As a business owner you should want more business, i.e.: more students. If you say you don’t then you are not focusing on what really matters to the health of your business… REVENUE!
I know we are not just all about money, that we love our students but if you are brining in a good profit think off all the good you can do. You can donate to a worthy cause, help your students who are truly in need, reward your team of teachers and staff. And let’s not forget about YOU!!! Yes, you deserve to make a nice profit to do with as you like. Go on vacation, pay off your house and build a nice retirement egg. Sounds pretty good doesn’t it? There is nothing wrong with that and don’t let anyone ever tell you that there is!
But here is the key…
You don’t want every student, just the right ones!
What if I told you that you could double your student count but it would include double the problem students and customers. Would you do it? I imagine and I hope your answer would be no! Who needs the headaches? But what if I told you, you could double your student count and the new batch would be all of your best costumers. Your raving fans! I know what your answer would be with that one. Yet in an attempt to gain more students I have seen marketing messages, studio environments and materials that brings in some numbers but these new costumers are just not a good fit. Let’s face it. One size does not fit all. Not in clothes, shoes, food, drinks or DANCE!
Now yes you should believe your studio is the best and should promote it as such. But there are some people that will not fit what you do. Kind of like the square peg in the round hole.
So, when you go fishing for new costumers how do you find the right one?
Focusing on your image, messaging and studio environment will send out a loud and strong signal.
When I say image, I am talking about the look and feel of your studio structure inside and out, the people who work there and of course you. Is your studio look inviting, clean and bright? You don’t need to have all state-of-the-art look just a clean, safe place with lots of positive messages up on the walls
The messaging in your marketing is it really who you are and what your program has to offer. Remember you are unique. Your specialty and way of training is different from your competitors. Make sure that prospective customers know that. Like if your studio does not compete and you get anew student who comes from a competition school and still has a desire to do so. Chances are you will have an issue with this student and their parent at some point.
The environment is set by you, your faculty and staff. Is there a warm and inviting energy? Most studios will say yes but I cannot even begin to tell you how many studios I have walk into and they have been anything but. Why, because the studio owner has left it up to their staff and faculty to set and have not built in any guidelines. A real test would be to get an outsider who will give you an honest evaluation of their experience at your studio and then relay that information to you so you can see what is going on through a different lens. We have done this several times over the last 10 years and every time we find something that we can do better. It really is enlightening and will give you insight into things you may have completely missed. My only word of advice would be to make sure whatever you are told that you take it as constructive business advice and don’t get defensive.
Here are some other key points to setting the right tone at your studio…
- 1. If your classes are the least expensive in town and you promote that. Don’t be surprised when your customers start to leave because a new studio in town is now offer classes cheaper than you do.
- 2. If you have a weak preschool program you are going to have a hard time keeping the little ones. Find ways to build this part of your curriculum and your students will “grow up” in your studio and follow your way of doing things. Even I you have a very serious program keep in mind parents of toddlers are looking for options and for training that is safe, fun and FUN!
- 3. If you have an issue with a parent meet it head on. I know, you are not looking for confrontation. But once you address the problem the word will get around that while you appreciate your customers, you will not let them push you around or take advantage of you. If you don’t do this then one bad apple can quickly turn into many!
- 4. You are not open 24 hours! Read that one over and over and over… If you make yourself too available then you cannot complain when your customers text, call and email you all hours of the day and night. Set up times to deal with issues, questions and problems and then stick to it. And try not to make it at 9 o’clock at night when you are tired!
- 5. Take surveys and find out what your customers really like about. Yes, you will hear what they aren’t crazy about but if you use this information wisely you can really see what your best customers love about you and then use that information in your marketing material to find more of the same. Think about it if your best customers really like certain things you do, don’t you think that people similar to them may also like those things… Cha Ching!
So, take a look at what you are doing to get new students and focus on finding the right ones. You will be happier and so will your customers. Happy fishing!
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