Why did you open a studio? If you’re like most studio owners, you’re so overwhelmed with the stress of daily business operations that you hardly have time to breathe, let alone think about the dream you once had. Studio management software can help alleviate some of the burden, freeing your mind, your resources, and your time to help you get the most out of the reality that once seemed like a faraway dream.
You Deserve To Enjoy The Business You’ve Worked So Hard To Build: Here’s How
Value Your Front Desk
Your front desk is your first contact with the world. A good receptionist can draw in new students. A bad one may alienate them, causing them to never again consider taking a class.
So invest some time in employing the best front desk staff you can afford. Pick someone who makes running your studio rewarding, who treats your students like valuable people, and who understands your vision for your business.
Hire People You Trust
Running a successful business means delegating as much as you can. You cannot do everything yourself.
Say it to yourself until you believe it: You cannot do everything yourself.
Most studio owners are dedicated, ambitious, and highly competent. That’s what allows them to succeed in business. It’s also a barrier to trusting people, and to outsourcing duties to their staff. This tendency can undermine the ability of the business to grow, and produce a veritable avalanche of stress.
To succeed and grow, while still enjoying that growth and success, you must be able to delegate. That means hiring great teachers, competent administrators, and an expert staff. Spend time recruiting people you trust.
Nurture a working environment that encourages them to stay on board. That means no bullying a competitive compensation package, and addressing workplace culture problems before they escalate out of control. It’s a little more work, but it will save you plenty of hassle in the long run.
Make the Enrollment Experience a Good One
The process of enrolling in a class used to be a pain, requiring students to call to get scheduling information, and maybe spend weeks on a waiting list. You can automate everything now. That makes it easier for students -- including those who hate the phone, those who are anxious about talking to strangers, and those who get an urge to enroll in the middle of the night.
The enrollment experience you give your students tells them much about what they can expect from your business. The right enrollment strategy can also greatly reduce your stress, since automation removes the time and expense of managing enrollment yourself (or paying someone to do it). Make the enrollment experience a good one for your students and yourself by automating it with studio management software.
Identify Problems Early -- Then Deal With Them
It’s emotional work to run a studio. We’re talking about your dream, after all, and dreams are sensitive things. That’s why you might lash out in response to a negative review, or allow your personal affection for a teacher to blind you to the fact that they’re an ineffective instructor.
To succeed, you need to identify the very problems that your emotions might blind you to. The sooner, the better, because identifying problems allows you to solve them before they wreck your studio -- and maybe your life. Then don’t stick your head in the sand. Take a proactive stance, and don’t let your emotions get the best of you.
Know Where You Stand -- Financially and Otherwise
What do happy, successful studio owners do differently? They have mountains of useful data -- not notebooks and heads full of inconsequential and unanalyzed information. Studio management software helps you know where you stand financially, legally, and everywhere else. This can help you avoid unexpected financial difficulties, empower you to save for legal fees, and even help you more easily identify a pattern of student complaints related to a specific instructor or business practice.
You need all your important data in one place, plus the ability to analyze that data. Without this capability, you may very well miss something important.
Know Why You’re in Business
Why did you open a studio in the first place? To make money, certainly. To succeed, of course. What else? You must have thought there was something unique you could offer -- a more inclusive approach, a novel teaching style, connections to the industry, or something else? Are you continuing to serve that mission?
When you’re bogged down by the overwhelming demands of running a studio, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture in favor of the demands of the here and now. Take some time to think about what you really want to be doing. Then don’t lift another finger that’s not in direct pursuit of that goal.
Free Your Mind for Creative Pursuits
Running a studio is an inherently creative endeavor. Anyone can manage a bank account and hire staff. What you offer is something far beyond daily management -- your passion, your creativity, your experience. Without these gifts, your business wouldn’t be where it already is, and it certainly won’t go anywhere new.
To succeed at your business, you need to free your mind from clutter. That opens you up to greater creativity and the success that comes with it.
Practice Aggressive Self-Care
Self-care is something of a buzzword, and buzzwords tend to become empty and meaningless. This one isn’t. Self-care is vital if you want to succeed at business. Depression leads to exhaustion. Exhaustion leads to burnout. Burnout kills creativity, and that kills your business. Don’t let this happen.
It’s not selfish to take care of yourself. Nor is it a wasteful luxury to take time off. Every studio owner needs a vacation, some mental health days, and some time to sit with their thoughts. Neglect these needs at the peril of your business. Self-care keeps you functioning at peak performance. So don’t apologize. Don’t delay. And don’t run yourself around till you can run no more. Successful business owners are calm, with a laser-like focus. Not frazzled, exhausted, and miserable.