Staff and Faculty Holiday Bonuses

"Tis the season to be jolly! It is also a great time of year to say thank you to your staff and faculty. Here is your chance to tell them how much you appreciate their work and effort. We know it would not be possible to run our studios effectively without the help of these dedicated individuals. It is also probably a fact that they are so invaluable its not possible to pay them what they are truly worth. I know that is very true with many of our people. They are so dedicated, both emotionally and artistically, that we would need to pay some of them ten times more than what we can afford. But we also know that they love what they do and it is important to them to know that we appreciate them and everything they bring to our business. We try to say Thank you! throughout the year, and especially during the holiday seasona great time to reach out and let them know how thankful you are to have them be a part of your dream and your business!

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Its All About The Numbers!

As the calendar year comes to an end and you are well into your season, you probably have a good idea of where you are in terms of student headcount and how many student hours that represents. You can also see where you are in relation to last years numbers. I always encourage studio owners to look carefully at all their numbers because its not just about how many students you have, but how many classes they are taking. In some years our student count might have been down, but student hours were up, and that translated to a good bottom line.

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Promoting Yourself and Your School

I remember when Angela and I first started our studio twenty two years ago. We knew a lot about teaching, something about business and very little on how to promote ourselves. We even knew of dance teachers who thought that it was somehow sleazy or uncouth to promote what they did well. If you think that you are in someway selling out or if you are concerned about being looked down upon, forget that thought! I know that some people may think that promotion is beneath them. Some feel that if people are interested in what they have they will automatically find them. People may hope that clients are going to seek them out but the market place is crowded with a lot of services, like dance schools, and even though theirs may be the best, without adequate promotion no one will ever know! Anyone who believes that promotion for their business is unnecessary will be forever trying to make ends meet and they will most likely never be able to reach the level that they hoped for with their business.

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The Economic Outlook

If you happen to watch the news or any of the news networks you will be, like most people in America today, scared to death! The truth is the more you hear this bad news, the more you want to contract. It makes you feel like doing less of everything. That includes spending your money on advertising and anything else that depletes your hard earned money. It is the reason why we, along with many other entrepreneurs, are cutting back on how much we watch on television, read or listen to. Of course, we need to see what is going on and not stick our heads in the sand but if all you hear is doom and gloom for hours on end how can you possible think clearly about your business? How can you have a positive outlook and be inspired to do new things with your business? Even if things are going well, it makes you think that it is only a matter of time before the sky starts falling!

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New ways to make your dancers stand out at competition

As we embark on the new competition season, now is the time to evaluate your costume strategy.

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Ideas To Help Increase Preschool Enrollment

The key to building a solid student body base is to constantly be finding ways to increase the pre school students. Pre school classes are generally held during the morning or early afternoon hours, both times that are not used for classes for the older children. The more you are able to build those classes, the more likely you are going to build a client base that will sustain you for years to come. Very often, children who begin to study with you at an early age will remain with you for their entire childhood and into their teens. Parents who bring their children to you at a very young age often become your most loyal clients. So, all in all, to increase those pre school students is a win - win situation.

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Marketing For Results!

We have all heard stories about marketing. The most common one that I hear is when a studio owner uses a newspaper ad, post card, self mailer or any other marketing tool one time and is not happy with the results. If you do anything in marketing once, the chances are you wont be happy. There is no magic bullet, no one thing that you do that will bring in a huge influx of new customers. One of the most important things you can do for your business, and bottom line, is to develop a marketing plan. If you are someone who read the above statement and thought, Oh, I dont have time for that or I dont know how to do that or maybe That sounds like a lot of additional work. Relax! Its not going to be tough at all. As a matter of fact, once you follow through with your plan, you will be thrilled with the overall results, which will give you more students and profits!

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How To Find The Choreographer Within Us

As teachers of Dance we are constantly called upon to create movement, whether it is a few counts of eight, a complete number or a full length Ballet. Some teachers find it an easy continuation of their daily classes and others struggle with the entire process. The reality is that teachers in a dance studio or any school that teaches dance are sometimes going to have students that are technically phenomenal and at other times will be challenged by students who are perhaps mediocre or worse in their technical knowledge. Unlike professional choreographers who are blessed to be able to create their works on elite dancers, the typical dance teacher has to create choreography on students of all ages and types and make them look their best. Why we create choreography usually has very little, if anything, to do with the business side of the studio or schools continued success, however, very often what happens with the choreography does affect the success of the program.

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Fairy Tale Birthday Party

How to give incredibly fabulous fairy tale princess parties in your dance studio! First, to prepare for the very important birthday, a day that children and their friends in your studio are going to always remember as THE VERY BEST, HOT DIGGITY-DOG DAY OF THEIR LIVES, you need to plan. Lets get going!

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Reaching Out To Your Past Customers

As we start a new season you will be looking at where you are in terms of student count. Each year we evaluate where we are this year compared to last year. If everyone has not yet signed back up for classes dont panic! If you have been doing this long enough you know that this will happen each and every year. Many times it has nothing to do with you. It may be that the student is now involved in some other activity that will engulf most of their free time. Some of these activities are only for the first few months of the season and after that these students will be looking for something new to do. Here is a formula that we have used over the years that has helped us keep our attrition in check. I recommend that you try this simple and effective approach.

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The Systems Challenge

A hot buzz topic in business today is Systems and how these systems are going to be the key to your business and its growth. If you have read the book The E-Myth by Michael Gerber and I recommend that any business owner does, he writes about creating systems for your business and how all businesses are the same when it comes to creating systems for them. The idea is that if you have systems in place you can get people to run certain aspects of your business without your input! He uses MacDonalds and how it runs its business as an example. He examines their systems and the success they have generated. The goal is to create a system for each aspect of your business and then get people to follow the systems.

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Getting Your Staff On The Same Page Part II

Last month we talked about getting our office staff on the same page. This month we are concentrating on our faculty and how to help them to help us to provide the best service and product to both of our clients, the parents and the students. As the summer comes to and end and studios are either already in session or about to be, it is helpful to ensure that not only have you secured the best faculty possible, but that you feel confident that your working relationship with them will be a smooth and problem free one. There are a number of ways to make sure that the day to day running of the classes goes according to your plan.

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The Best Resources for Your Online Marketing Dollars

This is the time of year that we, as studio business owners, spend most of our marketing budget. I am sure that most of you do newspaper ads, postcards, flyers and door hangers just to name a few. In previous articles I have discussed how important the statistics are that we have gathered over the past five years. Many people nowadays go online to shop for things that they are interested in buying and they are not only interested in items but also in services. Our statistics show that during the months of August, September, October and November, that people finding us through search engines or other online resources have increased over ten times in the last five years. We are reaching our super pages PPC (pay per click) budget every one of those months. As a matter of fact, because of that we have increased our budget for those months. Last year alone we had seventy seven new students find us through this one source.

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The Plan Part 3

A vision is unique and personal to who you are and what you dream of. For your business it is the first place to start when looking to formulate what you hope to create! The last two months we have looked at the overall plan to make your studio not only better but to create a business that is unique and special to your needs and wants. Last month we focused on the Profits part and how you need to not only focus on your business but also on other studios in your area and what their price structures are. As we previously discussed, do not undersell yourself, as a matter of fact, to be on the high end is better.

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Creating Your Own Logo

A logo is more than just a little design or your company name written in a fancy font. Logo design is a special skill, and there's no one definitive method that is better than the others. All good logos, however, have a few things in common.

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