Are you and your studio ready to have the most successful year yet? Try these helpful tips and watch your students leap and your business soar.
1. Make sure your students and parents are clear on the commitment level for each session and class
Do you require a monthly commitment (charging families a monthly fee)? Do they need to commit to the full year in order to participate in a recital at the end of the year? Are they allowed to take classes on a drop-in basis? Be upfront with these answers when families sign up for classes. When you leave little room for confusion, there are fewer drop-outs. Perhaps offering some commitment classes and some drop-in options will cater to the different needs of your students and families.
2. Hire the best staff possible
This is a no brainer, but it deserves some thought. Remember that your studio name and brand rely exclusively on your instructors. Consider a 9-month commitment written into teacher contracts to ensure you have consistency throughout the year.
A great instructor will communicate clearly and often with students and their families. Encourage instructors to reach out if they have thoughts or recommendations for any of their students. If your instructors are rock stars, they will be your sales staff too. A great dance instructor encourages the quiet or shy student to bring a friend to class. They recommend additional classes if students seem eager to learn. Your instructors bring students back year after year!
3. Offer a variety of classes on the schedule
Assess which classes work and which ones don’t work for your students and staff by asking for feedback from the previous years. Remember to offer a little something for the parents too! You can really connect a community by merging a dance studio with a fitness studio. Offer adult dance classes (tap and ballet are always a hit!) as well as fitness classes like barre. Offering adult classes at the same time as classes for the little ones, allow the parents to have something to look forward to as well! There’s nothing more rewarding for families than full involvement in activities. Other ways to diversify your class schedule is to bring in guest instructors for special events to keep things interesting. Connect with the local dance community and offer workshops in unique dance styles like Flamenco and African. Use your instructors to help network within the community!
4. Invest in your team
Another seemingly obvious tip; but give your staff your time and attention as a way to boost the culture and energy of the studio. Consider offering additional training for your instructors that are willing to grow with the studio. Ask if you have anyone on your team that would want to get certified to teach barre. Cover the cost to get them certified and watch your studio numbers soar!
Find resources to keep your classes interesting and new. Always look for classes your team can go to as a group in your community. Make time to connect with your staff. You should be investing your time in the culture of your dance studio. Are your instructors clear on what the vision for the studio is? Do they know how you feel about their performance? Staff meetings should have an element of fun in them! Make sure your staff enjoys them. It may not be necessary to meet as frequently as other businesses, but use meetings as a time to connect. This is also your time to encourage one another. Make it count!
Overall, running a studio is about translating the love of dance to your students for a priceless experience. Focusing on serving the students and their families doesn’t have to be a compromise for your business. It’s simply about asking if their needs are being met and then meeting those needs! Do the parents of your students need to feel more involved? Do they need more details about their instructor and the classes offered? Find creative ways to involve your instructors in the process. Remember that you are helping shape the future of your instructors just as much as you are influencing the students at your studio.