Enjoy Your Life: Change Your Point of View

"Two men look out through the same bars: One sees the mud, and one sees the stars."- Frederick Langbridge, A Cluster of Quiet Thoughts

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14 Easy Steps to Starting Your Dance Studio Business

When we were first starting up our business, we searched for a good article on startup, and couldn't find any, so we decided to write this short guide as a checklist of things that will be helpful to any studio owner starting out.

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How To Achieve Every Goal...And Not Get In Your Way

We've all been there.You set a goal for yourself but somehow along the way, you don't make it to the finish line...and there's no one to blame but yourself. Somehow, you've stood in your own way. Many people consider the possibility that there are two probable selves within us. Let’s call them "Yous". The first "you" is the one that is constantly critical and often keeps you from realizing your truest potential. It’s the "you" that is the self doubter and the one that more often than not carries the energy of fear from day to day. It’s the one that will put a roadblock in your way and will literally prevent you from achieving your goal. This "you" has endless mind-chatter associated with it and it’s the chatter that will stop you dead in your tracks.

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Dont Make These Small Business Mistakes Part I

Here’s an interesting notion: Do you realize that there are mistakes you can make at various stages of your business’ growth that can be slowly killing it for months or even years if you don’t watch for them?

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Clearing The Clutter

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!!

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The Pros And Cons Of Competition

Over the years when I have talked to other studio directors there have been some strong opinions about the pros and cons of entering students into competitions. There are a huge number of dance competitions out there and it is a big business for many competition owners. Some studio owners are just anti competition and others practically do nothing but go to competitions, so is there a happy medium? My advice to anyone who has asked me about competition and whether or not they should get involved has always been the same that they have to evaluate what their interests are and what benefits they feel that their students are going to derive from it and go from there. All studio owners have their own ideas of what they like and dislike about competitions and basically, at the end of the day, they need to do what feels right to them.

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Getting The Word Out About Your Studio Through Press Releases

Tens of Thousands of small businesses start up every year putting little or no thought into their Public Relations (PR) and Marketing strategy. Millions of small businesses go through each subsequent year with almost no PR or Marketing direction.
 

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Marketing With Free Events

Whenever we market our business we are always striving for one thing and one thing alone, to build our client base and to do so by getting people to come in to our business. If you can get interested individuals to walk in the door and you have something good to offer them as far as product you stand a good chance of converting them into clients. Years ago we did a survey with our clients and I can tell you it was quite an eye opener! We were sure that the most important thing to our clients was the quality of the education that we were able to give them. So we were quite amazed when we got the surveys back to discover that the quality of the education was not even in the top 5 and that other things were far more important to them especially initially. They wanted it to be convenient, for the kids to have fun, to make friends and the closer it was to schools the better because then the children could walk right to the studio. These were just a few of the things that were mentioned but it really helped us to change our marketing strategy.

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Evaluating Your Team!

Last month I wrote about your year in review. How did you do? Were you happy with your progress? Did your faculty and staff meet your expectations? I often receive emails from members wanting to know more about the process that we use to review and evaluate our team.

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Educating Parents and Students

Each year at the beginning of May we send out recommendation forms and the fall schedule to all of our customers. The recommendation forms are made up from all the evaluations that we receive from each teacher regarding every student. Over the years, we have found that this system really works and our priority registration for current students usually begins in the middle of May for ten days. It gives our regulars a real chance of enrolling their children into the classes that they want to be in and also helps them to plan other activities for the fall around their dance schedule. This also signals the beginning of many meetings that are scheduled between us and parents to discuss the upcoming year and the schedule that their child or children want to do. These meetings are really worth the effort even though they can be time consuming they do give us an opportunity to educate the parents regarding dance classes and how they will affect their child. Typically we will schedule these meetings at certain times when we can be available during the week and usually they will go on for at least a week if not two. The most important reason for having them is that on the whole parents have absolutely no idea of what goes into dance education and therefore need help with understanding the structure of the schedule and the classes.

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The Benefits Of Planning

One of a group of well known motivational writers is a man named Napoleon Hill. I have found his books extremely helpful not only for myself but also in my teaching. In our business, as in really any business we are the leaders. We lead our staff, our faculty, our students and their parents. Every leader has to start somewhere and sometimes it is evident from an early age at other times it is something that develops over a period of time. I know for myself that I became a leader at a very young age much to the dismay of some of my friends!! There is nothing wrong with gradually becoming one and it may be that you have to follow some strong individuals in order to be able to absorb the leadership qualities from them. Whichever road you take to become a leader, the minute you open the doors of your studio for business, there you are the LEADER! At times being a leader can be very trying and in my experience there are times when it can also be extremely rewarding. Whichever way it goes for you the most important thing to remember is that you need to nourish your soul in order to be there for everyone and to have the strength to find solutions for every problem that arises on any given day. It can be draining and daunting at times and that is why it is so important to keep motivated and to keep positive people around you working as a team and above all it is important to have a good plan. Some of Napoleon Hill’s requirements for leadership are interesting, I particularly like the following:

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Maximizing Your Studio Use

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Improving yourself

All year long it seems that studio owners are on the run. Each day there’s a new set of challenges that can arise in the running of the studio and each day if you are also a teacher there are classes to prepare and choreography to create and complete, just to name a few things that we are required to take care of. All of this requires teamwork of major proportions. Perhaps you own a small studio or are just starting out it really doesn’t matter, you still need a team to make it all work. Your team could perhaps consist of two people or twenty; the main objective is that whoever you surround yourself with as a studio owner needs to be an asset to your business. The most important thing that you can do for the growth of your business is to make yourself more valuable. So, how do you do this? I really do believe that the best way to give you more value in every aspect is to keep finding ways to improve yourself.

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This Summer Get the Word Out About Your Studio

Summer is a great time to get out and about in your community for performances, demonstrations, lectures and workshops. We have for years, used the summer to build awareness about our school and the programs that we offer. Best of all, you may even get paid to do these performances! If you have a competition group, company or even a small group of dancers who you think could be entertaining, you have a readymade entertainment road show. How about teaching a class at an outdoor event, party or function? These are wonderful ways to take your teaching talents out of the studio and into the community. You could also do a seminar on a topic that you are passionate about. Think of it as a community tour of your dance school. If you go to them they just may end up coming to you in the fall for dance lessons!

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Employee Satisfaction...It's Easier Than You Think!

On a scale from one to five, give a quick rating to the following questions;

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