Well, the performances have come and gone and as I take a look at the studio I can see that it needs some work to get it ready for the fall. Some of you may take the summer off and others may have summer programs starting immediately. Either way you need to take the time or find the help to get everything back looking clean, refreshed and welcoming. I don’t know exactly what happens over show time, but somehow it always tends to look as if a bomb has hit the place!!

Well, the performances have come and gone and as I take a look at the studio I can see that it needs some work to get it ready for the fall. Some of you may take the summer off and others may have summer programs starting immediately. Either way you need to take the time or find the help to get everything back looking clean, refreshed and welcoming. I don’t know exactly what happens over show time, but somehow it always tends to look as if a bomb has hit the place!!

What I usually do is take a walk around and make a list of what needs to be done in every area. Of course a new paint job always spruces the place up. Perhaps you want to go with some different colors to brighten things up. For example we have painted our smallest studio where we hold many of our pre-school classes a pale shade of blue. It is supposed to have a calming effect and it generally does, of course there are always a few exceptions to that rule! If you have a parent who is willing to do the painting for you that can work well as you can use the barter system for whatever classes their child takes and it is not directly taking money out of your pocket. I don’t advise using teens for this job because they tend to get distracted easily and end up making rather a mess nor only on the walls but everywhere else too!

Check that if you have barres attached to the wall that they are secure, so often the students without realizing it put pressure on them by pulling and they can come loose. Make sure all your sound systems are serviced so that when you need them at full tilt they will be working. Take a look at the speakers, if they are wall hung, double check that they are still secure, the last thing you want is one falling off the wall. Are your mirrors in good shape? Have you checked your air vents lately? If you have air conditioning and central heating those are the things that sometimes get overlooked and yet if they are full of dust it can certainly affect the air quality for anyone in the building and for those that have allergies it can make a huge difference.

The bathrooms and if you have them, dressing rooms take a beating during the year and always seem to need a major cleanup. Having clean, fresh bathrooms can make a big difference however, as we know that is not a guarantee that they are going to end up looking that way. Kids can be messy and often do not take care of their surroundings. Putting a new linoleum floor or some pictures on the wall can make all the difference and then adding some attractive smelling air freshener.

I don’t know about you but at our studio we are constantly amazed by the amount of clothes that are left in the dressing room each year. We have designer jackets, Uggs, all types of relatively new dancewear, dance shoes, watches, jewelry… you name it and we have it. Very seldom does a parent or student come to retrieve their belongings and sometimes the items are hardly used. We send out emails, we make announcements and the same thing happens each year, we have huge garbage bags full of unclaimed belongings. It is really hard to believe in these challenging times that this still happens but it does. After a number of emails and warnings, we collect up everything, wash what we can and send it to needy children so that they will have something to dance in and perhaps a designer jacket to go to school in when it gets cold.

Next I check out the mirrors everywhere and then the studio floors. Floors suffer a lot of wear and tear throughout the year and whether you have Marley type floors or wood floors, it is a good idea to thoroughly clean and re-finish them in the summer. Check them out to make sure that they are not too slippery and if they are you can use non-slip products that are on the market. Stage Step has some wonderful products for your floors so check out their website.

Last but definitely not least, take a good look at your lobby and front desk area. Go in through your front door and ask yourself if it looks inviting. If it does then I am sure that you are doing a great job. If it doesn’t then you need to find ways to cut clutter and have it look streamlined. This is really important as clutter gives the appearance of being disorganized and you want your clients to feel that you are totally in control because that will give them more confidence in you. I personally always like to have fresh flowers in our lobby; you may prefer to have something else that suits your style. Whatever you do have should reflect your personality and brand. Your entry way and your lobby are the two places that future customers see first. That is where they have their first impression of you and your business so putting extra effort into how it looks could make the difference between someone signing up or not.

It is also important to put anything that reflects the way your studio runs in visible places. Your mission statement, any professional qualifications that you might have, pictures of your students, anything that shows the standard and quality of your business. Even with our current customers we need to keep re-educating them as to all of the great things we have to offer them and their children. They need a constant reminder!

Once you have fixed everything up you will feel great because not only will it make it a pleasant experience for your customers and students but it will also make it a great experience for your faculty and staff. It will be a place where they want to come to work and feel appreciated. Most importantly it will be a place that you look forward to going to each day with pride in yourself and your business.