“Am I doing this right?” said the new dance studio owner.
Believe it or not, this is a common question that many dance studio owners ask themselves. Everyone from the folks that have been in the game for a few years, to the ones that have been in business for decades - they have all pondered this question at one point or another. Maybe even more than once.
So, what’s the answer to this frequently asked question? In truth, as long as you are moving forward in your company, you probably are already doing your own version of the “right things” in your dance studio business.
Then again, every business can always be improving, and making things better. With that in mind, below are 5 questions all dance studio owners should regularly ask themselves to ensure the needle of their business is making progress ahead, rather than falling back.
- What are my current numbers?
- Are there things I should stop doing in my business?
- Am I effectively marketing my dance studio?
- Do dance studio solutions for dance studio owners exist that I’ve not yet tried?
- Could my job as a dance studio owner be a little/ a lot easier?
The best way to determine whether or not you’re successful in your dance studio businesses, is to start giving yourself a semi-annual, or at least an annual evaluation. After all, if you’re not tracking your progress, how can you know whether or not it’s improving?
With the questions listed above as a baseline, we’ll now look a little deeper into each one of them. This will help you to determine for yourself what changes, if any, need to occur to make your dance studios more profitable.
Do I know my most important numbers?
Let’s talk money. Why do you need to know your financial numbers? Well, to put it bluntly, if you don’t know those numbers, you could be risking:
- Going into debt
- Insufficient funds in your accounts (and the astronomical fees associated with not having enough money in the bank)
- Getting a bad reputation with creditors, banks, and vendors
- Making bad purchasing decisions
- And so much more.
Not knowing your financial numbers means you won’t know whether or not you have the money to cover the things you need to pay for in your business.
Directly related to your money numbers are enrollment numbers, class sizes and frequency, staff requirements to meet demands, supplies needed for running the business, etc… At a minimum you should always know:
- The average cost of the supplies you need to keep on hand in your business each month (things like toilet paper, paper towels and hand soap in the bathroom, as well as paper for the printer, and stamps)
- Your monthly instructor costs (how much does each instructor charge for their time?)
- The average monthly cost of software, subscriptions, and miscellaneous expenses that you will be paying every month
- The minimum number of students to enroll, and the minimum number of classes you need to offer each month to break even, and to profit (monthly expenses, divided by class cost = approximate number of students required to keep the lights on)
When you know these numbers, you’re better equipped to make smarter buying decisions. You’ll also be better prepared for upcoming regular expenses. For example, if you know every quarter you are going to get hit with a massive tax bill, you can plan for it instead of being surprised by it. After all, no one likes to get caught scrambling to come up with money for a bill.
Are there things in my business that I should stop doing?
If you’re like most business owners, odds are there are things you do in your business that are either unnecessary, or that you should simply not be doing. There’s also a high probability you’re wasting time without even realizing it.
How can you track the things you’re doing, and determine if you’re wasting time? Do a time audit. Here’s how to do one for your dance studio business:
- Make 24 lines on a sheet of paper or in a document/spreadsheet. Each line represents the 24 hours in a day.
- Print or save seven copies, one for each day of the week.
- For one week write in each space what you are doing in that corresponding hour for the time and day of the week. (i.e. on the Monday sheet in the 10 a.m. space you might write “spent one hour creating the flyer for the local small business expo”)
- At the end of the week, look at what you spent every hour of your week doing.
It might sound tedious, but you may be surprised by what you learn by the end of the week. On day eight, look back over your week-long audit, and spend some time analyzing what you spent your time on. How much of it was helpful to your business, and how much was actually a waste?
A prime example of time wasting that is revealed in many time audits, is time spent on social media. In fact, it’s the number one thing a plethora of business owners are wasting time on. This is not to be confused with strategic social media posting, however. Get on there and post for promotion sake sure, but then get offline, and get back to work.
Next, ask yourself if the tasks you completed for the week were ones that you should be doing, or if they’re ones a staff member or a piece of software could complete for you? You may find that there are dance studio solutions for dance studio owners that could give you that time back, but we’ll talk more about that in a moment.
The key for now is to just focus on what your week is being filled up with. You have to get clear on where your time is going, before you can make any conscious decisions about how to better spend those precious minutes and hours.
Is my marketing strategy an effective one?
To answer this question, you’ll need to ask yourself even more questions. Some of these questions are:
- Are you tapping into your entire network for promotion purposes?
- Does everyone in your database know that you own a dance studio?
- Do you use every reasonable opportunity to market your business?
- Are you in touch with your database regularly?
- Do you reach out to your students and/or their parents at least once a month when their classes are in session?
- Have you offered loyalty rewards or discounts for referrals?
If you answered no to one or more of these questions, it might be time to re-evaluate your marketing strategy. You certainly don’t want to bombard people with promotions, but at the very least every person in your close circle should know that you own a dance studio, and are always seeking new students. Yes, even when your classes are full.
You should also be asking for referrals when it makes sense to. It’s a good idea to keep in touch with your students and potential clients as well. Always be sure to keep the bug in their ear that you would like referrals.
The more people you have reaching out to the community on your behalf, and the more often you’re keeping in touch with your database of contacts, the more likely you are to have full classes and growing wait lists.
Always be asking yourself if your marketing efforts are effective. In other words, never stop testing, analyzing and questioning the things you are doing to market your dance studio business.
Am I taking advantage of the best dance studio solutions for dance studio owners?
What if I told you there are dance studio solutions for dance studio owners that could simplify even the most time consuming of tasks? There are! And, not all of them cost a boat load of cash. In fact, some of them are free, or less expensive than you might realize. Just a few of the tools out there that could make tasks you have to do a little easier on you are:
- A Pomodoro App such as the Marinara Timer - Since multitasking is a myth, this is wonderful for helping you focus on tasks on your to-do lists. The way the Pomodoro technique works is: each work session is a 25-minute cycle followed by a 5-minute break. After the fourth work session, you’ll take a full 15-minute break. The goal here is that you’re playing an internal game of beat the clock. This helps many people put blinders on, put their head down, and get to work without distraction.
- Canva for graphics
- Social Media - Earlier we said you could be wasting time on social, but that doesn’t mean all time spent on social media should be avoided. At the time of this writing, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and many other platforms are free to use for businesses.
- Each one of these platforms can give you a free place to promote your business. Even if you’re not regularly sharing to them, it’s one more spot to get some search engine juice for your company’s location on maps, the website you’re directing visitors to, and the services you are offering in your local area.
- Yes, advertising on these platforms will cost you a pretty penny, but there’s no harm in at least having a page on each of the platforms to secure your business’s URL, and save the space for if and when you decide to use it more frequently as a promotional tool.
- WasteNo Time or a similar service - As much as social media can help you in the promotion of your business, it’s far too easy to get sucked into the rabbit hole of updates, comments, notifications, and mentions. Services like this will help you manage your time spent online more efficiently. We get it! It’s hard to not keep watching those autoplay videos and reading your friends’ status updates. That’s where apps like this come in. They will literally save you from yourself.
Could my life as a dance studio owner be easier?
In short, yes. Your job as a dance studio owner could be a lot easier. One of the best ways to make your job easier is by using dance studio software to complete tasks that you frequently have to do such as:
- Reaching out to your students and prospects
- Inventory management
You may be asking yourself - what software exists that can actually save you time and money, while assisting you with the tasks mentioned above and more? The best software on the market for this is The Studio Director.
Now, we know what you’re thinking. Of course we would say that on our own website, but here’s why we stand by the statement that The Studio Director is the best dance studio software available - We saw what the market was lacking, and created a software with you, the dance studio owner, in mind. We wanted to create a software that would help you:
- Manage your billing while saving you the hassle of remembering who needed to be billed, and for how much. Our billing feature will also tell your clients when their payment information needs to be updated.
- No more chasing default payments? Yes, please!
- Keep in touch with your students and potential clients. We’ve created a way to help you not only email current clients, but also send email campaigns to people considering becoming your clients.
- Drip campaigns for the win!
- Enroll students into classes without you having to anything additional on your end
- Simply list the classes your students can sign up for, and they can add themselves to the roster or waitlist from the comfort of their own homes. They can even pay tuition, buy supplies, and sign up for upcoming events without you having to be involved in any of it!
- Complete payroll quickly and easily
- Manage liability waivers
- Imagine being able to send a liability waiver to all of your students, and have them sign it without you having to remind them every time you see them. Our software helps protect you and your clients
This list has barely scratched the surface of how The Studio Director can help you make your job as a dance studio owner a little easier. We can’t wait to show you all that we can do to help your business thrive!