Running a successful dance studio, as with any type of business, involves many moving parts. Here are some of the most important things you need to know if you want to run a successful dance studio.
Create a Stellar Experience
The first step in any business is to create a stellar experience for the end user. Here are some steps you’ll want to take to run a successful dance studio.
Hire Great Instructors
As a dance studio, the experience your business provides is teaching people how to dance. Thus, to provide an excellent experience for your students, you must ensure you have great instructors since they are the backbone of your business. In addition, your students should also enjoy working with your instructors and have fun. Finally, your instructors also need to be able to help your students reach the dance goals they have.
Provide Excellent Customer Service
Have you ever called a small business and had a hard time getting a hold of someone? If so, how did that make you feel? If you’re like most people, you probably felt frustrated. You’ll want to provide excellent customer service to run a successful dance studio. Of course, this has to do with your face-to-face interaction with your current customers, but it also has to do with how you set up systems in your business (like answering the phone).
Great customer service involves providing an easy and seamless buying experience for your clients and making their life easier. Thus, it extends to things like how you handle phone calls, how you manage payments, whether or not you accept credit cards if you provide auto-pay options, how you handle conflict, and the general feeling your business creates in the minds and hearts of your customers.
Create a Welcoming Environment
Learning to dance can be an intimidating experience for many people. Thus, it’s important to ease people’s minds by creating a welcoming environment. You can create a welcoming environment by ensuring your facilities are well-maintained and visually appealing.
You should also make sure people feel welcome when they visit for the first time. Be sure there is someone available to greet new people, show them the space, and introduce them to how the classes operate. Helping people feel comfortable and “at home” when they’re new will go a long way toward having them come back again.
Create a Strong Marketing Plan
Creating a stellar experience is vital to the success of a dance studio. Still, if you want a thriving business, you must have a strong marketing plan to bring new leads into your business consistently. Here are some of the marketing strategies of the most successful dance studios:
Who are your best brand ambassadors? The people already attending your classes. While word-of-mouth marketing happens naturally when people enjoy working with your business, you can encourage current students to refer you to more people.
For example, you can offer current students incentives and discounts when they share your business with their friends and family. Even if people don’t want to refer people directly to your business, you can have your current clients support your business by asking them to leave a review on Google and Yelp. Reviews are powerful because they create social proof and help people on the fence about your business decide to work with you.
Search Engine Optimization
Dance studios can leverage the power of search engine optimization to generate organic leads. Search engine optimization is the process of naturally ranking on search engines like Google for certain keywords your target market may be searching for when looking for a business like yours.
For example, someone may type “ballroom dance studio near me,” and if your SEO is on point, your business will show up. By leveraging search engine optimization and coming up as the first option in Google, you’re more likely to get the lead.
Search engine optimization isn’t the easiest process; it takes time to succeed. Fortunately, if you have a marketing budget, you don’t have to wait until you rank organically to be seen on Google. Pay-per-click advertising is a great option when you’re first getting started to help you capture leads and get new prospects in the door.
Email marketing is a powerful marketing tool that many small businesses overlook. If you’re running pay-per-click ads, it’s vital because a prospect may not buy right away, but if you can engage them with regular emails and occasional special offers, you’re more likely to get them to convert over time. Furthermore, email marketing can help you maintain strong relationships with current and former students through regular communication.
Manage Cash Flow
As they say in business, “cash is king.” You can create the best experience and have the best marketing, but if you aren’t managing your finances correctly, you risk failure. So here are some important financial tips for managing your cash flow and ensuring you run a successful dance studio.
Create Financial Goals
Unless your dance studio is a non-profit or you are independently wealthy, your business must have financial goals. Your financial goals should consist of a break-even number that allows you to cover all of your expenses and include an additional amount you’d like to make in profit.
Understand Your Financials
Next, it’s important to understand your financial statements, such as your income, cash flow, and balance sheet. These documents will give you important information to help you make strategic business decisions. If you don’t understand these or know how to read them, working with an accountant or financial professional is important. Make sure you hire someone experienced in the specific laws that apply to small businesses.
Many business owners see money coming in and assume they are successful, only to have a wake-up call when they get an unexpected bill or taxes are due. To run a successful dance studio, knowing, understanding, and managing your expenses is important. By doing this successfully, you’ll be able to increase the profitability of your business and ensure its long-term success.
Manage Your Accounts Receivable
Another important part of running a successful dance studio is managing accounts receivable. Again, it’s all too common for business owners to think they are in the black because they see a lot of students in their classes. However, the studio can suffer if those students are not paying or are behind in their payments. Therefore, it’s vital to make sure your clients are paying on time and that you are following up regularly with those that don’t. One great way to deal with this issue is to accept credit cards and offer auto-pay options.
The Bottom Line
Running a successful dance studio involves various skills. You need to be able to hire and manage people, be a good marketer, and understand and manage finances well. If you can hone these skills, you’re sure to be a success.