In business you will be faced with tough choices from time to time. These decisions will be in all of the areas of your business including staff, faculty, customers and your business associations. The key is to focus on what is best for your business and try to take as much emotion out of it as possible. The best way to avoid this is not to make rash decisions. Try to get away and look at all the pluses and minuses to any issue you may be facing. When you do that you will give yourself time to breathe and bring clarity into any business decision you may be making. If you are someone who has a tendency to procrastinate then you need to work on this. Slow business decisions usually lead to business problems that grow while you are stuck in neutral. Below is a list of issues you may be facing in your business with ideas to come up with an ideal solution
Staff and Faculty
If you have an employee that works in your business who is not serving your business well then it is time to move on, period. I know this may sound cold or unfeeling but let's face it, you are running a business and either they are helping you to advance and make your school the best it can be or they are not. It really is that plain and simple. If you are having an issue with someone you can try to talk to them and work out a solution, but if you think that it will not help or you have tried and didn't see any results then do not wait any longer. Sometimes, people that teach for you will try to undermine you and if you discover that this is happening then you must act quickly and without hesitation. I have heard from studio directors who say they feel bad about getting rid of someone, even if they do something that is bad for their business. My response to that is , if you don't get rid of them they will get rid of your customers! If you have an issue that needs to be addressed, don't wait. Make the move to fix or remove the problem. Look, you work too hard and are putting yourself out on a limb and taking all the risks. When it is time to fix an employee issue meet it head on before it hits you in the face.
We all like to think that we want every student that is out there but the reality is there are some that you do not want! Our school has over 700 students and we have had to get ask a few to leave along the way. If you have a parent or student who is negative and taking up too much of your time with drama, SHOW THEM THE DOOR! This is always a tricky one because there are students that you may have trained for some time and now that they are at a certain level they start to become a problem. When it is a case like this we suggest that you have a meeting with the parents and student and try to get to the bottom of the issue. If you do not like what you hear from both the parents and the student then what you could do is to suggest that since they don't appear to have trust in the training that you are offering and don't seem to be happy at your school that it might be better for them to move on to another school that has what they are looking for. Face to face meetings are always preferable but if for any reason it is not possible then it is a good idea to send them a letter stating the facts. One studio owner told me a story about how the father of one of her students was verbally abusive to her. I suggested that she ask this individual to leave her studio immediately and I would say the same to you. I always like to let things simmer and sleep on it to see if there is a solution but in the case of an aggressive parent my only reaction would be GET OUT! The best way to set the right environment at your school is to set a certain standard and make sure everyone follows the guidelines you set. This way when one bad apple pops up you can address it quickly.
This may include your landlord, Theatre owners and fellow studio owners. There will be times when you will need to negotiate. This word make some people cringe! Here is what negotiating is not! Being cheap, trying to get something for nothing, burning the other party and trying to pull one over on someone. The key to successful negotiating is communication and when that happens both parties win! Why is negotiating important to you? If you stay in business long enough or hope to stay in for a long time, you will be presented with a necessity to negotiate. This also means that you may from time to time have to be tough with your stance, especially if there is a topic or issue that is important to you! If you have a certain budget that works for your business try to stick with it and find out what you need to do to make it happen. Set your guidelines and go from there. Remember, tough decisions are usually include give and take. If you have a relationship with a fellow dance school owner make a point of helping the other person by staying connected. The key here is that each meeting should not always be a venting session. Yes I know you may need that from time to time but it is more important to share ideas on how you can more effectively run your businesses.