Posted Tuesday, March 27th, 2018 by Akada
Because of the billions of people who use Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and other social media networks, it’s foolish and costly for your dance studio to ignore social media presence. Social media is an excellent way for a dance studio to build trust with customers and potential customers alike. If you want your studio to appear in searches for local dance classes, a robust social media life is the way to go. Here are some simple tips for dance studio owners to improve their social media presence.
If you can’t do it yourself, outsource.
A dance studio owner’s focus is generally on the day-to-day operation of the business. It’s understandable; social media management takes time and knowledge. Hiring a freelance social media manager is an expense that could result in more online visibility and increased traffic. When more people find your studio online and sign up for classes, you’ll be thankful for that extra help. If you just can’t afford to hire a freelancer, educate yourself through YouTube tutorials or Udemy courses.
Understand different social media channels.
Not all social media networks have the same purpose, and a customer on Tumblr will engage with your presence differently than a customer on Facebook. Make sure that what you’re posting is relevant to the network. Some channels are great for building trust with your audience, and other channels are great for generating leads. Set a goal for social media use and prioritize networks that support your goals.
Engage with your audience often and with variety.
Audiences love inspirational photos and quotes, helpful blogs and articles, and the latest news from your dance studio. Audiences enjoy videos, showcasing the family that you call customers. Share personal stories, photos, and relevant hashtags. Try a combination of information and promotions to connect with customers and potential leads. User-friendly, free software like Canva is great for creating colorful, eye-catching social media graphics.
Make it easy to turn a lead into a sale.
The goal is to get customers into your dance studio and signing up for classes. If you are going to invest the time, energy, and money into social media, make sure you’ve created a clear call to action and a way for customers to engage. Nothing is more frustrating to a consumer who is ready to purchase than not being able to find the ‘buy now’ button. Customers use social media to make purchase decisions. Your online presence should come equipped with the ability to sign up for classes and pay online. At the very least, make it easy for customers to call your studio with a definite “call now” button for mobile visits.
Consumers rely on social media more than ever before, so consider social media engagement as part of your business and marketing plan. Soon your studio will be rewarded by all your new education and smart work.
Posted Tuesday, March 6th, 2018 by Akada
For dance studios, summer can be a time of uncertainty and anxiety. Many dance studios experience a drop in summer attendance, so the rise of the temperature can also mean a decrease in revenue. Now is the time for dance studios to plan, and here are some ideas to keep earning steady income during the lull of summer months.
Compare other summer camps in your community. You may find a lack of dance, theater, or music options. If there appears to be a lack of options, consider themed camps. Little ones might enjoy a week-long princess dance class that includes dance lessons, crafts, and learning a song. Older children may appreciate the opportunity to plan and put on a play. Consider more intensive themed camps for advanced students. If you can, recruit a specialized teacher for intensives. Don’t be afraid to mix in different activities, like crafts or preparing a snack during the class. It may be messy, but happy kids and happy parents keep income flowing in.
The summer heat can stir up just as much cabin fever as winter months. When it’s just too hot to be outside, parents are begging for a place to take the kids and let them burn off energy. One possible solution could be open-age, informal dance classes. Whether they’re offered during specific open hours, or categorized as classes, make it a time of goofy, freestyle, energy-burning fun with an assortment of music. Informal classes may also give a reluctant student the confidence to try a class when the regular schedule starts back up.
Appeal to the homeschooling crowd
The number of homeschooling families has increased in recent years, and many communities have a thriving homeschool population. Many homeschooling families continue their studies through the summer and seek opportunities for enrichment year-round. Dance studios could gain a lot by teaming up with local homeschooling organizations and offering camps, classes, and programs specifically for the homeschooling demographic. Find local groups on Facebook and start making connections. Not only will homeschooling parents appreciate the offer, but they’ll also likely help spread the word.
Keep your break short
Most people do enjoy and need a break. Schedule your break, and use it to refresh so you can come back with energy and excitement to enjoy the summer months. Most likely, your customers will enjoy a short break also.
Posted Thursday, January 25th, 2018 by Akada
Preparing for your first dance competition can give you a severe case of “performance jitters,” Naturally, you want to do your best without any mistakes or major blunders. But, in the back of your mind, all you can think about is “what if you mess up my routine?” or “what if something goes wrong with my costume?” While most of the time these issues don’t occur, the possibility sticks in your mind. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to prepare yourself, so these thoughts don’t become a reality.
Consider these five dance tips on how to prepare for your next competition.
- Be Ready. Practice. Practice. Practice. You’re less likely to freeze up if you’re well prepared. Rehearse as much as you can and practice — alone or in front of others — at every opportunity. Nothing helps put nerves in check like the confidence that comes from knowing you gave 100% in every practice.
- 2. Focus on a positive outcome. Instead of dwelling on what could go wrong, put your positive energy into what will go right. Create an affirmation, sing a song to get you revved up with positive energy or quietly give yourself a pep talk, like “I got this!” “I can and will crush this — here goes!” or, “This is going to be epic!”
- Learn ways to relax while waiting. At certain types of competitions, there’s quite a wait before it’s your turn to perform. Enjoy the downtime by listening to a relaxing playlist or mindful breathing to keep yourself calm. Not everyone can remain still in situations like these; some dancers need to be active to relax. Figure out what technique works for you, then make a plan to use it in the downtime before a big performance.
- Embrace the nervous feeling. When you feel performance jitters, don’t freak out! Don’t let the sensation intimidate you. Know that it’s up to you to manage your thoughts positively.
- Take care of yourself from the Inside out. Before a competition, it’s natural to spend hours rehearsing, but don’t forget to take care of yourself. Be sure you are eating healthy foods and getting plenty of rest. Exercise can also help you feel energized and focused and keep those stress hormones from getting out of control.
Bottom Line: Nervousness is natural, but you have the power to transform that energy into a “10” performance.
Posted Saturday, December 23rd, 2017 by Akada
Creating efficiency within your dance studio can dramatically increase your organization, productivity, and bottom line. Here are four areas that you can implement to assist you in streamlining your business to align with your goals for 2018.
- Save a Tree and Reduce Paper
One of the most efficient ways to streamline your business is to reduce the use of paper. Invoices, class schedules, timesheets can quickly pile up and add unnecessary steps to the studio’s daily operations. As you track the paper trail, decide if the paper document is necessary for you or your staff to perform the task. If the answer is no, consider using a document management system to archive paperwork.
- Empower Employees
While it is essential for studio owners to take an active role in their business, it is equally important to relinquish some responsibilities to employees who are more involved with the day-to-day operations. After all, your employees understand which processes and decisions will serve the best outcome for students and parents. Look for areas where your staff is involved in specific areas of the business and identify the most common areas that can benefit from their input. Remember, every time you take a decision/interaction out of your workflow, you improve efficiency for the entire studio.
- Efficiently Share Information with Students, Staff, and Parents
Great communication goes a long way. Having the ability to share relevant information electronically will determine which businesses thrive and which ones struggle to keep afloat. Benefits include:
- Better customer service
- Increased sales
- Reduced inventory
- Consolidate Software
Do you use several software tools to operate your business? If the answer is yes, consider investing in an integrated software platform. There is a variety of packages available today that can meet the needs of small to large companies.
Keep in mind that your systems should align with your business model and unique needs. Set some time aside to review how your studio operates. Identify time-stealing processes and determine if you can eliminate or delegate the task. By breaking down system-related work, you are able to focus on the overall vision for your studio – to grow and remain profitable. Keep in mind that streamlining is possible with a single piece of technology. Akada software helps businesses of all sizes trim costs, reduce workloads, and add productivity. How can Akada streamline your business today?
Posted Wednesday, November 29th, 2017 by Akada
Operating a dance studio definitely offers the freedom to run your business as you see fit. On the flip side, you realize the inner workings of the business takes a lot of late nights and early mornings. From communicating with parents, employees and vendors to handling payroll and tax bills, the responsibilities are without limits. Not to mention there is daily pressure to stay competitive and earn more revenue. The list of ‘to-do’s’ is enough to leave the most organized business owner feeling overwhelmed. Steady growth and strong profits demand that you remain productive. Here are three reasons that studio management software can support your business in expansion and productivity.
- Recognize what is Profitable
A business is a chance to experiment and exercise your creativity — but only insofar as doing so helps you become or remain profitable. No matter how interesting that new advertising campaign, how cutting-edge your unique new course offering, or how credentialed your pricey new instructor, if they don’t draw in new students or more cash, they’re not worth the investment. Professional studio management software allows businesses to get organized, track changes over time and provide ready access to the most important details you need to efficiently run your business. Equipped with this information, you will be able to answer questions similar to the ones below:
- What is the average amount we need to spend in marketing to increase revenues?
- Which are our most and least profitable classes and instructors?
- Are any instructors costing us money?
- How much more would we need to earn to justify the cost of an expansion?
- What are our biggest upcoming expenditures? How much do we need to cover them, and how long will it take to earn that money? Can we afford the advertising necessary to bring in that extra revenue?
- Saves Money
The expenses you can rack up running a studio are virtually infinite. You can definitely justify the service; since the right team can save time and earn you money. However, hiring various contractors for specific tasks and reports is not financially sound. Studio Management software gives you control to track the data that helps you analyze the progress of your business.
Studio management software also can:
- Oversee student enrollment
- Analyze how the business spend money
- Offer customized feedback to students
This all adds up to sufficiently of financial savings, without cutting corners.
- Competitive Edge
Having the ability to monitor trends over time can make a significant impact to your business. With the appropriate studio management system, businesses like yours can:
- Analyze how a new competitor in the area affects your business.
- Observe marketing strategies from competitors and determine what type of marketing strategy is right for your business.
- Identify opportunities to grow your business.
With any business, you must evolve to adapt to a changing environment, which includes monitoring competitors.
Studio management software keeps track of everything for you, so you can manage your time for effectively. Ready to invest in yourself, your business, and reduce stress?
Consider leaving behind disorder and join the road to productivity and sales with the right studio management software. You and your business deserve it.
Posted Thursday, October 26th, 2017 by Akada
Ask any dancer why they started a studio and they would probably say because they have a passion for dance, helping others and the possibilities for success is endless. Ask a dance owner what takes up most of their time, and they will probably say their billing process. So how can dance owners continue to grow their business and streamline their billing system? Simple, they set up a simple studio automated billing system.
Here are our top 4 reasons why you should use studio billing software:
#1: Focus on teaching not collecting
By having your studio run solely by automated billing, you can focus on technique and build positive relationships with students and parents– and not be viewed as the “tuition collector
#2: Parents prefer a streamlined process
Manually billing is a mutual hassle between you and parents. All it takes is for one instance of a forgotten card or checkbook, or a bounced or lost check, and your families now have to remember to bring payment next time they see you. With so many payment options more and more families prefer being billed automatically for classes and lessons each month. It saves time all around and leaves an organized paper trail for both parties.
#3: Save Time. Save Time. Save Time.
Think of the adage “Time is money.” You have to guard your time. Studio owners spend countless hours doing manual tasks such as billing and scheduling. If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it 100 times. This one is pretty simple. Most studio owners; especially new and growing studios tend to overextend themselves. Don’t fall into the trap! By saving time on the business side, you can enjoy the fruits of your labor on your time.
#4 Bring on the Money
Probably the most advantageous reason to use auto-billing tuition payment system is the increase in income for your studio space. You probably think that was a reach, but let me explain. Automatic billing systems guarantee that bills will be accurate and sent in time for a timely payment from families. Math errors are easy to make and hard on your top line revenue. The software was meant to do math efficiently. By eliminating errors studios, mistakes can significantly boost their income each month.
Manually billing is a thing of the past, It’s outdated and underperforms. It’s time to grow your dance studio business by putting your billing on autopilot with fully automated tuition payments. Akada software automatically calculates and enter all your tuition and other charges for the whole studio with just a click of the button.
Posted Thursday, August 24th, 2017 by Akada
There’s no denying the obvious – the more your business grows, the more organization processes need to be in place. front office at a dance studio is a busy place.
Whether the day-to-day tasks are handled by you or by another staff member, there will always be something that needs your input or action.
Here are five simple tips to manage office operations using Akada software.
1.Create Forms to Collect Data
Once or twice a year consider conducting a survey. Helpful feedback can assist with the growth of your studio. Hearing and receiving how things/ processes could be better can improve your productivity and profitability margins. You can collect his information from a weblink, in email, a post on social media or an embedded form on your website.
Once you have data you can download it to easily review and take note of any trends or areas of concern. You may find you get some great testimonials from your students and parents as well!
You can accomplish a lot in less time at your studio with an accurate scheduling system. Your team will be able to:
Capture valuable information from the moment an appointment is scheduled
Run reports to see what types of appointments, events, and sessions make you the most money
Schedule multiple classes, employees, and locations
3. Auto Billing for Class Tuition
Say goodbye to late payments and customize how payments are setup. With this software, you can take a deposit at the time students sign up for classes. Additionally, you can send electronic invoices and setup payment plans. Now you and your bookkeeper are happy and parents know they will receive a regularly scheduled invoice for their child’s classes.
4. Project & Task Management
Get ready to enjoy an organized task flow! Create to do lists and funnels for performance events, appointments, potential students, projects and more. Assign responsibilities to projects to team members to keep everyone in the loop in order to meet expectations. When a stage of the project is complete, the software can notify the next person in line who needs to fulfill their part.
5. Register Students Online
No more missing paperwork! Allow your clients to schedule appointments and sign up for classes any day or time. Give potential and current parents the convenience of browsing available time slots and signing up with a click of a button. Any information entered will automatically be recorded and updated in the system.
Hopefully this article has sparked ideas and strategies that can be used to improve your studio operations. For more helpful tips, check out a few of our previous blog posts.
Posted Monday, July 24th, 2017 by Akada
If you are an instructor at a dance studio or thinking about owning a dance studio, read carefully at what we are about to tell you… Exceptional Communication Benefits Everyone.
If there is a problem, or concern how can it be addressed if it’s not communicated? Misinformation can occur when a parent or student asks a peer instead of coming directly to the teacher for answers. As a teacher, one of your many roles is to present yourself as approachable and to present and explain relevant information to students and their parents.
Here are five tips to use to encourage and maintain professional communication between dance students and parents.
Identify Expectations. Provide a check list to students to share with their parents that states clearly and concisely spells-out what each dancer needs to accomplish to advance to the next level. This checklist will keep students on track and parents informed. If a student or parent meet with you about their check list and believe they have accomplished everything on their list, but has not, the list opens the doorway to have a conversation to discuss progress and what is still required.
Set Goals. Have students write five specific and measurable goals that they would like to accomplish by the end of the dance year (e.g. I would like to be able to complete technically correct double pirouettes etc.). Next, make two additional copies. One for you and one for parents. At the end of the year, hand back their goals so they can see if they have met, missed or exceeded their goals.
Offer Office Hours. Consider scheduling open office hours so that parents and students can speak with you without an appointment. This open door policy will benefit students, parents and yourself. You will be able to answer pressing questions before they reached a boiling point. Plus, this will eliminate having to make evening calls or sending late night emails. If no one comes during your office hours, use that time to answer e-mails and any other clerical obligations before going home so you can enjoy your evening. See everyone wins!
Parent Observation. Twice a year, hold parent observations. Inform parents about upcoming performances, summer classes, and deadlines. Also, consider dismiss dancers out 10-15 minutes early so you can have time to answer any questions or address any concerns they may have.
End of the Year Evaluation. Offer feedback and comment on their progress throughout the program. Parents and students will find the critique helpful and answer any questions parents or students might have about their placement for the following year.
Bottom Line: The dancer, parent, teacher relationship is so vital to the success of your class. Remember to keep the lines of communication open so that relationship can be a healthy and positive one.
Posted Friday, June 16th, 2017 by Akada
Congratulations! You followed your passion and now own and operate a successful year-round dance studio for children. Like many instructors, you find yourself with low student enrollment during the summer months. Many students rather spend time traveling with their families, attending overnight camps or simply seek an alternative program during this time. These types of registration enrollment numbers can cause regular cash flow to halt. This year, change the way you approach summer enrollment. Instead, see this time as an opportunity to reach new students and broaden your marketing approach with these helpful tips.
Four ways to increase your summer enrollment.
- Early-bird registration benefit
Parents are more willing to sign their child up for summer classes if there is a beneficial incentive. This method rewards pre-planning parents who are ready to pay and register. For example, a three-week summer dance camp early registration fee could be $445 if you register by March 30th. The regular rate could be $495 after May 1st. The amount you choose to differentiate between early registration and regular tuition is up to you and should make sense for your business and overall profit margin. Consider this type of pricing model if you plan to build enrollment well in advance of your summer program.
- Offer a convenient deposit and/ or payment plan
This approach helps families who have a budget to maintain, particularly if they have more than one child who is interested in a summer program. Consider setting the deposit at an amount that guarantees their commitment such as $100 in the $200+ range. If you advertise that the program has limited space or a low student to teacher ratio, people are more likely to move into action. Use your online registration software as an opportunity to turn queries into registered students.
- Offer discount incentives for participation in multiple classes or weeks
Parents are more likely to register when they feel they are getting more for their money. Think about extending a family incentive for siblings.
- Host a winter and spring parent-student open house
Give parents and potential students the opportunity to learn more about your studio and classes. Open house events are great marketing tools and are easy to promote on social media and through email marketing. You can make it fun for people to attend or even consider some referral incentives for current students if they invite a new student to one of the open houses.
What have you found to be successful when it comes to marketing efforts to build your summer registration?
Posted Thursday, May 18th, 2017 by Akada
The stereo is thumping throughout the studio and your classes are full but in this day in age, that’s not enough. Even a fully functional and well-established dance studio has to utilize marketing techniques to enhance their business.
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are three social media platforms that you need to have in your wheelhouse. Not only do they help to enhance your credibility to potential students, but it also helps to spread the word about new classes, discounts and exciting news. Here are some tips on how to promote your dance studio using these platforms.
From rehearsals, to shows to day-to-day classes, there’s plenty to capture and use for Facebook ads. Use this content to promote your offerings and entice potential students with a deal. Perhaps it could be “xx off your first class?” The fact of the matter is that you want to give people a reason to come to your studio and if you can show off what you have to offer through a Facebook ad, you’re on the right track.
Use Twitter as a social listening tool to naturally join in on conversations that people are having about dance studios and classes and offer them some sort of value. Maybe you could offer them a complimentary class so they can test out your studio and see if they like it? Always make sure that you’re offering some sort of value to your consumers with each engagement.
Not only does this platform have over 700 monthly active users, it’s also the perfect playground for you to share some cool content to the masses. Videos and pictures will be your vehicles to transport the message about your studio to those interested. Be sure to use high-quality imagery, pique the users’ interest in the caption and use relevant hashtags to help get your content discovered.
Host and open house
In this day and age, people like to do their research before making a monetary commitment. What better way to help them make their decision than by opening your doors to them for an open house? Lay out the red carpet and show them everything that you can do and more.
Reach out to the organizers of local events and see if you can reserve a booth or possibly perform a pop-up dance at the event. By doing so, you’ll be getting your name in front of the people in your community which will help get your studio on their radar. Come equipped with hand-outs and free gear that you can pass out with your dance studio’s name, contact information and website URL.
It’s time to put on your thinking cap to figure out a unique way to connect with potential students using these social media tactics.