If you’ve been managing your own dance studio for a while, you’ve probably had to learn some lessons the hard way. Trial and error isn’t always the ideal way to develop your skill set as a business owner, but in many cases, this is precisely how some studio owners discover their own managerial style.
Sure, there may be things you’ve done differently and plenty of unexpected obstacles you wish that your peers had tipped you off about. Maybe it’s a specific strategy or some tips for navigating the industry that would have saved you time and heartache early on. However it happened or how long it took, you eventually found your way and devised the best way to manage your dance studio.
Or have you? One of the most dangerous things for business owners is to slip into complacency. While you may feel like you have a solid understanding of how to most effectively run your day-to-day operations, it’s entirely possible that a better, smarter and faster way of doing things has been in front of you the entire time.
Thankfully, it’s never too late to make a change and improve your business’s performance as well as your own quality of life. Today, we’re going to discuss a few ways to do just that and, hopefully, leave you with some actionable content you can use to take your studio to the next level and adjust your focus from simply surviving to fostering long-term growth.
Shift Your Mindset
We’ve alluded to this a bit already, but in order to implement any kind of substantive change, you really have to start with how you think about it. If you’re not ready to accept a new approach to how you manage your dance studio, you’re only setting yourself up for struggle, frustration and ultimately an ill-conceived retreat back to what you know. That’s the nature of change. You either wholeheartedly leap into it and face the initial discomfort, or you balk at any slight differentiation from the familiar and allow your fear to take hold.
So many of the beliefs regarding your dance studio — and the way you manage it, naturally — are deeply rooted in this fear and, as such, are holding you back from achieving everything you can with your studio. You believe that your passion is enough to fuel your success, that you can handle the lion’s share of the work all by yourself or that the professional growth can cease once you’re established. But none of that is true. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. You need to be constantly looking for ways to improve if (believe it or not) you ever hope to grow your studio.
By shifting your mindset to open yourself up to change, you’re priming yourself for something better and opening up the possibility of new processes and fresh perspectives to enter your studio’s orbit. Once this happens, you’ll be able to more easily reshape your dance studio and your management style to fit these updates, as opposed to recoiling at them. It’s the only way to ensure that any subsequent changes are able to take their full effect.
As a studio owner, you know just how much is involved in simply keeping your studio open. It’s a lot, isn’t it? Between class schedules, billing, student management, equipment and inventory and many more facets, it’s a wonder you ever have time to rest or enjoy your business at all. In order for the workload connected to your studio to all function at their best, you truly do need to make organization your number one priority. Otherwise, the result is pure chaos, and it would only be a matter of time because it would all spiral out of control.
So, if it isn’t already, ensure that organization is taking center stage when it comes to your studio. After all, your operation hinges on the integral role that organization plays throughout it all. And we’re not simply talking about maintaining a detailed filing system. That is a factor, yes, but true business organization is far more sophisticated than that. You need to have time tracking capabilities for not only your staff but also your operation as a whole. Know where your time and/or your money are going, since these are the two most valuable resources you have.
Prioritizing how best to employ what you have available to you is what will separate a flourishing dance studio from one constantly at risk of collapsing under its own weight. You haven’t worked this long and this hard only to see your studio crumble, especially when implementing a tight organizational framework could very well be the simple thing that saves it all. Your team looks to you to set the tone, and that starts with how your organize your studio’s operation.
Become a Leader
Speaking of which, one key element of how to manage a success business of any kind is strong leadership. Since your studio is your passion project, it falls to you to be an example for your staff about how you all can work together to make the most of your studio and help it grow in the future. Creating an environment in which your staff members feel united as a team is an important part of that, as open communication and goal-setting will help push you collectively towards even greater success than you’ve seen in the past.
As hard as it may be, you also have to learn how to delegate tasks to your various staff members. You might wish you could simply do everything yourself, but such a mindset just isn’t feasible. You’re only dooming yourself to eventual burnout if you attempt to overload your schedule with every little administrative task necessary to keep your studio in operation. Delegating to appropriate members of your team actually allows them to take on more accountability, further motivating them to work harder in service of the studio’s long-term prospects.
Lead your team the right way, and you’re bound to establish a sense of loyalty and trust among the group that will help insulate you from external forces that might otherwise threaten to tear your tight-knit group apart. Business in general is all about relationships, and never is that truer than when it comes to the business owner. Get to know your team so that you can develop close ties, elevating your working environment of your studio and instantaneously boosting morale.
No matter what you decide in regards to your business, it’s critical that you consider each step carefully. As a studio owner, so much of your time is comprised of making difficult decisions. Knowing what classes to add, when to expand your space or your staff, and how to build a community around your studio are all challenges you’ll have to face at some point, if you haven’t already.
How you proceed with each decision will impact your studio in a number of ways, but if you develop a long-term game plan and infuse your studio’s direction with a clear sense of purpose, you’re far more likely to wind up with a positive result.
To truly maximize your success, you’ll have to conduct thorough research not only into your industry and your competitors but the capabilities of your studio itself. The knowledge of what has and hasn’t worked in the past will guide you toward a better idea of how you can avoid repeating past mistakes and extrapolate out your successes. Between your colleagues and your staff, you have plenty of resources at your disposal. So tap into them and devise a sound strategy for the months and years ahead.
Including your team in this big-picture thinking will help play into that collaborative environment we mentioned earlier, and planning out a strategy that anticipates a wide range of possible outcomes will allow you to pivot your business depending on the market conditions. While strategic thinking needs to be an integral part of your studio’s future, don’t become so locked into a plan that you fail to leave yourself room to deviate from this framework if necessary.
A System Like No Other
The above considerations might seem impossible right now, especially since so much of your time, focus and other resources are directed to simply getting by. Well, that’s where dance studio software comes into play. This state-of-the-art system doesn’t only offer an easier way to manage your dance studio. It enables you to turn your attention to the methods we’ve discussed and truly wring the most impact out of each one.
Essentially, dance studio software streamlines your management duties, automating many processes and streamlining others. Rather than several different systems governing your data, you’ll be able to consolidate that into one destination. Designed for any business with a schedule-based model at its center, the software provides invaluable assistance with critical elements of your studio’s operation, including the following:
- Time management: Because your studio runs by a very specific schedule, it’s absolutely vital that you maintain clear, easy-to-use schedules for both your staff and your students. Studio software makes it easy for students to enroll, cancel or re-schedule at a moment’s notice, and on the back end, your team members will be able to sign up for shifts and/or change their availability without having to deal with any paperwork.
- Class and event schedules: Want to set up a new class or event? With studio software, it’s a breeze to create a date and time for your latest class. Remember, organization is one of the best assets of any business owner, and this system allows you to ensure that your team is perfectly in sync with students. Better yet, because all data — including schedules — is available in the cloud-based system, you can manage it all from any location. No more late nights in the office! You’ll be able to check in no matter where you are or what you’re doing.
- Communication: If you’re really hoping to turn your studio into a long-term success, then you’ll certainly need a community of fans and supporters to keep you alive. Your local residents will be the lifeblood of your studio, and you have to continually reach out to retain existing students and reach out to new prospects. Via both email and text, you’ll be able to stay connected with special offers, simple messages of appreciation or any updates regarding the future of your studio. This software can even help with your social media accounts.
- Report generation: As we’ve said, strategy is born from data. But if you’re wondering how you can get your hands on the data you need to shape your decision-making process, look no further than your studio software. In addition to students’ progress reports (which can keep them engaged and striving to continue to develop their skills), you’ll have the chance to customize reports based on a wide variety of factors. Armed with these, you can decide where to take your studio next and what opportunities for improvement await your managerial touch.
- Inventory management: Time and people are your two most precious resources, but you’ll also likely need some equipment to keep your studio fully stocked. With this system’s built-in inventory management tool, you can keep your eye on it all and ensure that your in-depth management style extends to every asset you have, including your inventory. After all, studio software aims to provide a one-stop resource to revolutionize your how you manage your dance studio and wouldn’t be complete with covering the equipment your team needs to do its job.
Time for an Upgrade?
The first step in taking your dance studio to new heights of success is to optimize your operation from top to bottom. As it stands, you’re probably buried under countless back-end administrative tasks and feeling overwhelmed by the sheer thought of just getting through each week.
You followed your passion, and you deserve better than to fall prey to the doldrums that every business owner experiences at some point. With dance studio software in your corner, you’ll be able to elevate how you manage your studio and your staff and, along the way, will discover just how much your initial business practices were holding you back.
We understand you may feel reticent about embracing an entirely new system, but with its ability to revolutionize nearly every facet of your business, dance studio software is far more than just another tool to add to your arsenal. It is essentially the new way of managing your studio that you’ve been looking for. And its many benefits are just around the corner.
All you need to do is shed your misconceptions about how this software works and accept that your studio’s infrastructure could use an upgrade. Isn’t it about time you take that chance? That opportunity is now, and dance studio software is literally only a few clicks away. Don’t let your competition zoom past you just because you’re slow to change. Stay ahead of the curve with dance studio software.