Five Things You Can Do to Stand Out in a Competitive Market

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Tips to Increase Enrollment Part II Focusing on Referrals!

In Part II we are focusing on referrals also known as word of mouth. Do you have a plan in place to actively solicit referrals? If not, you are losing out on this incredible money making tool for your business.

 

 

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Your Action Plan For Results!

 There you have it. There is no time like the present. Make today YOUR day! I love this quote by George Bernard Shaw. I try to live by it each day and I recommend you do the same.

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More Students Or More Income?

But here is the million dollar question...

Do you want more students or more income?

I hope the main goal is the latter. Furthermore, if you are in a remote area or in a place that has a lot of competition you may be spending a lot of money always trying to get more students that are just not there. You need to have a rock solid strategy in place

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Get your customers on an automatic payment plan!

 One of the best things you can do for your business, cash flow and yourself is to get your customers on some form of automatic payment plan. Some people are afraid to implement this type of system because they believe that their clients will not go for it. I can tell you from over 31 years of experience that it is one of the best things that we did to help our cash flow and it also helped us keep our peace of mind. We implemented it 15 years ago and have eliminated the problems that we had with our clients regarding billing and payments.

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To Build Your Business, Focus On Retention!

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Priority Early Registration

Tips to get your current customers to register before your summer break!
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Writing Your Business Plan Part II

Last month we started our business plan focusing on the Business part. This month we will focus on the financial section which is vital to the health of your business. You will need some peace and quiet when going over this section. It is helpful to have your bank account information and their totals handy. If any of these sections get too difficult to understand just pass them over and go back later.

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Tips to Increase Enrollment Part I

I have been a consultant for studio owners for many years now and one question that is always on all of their minds is, "How can I increase my enrollment?" I know it is a topic that Angela and I and our team discuss every year. Increased enrollment will equal more income! In this three-part series we will focus each month on a task that you can do right away. Just one task each month to build your enrollment and increase your income.

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Writing Your Business Plan Part I

 Writing a business plan is necessary for anyone going into business. It is the best way to help you understand your business and what your needs from the business are. It will help you plan, run, and re-act to the day-to-day decisions that you will have to make. It will also help you stay on track financially so you can make a decent profit!

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Evaluating the Strengths and Weaknesses of Your Business

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The Truth About Running A Successful Dance Studio Business

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The Business of Making Money & Dance Studio Dignity

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Customer Retention - Five Easy Secrets!

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Proceed To Succeed!

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The Personal Touch In A Digital World

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Building Word Of Mouth

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Turning Your Dreams Into Reality!

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Make Your Plans To Succeed!

To succeed you must proceed!

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Time to Re-activate and Re-energize Your Customers

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Planning Next Season Begins Now!

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How To Max Out Spring Enrollment With Direct Mail

Proven Actions Based on Successful Industry Campaigns

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The Six Million Dollar Question

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Share Your Vision

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What Differentiates You From Your Competitors?

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Now’s The Time to Act!

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Making Tough Business Decisions

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Generate More Income from Your Pre-School Shows

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Assessing Your Business

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Your Studio Is A Reflection Of You

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How to Make Your Wishes Come True!

A Studio Owner recently asked me if they could get my help with the issue of making a New Year's resolution. I answered in the affirmative, but with a couple of stipulations! I told her that making a list of things you want to change when it comes to your studio is a truly wonderful process, but thinking you want something to change, and actually taking the steps necessary to see that change through can be two totally different things. It all comes down to the reason why so many of us don't see our wishes, hopes and dreams come true and it has everything to do with the difference between saying you'll do something, and actually doing what it is you said you would do. Ask yourself this question; over the last month or so, how often did you say you'll do something? Now ask yourself how many of the things you promised yourself you would do actually saw the light of day? People I've asked this question to respond by saying five out of ten, more say two to four, but most say one to two. "So why do you think this is?' I'll say to them. The most common answer has to do with the fact that after putting the wish, the resolution out there, nothing else was done to see it through. What good is making a resolution if it isn't seen through to completion? Any resolution has two parts to it, the saying of it and the doing, the seeing through of it. My mother always used to say "Don't say you'll do something unless you are actually prepared to see it through!" How right she was.

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Make This Your Year of Planning!

The holidays have come and gone and there is always that feeling of let down just because there is so much planning and preparation that goes into getting ready for the holidays. But why not keep that feeling of planning and preparation going in your business all year round so that there is always a feeling of excitement, freshness and anticipation of good things and good times? What a great way to keep the momentum going for your staff, faculty and students!

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Goal Setting For Dance Studio Owners Part II

Why is it that some people almost always succeed?

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Goal Setting For Dance Studio Owners Part 1

Did you know that you are 97% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down?

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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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Maximizing Your Studio Use

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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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Connecting With Local Business To Build Your Business

I have written about this subject in the past but it is a topic I feel very strongly about. If you are looking to increase business, brand and customer awareness then building connections with other businesses in your area is the quickest way to do so. I know that most dance school owners are extremely busy. Having to deal with choreography, class content, student, parent, teacher issues, marketing, ordering costumes, paying the bills and oh yeah, your personal life! It is a wonder how most of us have an opportunity to exhale! But if you don’t make a point of getting outside of your four walls it may be that you are the best kept secret in town. Here is how you can build your customer base and get to know the best places to market your business. By connecting with your local business community and building great and lasting friendships along the way.

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What Is Value?

What is value? Stop and think about that for a few minutes. What does it mean to you?  Turns out that one question... "What is value?"... Can take you down some very interesting paths. In the dance studio business, most people think it begins and ends with teaching lessons where students learn and have fun. That is a big part of it but, what does your customer perceive that value to be? How can you increase the value of what you do so that your customer wouldn’t even consider going elsewhere?

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How You Follow Up Will Make A BIG Difference To Your Bottom Line!

What happens after you receive a phone call from a prospective customer requesting information about your school? Do you send out a brochure and schedule? Then, what do you do next? I have found that most small businesses especially dance schools do nothing after that. There is no continuing dialogue. Think about how much money you spend just to get someone to call your business through your different marketing plans. If the only thing you do is send them information that one time without any follow up, then you will probably lose money in the long run.

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Optimum Usage Of Your Studio Space

In this economy, we need to find additional ways to utilize our studio space and at the same time market our business to as many people in our community as possible. How many times have you heard new customers say 'I didn’t realize that this studio was here!' and thought to yourself, how could this be possible?

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Getting A Head Start-Planning Your Summer Programs

That cold chill is suddenly in the air, Thanksgiving is around the corner and then we are full swing into the holidays. Summer seems awfully far away and yet now is the time to prepare your summer programs and more importantly, to get the word out about them before anyone else does.

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Tips To Running A Successful Studio, Part II

Here are my next 7  tips for running a successful studio. As with last month’s suggestions, I encourage you to stop after each point and consider it carefully. Think about your business and how it applies to what you are doing. Think about how you handle each topic and take some notes. The key is to consider how you can do each task better than you’re doing it now. Even if you are doing what I recommend, try to think in terms of how you might switch up your approach for even greater success. Remember that part of growing your business begins with self-examination. We do it every year and learn a lot about what we do and how we can do it better. Don’t worry if you find yourself lacking in one area. Just make a plan to get better at it. Once you do, everything else will fall into place. So let’s get started!

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Tips to Running A Successful Studio-Part I

In this special 2 part series we will explore tips to running a successful studio. While you read through the list I encourage you to stop after each point and consider it carefully. Think about your business and how it applies to what you are doing. Think about how you handle each topic and take some notes. The key is to think in ways of how you can do it better than you’re doing now. Even if you are doing what I recommend, try to think in terms of how you might switch up your approach for even greater success. Remember that part of growing your business begins with self-examination. Don’t worry if you find yourself lacking in one area. Just make a plan to get better at it. Once you do, everything else will fall into place. So let’s get started!

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Referrals: The Life Blood Of Any Dance Studio

You are most likely getting them without even trying. Moms talk to moms and before you know it, you are the talk of the town. When it comes to getting a significant amount of business by way of referral some dance schools are better at it than others. It’s not that they have implemented a better process for asking clients and partners to refer them; it’s that they are simply more referable.  

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Q & A With Steve & Angela-How To Build Your Preschool Progam!

This month we will focus on how to build your preschool program.

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Reaching Out To Customers Past And Present

To grow your school and build your business you need to not only work to retain your current students, but also reach out to past students to try to inspire them to return to your studio.

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7 Steps to Outperforming Competitors

It’s times like these, when your competitors are distracted, that you can get the jump on them. If your competitors have had to lay off staff, or cut expenses, they may be just limping along.  Marketing was probably one of the first things they pulled back on—even while knowing they shouldn’t have. By the time their business picks up (if it ever does), they will have a lot of catching up to do.

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Innovation Will Set You Apart

Innovation is the key to the growth of your business. Entrepreneurs are usually more apt to be innovators and as studio owners we are certainly entrepreneurs. Each year I am sure that you review your business and look at the successes and failures that you have had during that year. This is a very important part of growth, as it would be unrealistic to think that we do not have failures each year in one way or another. Perhaps it is failure to get through to a group of students or failure to communicate fully to the parents of our students. It could be a management failure in the front desk area or even failure on our part to make sure that we train our staff and faculty in a way that will make everything run more smoothly. Really, whatever the failure is, it is only a minus if you choose not to pay attention to it.

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Smart Ways to Manage Your Cash Flow

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Business Building Part IV

The ultimate plan for customer retention

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Business Building, Part III

Finding and nurturing the right team to help you grow your business.

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Business Building Part II

The Marketing Plan That Works
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Business Building Part I

New Year, New Goals, New Plan!

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Developing a Pricing Strategy

'How much should I charge?' 'What do you charge for classes?' These are questions I have been asked by many new and experienced dance school owners. Charging either too little or too much may produce the same results: difficulty luring customers, poor cash flow and suspicions about the quality of your training.

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How To Build Word-of-Mouth Referrals

The priceless recommendations are more important than any other marketing you do.

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Getting Ahead Of Your Competition

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To get more students...Answer the phone!

Many years ago AT&T did a study with small businesses to find out who was getting the most business out of their Yellow Pages advertising. The study looked at the ad, where it was placed on the page and the size of the ad, how many calls were being produced and the rate of the most important criteria how many sales were made. Here is what they found.

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To Get More Business, Focus On The Customers

A lot of advertising focuses on the company that is trying to get your business and what makes them the best choice. You read about how a company does this or that. How they care about their customers and how they are number one in service.

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Cash Flow Forecasting

.Cash flow is the life blood of all businesses. The key is to determine how much is coming in versus how much is going out to pay you’re your expenses. If you have been in business for a few years, it is easy to get a statement of the past year or years. But like other statements it is strictly a historical view. More is needed and here is why this is crucial: If you do not have the ability to see into the future and project future cash balances, you run the risk of running out of cash. This is the most important financial statement you can 'view' and manage.

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Developing Multiple Sources of Income

For any business to continue to grow it is important to look at ways to develop multiple sources of income that will increase your bottom line. It may be that you need to think a little outside the box when evaluating where you can expand your income. Adding additional classes to your curriculum in dance is only one idea and it may be that you need to add something completely different to make the big difference you’re looking for.

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Adding Music Lessons to Your Dance School

For years we would have students ask us who we would recommend for them to take voice lessons from. There were several teachers we knew in our area, but after serious consideration we decided to add voice to our curriculum. It is easier than you think to add a music program to your school. The first year we had vocal only, then added piano, guitar, drums and violin. This program has grown fast and with little effort. Think about how easy it would be to advertise this new program. Our first 40 sign-ups for lessons were our current students! All of the ads for our studio now include a blurb about our music program. We are selling two programs in one ad! Now, instead of getting people just interested in dance, we also are getting people interested in music. More bang for your buck! One excellent benefit that you can promote is the convenience for parentsthey wont have to run from one location to another. If they have two children, one interested in dance and one in music, they only have to drive to one place. Save people time and they will love your program and spend more money with you! Here is how we did it!

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Making The Most Of Hidden Opportunity

In every cloud there is a silver lining! It is true that in the darkest hours of history, some individuals are able to find a way to make success out of misfortune simply because they believed that good things were reachable despite current conditions. And so today as we find ourselves in a time when people are afraid of the economy largely because of the continuous barrage of negative reporting from the media, but also because of how the economy may be touching their lives the question to ask is, how can we use our creativity to not only hold on to the business we have, but to increase it as well?

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Its All About The Numbers!

As the calendar year comes to an end and you are well into your season, you probably have a good idea of where you are in terms of student headcount and how many student hours that represents. You can also see where you are in relation to last years numbers. I always encourage studio owners to look carefully at all their numbers because its not just about how many students you have, but how many classes they are taking. In some years our student count might have been down, but student hours were up, and that translated to a good bottom line.

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Ideas To Help Increase Preschool Enrollment

The key to building a solid student body base is to constantly be finding ways to increase the pre school students. Pre school classes are generally held during the morning or early afternoon hours, both times that are not used for classes for the older children. The more you are able to build those classes, the more likely you are going to build a client base that will sustain you for years to come. Very often, children who begin to study with you at an early age will remain with you for their entire childhood and into their teens. Parents who bring their children to you at a very young age often become your most loyal clients. So, all in all, to increase those pre school students is a win - win situation.

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Fairy Tale Birthday Party

How to give incredibly fabulous fairy tale princess parties in your dance studio! First, to prepare for the very important birthday, a day that children and their friends in your studio are going to always remember as THE VERY BEST, HOT DIGGITY-DOG DAY OF THEIR LIVES, you need to plan. Lets get going!

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The Plan Part 3

A vision is unique and personal to who you are and what you dream of. For your business it is the first place to start when looking to formulate what you hope to create! The last two months we have looked at the overall plan to make your studio not only better but to create a business that is unique and special to your needs and wants. Last month we focused on the Profits part and how you need to not only focus on your business but also on other studios in your area and what their price structures are. As we previously discussed, do not undersell yourself, as a matter of fact, to be on the high end is better.

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How to Build Your Adult Programs

Every studio has adults that want to dance. They may be former Students, mothers of students, former dancers or just housewives that dont like going to the gym to work out. Over the years we have experimented with a variety of different classes. We have morning classes and evening classes to suit everyone.

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Grow Your Business

Your ability to operate your dance studio as a business is the main determining factor of your profitability. To help you sharpen this ability, here are seven significant principles that every business owner needs to follow. They are relevant and important at every stage of your business. Remember that, even though your business is based in the arts, it is a business, and your dance classes and programs are your products. Once a year, its essential to look at your studio from this business perspective to make sure youre getting the financial results you want.

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The Plan Part II

Last month we started to look at the overall plan to make your studio better. We wrote about the Evaluation part and how every year we have meetings with our staff, talk to customers and take a long hard look at the way we do things. Every year we have found that we can do something better. Sometimes it is just a simple change and at other times it is something that needs to be implemented over a period of time. We broke it down into three parts, Evaluation, Profits and Vision. Now that we have focused on the evaluation section and you have gone through the process that we recommended. You will soon be putting into place changes for the fall.

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The Plan Part 1

Now that we are at the end of our season, this is when we start to do the most work on our business for next year and beyond. The best place to begin is to do an evaluation of everything you do. Look at all aspects of your business with the goal in mind of, how can we do it better? It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that what you are doing is working and applying the principal of, if it isnt broken, dont fix it! I recommend just the opposite. Perhaps you are doing something that is successful but that by just changing one thing or adding another could make it even better.

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Priority Registration & Student Recommendations

As the season comes to an end, it is important to create a sense of urgency to encourage your current students to sign up for next year's classes before they leave for the summer. This will give you a great opportunity to connect with your clients and see how they have enjoyed the year. If there is a problem it is better to know up front instead of after they have signed up with another studio.

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Fantasy Ballet Summer Programs

Early childhood summer programs are an excellent way to not only keep existing students but also to bring new students in. It gives them a chance to become familiar with your studio and what you have to offer, so that when it comes time to start in the fall, they are eager to do so. Everyone is more relaxed in the summer and the children are not tired from their usual activities and therefore often much more open to getting involved.

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The Retention Plan

To help make your business grow, create a retention plan and keep your customers coming back for more! One of the biggest mistakes we can make as business owners is to constantly be looking for new customers and not to focus on the ones we already have. So much attention is always put on advertising to get the word out about our business, that it is easy to take the focus away from our current customers. Jeffrey Gitomer, who has written many great books on customer loyalty, says that most companies spend 80% of their advertising budget on getting new customers and only 20% on their current ones. He suggests that it would be wiser to reverse this and spend more on keeping who you have instead of always trying to get new. It is, after all ,easier to keep someone coming back for more once they have bought from you than it is to get someone new to try you out. Spending money to get new leads is harder to do and can be more costly. If you could dedicate some, or most of your marketing dollars, to get your current customers to spend more with you, you could increase your income significantly without ever getting one new student.

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That Will Work; Ideas That Can Make You Money!

Through the years have we have found ways to keep that all important cash coming in year round! The beauty part of our type of business is that we can look at our slow cash months in advance and build in an event that will help to bring in some much needed cash during that time. The best way to make these events work is to target not only new people but your existing clients as well. If they are already buying from you there will be no wasted time or money in cold selling. You will need to also promote it to new clients but they will not be the ones that will make or break the event.

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The Three Proven Ways to Boost Your Bottom Line

The never-ending issue of trying to expand and grow your business constantly looks you in the face. Who hasn't asked the question, "How do I boost my bottom line?" As a business owner, there are several ways to approach growth. The avenues are as unique as you are and can depend greatly on your industry, location, and setup. That said, there are three fundamental strategies that are tried and true: 1. Increase your number of customers or client base. 2. Increase your average transaction value. 3. Increase the frequency at which customers purchase from your business.

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How to Get New Business From Your Existing Clients

 Most businesses are constantly looking for new customers. We all spend a lot of money attempting to get new people in the door. We try to sell to people that may, or may not, be interested in what we are selling. There is a great and maybe untapped fountain of more business coming right through your front door every day. We have found that some dance studios forget to constantly try to get more business from the clients they already have.

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What's The Big Idea?

One of the important things that every studio owner must do is to get away from your business so you can take an objective look from the outside and really see what you do well and what needs work. But don't stop there! Now, focus on what you can do to enhance your business and what will create more revenue for your company. As business owners we need find the time to work on our business not just in it. This can be a real challenge if, like myself and Angela, you teach, choreograph and are an important part of your teaching staff.

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Quick money making ideas for your studio

 Cash flow is the life blood of any business and will be one of the important keys to the success of your studio. Without it you will have lots of sleepless nights and unwanted stress. Over the years we have tried some different events and promotions to give us a quick cash injection. The key here is to try to sell mostly to your existing customers. This way you already know that they have an interest in what you are selling and you won't waste any time, energy and money trying to sell to someone who may or may not be interested in doing business with you.

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Fundraising For Big Profits

Why not do a fundraiser that puts money in your pocket. Like many, if not all of you, over the years we have given away thousands and thousands of dollars on scholarships. I don't know about you, but that was money, at that time we didn't have, but we still gave it away. Yes we dance teachers have big hearts and can't stand the thought of a student, especially with talent, not being able to take class just because they don't have money, Right! Well now you can have the best of both worlds. That's right, really have money to give scholarship so you get paid too. Many years ago we started to do a fund raising Gala.

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The 9 Secrets To Success

Everyone wants to know what it takes to make a studio successful and profitable! This is the magic question and we are constantly searching for what it is that the costumer is looking for and how that fits in with our core beliefs of what we want our studio to be. First, and most importantly, is that we must be true to ourselves. You know what will make you happy and what will not. Don't sell out doing something you know you will not be comfortable with because in the long run you will not be happy.

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