We hope you’ve just read Advice Every Entrepreneur Needs to Hear that precedes this post. If not, please click here to read that post after you have soaked in the lessons learned from your industry peers we’ve gathered here.
Short of experiencing things for yourself, there is no better way to learn than from the experiences (successes and failures) of those who’ve gone before us.
Lessons learned in your industry are true gems of advice. The 13 that we’ve gathered from a couple of your industry peers can help you by adding to the bank of knowledge you already have to tweak what you’re doing to be an even better manager, instructor, service provider and mentor – seeing your business improve financially and in customer and employee satisfaction.
- Contrarians stumble eventually, even if they don’t realize it.
This happens particularly in this social media era. There are always be those who insist on being contrary. Being a renegade may seem appealing for short-term attention but long-term, it’s never the best way to build relationships or a business.
2. You can change behaviors or beliefs, but rarely both.
You’re better off picking one or the other. If someone is very set in their beliefs, change the environment to impact their behaviors. If someone is set in their behaviors, educate them to change their beliefs.
- Clients want novelty.
No matter how much we’ve all convinced ourselves that clients simply need the basics, the truth is that they’ll always be inclined to seek out novelty. If you don’t plan this into your programs, you’ll miss out.
4. It’s much easier to spend other people’s money than it is to spend your own.
Remember this if you ever consider bringing on investors or taking out bank loans to start or grow your business. If you’re not the sole provider of the bank account balance, you will more easily spend on things that would get at least much greater scrutiny if you are the sole financier.
It’s important to think long and hard about each dollar you spend when you’re starting out and trying to establish a consistent cash flow.
- It’s good to know yourself and have other staff members who do too.
Having people who understand your personality and not just your expertise is invaluable. For example, you may be a giver and need someone to remind you to check yourself when your extremely generosity shines.
- Be succinct.
Don’t overwhelm the people you manage with too many cues. Be clear, concise and firm giving only cues that you are 100% certain about. Don’t send long email if you can avoid it because we all know that our attention spans grow shorter every day.
7. Solve problems.
Every successful business in any industry solves a problem.
- ATMs made the problem of having access to your money only during banking hours go away.
- Merry Maids helps working couples keep their houses clean.
- PayPal made currency transfer easier in an era of writing checks and cumbersome bank transfers.
- Spray Adhesive took the mess out of gluing paper items to paper.
- The Diaper Genie eliminated the problem of dirty diapers smelling up the house.
You get the idea. What is the problem that you solve? To figure out what problem you solve, you must have defined your differentiator(s).
- Get people to buy into you.
Clients have to enjoy you – they should want to be with you, believe that you make it fun and find you inspiring. Also, would you be someone who people want their child to be around? Are you a role model? If not, you will not see a lot of growth.
- Always under-promise but over-deliver.
Seek to always over-deliver to clients (dance students and parents) that equates to providing exceptional customer service.
- Remember that what goes around comes around.
That pesky kid hanging out in your lobby while his sibling finishes jazz class could eventually become a dad who will be shopping for dance studios in your area for his daughter. So always treat people of all ages with kindness and sincerity.
- Make sure your lobby/front desk administrator is friendly, professional and engaging.
The first person people see is important because that’s the person who’s going to be the face of what you do. Your front desk people need to be salespeople and outgoing so they can engage those who come into your lobby.
- Focus advertisements on little kids.
Instead of putting your most advanced dancer on the poster, put little children. Most who are 10+ already know where they’re taking classes but preschoolers may not. Focus your ads with that in mind.
- Treat your time like it’s money, because it is.
Don’t waste time on tasks and dramas that aren’t worth it. Getting caught up in things that don’t really matter keeps you from the things that do. Time is valuable. Do what is smart. Be intentional.”
According to Eric Cressey, founder of Cressey Performance, “You’re an average of the five people with whom you spend the most time.” Your job is to make sure that those for are a good blend of mentors and peers.
And from Just For Kix Founder and Executive Director Cindy Clough, this inspiring statement, “What I have learned is there is no one like you. Working with dancers my entire life, I want to share the wisdom and confidence that I have gained as I have grown older. Ofter we become an ‘IMITATION’ when we should embrace the fact that we are and ‘ORIGINAL’.”
Are you interested in even more advice? Here are some golden gems from dance studio owners.