Whether you are just considering it or have already opened up your own dance studio, you are most likely aware of how challenging this endeavor can be. If you want to do things properly, there is a lot of initial planning required and some essentials to be considered that will most effectively get the ball rolling. A dance studio is just like any other business when it comes to marketing and financial incentives.
You need to define a personality for the company, make sure all of your accounts are in order, that your personal life is stable, and know how much income you need to make in order to survive and keep the business going. To help make sure you are going about this the right way, here are 7 tips that will assist you in owning a successful dance studio.
Tip #1 - Location Matters
Where you decide to open your dance studio and what is included in the space makes a huge difference. The location of the building and the neighborhoods surrounding it will define the students and families that you are bringing in. If you pick a place that is in the middle of nowhere, you will have to do a lot more advertising to get the word out that you are there.
Some other necessities to consider in this area are:
- You will need adequate studio flooring, mirrors, a good sound system/speakers, dance equipment, a changing area, a lobby, an office, and multiple studios depending on how many students you hope to bring in.
- Look into who would be competitors for you in the neighborhood. If you choose a spot too close to a highly successful dance studio, you may be putting yourself in an unnecessarily difficult situation. Try to find a spot where there is a need for the services you have to offer.
- Make sure you have a well-prepared budget for your fixed costs such as rent, salaries, utilities, insurance, and software.
- Do extensive research on the different areas that you could open up and what type of dance may be most desired. Make sure that you are properly educated on your market.
- Think about if you want to have a prominent storefront or a location tucked away somewhere. Would you rather be on a busy road or in a quiet neighborhood? Consider the pros and cons of all of these options.
- Be honest with yourself about what you are able to afford and if it is more reasonable for you to rent or purchase the studio.
- Once you have picked an area, look around for other businesses that might be good connections for you. Partnering with other local businesses can help you to bring in more students as well as help you to be welcomed into the neighborhood.
- Do not underestimate the importance of the size of your dance studios, waiting area, office space, and viewing windows.
- You will need to think about parking and drop off/pick up areas as well as visibility from the street so people can find you/know you are there.
Tip #2 - Know How To Create A Business Plan
Your business plan will help you to visualize what is going to take you from point A to point B as your business continues to grow and change. If you are looking to take out a business loan, the bank will want to see this plan so they can be sure you are planning properly and to determine how much money you will need. Take a moment to visit sba.gov where you will find a guide to starting a business properly along with blogs, mentoring and training.
During this stage, you will also want to think about what you wish to name your studio. Do not underestimate the importance of your business’s name. You will be using it for all of your branding, and once you do this, it is something that will create a lot of difficulties if you decide to change it as you continue to grow. Take a good amount of time to think about it, research different options and ideas, and make sure that you are confident in the way that the name represents what your business does.
Tip #3 - Come Up With Ways To Effectively Market And Advertise
Knowing how to market yourself all depends on who your customer base is and what they are looking for. Most dance studio’s clientele are young girls between the ages of 2 and 11. There are also studios for more specialized areas such as fitness or theatrics, but being so defined will require a real demand in the area you choose. It is not a bad idea to look into the local school population within 5-10 miles of your studio and how you can reach out to them and gain interest.
See what you can learn from your competition, what is it that they are doing to attract customers? Consider including the name of the town, neighborhood, or street you are on in your studio name to increase the amount of people discovering you online who are searching for studios in the area. Include your company’s goals and mission statements within your marketing.
Having this defined identity will help to solidify your goals and personality amongst staff members. Knowing your purpose will give you something to return to when you have to come back to the drawing board and make new decisions.
Tip #4 - Your Website And Social Media Defines Your Personality To Strangers
These platforms are your ultimate tools for selling your business. Social media and marketing on websites is how you can spread the word about any local promotions you are offering and recitals you have coming up. This is also how you are going to gain interest from those who use the internet to find things in the area (which is pretty much what everyone does these days).
Because of this, you want to make sure that you know how to use your platforms well so that they give you the persona you are going for. Your website will be many people’s first impression of you, so it should be engaging and easy to navigate. Make your schedule immediately accessible and the option to sign up for a class simple.
These days, all websites are engineered to be mobile-friendly because so many people are navigating on their hand held devices. Due of this fact, you may want to engage the services of a website professional to ensure that all of these elements are in order. You will want to include a homepage, about page, services page, reviews sections, and a contact page.
It is also not a bad idea to include a blog on your website to help draw more traffic. Your internet presence can bring you a lot of business if you give it adequate attention. Most people work social media services into their budget now because of the effect it can have on their overall income and popularity.
Tip #5 - Know What Type Of Entity Is Best For Your Goals
You will have to decide if you wish to be the sole proprietor, S-CORP, LLC, or C-CORP. To make this decision, it is wise to meet with an accountant so you can understand fully what will benefit you the most in the long run.
Are you opening this business on your own or do you have a business partner? Do you plan to hire on additional instructors or will you be the only teacher? These details will affect the choices you make. Here are explanations of your options to help you understand the different directions you can take:
- Sole proprietor. A business that is run by one individual person that includes no separation between this person and the business.
- S-Corporation. A corporation that has the ability to avoid double taxation, such as tax to the business and tax to shareholders.
- C-Corporation. A corporation owned by shareholders but can be liable for actions and debts by law.Limited Liability Company (LLC). The option of having limited liability of corporations, but also has the ability to include a partnership.
Tip #6 - Get Involved In The Community
Your studio’s community is the second most effective way, next to your social media, that you are going to reach people in the surrounding area. It is a simple thing to do, it just requires a little more of your time to research nearby events and figuring out how you can contribute.
Look for flea markets you can hang up fliers at, celebrations your students can perform at, and any ways that you can donate some assistance to businesses focused on providing community service. Take any opportunity you can to include discounts or gift cards as donations. This will show your dedication to the community, as well as give people a reason to come in and see what you are all about.
Tip #7 - Find The Studio Software That Is Right For You
Did you know that dance studio software is specifically made to help you organize all of the above, as well as simply keep you organized?
A good software with a helpful customer service team will specially align with your business goals so that you can accurately situate your:
- Pricing and policies
- Classes, teachers, and any necessary last minute rescheduling
- Staff hiring
- Costume ordering
- Creation of budgets
- Bill paying
- Communication with parents and students
Even if you are organizationally talented, everything that needs to be arranged as a small business owner is often too much for one person. With this outlet to keep all of your procedures in place, you can ensure that all of your finances will be in order, everything will be properly managed, and that you can focus on the day-to-day functions of your business. This is what is going to help you to step outside of the daily grind and consider new ways to expand and flourish.
As you research different software options, start with talking to the customer service team to ensure that you will have the help necessary to get you started. Once you have that, the rest will be a breeze.
Some more benefits you will experience along with way with a software the The Studio Director include:
- Month to month marketing agendas
- Tips on ways to optimize the design of your studio and website
- How to most effectively adjust your budget
- Different options for student registration forms
- Different options for your dance studio calendar appearance
- Daily sales reports
- The most ideal procedure practices for dance studio operations
- Job description samples for potential employee listings
- And more
For more information on dance studio software and the benefits that it will provide for you, please feel free to reach out to our staff at any time.