If the prospect of developing a marketing plan for your dance school already feels overwhelming, take heart; it's not that bad. You may be surprised to know that effective marketing plans are not about wild, zany, out-of-the-box ideas of which marketing-gurus have exclusive rights to. On the contrary, a solid marketing plan is very straightforward.

So let's start developing your marketing plan.

Your marketing plan should possess three major pillars. So grab three sheets of paper or open up three pages of notes on your PC, Mac or mobile device. After doing so, the following three titles should correspond to each of the pages you have:

Who We Are (on page 1),

Where Do We Want to Be (page 2),

How to Get There (last page).

You now have the framework for your marketing plan. In order to begin filling out each sheet, I'd recommend you involve everyone from your business that has vision to your marketing efforts - your front desk person, faculty and anyone else who works for you and is very involved in your studio. Once you've assembled your team you can start to fill in the pages. You may even want to consider giving everyone these sheets to see what they come up with separately

Who We Are

Outline the identity of your studio on this page (resist the urge to write a novel - just a synopsis). For example, "XYZ dance studio specializes in pre-school classes", "We are the leader in young children's classes", or "We have 2 locations"

As you write out your points, don't dress them up. We are not crafting slogans here; we are looking for the truth. Are you losing customers? Are you meeting your desired numbers of students? What are your strengths, weaknesses, areas of opportunity and threats?

Where Do We Want to Be

One year from today, where do you want to be? Saying something like, "We want to make more money", means you've missed the boat. How much money, exactly? From which area, your recreational students, preschool or competition team?

As you write out bullet points for this page, pen goals that are measurable. Rather than stating that you want to be number one in customer service, aim to get as many new customers through word of mouth. This shows you that your current customers are giving you rave reviews and is one of your strongest marketing tools.

How to Get There

Now that you know where you want to be, how will you get there? Don't write down, "Work hard." That's too nebulous. Let's say, for example, you want to increase walk in traffic by 30% at your new location, what specific actions must be taken? Page three of your plan could include an $8,000 marketing budget increase to handle this goal or reallocation of resources. Whatever the case, this page is about drafting specifics when dealing with implementing your ideas - Vague ideas will not further your plans!

No matter what is written down, make sure that you are willing to look at and listen to the staff members that you have enlisted to help you. They may come up with some really good ideas of ways to market your business and then you will be able to format a well thought out marketing plan for yourself.