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Eric is the Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of TutuTix. He makes magic, every single day.
Browsing All Posts By Eric Housh

Ideas for Dance Recitals: Best Practices for Volunteers

ideas for dance recitals

You know just how much work is required before, during and after a seasonal recital. It’s certainly more than your two hands (and the hands of your instructors) can handle! If you’re thinking about asking for volunteers to help out at your next big performance, it’s a good idea – if you do it right! Use these ideas for dance recitals to choose the best people for the job, ensure everything goes smoothly and make it enjoyable for everyone.

The Best Helpers

Your first thought will be to ask parents to help, and while they will probably be happy to volunteer, Dance Studio Life suggested you only use parents as a last resort. The parents paid you to teach their children, so if possible, let them enjoy the performance in all its glory. Instead of parents, ask studio alumni to help. Former students can run the front-of-house and backstage operations while your instructors take care of the dancers. Offering to organize an alumni dance will often be all the incentive your alumni need!

Delegating Tasks

You know best what you need extra help with on performance days, but don’t forget the little things. Use volunteers in the following roles:

  • Costume patrol
  • Bringing classes to and from the stage
  • Backstage security
  • Ushers
  • Ticket collectors
  • Concession sales
  • Bathroom chaperones

Depending on how many volunteers you have, some helpers may need to take on multiple roles. Make sure you have a list of assignments ready to go on the performance date. Assigning tasks is much easier than letting people choose and having a list will ensure everyone knows where to be.

If you do have parent volunteers, make sure they get a job near their children. Dance Advantage suggested having moms coordinate fun and quiet activities to play with kids backstage or adjust costumes and jewelry. This ensures they’ll get quality time with their little dancers and can watch the show from behind the scenes.

Communication Best Practices

It may take a few years to get your communication practices to flow smoothly, but in the meantime, communicate with your volunteers as much as possible. Dance Studio Life recommended you send out a detailed letter to each individual a few weeks before the show. Lay out the date and time of the recital, where they will be stationed, what their responsibilities will be and how they can contact you. Encourage volunteers to ask any questions beforehand. A few days before the show, reach out via phone or email to make sure everyone is still on board. This way you won’t be caught off guard if someone has a last-minute commitment.

Thanking Your Volunteers

If you want your volunteers to come back next season, ensure they have a good time and know how much you appreciate their help. There are a number of different method you can use, depending on your budget. If you have some money to spare, you can throw a pizza party for everyone or provide some desserts for after the show. Another fun idea from Non-Profit 2.0 is to give each helper a personalized thank you letter and a T-shirt from your studio. It’s a small token of your appreciation that will serve as a reminder of their experience and hopefully encourage them to stay involved. Finally, you can create a volunteer board in your studio with pictures from the show or post an photo album to social media with a public word of thanks.

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How to Write a Dance Studio Liability Waiver

A studio with a poorly written dance studio liability waiver is setting itself up for problems. Recreation Management explained that the most common reason that liability waivers don’t hold up in court is that they’re unclear or ambiguous. Even if you aren’t going to write your dance studio liability waiver, it’s crucial to understand the basic guidelines to ensure your waiver covers all the legal bases.

A properly written liability waiver, also called a “release of liability” form, protects your dance studio from being held financially responsible from any run-of-the-mill injuries that occur. In a nutshell, it states that your students (and their parents) understand there are certain inherent risks that come along with dancing, and that you and your teachers are not responsible for any injuries that come from the studio’s typical activities. Sounds easy, right? It would be if it were that simple!

Limitation of Liability Waivers

Unfortunately, there are a number of limitations to a liability waiver. Rocket Lawyer explained that even if students sign a release of liability, your business can still be held accountable if you are shown to be negligent. This can occur in a number of situations, including if your facilities are unsafe or if students were not being properly supervised.

Another limitation involves the language used in the release form. As mentioned above, the waiver must be legally sound to hold up in court. Recreation Management noted that different states require specific language to be used in a release form. For example, in New York, liability waivers must include the word “negligence.” If that specific term is not included, an otherwise sound contract will fail. You’ll need to be familiar with your state’s specific laws to write a legitimate waiver.

Properly Formatting a Waiver

After you’ve conducted research about your state’s liability laws, you can begin to draft a release of liability form or adapt an existing waiver. Recreation Management suggested that your form be a document of its own, not included in the application. This isn’t necessary, but courts are known to prefer stand-alone contracts.

If your studio teaches students under the age of 18, you’ll want to draft a parental waiver. You need parents to sign a liability release, not students. If you’re using a waiver template, make sure to accurately describe the risks of dancing in detail. According to Rocket Lawyer, the more specific you are, the better. This will ensure participants know exactly what dangers are involved, and you’re less likely to be held liable when the documented events do occur. Athletic Business recommended you use bold, italics or underlining to emphasize key exculpatory phrases.

When you have a complete waiver drafted, read through the text and ask yourself if parents will understand what’s being said. The majority of the form should be written in common language – in other words, it shouldn’t take a lawyer to decode! Athletic Business also suggested that you keep the form under three pages. The longer the waiver, the less likely it is that parents will read through the whole document.

Administering a Release Form

You’ll want to have your final dance studio liability waiver looked over by a lawyer. Spending the money to get legal advice when you open your studio will be worth the investment if an accident ever occurs. When handing out waivers, be sure that parents have time to read and digest the form. Make yourself available to answer any questions they may have. Finally, establish a secure system of storing your waivers. A liability release won’t hold up in court if you can’t find it!

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5 Sources of Small Business Stress for Studios, and How to Manage Them

small business stress

When you open your first dance studio, you’re going to face many of the same sources of small business stress as other business owners. It doesn’t matter if it’s a restaurant, retail store or service provider, every company will face one or more of these problems at some point. However, the good news is that there are usually ways to effectively manage your small business stress so you can get back to perfecting pirouettes and picking recital tunes.

1. Huge Workloads

As a small business owner, you’re not only an instructor, but a marketer, accountant, human resources rep and much more. If you’re lucky, you have a spouse or friend who is willing to help out when you’re in a pinch, but there will definitely be times when you’re swamped with all the things you have to do. Unfortunately, your budget might not allow you to hire office help, so you’ll need to get creative. The first step toward solving this problem is to perfect your time management skills. When you have a dozen things to accomplish, it’s critical to have a set schedule. Set aside three hours each week for marketing, three for accounting, one for answering emails or whatever time you need. If you’re still pressed for time, consider falling back on the barter system. You may not have the funds to hire someone, but you have a service you can offer. Trade dance lessons for a marketing campaign or work with a local high school to offer student office training.

2. Tough Clientele

The first rule of business is that the customer is always right, even when they’re wrong. You’ll likely encounter a few hardcore dance moms who are impossible to please. On top of your existing small business stress, tough clients can be a breaking point. To solve this problem, establish firm rules and policies for your studio. You should have these set from the day you open, but feel free to adjust the rules as you go. If you find that parents are dropping their children off late, next season implement a policy dealing with tardiness. If you’re steadfast with your rules, parents will eventually learn not to question your authority in these areas and you’ll have fewer problems overall.

3. Fierce Competition

The Bank of America Small Business Community explained that creating a unique brand is crucial for a small business to stay afloat. To succeed, your dance studio needs to offer something better than your competitors. It can be more one-on-one time, flexible class times, unique genres or even lower prices. Setting your business apart from competition in some way will help you to retain customers and build a stronger brand name.

4. Expedited Growth

You probably want to expand your business, but doing so too soon or too quickly can be detrimental to your studio. A blog post from The New York Times explained that borrowing too much money or expanding into unprofitable markets can backfire and lead to financial ruin. To combat these temptations, establish a detailed business plan, including a timeline for growth. Regularly reevaluate whether you’ve been meeting goals or if you should wait before taking the next step. Get an opinion from a financially savvy friend before making any big expansion plans.

5. Accounting Issues

Finally, a business can fail if the owner isn’t cognizant of finances, even if everything else is functioning smoothly. The New York Times noted that many small business owners expect that a third-party accounting firm will give financial advice, but in reality, most of these firms handle taxes and nothing else. As a studio owner, you’ll need to wear the chief financial officer-hat. This means you’ll need to ensure the business has a cash cushion, is operating efficiently and is charging enough.

Be proactive in this area and head off problems by staying organized and aware of your studio’s finances. You should have allotted time each week when you focus solely on financial issues. Even if you’ve hired an employee to handle bookkeeping for you, make sure you always remain aware of your studio’s financial status, maintain access to all financial records, and ensure that there are checks and balances for anyone handling your studio’s finances. At the end of the day, you the studio owner must make the hard financial decisions required to ensure the success of your business.

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5 Free Marketing Tools for Dance Studio Owners

As a dance studio owner, the responsibility of marketing classes and events probably falls on you. It’s a big task and much more complicated than some people realize, especially if you want to do a great job. To make the most of the time you spend on marketing, you should use any and all resources available, especially when you can find free marketing tools to lower your budgeting needs. These five free marketing tools can be extremely helpful to your marketing strategy, and the best part is that they’re free!

SurveyMonkey

If you want to get feedback from your students and parents, you can go the traditional route of handing out questionnaires. However, then you have to print them out, distribute them, hound people to fill them out, and manually record the results. It’s a time-consuming process to say the least.

Enter SurveyMonkey. This free tool lets you create questionnaires and surveys online that can be easily shared with your customers. You can include multiple choice, open-ended and optional questions, and respondents can be anonymous if you choose. Once you’ve gotten responses, the program generates graphics to help you easily understand the results.

Blog Topic Generator

If you have a blog set up for your studio, you should try to post content regularly. Some days it will be easy to come up with topics, but other times you might be stumped. On those tough days, BufferApp recommended using Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator to get yourself writing. All you do with this tool is enter two or three words that pertain to your topic. For example, you might enter “dance” and “techniques.” The program will then provide you with five potential story ideas, such as “10 Quick Tips About Dance.” Use these titles for inspiration, and you’ll be writing in no time. It’s a convenient way to brainstorm new content ideas when you’re in a rut.

MailChimp

Of the available free marketing tools online, MailChimp is a must-have for any studio owner who wants to start a newsletter. This program stores all your contacts, helps you build custom emails and provides detailed analytics on each campaign you send. There are pre-made templates available that are great for beginners. It’s short work to send out a professional newsletter to your parents and students. Once you get more comfortable with the software, you can build your own personalized template from scratch. You can also integrate your MailChimp account with your Twitter and Facebook profiles so people can easily sign up for the newsletter and read the latest updates.

HootSuite

If you can’t find time every day to update social media, HootSuite will be your best friend. It allows you to create Facebook posts and Twitter updates ahead of time and schedule them to go live at a later date. You can easily curate a week’s worth of content on Sunday and not worry about posting anything during the week! HootSuite also brings all your social profiles together on your dashboard. This allows you to reply to commenters from one place, instead of bouncing back and forth between social media sites.

Pixlr

Finally, make Pixlr your go-to site for photo editing. There’s really no need to purchase expensive editing programs when you have this tool in your belt. There are different versions of the software to choose from: Editor, the most comprehensive program; Express, which provides the most basic tools; or O-Matic, which allows you to add fun effects and borders. These different programs will prove invaluable when you need to crop, rotate or remove blemishes from pictures. It will ensure that all the photos you include on your website, in newsletters and in marketing materials are high quality.

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How and When to Raise Dance Class Fees

If your studio has a dedicated following of students and is receiving positive feedback, it may be time to consider raising your dance class fees. It can be a daunting task because many business owners fear they will lose customers in the process, but bumping fees may be necessary to solidify your business and/or grow your studio. Use these suggestions on how and when to raise your dance class fees while minimizing complaints from parents.

When to raise your prices

There are two main situations where you should raise your prices: when your margins are too small or when your services are worth more. According to Small Business Notes, you can calculate how much you should be charging based on your fixed and variable expenses. If your fees are below your ideal cost-based price, you’ll probably have trouble paying your expenses.

The other situation involves value-based pricing and is a little bit trickier. Value-based pricing is generated from the customer’s perspective. If you consistently have parents say that your classes are “such a great deal,” then your prices might not reflect the value of your services. If your clients are willing to pay more, it’s time to increase your fees.

Apart from these two situations, you should always make sure that your class fees are keeping pace with inflation—your expenses almost certainly will, and you don’t want to be on the hook for the difference.

How to minimize dissatisfaction

Once you make the decision to increase your class prices, you’ll want to do a little bit of canvassing. Ask your customers what they think about an increase. If the change is slight enough, some parents may not mind. However, if you’re met with dissatisfaction, there are a few ways you can make the transition smoother.

Inc. recommended that you add new services when you raise prices. You can offer new genres, class bundles or more private lessons to increase the value of a customer’s dollar. Also explain what you hope to do with the increased revenue. If you’re planning to invest in new equipment or renovate the facilities, parents will see what their children have to gain.

Another possibility is to create different price points. You can keep basic classes the same price, but offer new premium classes. These might include longer studio sessions, more one-on-one time and designated lockers. If you can create a service of greater value without increasing your expenses, you’ll be able to get more customers on board and boost your revenue.

Remember that businesses often need to raise prices as they grow. Weight the risks and benefits, and if the time is right to raise your dance class fees, make a plan and move forward.

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5 Crucial Elements for a Dance Studio Website

dance studio website

In the age of digital advertising, a small business’s website is one of their best marketing tools. Whether you’re opening a new dance studio or revamping your old website, put in the time and effort to make it an accurate representation of what your company has to offer. The following elements are essential when creating a great dance studio website.

1. Simple Navigation Tools

When designing a dance studio website, it’s important to take navigation and user experience into account. To The Pointe Marketing recommended that all essential information is included on your site and easy to find. Every page should be relevant to your message and clearly labeled to keep your website from becoming a maze. Aim for just one navigation bar with drop-down menus if needed. Make sure a visitor can easily navigate back to your landing page. If your website is confusing or glitchy, you’ll send potential students running.

2. A Great “About Us” Page

Once a potential customer makes it to your home page, the next place they’ll likely click is on the website’s “About Us.” If you don’t have an information page, it’s time to make one. According to Dance Studio Marketing, a well-written “About” page can inform visitors of the studio’s credentials, history and philosophy, and begin to establish a rapport with potential students.

To make the most of this page, try to inject some personality into your description and be honest. Telling a short, witty anecdote about your studio or yourself can help visitors get a feel for your personality. You should also include your credentials and experience and those of your instructors. If you have a large staff, it might be best to have a separate page about faculty. Finally, include your phone number and email address on your “About” page. Even better, put contact information in your website’s footer so it appears on every page.

3. High-Quality Pictures

Students and parents will want a look into your facilities, so include a lot of high-quality pictures. These photos should be in focus (not blurry) and high-resolution. If possible, avoid using pictures taken with cell phones, as they are generally lower quality. Throughout the site, you’ll probably want to include images of the practice rooms, performance space, changing rooms, offices and staff. You can include photographs of students, but make sure you have their parents sign a release first. Videos and pictures from your best performances are another component that will encourage new business and help you get a leg up on the competition.

4. Internal Links

Dance Studio Marketing also emphasized the importance of including internal links on your website. Linking key phrases will help your site to appear higher in search engines. A good example is to have links to your class schedule and faculty profiles on your “About” page. Don’t go crazy with linking though – two or three per page is enough.

5. Analytics

Once you’ve put the time and effort into customizing your dance studio website, you want to be able to track its effectiveness. To The Pointe Marketing emphasized the importance of an analytics setup for online marketing. Analytic tools can tell you where your visitors are coming from, what pages they’re looking at, what links they’re clicking and how long they stay. Many web hosts like WordPress, SquareSpace and Blogger have analytic tools included, as do social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. It’s a powerful tool that can help tailor future marketing efforts and make the most of your budget.

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Hiring the Best Dance Instructor for Your Studio

Hiring the Best Dance Instructor for Your Studio

The quality of instruction at a dance studio can make or break the business. When opening your own studio, you want friendly, approachable, expert instructors, but how are you supposed to find them? Here are a few tips for finding and hiring the best dance instructor for your studio.

Scouring Resumes

There are many websites where dance instructors can post their resumes, such as Dance.net, Indeed.com and other regional sites. This is definitely a good place for a studio owner to start. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a few qualified candidates in your area that you can then bring in for an interview. However, if the stars don’t quite align, you may find there are too many candidates or none at all.

The preferable situation is having too many options. In this case, you’ll probably be overwhelmed with impressive resumes. To wade through them, start by weeding out anyone who doesn’t have professional dance experience. Next, you’ll want to see if applicants have references you can call. A well-crafted resume can hide problems with work ethic or discipline skills. Don’t be afraid to do a little digging before you bring potential teachers in for interviews.

Writing a Job Description

If you choose to take the opposite approach and post a job listing, Dance Informa explained that it’s important to write a detailed and accurate description. Whether online, in a local paper or on a flier, a job posting should include the job title, a thorough description including typical duties and relationships, the qualifications needed, the time requirement and the location. You might also want to include the salary so applicants know exactly what to expect. Be clear in your expectations, so that your candidate pool is full of high-talent individuals from which to choose the best dance instructor.

Stick to What You Know

When in doubt, Dance Studio Life recommended that studio owners hire teachers they’ve worked with before. This can mean a former student, friend or colleague whose attitude and ability you’re familiar with. The blog explained that these instructors are more likely to absorb the studio’s culture quickly because they’re already familiar with you and your business style. You can also ask other studio owners for references.

Invite Candidates to Guest Teach

Don’t be afraid to give your final candidates a trial run. Dance Studio Coach suggested that you invite your favorite applicants to guest teach a few classes. This method allows you to see how your students interact with the teacher, observe his or her teaching style and note how comfortable the candidate is in front of a class. However, Dance Studio Coach explained that you’ll be expected to pay guest teachers, so discuss the pay rate in advance. Seeing a potential teaching candidate in action will help you make an informed decision when picking the best dance instructor for your studio.

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What Studio Owners Need to Know About Music Performance Rights

What Studio Owners Need to Know About Music Performance Rights

If you’re in the process of planning a big recital, your mind is probably filled with concerns about finances, marketing, instructors, routines and of course, music. With everything you have going on, make sure you prepare ahead of time for the tricky legal issues that surround the music you use in your performances. Here are some basics you need to know about music performance rights in the dance world.

Performing Rights Organizations

The bottom line is that any music played in public is subject to royalties by whoever owns it – and your dance studio qualifies as “public.”

This means that you need to be paying royalties on any music you play during class, in the changing rooms and at performances.

In the U.S., payments you make for music performance rights will be going to one or more of the three major performing rights organizations (PROs), including the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) or SESAC (originally the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers).

Many studio owners ask whether they can choose to pay a license to only one organization, but that’s typically very difficult to do. You’d need to examine the copyright information of each song you play to make sure it’s only licensed through that particular organization, and there’s no guarantee that songs with multiple songwriters will be licensed through only one organization.

Reference links for the three U.S. music licensing organizations can be found below:

ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers)

BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc)

SESAC (Society of European Stage Authors and Composers)

The only exception is a not-for-profit educational institution, according to The Dance Buzz.

Just because you bought it…

You may think you don’t need to pay royalties because you already paid for your music, but unfortunately that’s not the case. The Dance Buzz explained that even if you purchased music for private use, when you cross over into public use, you have to pay again.

If you use music without proper authorization, you’ll likely receive a letter from one of the performing rights organization, or you could be sued for copyright infringement. The blog noted that you can be subject to a fine of up to $150,000 per song.

Blanket licensing

If you’re concerned about how you could possibly pay to use every song in your iPhone, don’t worry. The Dance Buzz explained that most dance studios buy blanket licenses from the different associations, which allow you to use any of their songs as much as you’d like.

Studio owners who are members of various professional organizations sometimes get discounted rates that are based on average class size. However, you’ll need to contact ASCAP, BMI and SESAC for specific prices depending on the music performance rights you need.

We’ve even heard reports that studio owners have been able to negotiate lower blanket rates for blanket licenses, if they reach out to the PRO and ask.

It’s the right thing to do

As a business owners in the arts community, dance studio owners are in a similar position to those who make their living in the music industry. As such, they are in a position to understand that artists of all kinds should be paid for their work.

Just as a choreographer deserves to be paid for their choreography, so do songwriters and performers deserve to be paid for the use of their songs and recordings. And, as noted above, it’s illegal to use someone else’s music without paying the appropriate licenses.

Royalty-free music

It’s true that some music doesn’t require royalties, and there are several databases where you can sift through royalty-free songs. There are a number of potential reasons why music wouldn’t be subject to copyright, according to the Washington State University.

Copyrights can expire or an author can donate his piece to the public domain. However, most songs are subject to copyright laws up to 70 years after the owner dies.

In conclusion

However you choose to go about choosing music for your studio, keep in mind the associated legal requirements. Honor the legal rights of other creators, and protect yourself and your studio by making sure that all your music is properly licensed.

Note from the editor: This article was updated on 1/17/18 to address common questions from studio owners.

 

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5 Inexpensive Dance Studio Marketing Tips

5 Inexpensive Dance Studio Marketing Tips

It can be hard to get word of your dance studio to the public without dishing out money for advertisements. However, the are lots of viable dance studio marketing options for small businesses that embrace creativity.

1. Make the most of social media

It’s not enough to simply have a Facebook page or Twitter account – they need to be complete and active. The first step is to fill out every aspect of your page. Include a detailed “About” section, your hours, location, phone number and email.

Post Planner suggested that you create a posting strategy for each social media platform. This will help you stay consistent with content and keep the page fresh for returning visitors. Outline what days you’ll post on – aim for a minimum of two or three posts each week – and what kind of content you’ll include. As you become a social media veteran, you’ll notice which types of content – text, pictures, videos, open questions – get the most feedback from fans.

2. Send monthly newsletters

Sending newsletters via email requires a little preparation, but the results are worth it. Entrepreneur explained that email marketing drives website traffic, so build email into your dance studio marketing plan! Email communication establishes your expertise and allows you to stay in contact with customers.

To start your own newsletter, you’ll need two things: email addresses and software. Thankfully, both of these things come free. You can only send emails to people who have knowingly given their contact information, so have your current customers sign up at your studio or on social media. Once you have your list, it’s easy to import that list into free newsletter software like MailChimp. Most platforms are user-friendly, even for technophobes. Just create an account, pick a template and you’re good to go.

3. Partner with other local businesses

Forming a partnership with local businesses is a great way to reach new customers. For example, your dance studio may want to hold joint promotions with a local costume shop. When parents buy an advertisement in your brochure, you can give them a coupon for new dance attire, and in return, your partner will promote your business.

This back-scratching technique doesn’t necessarily have to be between complementary businesses. If you cater your end-of-year showcase, ask the restaurant to hang a poster and have fliers available. The possibilities of cooperation between small businesses are endless.

4. Employ fun guerilla marketing techniques

More creatively inclined businesspeople can benefit from attention-catching guerilla marketing tactics. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, Entrepreneur explained guerilla marketing as any unconventional and unexpected method of advertising – think of yarn-bombing or cutouts people pose with. When done correctly, guerilla tactics are inexpensive and garner a lot of attention, but the tricky part is making sure your chosen methods are legal and don’t step on anyone’s toes.

For an upcoming show, dance studio marketing could mean drawing murals in sidewalk chalk to increase awareness. Ask permission from the city, then pick local places where parents are apt to be and create a colorful advertisement on the sidewalk. Another idea is to spell out words by sticking cups into a chain link fence – like high school sports teams do. Again, make sure you ask permission from the owner, but it’s a simple, eye-catching advertisement that will cost you pennies.

5. Volunteer in your community

Getting out into the community is an underrated way to meet people and build your fan base. It can be any type of involvement, from volunteering at a food kitchen to selling tickets for an art show. You don’t need to do anything except represent your brand (maybe wear a T-shirt with your logo) and be friendly. Be sure to carry business cards. The National Federation of Independent Business suggested that something as simple as joining clubs can be a great way to advertise via word of mouth.

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6 Steps to Prepare for Back to Dance Season

back to dance tips

As a studio owner, you probably relish your free time in the summer. However, you’ll want to be ready for back to dance season before the air cools and kids head back to school. Make sure you incorporate these six steps into your pre-season checklist, because before you know it your dancers will be back!

1. Clean!

The offseason is the best time to attend to the peeling paint and dusty corners in your studio. The Dance Buzz recommended refinishing your floors, cleaning out messy rooms and upgrading your waiting room while you have an empty studio. You can also use this time to spruce up your landscaping, clean windows and mirrors, scrub down changing rooms and plan any construction that may need to be done. It’s also a great opportunity to make space for new trophies you’ve earned. Don’t put these tasks off until the season starts, or you’ll be setting yourself up for a headache.

2. Revise paperwork

You’ll want to review and rework your paperwork before classes start up again. This includes applications, schedules, billing forms, liability waivers and general contracts. Some forms may just require a few simple date changes, but it’s important to double-check all your paperwork for policies or contact info that may have changed. If you alter any legal documents, have them double-checked by an expert. You probably don’t keep up with local legislation, but a lawyer will know if any new laws affect your practice.

3. Meet with staff

The Dance Exec explained that you should make a point to meet with all your instructors before each new season. You can choose to meet with them individually or as a group. Either way, it will give them a chance to discuss any problems or concerns they might have and brainstorm solutions together. You should also go over any new policies, talk about your goals for the year and reiterate how much you appreciate their hard work. Keeping your staff included in the business will ensure that they are dedicated to their work and aligned with your goals.

4. Reorganize and redecorate

If your filing cabinets are a mess and the curtains are faded, take the time to reorganize your office and spruce up the studio. Evaluate what aspects of your file storage system are working and what could be improved. It’s a lot easier to establish a new system in the offseason than trying to implement one between classes. You should also evaluate whether your studio is aesthetically appealing. A bright and happy dance space will make a good first impression on potential students, and summer is the best time to repaint the walls and design a new sign.

5. Strategize your marketing

If you’re looking to expand your class offerings or raise your prices this season, plan ahead with your marketing efforts. Dance Informa recommended having your graphics and advertisements designed in advance. Make a calendar of which publications you’ll be sending ads to and when each one is due. Clear a special spot for it on your cork board so you won’t be scrambling to meet deadlines.

6. Book performance space

Finally, use your free time to book performance space for next season’s recitals. This way you can include the dates and times of each performance on schedules for parents. It’s just one more hassle that you can get out of the way early. Plus when you book a theater far in advance, you’ll get the best dates and times.

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