If opening a dance studio was easy, more people would probably do it. Unfortunately, opening any kind of business is not for the faint of heart. There are so many things to consider, and several ways that things can go wrong. If you’re considering it though, this post is for you. We’ve got 5 tips you should be mindful of before opening a dance studio of your own. Check them out below, and they may just be what you’re looking for to get on the fast track to success!
#1. You need a solid business plan, and then you need to execute that plan tweaking where necessary until you get into a groove that works.
What goes into a business plan for opening a dance studio? Here are a few of the elements you should make sure to include in yours:
At a minimum, this part of your business plan outlines:
- where your company will be located
- what you plan to teach
- what your goal is for the future
Your executive summary should also be written in an attention capturing manner, giving a brief overview of what can be expected from your dance studio.
Description of the company
Think of this as an elevator pitch that describes your target market. Who are you tailoring your classes to? It’s a good idea to give a concise overview of the services that you plan to offer to your clients here, but be careful to not go into too much detail. This is also the space where you can highlight the advantages that you have over your competitors.
Analysis of the market
Think about the area you will be opening a dance studio in. Does this area even want or need a dance studio? This part of your plan will explain the needs of the area, and how you will enter the market. You’ll also want to include the analysis of your competitors (i.e. their pricing and enrollment numbers where possible), to layout what your possibilities are when your studio opens.
Products and services
Here you’ll list in greater detail the classes you plan to offer. You will also outline the benefits that the students will receive from taking your classes, and how the services you offer will meet the needs of the customers. If you plan to sell products such as equipment and attire, include that here too.
In the most basic sense, this part of your studio business plan is all about how you’ll get the word out about your dance studio. You don’t have to be thorough, just explain the gist of where you will find leads to pitch. You can include a strategy for growth if you have a plan of targeting other markets in the future as well.
You know the saying you need money to make money? How will you raise the capital it will require for opening a dance studio? And, once the studio is open, how will you make money to keep the doors open?
#2. Once your doors are open, you need studio management software to make your life easier!
Studio management software is a studio owner’s dream come true! At the very least, with The Studio Director software in your back pocket, you’ll be on your way to success faster than you would be without it.
Just a few of the things our software can help you with include:
- Assistance with managing your billing – Our software knows who to bill, and how much to bill them for. The best part is, once you put in the pertinent information, the software can handle this billing automatically! It will even let your customers know when it’s time to update their payment info.
- Corresponding with clients, and prospects – The software features templates to create drip campaigns/sales funnels, and gives you the ability to mass email your entire database, or specific groups. You can send out progress reports, greetings and other messages to keep in touch with your contacts.
- Class enrollment – The Studio Director enables you to create class schedules, and have your students enroll themselves into those classes. Then, when a class gets full, your students can be added to a waitlist so you never have to worry about overbooking a class.
#3. You’ll need to wear many different hats, and/or outsource those hats to others.
When opening a dance studio, it’s easy to get caught up in just what it takes for the opening of it, but there’s so much more to it than opening the doors alone. Business owners of all kinds wear many different hats, and trying to manage them all on their own is the fastest path to complete and total burnout.
A sampling of the hats of a business owner:
- marketing and public relations
- billing (accounts payable and accounts receivable)
- inventory manager
- dance instructor
- customer service
- human resources
- mail (both shipping and receiving)
- computer expert
Do you have a headache yet? The scary thing is this isn’t even a complete list of all the tasks that will be expected to be handled by you or a member of your staff at your dance studio. That is why it’s important you start thinking now, before your doors are open, about how you will handle all of the things that need to be done.
The good news is, by coming up with a plan now, you may be able to circumvent issues that might have cost you time and resources had you not been prepared for them. In fact, if you look back at the things that The Studio Director can help you take off your plate, you’ve already reduced the number of hats you will have to personally wear. Studio management software is like having an additional employee on your side 24/7 for less than the cost of a daily latte at your favorite coffee house!
#4. You will always need to be marketing your business, even when your classes are full.
Veterans of opening a dance studio know, it’s better to have a long waitlist than constantly feel like you need to beg people to sign up for classes. Whether you’ve been in business a few months or a few decades, you should never stop marketing your business. Here are just a few of the reasons why:
Marketing gets the word out about your products and/or services consistently.
The truth of the matter is that if you have aspirations of a successful business, a robust marketing campaign is essential to the continued awareness of your products or services. In essence, marketing gets and keeps potential customers and current customers interested in your products.
There are many experts who feel it takes seven or more engagements with your brand before they will ever buy from you. Long-term advertising keeps potential customers engaged in discounts, coupons, and any new offerings that you develop.
You will create trust with your community.
Maintaining a relationship, or at least staying in front of your target audience can distinguish you from competitors who are marketing to the same people. Your marketing campaign informs potential customers that you offer a unique product line or at least a unique experience, and with follow up marketing, your clients will remember what makes you different.
You increase and maintain demand for your products and services.
Marketing of any kind helps create consciousness among your target audience about your business. There is nothing worse than launching a business only to find that you cannot generate any leads or sales, let alone keep current customers coming back. Directing clients toward your products or services will help foster demand, and an in-depth advertising campaign can also help you generate ideas for new product offerings.
You’ll get more people to visit your business.
The more people hear about your company, the more they will want to come by and check it out. They may not sign up, but they might be prompted to spread the word about you. The more people you can get in the door, the more opportunities you have to wow people!
Increased and sustained profits.
The continuous marketing of your business can yield more short term profits, and lead to sustained profits in the long run. The more demand there is for your studio, the higher the potential for expansion and growth. As you gain popularity, the profits will follow. That is as long as you maintain high quality in your offerings and continue marketing to keep the momentum flowing.
#5. You have to stay organized in terms of paperwork, inventory, and especially finances.
Regardless of the size of your dance studio business, you need excellent organizational skills to be able to:
Time is the one thing that you can’t seem to buy and is the most scarce resource in any business. In fact, many business owners would say it’s the one resource that no matter what they do, they can never seem to have enough of. Being disorganized is one of the largest drains of time and money.
Consider for a moment how much time you throw away every time you are looking for something you have misplaced. Ten minutes here, a half an hour there – it all adds up to wasted time! However, when you’re organized, you’re less likely to waste time because any time you are looking for something you will instantly have access to it.
One of the best ways to save loads of time? Organizing your paperwork with studio management software. Imagine how much time you will have to spend while searching for lost documents in a pile of messy paperwork. With The Studio Director, all of those pesky pieces of paper are transformed into digital documents that are categorized and filed. Because of the way they’re organized, you can search for them with a few simple clicks, and find anything that you have loaded onto our cloud-based system. You can even find it remotely as long as you’re connecting from a space that has an internet connection!
The more organized your dance studio is, the better efficiency your business will experience in terms of productivity. There’s less likelihood for mistakes as well.
Tax time will be easier on you too.
Imagine not stressing coming tax time. Picture every document being cataloged, and easily accessible so that your accountant can number crunch with ease. Not only will you know without a doubt where every penny went in your business, but you can also more easily escape any legal issues in the event an audit is conducted on your business.
Better customer service.
Bad organizational skills can greatly impact your dance studio’s customer service. When an issue arises, it’s better to be able to show ample documentation for whatever the situation is than to leave it to conjecture and hearsay. Organization gives you the concrete facts at any given time so that no matter what is going on, you will know exactly who is in the right or wrong.
The reality is a dissatisfied customer will be unlikely to return, but if you were in the right, you are less likely for them to slander you if you have organized documentation on your side to prove your stance.
Improved respect amongst employees towards management.
When you can’t keep track of the particulars of your dance studio, it’s nearly impossible to manage your employees. Your employees need to know that you’re competent enough to keep track of paperwork, finances, inventory, etc… so that they will respect you enough to listen to what you say and follow your rules.
Eliminate or at least reduce stress.
Perhaps the most important reason to stay organized in your dance studio is to reduce or eliminate your stress levels. Worrying about where documents are, or what the status of your bills may be can cause anxiety. Let’s face it, being disorganized is asking for trouble.
From knowing exactly what tasks you assigned to whom, to be able to answer the state of the budget at any given time – organization gives you peace of mind.
Opening a dance studio can be difficult, but we can help.
We’re not going to sugar coat it. Opening a dance studio can get tough at times, but with The Studio Director, you can let go of many of the worries, and get back to enjoying running your business. The Studio Director was designed with you and mind, and we’d love to have you give us a test drive.
Sign up for a Demo today, and we’ll set up an environment just for your business. We think you’ll see just how much easier your life as a studio owner can be.