In every cloud there is a silver lining! It is true that in the darkest hours of history, some individuals are able to find a way to make success out of misfortune simply because they believed that good things were reachable despite current conditions. And so today as we find ourselves in a time when people are afraid of the economy largely because of the continuous barrage of negative reporting from the media, but also because of how the economy may be touching their lives the question to ask is, how can we use our creativity to not only hold on to the business we have, but to increase it as well?

In every cloud there is a silver lining! It is true that in the darkest hours of history, some individuals are able to find a way to make success out of misfortune simply because they believed that good things were reachable despite current conditions. And so today as we find ourselves in a time when people are afraid of the economy largely because of the continuous barrage of negative reporting from the media, but also because of how the economy may be touching their lives the question to ask is, how can we use our creativity to not only hold on to the business we have, but to increase it as well?

Maintaining Your Business: Helping Parents In A Crisis

 As studio owners there are different ways that we can approach the problems that we face on a daily basis. The most important priority is that we stay afloat. You may, perhaps, have already felt the brunt of the economy. A parents check bounces or their charge card is declined or you receive a phone call from a depressed parent telling you that they are withdrawing their child from dance because they have lost their job. With all of these situations, I have found that there are ways to turn the calamity around to your favor. First and foremost I would never penalize a child for what is going on in the adult world. Children, as we know, need the security of their daily lives to be kept as normal as possible, especially when their parents are having financial problems. Working out with the parents a suitable solution for payment of their childs classes can only be beneficial for both the student and the parents as your clients. On the whole, I do not believe that people deliberately dont want to take care of paying their bills, but that sometimes they are just not able to see a solution, become desperate and react accordingly. Try to find a way that the parent can extend their payments over a longer period of time or can help the studio in some way, either using barter for services or goods or perhaps going out and selling ads for your recital or showcase program. In my experience, clients have been so relieved when they see that there are alternatives and that by working as a team you can all find a solution. There are also ways that the child can help if he or she is old enough. Explore these options with the parents. Some of our most loyal customers have had past issues that we worked out together and in 22 years I can count on one hand the people who have taken advantage and abused our help. Giving a helping hand can do wonders for your business. More importantly, it feels good to help people in need, especially those you know.

Growing Your Business: Go High-Profile

Finding some new style of dance something different like Flamenco, Indian or acrobatics and adding it to your schedule could create some needed excitement and set you apart from your competitors. Get the word out about it by using email blasts to current students. Let them know that if they bring in a friend who signs up for classes, they will get a free private with you or another unique reward. Privates with you dont cost you anything, and can be an attractive enticement for the student and a moneymaker for you if the friend signs up. Offer to stage local performances as fundraisers for community charities. This is a great way to get your studio noticed not only for the community effort from you and your dancers, but also for the standard of your dancers. Suggest to your senior dancers that they each mentor one of the younger dancers, especially anyone who seems to be struggling in any way. This is a terrific way to build camaraderie within the studio. Parents will also appreciate the time devoted to their child, especially if he or she needs any additional help or support. In this type of economy, its vital to look around you to see what needs are waiting to be filled. Think creatively about your own community and the people in it and find ways big and small to make a difference. By thinking this way you will open up numerous avenues that you can take to sustain and increase your business. Thinking outside of the box is important simply because so many people dont and that will certainly give you an edge in business.