Sooner or later, every studio manager has them: nightmares about what could happen if you dropped the ball on something important. Maybe the scene you can’t get out of your head involves unpaid taxes and a levy against your business. Perhaps you can’t shake your fear of a lawsuit. Or maybe your brain’s choice method for torturing you is with fears of a zoning regulation that puts you out of business. When you have so much to worry about, it’s easy to forget something.
Those fears aren’t entirely unfounded, either, so bland reassurances from the people who love you are unlikely to help. What might help is studio management software. The right program can help you avoid dropping the ball, and keep you out of trouble. Here’s how.
Clearing Your Head of Clutter
When you run a studio, your head can begin to feel like a dumping ground for everything you have to do: pay the bills, manage your staff, develop advertising strategies, respond to student complaints, address liability issues, bring in more money, determine which inventory to buy, remain on top of regulations that could affect your business…
The list goes on and on. And on. Just thinking about it may be enough to induce a panic attack. The problem, of course, is that you have to think about it if you want your business to run smoothly. These obligations are real -- and really overwhelming.
The key to not losing your mind is to have a safe space to dump these obligations. That safe space shouldn’t be in your head. You need comprehensive studio management software that can track everything you have to do -- and that, ideally, helps you do at least some of it.
Automate as much as you can, and put the rest into an organized system so that you don’t have to constantly think about it. It’s a simple key to success -- and to avoiding catastrophes like unpaid bills, outstanding tax liabilities, and angry students.
Tracking Progress and Performance
You have no way of knowing where you’re going if you don’t know where you've been. And if you don’t track progress toward your goals, you have zero chance of achieving them. Whether the goal is a big dream, like opening a new studio, or something more mundane, like paying off all of your taxes this year, you need to track lots of data: money earned, money spent, new students, old students, lost students, gained students.
Studio management software puts all this data in one place. And unlike keeping track of it in your head or in a notebook, the right software allows you to observe trends you’d otherwise miss. For instance, you might see that the amount you invest in advertising campaigns correlates perfectly with the number of new students you recruit.
Or you might find that you spend more on inventory than that inventory earns. This is vital information that can keep you out of financial and legal trouble, not to mention equip you to run a successful studio.
Preventing Employee Catastrophes
It doesn’t matter how beautiful your dreams are, how excellent your classes are, or how big you think. Your staff will make or break your business. That is doubly true of your front desk staff, who are the face you present to the world. Ignore them at your peril. Studio management software can help you avoid staff-related catastrophes by:
- Tracking enrollment, and ensuring the right instructors are assigned to the right courses
- Managing employee pay, ensuring that everyone is paid in a timely manner
- Addressing student complaints about staff, helping you identify any problematic patterns with your team
- Ensuring you always have enough money to pay your staff by tracking your expenditures and profits, and alerting you to any issues.
Addressing Financial Issues
You can dream big, design great classes, and recruit the best team. Yet for most studio directors, it’s not a lack of creative thinking that’s the problem. It’s money. Without money, you can’t bring your dreams to fruition. Of course, you can’t just make money rain from the sky. You have to track your expenses, determine which expenditures ultimately result in more money, and ditch the rest.
But how can you tell whether the advertising money you invested six months ago is really working? You can’t if you’re not maintaining careful records and monitoring trends over time. That’s where studio management software fits into the picture. Know how much money you have, where it’s going, and whether your investments are paying off. Then watch your business grow.
Remaining On Top of Student Concerns
Pop quiz: Why do students take your classes? It’s not to help you earn a profit. It’s because they hope to learn. To learn, they need clear and specific feedback. Studio management software automates the process, ensuring each student gets customized feedback at regular intervals.
It’s not enough to give students feedback, though. You also need to be mindful of student feedback about the way you run your business. Sooner or later, every studio has an angry customer. Sometimes it’s a simple mistake. Occasionally the student is the problem. And sometimes, the issue is a pattern of mismanagement or a problem staffer.
The only way you’ll know why you’ve gotten negative feedback is if you monitor student feedback. That means looking at that feedback in light of other patterns -- such as hiring a new person or firing an old instructor -- and then responding quickly and professionally. Studio management software makes this seemingly time-consuming endeavor easy.
Your mental health matters. You didn’t open a studio so you could be miserable and feel exhausted. Remember that dream you had? Studio management software can help you remember what it felt like to be excited about achieving a goal.
By managing the ins and outs of daily business life, studio management software allows you to again think big -- and creatively. That might mean having the energy to open a second location. Maybe it means enjoying teaching again. Perhaps it just means a better life. These goals aren’t trivial. You are what makes your studio unique. Your studio needs you to be happy, healthy, and as stress-free as possible.
Doesn’t an affordable program that offers this stress relief seem worth it? How much would you pay for a better life, a more successful business, and maybe even more money? With The Studio Director, it’s less than you think.