Jackrabbit Tips & Tricks

Don’t Feel Guilty About Turning a Profit

Don’t fall into the trap that many facility owners before you have fallen: Feeling guilty about making money.

Your facility – whether it is a dance studio, gymnastics facility or swim school – may be a tremendous creative outlet for you and a way that you can help your students experience dance as you have come to love it, but don’t forget that it IS a business. And it is – most likely – one of the ways or THE way that you support yourself and your family.

Being successful and operating your facility so that it DOES turn a profit requires much more than creativity as a teacher. It requires that you establish and maintain critical business and financial rules. To run a successful business you need to get your income from several different sources, not just tuition. You need to understand that your time—or a staff member’s—is money. Those extra services that are provided by you and your staff should bring in a fee. During convention time, you expend a tremendous amount for energy on your students’ behalf. This is where administrative fees come in. Just remember not to work for free.

You aren’t a volunteer. You are a skilled professional, providing valuable services to your families so don’t be ashamed or afraid to require fair fees for those services.  If you have a hard time with collecting fees, hire someone to do it. It will be worth it for your studio and for the bottom line that you see.

Do research. Learn what other facilities do. What do they charge for? How do they present their fee structure to parents and how is it accepted? Being up front is important. In fact, you could say it is absolutely critical. Present your fee structure from the very beginning and parents will understand what they are paying for and what the value of those services is. Issues only crop up when parents feel they are paying something that others are not paying or that charges are being added without their knowledge or without clarity on what they are for.

Be comfortable with your success. Don’t worry that your parents will think differently of you for being smart enough to turn a profit. In fact, you’ll find that they would rather see that you are a healthy, sustainable business that will be around for as long as their children want to be involved in lessons.

Charging adequate fees for all of the services that you provide is your enabler. If you don’t charge enough to finance the tools that you need, you won’t be able to run a stable business or provide quality lessons in a safe and innovative space. Without the adequate cash flow that your good policies and fair fees provide, you cannot grow. You cannot continue to learn so that you can offer your students more opportunities. In fact, you will be so busy trying to keep your head above water that you won’t be able to provide the quality lessons or customer service that you want to provide.

Looking at your facility as a business can be simplified with technology. Streamlining operations, automating processes and offering on-demand 24/7 access to you services and information is a great foundation to build good business practices on that can help you to be a successful business owner and an insightful and creative teacher.

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