Often A Teacher, Never A CEO

How did you become a dance studio owner? For many of us, we taught dance at a studio and then decided to open our own. Others may have been born into a studio thanks to our parents, or bought someone else’s studio after being involved in the industry as a dancer.

Every time I meet a studio owner, I always like to ask what got them there and why did they decide to open a studio in the first place. I always love hearing about the journey. One thing NO ONE has ever said to me though is “Clint, I started this dance studio because I saw a gap in the market and a great commercial opportunity to have a dance studio in XYZ area.”

You may laugh at that, but it’s true. Generally, we jump into the studio owner life because we are passionate about teaching dance, we love children and it lights us up on the inside. Most people would tell you that these things alone aren’t a good enough reason to start a business… but we do it anyway.

I still remember that day I had the keys handed to me for our first little recreational center that became our studio for about 1.5 years before we moved into our own premises. We could only fit 10 students in a class, there were no mirrors and we really had no idea what we were doing when it came to running a business.

I’m sure you’ve been there. Running your dance studio and feeling like the business (or the parents) are running you. Maybe you’re right in the middle of it now or maybe you just need a few tweaks to really step into the CEO position within your studio. Well, that’s what my plan is for you today!

Two books that I suggest to our program members are E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber and Work The System by Sam Carpenter. Both of these books talk about going from the technician (dance teacher) to the entrepreneur (dance studio owner – CEO of your business).

Let’s jump in as I share with you the 5 things that will assist you in moving from the dance teacher to the CEO of your studio this year!

1. Work On Business Building Strategy & Vision
Block out two hours a day to work on strategy and the vision of your studio. The mornings are best for this as it’s generally when we can be most creative. Spend this time working on a marketing plan (attraction + retention), forming strategic partnerships, dreaming up new products and services (that your customers actually want) and also use this time to dream big about where you want the studio to go. So often we get caught in the day to day that 5 years can easily pass and one day we wake up going “this is not what I wanted to happen.”

2. Build A Public Profile
The world today is all about P2P – People To People. You might have heard me say before “people buy people,” and with the rise of dance studios opening every week around the world, now more than ever you and your brand need to sit side by side. Now is the perfect time for you to be creating videos and letting people know about the CEO of the studio, not in an arrogant way but in a way that let’s them into your life to demonstrate why your studio is the place to be.

3. Cultivate Key Networks & Relationships
I’ve never heard any successful business owner say “I did this all on my own.” Generally, you will hear them talk about the fact that without the support from their mentors and business owner peers that they wouldn’t be where they are today. If you’re not already part of a group of business owners (online or offline) and are not seeking out mentors, workshops or courses to keep you moving forward, then now is the time. Being part of a network/s with business owners (ideally studio owners) who are going through what you’re doing is going to be the key to your success and sanity!

4. Hire Rockstar Players
Thinking WHO instead of WHAT is one of the biggest shifts you make as a studio owner, and when you do, that’s when the magic happens. The office staff and teachers you employ will determine how successful your studio will be. Your staff is the backbone of your business so once you recruit the right people for the right roles then your focus will shift to how you’re going to keep them growing and developing. Most studio owners wait too long to hire staff thinking they are saving money by doing everything themselves, but they’re actually digging their own graves. Bring people on to take over those low value tasks so you can continue to grow your dream studio.

5. Put Money Away
It can sometimes seem impossible to put away money for a rainy day, but those studio owners who do (no matter how small it is) will win in the long run. Unexpected expenses come up in all types of businesses and it’s the ones that have the cash to move forward without affecting the whole operation that succeed. Needing cash fast and not having it will generally mean having to get a loan or borrow money from a friend or family member which adds additional stress on you. To help save money, be sure you’re asking yourself when you make each purchase “is this purchase necessary?”

When you master these 5 areas of your studio all I can say is… “LOOK OUT – you will be the go to studio, market leader in your area!”

You got this – time to take your leadership to the next level!

My best,
Clint

P.S. If you love what you read above, this is your last week to get your bonuses on my book bundles for Dance Studio TRANSFORMATION. Check out the info here.

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