Every dance studio owner has their own reasons for opening a business. Some hope to revolutionize the field, shake up teaching methodologies, or present a new model of dance. Others see a need in their community and take their chances. Your motivation is as unique as your business is. It’s also what sets your studio apart. It’s the magic ingredient that causes your students to choose you over your competitor. But there’s one thing that each and every dance studio shares in common: the need and desire for a profit.
It’s something that’s not trendy to talk about publicly. After all, you entered the business for the love of dance. Nevertheless, you can’t do what you do without money. Money frees your time to do more, learn more, reach more students, and yes, even enjoy a few precious moments of glorious free time.
So how can you make your dance studio profitable? You’ll find plenty of strategies online, but it ultimately boils down to doing more with less -- spending more while offering more; paying less for services but getting the quality work you need to better serve your students.
The right studio management program is a key ingredient in this recipe. Here’s how to make your dance studio profitable -- and how studio management software can help get you there.
Offer Something No One Else Can
Why do students choose your studio over another? If you don’t know the answer to that question, then you’re missing out on a powerful opportunity to boost profitability. Profitable dance studios offer more than just good teachers and good classes. They present something unique -- a new philosophy, community involvement, a diverse roster of classes, or something else of value.
A little research into what your students need and what they enjoy most can illuminate what’s special about your studio, helping you offer something of greater value. Dance studio management software plays an integral role in this work. With the right software, you can track results over time. You’ll also have more time to sharpen your marketing strategy and hone your offerings, so that you’re appealing to your ideal student--not just treading water as you hope for something good to happen.
Recruit Better Instructors
No matter what type of student you teach or what community demographic you serve, better instructors will attract more students, more money, and ultimately, more profits. No one wants to pay more to get something they can get for a cheaper price elsewhere. But if you offer truly exceptional instructors, the best students will flock to you.
Exceptional instructors need exceptional pay and benefits, as well as a professional, well-run working environment. So attracting better instructors is really about finding ways to make your business a better place to work. That may mean cutting costs elsewhere to fund better pay, improve benefits, or move to a more appealing building.
All too often, however, studio directors are stuck shelling out money to a bevy of consultants: accountants, lawyers, marketing experts, and more. The right studio management software keeps track of the nitty-gritty details for you, reducing your reliance on these outside experts. Fewer experts to pay means more money for your instructors -- and ultimately, more money for your business.
Ensure You Reach Your Ideal Student
Many studio directors, especially those who have just opened their doors, are eager to get any students at all. They’re less focused on what their ideal student looks like. Over time, however, focusing on the ideal student -- rather than just packing your classes with anyone who is willing to sign up -- is the key to greater profitability. Your ideal student is willing to pay more for what you offer. They’re loyal. They sign up for more classes. And they tell their friends.
Data on class enrollment trends can help you determine who your ideal student is. Consider who enrolls in classes, why they enroll, and whether they take more classes down the road. Then shape your marketing strategy around this ideal student.
Spend Less Money
The single most important factor in earning more profits is spending less money. But you can’t just cut expenses across the board and expect to turn a bigger profit. In fact, doing so can actually destroy your profits and your reputation. So spending less money isn’t as simple as it seems at first blush. Yet many business owners make the mistake, especially in the early days, of spending as little as possible -- no matter the long-term effects.
There’s some truth to the adage that you have to spend money to make money. For example, having well-written contracts can protect you against lawsuits, but you need a great lawyer to write these contracts. Insurance offers significant liability protection. Marketing draws in new students. Fair pay for your instructors ensures they work hard and don’t jump ship at the first opportunity.
So the real trick here is balancing the need to spend money on necessary services with the mandate to reduce costs as much as possible. How can you do this? Studio management software is one of the best ways. Keep track of your inventory, manage enrollment, track retail sales, and more all in one simple platform. You’ll need fewer employees. You’ll also waste less time. And as every studio owner knows, time is the most valuable asset you have.
Guard Your Time
Time is a finite asset. That makes it the most valuable asset you have, because it’s the only thing you can’t earn more of. How much do you charge per hour for your time? Every hour you spend on something you can’t bill is money lost.
Yet many studio directors treat their time as if it doesn’t matter at all. They waste time on menial tasks like returning phone calls and printing report cards. They manage enrollment themselves, instead of having someone else who charges less per hour do it.
You are the most valuable person in your studio. So treat yourself like it. Your time is worth a lot. More time means more time to teach, market, recruit, and coach. It may mean more billable class hours. Over time, it will almost certainly mean more profits.
To guard your time, you have to find affordable ways to outsource tasks that take you away from your studio’s core work. Freelancers, consultants, and new staff members can help with this endeavor. But they all cost money. Forget about managing a team. Outsource daily work to a studio management platform instead. It’s less expensive than an employee, never shows up late, and never complains about working overtime.
Work More Efficiently and Effectively
Most studio directors spend a lot of time on unanticipated surprises -- and those surprises are never pleasant. The accountant didn’t file your taxes. Your receptionist is out sick. Your enrollment coordinator forgot to close enrollment. The list goes on and on.
When you or your team don’t work efficiently, you lose money. You pay twice to have something redone. Or you have to take time away from your own work to do it yourself.
One of the key ingredients to profitability is efficient work. That means:
- Working quickly, without compromising quality.
- Doing things only once.
- Keeping track of all the moving parts and data points your work requires you to manage.
- Ensuring nothing and no one goes forgotten.
That’s a tall order for anyone. It’s even harder if you’re also trying to teach, market, and recruit. That’s where studio management software comes into play. The Studio Director takes care of the daily hassles you’d rather avoid. That frees your time and your money to focus on profitable, meaningful activities that grow your business.
Protect Your Down Time and Your Mental Health
When you run a business, it’s hard to take a day off. Many owners work upwards of 80 hours a week, going months or even years without any time off. Running a business is hard work. Yet working yourself into the ground is not an acceptable option. You went into business because you wanted to live life on your own terms, so don’t let the endless drudgery of running a studio become your new master.
You need time off. It improves your mental and physical health. It can even make you more productive. Perhaps most importantly, you deserve to enjoy the fruits of your labor. And your family deserves some time with you.
The Studio Director allows you to manage your studio wherever you are. You’re no longer chained to your desk, or to computer software. Access important data effortlessly through the cloud and on an app. With your studio management program managing enrollment, issuing report cards, tracking retail sales, and more, your time will be freer. That means more opportunities to take time off, guilt and stress-free.
Use Partnerships and Retail Sales to Your Advantage
The right partnership can be mutually beneficial, helping both partners promote their businesses and reduce their workload. Likewise, retail sales can prove invaluable, offering a stable and low-effort source of income. Retail sales also associate your business with recognizable brands, potentially drawing in new students and elevating your reputation.
But not all retail sales and partnerships are equally valuable. Some simply waste time and resources. But how can you tell the difference?
By tracking what works and what doesn’t! Unfortunately, that’s something most studio directors are simply too busy to do. That’s why you need a studio management software that does it for you. One that manages your inventory so you’ll always have the items you need on hand. Over time, you’ll be able to discern which products are working for you -- and which are merely creating extra work and needless expense.
Don’t Waste Money on Products That Don’t Work
How much money have you spent on marketing your business in the last year. How much money have your marketing efforts brought in? What about those fancy new floors you invested in? Or the new building you’re moving to?
Investing in products that improve student experience and brand perception is always a great idea. Yet it can be hard to determine which products actually accomplish this goal, and which just drain your bank account and waste time.
Most studio directors don’t have time to keep track of every expense in one place, or to look at enrollment trends over time. Studio management software helps you see how enrollment and other profit-driving factors change over time. You can then extrapolate this information to other business decisions you’ve made, and make savvy decisions that drive up profits.
Have Actionable, Useful Data
How many students are enrolled in your classes right now? How many are repeat enrollees? How much money does the average student bring in?
If you’re like most studio owners, you probably have no way of answering these questions. And even if you do, it requires going back to your office and scrolling through spreadsheets until your eyes glaze over or you give up.
Studio management software keeps track of it all in one place. That can save you money, clear your office of the pile of file cabinets that are currently cluttering it up, and help you make intelligent decisions informed by facts -- not intuition and emotion. With The Studio Director’s software, you’ll have that data wherever you go. That means you’ll go into meetings armed with facts, and you’ll never again have to worry that a crashed computer means losing all the information you need to competently run your business.
Let’s face it: profitability is due in part to luck and a bit of magic. You can harness the power of both with intelligent decision-making and actionable data. Running a profitable business requires you to cut useless costs, spend your money wisely, and use your time in a way that pads your bank account and fulfills your dreams. The right studio management software can help you do just that. And best of all, you’ll spend a fraction of what you might spend on administrative staff, lost time, and outside experts.
Ready to give it a try? The Studio Director can help you take control of your business and start increasing profits today. We offer a personalized 1:1 demo, instant demo, or a free trial, so there's nothing to lose and you can choose whichever is right for you. You owe it to yourself, your business and your students.