For any business to continue to grow it is important to look at ways to develop multiple sources of income that will increase your bottom line. It may be that you need to think a little outside the box when evaluating where you can expand your income. Adding additional classes to your curriculum in dance is only one idea and it may be that you need to add something completely different to make the big difference you’re looking for.
To make this as simple and easy for you to implement immediately, it may be best to consider renting a portion of your studio space out to another program. Here are the advantages to doing just that. No payroll, advertising, customer tracking or management. You set the times and days that work for you and then you create a simple sublet agreement. We have done this many times with mostly very good results. You could sublet your space from karate to ballroom and any other activity that requires a sizable space. I know of a school that rents space out to the local theater groups in their town for rehearsal for both touring and stationary. It is usually during down time and produces a very nice income.
Studio rental charges will vary depending on the size of the space, location and times available. If you have several studios, the largest one should be the most expensive. Depending on where you live will also determine how much you can charge. It is easy to find out what halls, ballrooms and other spaces in your area charge by calling around or contacting your local chamber of commerce to see if they can help you. If you rent your studio during a time that is prime time you can charge more, especially if you have several people interested in using the space.
If this idea is of interest to you, dont expect for people to just show up at your door looking to sublet space from you (although this will happen once you start to let out your space!). You will need to go out and spread the word that you are willing to sublet your space. This can be accomplished several ways. You could create a letter with an offer to sublet during specified times and days. To find potential businesses or groups, try doing a Google search, print off businesses from Yellow Pages online or call people you know to network with other business owners. You could also hire a real estate agent and negotiate a commission for a viable tenant you approve of.
This is a great time of year to seek out opportunities with other businesses who would like to add programs for the summer or fall. Aside from the obvious ballroom, karate, gymnastic and fitness classes, here are some thoughts to explore.
These are easy to add to any dance school program. Acting classes need space (dance studios have plenty of that), some chairs and a few props that can be added. The key here is to find an established acting lesson provider and see if they would like to expand.
It is noisy and will need to be added during your low volume times. It can be for a local orchestra, rock band, jazz group or any other group requiring space. This can be a great way to implement a music program at your school. (See this months article on how to add music.)
Most touring shows need space to rehearse in before the theater they are performing in is ready. You can contact your local theater, theatrical agency or local theater group.
Irish Step Dancing.
This is a growing program in many areas. You can call your local Irish club. See if space is needed for rehearsals. We get calls at our school every week to see if we offer Irish Step classes. We are currently looking into bringing in a program of this type. The good news is we dont have to oversee the programjust manage the time they use it.
Yoga or Tai Chi.
I know this fits under the fitness umbrella, but these types of classes are especially popular during down times. They are quiet, low maintenance and will be easy on your facility.
Setting up an agreement will be a very important part of this whole arrangement. Keep in mind that if someone else is using your equipment they should do so with care. Like any agreement, it is only as good as the person who signs it. Remember when you sublet that this program and the people who run it will be in your building for an extended period of time. If you do not have a good rapport with these folks, it could get ugly, so choose carefully. When you interview them, ask specific questions that are important to you. Make sure that they understand (and put in writing) all of your rules and how you expect things to be run.
Also consider that you will need a representative from your business there when they are holding their classes, so this needs to be built into your renting expenses. I do not recommend giving anyone keys to your building and/or access without someone from your organization being on site. Through the years, we have sublet to many organizations, programs and shows. Most of these arrangements have worked very well, a few have been only OK, but they have all added additional income with little effort or time on our part. When done correctly they can add thousands of additional dollars to your income each month.