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Use Your Space … and Beyond

You have limitations especially when it comes to space…right?

Well it depends on how you look at it.

If you just count the space that you have in your own facility … then the answer to that question is “Yes.” But if you’re ingenious, creative and maybe adventurous, you will go far beyond your own walls to do more.

Offering More On-Site

We’ve established that you may have space limitations that prevent you from offering more classes during your peak times. After all, your facility can only hold so many kids. Once you’ve maxed this out, what do you do?

Look at what else you may be able to offer in your existing space at non-peak times. What about a tots class offered prior to school dismissal? Do you have lots of young mothers who might appreciate a good place to take Yoga or Pilates? What about putting party services in place? Many owners have instituted this line of business with incredible success!  Parents love to purchase their children’s parties in a package that takes all the worries of planning and logistics off of them. And they love to purchase this from someone that they already trust in a facility that their children are comfortable in.

Drenna Plunkett at Sandhills Academy of Gymnastics has this down to a science. She provides such extras as cake and plates and “packages” her pricing. Her facility is booked out for parties every weekend. It’s a great revenue producer for her.

Each of these options puts your facility in use during times that you’ve not previously considered as “revenue generating.”

Looking Outside of Your Walls

Even with a maxed out facility, you can still offer your classes to new students. Have you ever thought of taking your show on the road? Would area day cares or schools be open to offering a tumbling hour or dance program? You may even find schools interested in offering your organization performance opportunities. This is a great way to build a new revenue source and to spread the word about your facility.

You may also find a place close by that is available to rent. Especially if you just need floor space without any specific equipment. This has the most potential for dance studios since less equipment is required to hold a class than with other activities such as gymnastics.

Cynthia Dewar at SC Christian Dance Theater uses this type rental option to expand their floor space when they need it. She has located a space just across her parking lot that works very well for one of her class offerings. Cynthia also takes her more advanced dancers on the road. Several schools in her area regularly schedule the group for performances. This is great for the kids because it gives them extra opportunities to perform for audiences. It also works as a great marketing tool for the Dance Theater attracting many who are in the audience to explore what Cynthia and her staff offer aspiring youngsters in dance.

Partnering with Specialists

A quite creative idea is to bring in outside resources to offer unique classes to your students. Perhaps you’d like to offer trampoline in your gym or Irish Dancing in your studio. By partnering with someone outside of your staff, you have the opportunity to get creative with your curriculum to intrigue your existing students to take more classes or lure new students into your facility.

This options works well for child care centers where owners/operators want to offer an hour of some sort of exercise or music that they or their existing teaching staff doesn’t have the expertise to teach.

Cecilia Rowe at The Music Studio “rents out a room” to an instructor to offer special music curriculum. Both benefit from the arrangement and the parents and children love the expanded music options.

Step Back to See the Big Picture

If you’re having a creative block and can’t seem to come up with ideas for expanding what you offer, you may need to look at your studio or gym from a different – more strategic – perspective. Consider that your goal is more than just offering classes when your core students want them. Your passion may be to share the beauty of ballet with tiny ballerinas, but – to fund your passion – you need to look beyond offering just peak time classes and consider other ways that you can leverage your space and your resources to generate revenue. You can build a healthier, more stable business that is exciting to your students and appealing to families around you.

And just in case your expanding your curriculum makes you feel as though you’re not focusing on your passion, consider this: By expanding your horizons, you can improve the way you deliver what you’re passionate about.

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