Happy New Year! The holidays are over, the festivities at least for the time being are also in the past and it is time to look forward to all that the New Year has to offer. We all typically make a bunch of New Year’s resolutions, some we keep and others we discard almost immediately for one reason or another.  That is probably not likely to change, but one way that we can change is to make sure that our businesses run more efficiently not only to help us bring in more income but also to help us feel better about our day to day existence.

Happy New Year! The holidays are over, the festivities at least for the time being are also in the past and it is time to look forward to all that the New Year has to offer. We all typically make a bunch of New Year’s resolutions, some we keep and others we discard almost immediately for one reason or another.  That is probably not likely to change, but one way that we can change is to make sure that our businesses run more efficiently not only to help us bring in more income but also to help us feel better about our day to day existence.

I am sure that some of you have employees who have been working for you for some time and others may have personnel who are relatively new to your business. Whatever the case, it is important and worthy of your time to make sure that everyone is not only running things the way that you want them to but that they are also content to do so. Having your staff and faculty feel happy is a very worthwhile investment because ultimately it will be a great reflection of the positive image of your business. Sometimes it can be hard to approach long time employees when you feel that they are not perhaps doing the job as it should be done. Sometimes it may be necessary to make a complete switch but often a simple change in direction can make a huge difference.

I will give you an example of how this can work.  A studio owner that I know was in a dilemma. She had a longstanding employee who she liked very much but who was not very competent with a computer. There was another younger employee who was very computer savvy and was able to do all the necessary computer work more efficiently and also more accurately. What could she do? She didn’t want to lose the older employee because they had worked together for many years. It turned out that the studio owner had a very small dancewear store on the premises. She sold some seasonal stuff and a small amount of dance apparel. She decided to make the older person in charge of developing her store and promoted the younger employee to do the computer work. What was the end result? Everything is working more efficiently; the store is starting to do really well and the time saved by having the computer side of it running smoothly means that there is more time to devote to other things. Both employees are happy and productive with their new positions and all is well in the world! This studio owner took a problem that could have been a very real issue and resolved it by being creative and utilizing the strengths of the people that she had around her.

Every person that works for you in whatever capacity needs some kind of ongoing training and it is to your benefit and theirs to make it part of the job. It is easy for teachers to get into a bit of a rut. It can happen to all of us at one time or another. Most teachers will immediately opt for the known route because they feel safe with that option. It is so much easier sometimes to fall into the habit of teaching the same exercises in the same way, using the same vocabulary of steps it requires less thought. In the long run it is not the easiest because it is a guaranteed way to lose your student’s interest and for levels to drop. Everyone needs a challenge, students and teachers and how exhilarating it is for all when those challenges are met. Encourage your teachers to experiment with new styles and to increase their vocabulary of steps and exercises. Stand behind them when they want to introduce something new. It is important for you to constantly stay current with what is new and innovative, it will keep your students coming back year after year. It will also give your teachers the feeling that their ideas are important and that they are doing the right thing b y constantly improving their teaching skills.

Office staff also needs ongoing training. It is also easy for them to fall into a rut of doing things the same way that they have been doing it for years. However, things change and more importantly ways of doing them change. There are so many great ideas that will streamline your office by enabling tasks to be done much more efficiently on the computer. If you have someone working for you in your office staff that does not know how to work a computer it will benefit you to do one of two things. Either have them take a course that will help them to feel competent with what they need to do on the computer or find them something else to do in your organization that can perhaps use other skills that they have. Help your staff to help you to have the most efficient business possible. Everyone will be happier and the stress level will be greatly reduced. If need be, pay for that employee to take the computer class if you think they have an aptitude for it, you will get that money back over and over again.

Take the time this January to evaluate where you want each person on your team to be and how they can help you to build your business in the most efficient, positive and fun way. Good luck with 2011 and keep reaching upwards as you continue your journey.