operations: We do this exercise every year in May and June. The three main questions we ask are; What is working and what is not? What can we do better? What do our BEST customers want and like? These are very specific and easy to answer questions that can bring in sweeping improvements to what you are doing. Look at the entire season from a bird’s eye view. Take a step back and review what took place from the good to the not so good. In many cases just a few small adjustments are all that is needed. However, I recommend that you are not resistant to making a major change if you determine it will be best for your business. Sometimes change will create a new energy that will not only enhance your business but also your bottom line. The key is to look at everything with an open mind and if things need to be changed, then embrace that change and proceed!
2. Marketing to your current customers: What you start to put in place now will be a determining factor as to who will register for next season. If you do not have a system in place to get your clients to register in the coming months for your upcoming season, I recommend that you do so today! You want to implement early priotity registration to your current clients so that they will sign up for dance classes before they sign up for any other activity. In this case your families will build their child’s after school schedule around their dance classes. Best of all you will have a good idea of which classes are full and which ones you need to market over the summer. When a current customer does not reregister, it also gives you time to find out why. You may find that just because you or someone from your school has taken the time to call them personally it will make the difference as to whether or not they sign up again. There is nothing like the personal touch to keep your customers around. While most of our marketing dollars are spent on getting new clients, I recommend that you spend a fair amount of your budget on keeping the clients you currently have and ensuring that they will return time and time again. If you want to build your school, this will be a huge contributing factor.
3. Determine which faculty members and staff you will bring back: Every year things change. People change, schedules change and your business operations will change. We have had faculty and staff who were big assets to our business one year only to turn into big problems later. When this happens you have two choices, try to determine what is going on and see if the issue that is causing the problem can be resolved or move in another direction. It is as simple as that! I know change is hard especially if someone has been with you for a long time. The key here is that you are running a business. If someone is not helping in the growth of your business or even worse may be detrimental to your business then you need to do something about it. Sooner, rather than later. You can start by assessing the overall production of each person you employ. I recommend that you have a yearend meeting with each individual working for you to review the good and the not so good. It will also give you a chance to hear what they have to say about your business and how you can do things better. I don’t recommend that you tell anyone that you are not bringing them back until classes are over. It is cleaner that way for everyone involved.
I have found that if you put some focus into these three tips, they will make a big difference when you restart your new season. Yes, there are other things that we need to focus on but these three, in my opinion are the most important to your business growth and stability. When you prepare for the coming months, you can take as much guess work out of the equation as possible. This way you will have everything planned out and your stress level will definitely decrease. Now how good does that sound?
Here's to your success!
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