Jackrabbit Tips & Tricks

Studio Preparedness for Less Stress and More Success

Recital is over and you feel like you should be able to just kick back and put your feet up. Book a cruise or at least a day at the spa.

Well, that’s not really the best thing to do.

While relaxation is more what you’d like, you should keep your nose to the grindstone and do some preparation for the coming year or you may have less to celebrate after your next recital.

Confucius said, “Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.”
And from Alexander Graham Bell, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”

Prep work now will make a future celebration even sweeter!

Don’t fall into the trap that fewer deadlines and less stress may set for you. This is a very important time for you to set the stage for your coming year. To accomplish these preparedness items, you must organize yourself! Get rid of the clutter in the studio, on your desk and in your mind. Focus is critical! Create policies, plot out a plan and attached a timeline to it. Calendar the timeline and keep it visible so you stay on track. You will have less stress and more success!

Our Key Preparedness Items

Promotions & Marketing – Continue to be create about how you promote classes. Use theme that are popular with kids so you can leverage the marketing that those folks are doing. You can use email, social media, website updates and newsletters to keep your themes in front of parents. Give parents enough information in promotions to make an immediate purchase decision. You should have a graphic designer working on ads so that your studio has a professional, branded appeal. Your insertion orders should be submitted and your artwork ready and created to specs – note ALL deadlines for submission on your calendar so you don’t miss them!  To do all of these things, you will have to KNOW what you’re going to teach, when and for how much. (See Curriculum & Choreography and Pricing & Special Offers)

Curriculum & Choreography – Do you create new curriculum every year? There are proven curriculum programs out there that are very successful for your students and for your bottom line. Similarly, there are options for choreography that help organize and inspire you and share with you some proven successful ideas. Take advantage of this information and build off of what others have tested.

Pricing & Special Offers – Curriculum feeds directly into your Pricing & Special Offers because what you’re teaching and how you’re teaching it may impact your pricing and inspire interesting special offers. If you’ve not examined your pricing structure and levels and planned your special discounts and offers, you’re surely not going to be able to include them in the Promotions and Marketing you should be using to fill your classes.

Next Year’s Logistics – Whatever you do, don’t wait until you’ve run out of time and options to book your venue. Do it early. Everyone wants to book on the same prime nights in recital season. Your area probably has far more studios that want bookings than they have prime days to offer so don’t end up with the only option left. Any details that you must confirm with outside services, you must do as early as possible. Even if you want to book a clubhouse or restaurant for an after recital party or dinner. Do it as soon as you nail down your dates. And speaking of dates. You will need to target these first and then book your venues around your target dates. But if you don’t do this early, it will be a struggle to make it all work.

Additional Revenue Streams – Needless to say, you have to stay on your toes to be competitive so every cent of profit is critical. Look at your business (and the business models of others) to see where else you could be making money. Can you offer additional classes with the same curriculum and teachers or use your facility for “extra-curricular activities” like Mothers’ Night Out or Birthday Parties? Can you add a Winter show with a popular seasonal theme that would increase your revenues, generate excitement with your students and perhaps even give your studio a competitive edge? Can you use technology you already have to organize and inventory a store to sell branded merchandise? Can you put policies in place (like dress codes) that drive sales of your store merchandise and brand your studio? Now is the time to plan this – not when you’re in the midst of costume deadlines and extra rehearsals.

Keep Improving Your “Product” – Always be on the lookout for quality, cost-effective learning experiences. You will not be innovative and exciting if you are continuously learning. And you must be innovative and exciting to remain competitive. There are exciting events for dance teachers and owners and the best ones are not cheap! It is worthwhile to invest in those that keep you improving your “product”, engaged in your industry and connected to your peers.

Image Credit: Enterprise NCC-1701-E

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