No matter what kind of studio you run, the road ahead is fraught with obstacles that threaten to undermine your long-term vision. From what classes to offer to which equipment to keep on hand, running a studio involves one decision after another. So many, in fact, that mistakes are bound to happen along the way. It’s how you react to the evolution of your studio over time that separates those that remain active for decades from those that peter out after just a few years.
Provided that your studio continues to flourish, one such judgment call will inevitably involve the question of whether or not the time has come to expand your staff. While studio management software can go a long way to streamline your studio’s operation, it isn’t an all-powerful solution. Sometimes, there simply is no substitute for a larger team. If you suspect your studio needs more staff members to reach its full potential, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Alternative Methods First
So you’ve decided to hire more staff, but have you really explored all your options? Because bringing in additional staff members translates to higher expenses (more on that later), we highly recommend that you mull over a new way of distributing your workload or automating certain processes to avoid the necessity for adding staff members. In some cases, you might realize that you can do without, at least for now.
A Window of Opportunity
One great time to expand your staff is when you see an opportunity for growth within your industry. Of course, the exact nature of this will depend on your business, but when you keep close tabs on the latest developments, you may keenly observe the chance to take a risk and expand. For example, a new fitness trend may be on the rise. Is it time for you to join in? Only you can decide. If your current staff isn’t equipped to act, you might opt to strategically add some more team members to the cause.
Complaints on the Rise
When customers start to complain about not having enough space in classes, or not enough staff to answer their needs, you may have an issue. And when your employees also begin to regularly complain about their mounting workloads or sacrifice vacation time to stay on top of it all, you should probably consider bringing in more staff members. Granted, it may be worth it to evaluate the processes you have in place and investigate whether your workers at truly staying on task. But at the very least, you need to take a closer look at the situation. After all, it’s worth it to invest in more staff than to work your existing one into the ground.
The Red Flag of Overtime
In keeping with the lingering issue of employee complaints, overtime is another major indicator that your staff is just too small to be effective. Even if your current staff is getting the work done, the added expense of paying overtime may not justify the extra time they’re being forced to put in. Instead, re-evaluate your finances and consider whether bringing in at least one more employee to offset the influx of work will do the trick.
Time to Diversify Your Expertise
If you’re looking to expand your business into a new arena or concentrate more heavily on a particular niche, bringing in an employee or two with the specific skill set you need might be a wise move. This is especially the case if you’ve already tried to reconfigure your current employees and found that you’re still not getting the results you’re hoping for. Don’t shy away from employing this strategic approach to staffing your studio.
Scaling Up Your Staff
Because the business world is a fickle one, you should always be ready to scale up your staff as necessary to maintain growth. For the most part, this tactic should begin with profit-generating roles like sales or marketing, but the specific needs of your studio may dictate the necessity for growth elsewhere. Use your best judgment, and as always, be sure that you can’t achieve similar results with adding staff.
Ready for the Added Expense
As we alluded to earlier, recruiting more staff members is bound to make a bigger impact on your bottom line than even you anticipate. In addition to salary, benefits and office space, you need to consider the resources necessary to screen and interview worthwhile candidates as well as the productivity lost while the new employee is trained and fully onboarded. All we’re saying is to be sure that adding more staff is worth it before you actually do so.
Prepare for the Future
In some respects, your staff size truly doesn’t matter. But if you still come to the conclusion that the future of your studio hinges on your ability to bring on more team members, hopefully the above will provide you with the insight you need to make an informed decision. Your staff is ultimately a reflection of you and what your studio represents, and your search therefore shouldn’t be taken lightly.
The team members you introduce to your studio should not only mesh well with the team you have assembled so far, but also be equally as committed to the values and mission you share with your students every single day. Be sure to proceed with just as much careful strategy at this stage as you did when you first decided to run your studio. The future of your business may depend greatly on the individuals you hire no. So choose wisely.