If it’s Not in Your Flow Let it Go!
As you will know by now I am incredibly passionate about dance teachers breaking the stereotype of working for just their passion, and struggling to survive. I truly believe that every dance school can become a successful flourishing business. There are enough customers out there for everyone, so if you take the right steps forward and get the systems in place, you too can follow this model.
Reflecting upon the last year has really called my attention to how best you can redesign your studios ready for your return to studio teaching so that you come back with a bang. Now for each of you there will naturally be areas you excel in, thrive in and love doing. Compared with areas that you struggle with and stress about and generally end up procrastinating over. That is okay! So please don't be disheartened by your stresses. Every great business owner won’t do everything within their business. Successful businesses don't tend to come from one person who is ‘a master of it all’, they are successful when each individual member plays to their strength, they don't all excel in every area! The key to being a great and successful studio owner is identifying your strengths and utilising them and identifying your weaknesses and finding something, maybe a software, or someone who can help you.
There may be those of you that hate admin and struggle to stay organised and keep consistent contact with parents and students. Maintaining clear and consistent contact with parents is key, and with a busy schedule you don't always have the time for this! Having someone even for just 4 hours a week may help with the overwhelming income and take some of the pressure off of you. If admin is not in your flow likelihood is your dance parents will have noticed and there is absolutely no shame in outsourcing this. Having a separate person to run admin also removes any personal attachment to customers when it comes to fees and other issues that may crop up. It can be awkward and stressful when you have an attachment to families and parents but having a separate school administrator can remove this issue,as well as helping to help take off some of the pressure.
Perhaps class planning is the bain of your life and you adore delivering the lessons but not planning the content. There are thousands of franchises out there that offer amazing class structure and business models to help you with this. I have some done for you pre school ballet and tap lesson plan bundles of 12 in our online shop www.doneforyoudance.co.uk which you can download, read and go. I use our own lesson plans in my studio and rotate it termly which I find very successful with my preschool students so I can see clearly how they are progressing and developing along their track.
Maybe your weakness is attracting new students and you need help with your marketing? When I sent out the questionnaire a few weeks back a lot of you did suggest the area you struggle with the most is often marketing.
Marketing is always growing and changing and the most effective ways to get your name out there can often be tricky. I would always suggest in an area such as marketing which is so pivotal to your brand, but can always be executed ineffectively, to hire a professional to help. You don't have to do it all, seek help and if you can't afford to hire someone full time then seek out places like Upwork and Fiverr where you can hire freelancers by the hour for your marketing needs. Marketing should be seen as an investment, by using some of your budget to put your name out there, you will be bringing back in more students. Rather than struggling to keep up with the newest trends in marketing and the constantly changing methods of delivery, find someone who can help you! Don’t try to force something into your flow that isn't already in there.
The key is playing to your strengths, identifying your weaknesses and handing those tasks over to someone who excels in that area and loves it as it’s their flow! Just because you don't love a task, it doesn't mean that there isn't someone out there who doesn't, there will be someone who has that task ready set within their flow, and can use their time much more effectively than you would trying to achieve the same goal. For example I have a virtual assistant who is incredible at organising. In the past she reorganised all of my online space so that it was clear and consistent for me and my staff to use, i didn't have the inclination or passion to do that, but her work made our online space much more effective and really allowed us to use our time more effectively, rather than searching for a file. To put it into perspective a goalkeeper is in that position on the pitch because it’s there strength and the coach is on the sideline because he knows how to motivate and direct people to be the best of their abilities. He's not on the pitch doing it all! You are the coach of your studio and your role should be directing everyone into their areas of expertise.
Take a moment over the next 72 hours and make a list of your strengths and weaknesses. On your strengths list tasks that sit in your flow zone that you can continue to do and on the weaknesses identify tasks that would be best placed in the hands of someone else who loves that area and it’s in their flow. Maybe start to look at some people or systems that you could pass your weaknesses onto and add that to the list!
Let me know how you get on with this task. I'd love to hear what's in your flow!