Starting a dance studio can be a daunting task. While operating an independent studio can seem straightforward from the outside, there’s so much more to it than simply opening the doors of your home and inviting people to come dance. Running a business that revolves around providing other people with something they’re interested in is one of the most challenging things you could do as an entrepreneur. However, running a dance studio doesn’t have to be this intimidating feat if you approach it logically and strategically. Keep reading for our top 7 steps to get you started as an operator of a dance studio.

ballerinas-in-dance studio

Set your goals and milestones for dance studio

We’ve all been to studios that are just trying to get by, but have you ever been to a studio that has goals beyond just “getting by”? When you’re first getting started, you should have a set of goals and milestones in place. For example, if you’re opening a studio to teach children’s classes, your milestones might include: – Finalizing your application to teach classes in your location – Getting your insurance coverage in place – Obtaining a license (if necessary) and getting it renewed (if necessary) – Getting your business structure figured out – Confirming your location


Decide on a business structure

A dance studio can be a variety of different business types, from a sole proprietorship to an LLC, although sole proprietorships are the most popular. If you’re unsure of which business structure to choose, you may want to talk to a tax accountant for advice. Knowing what business structure works best for you, as well as your tax accountant, will help you make wiser business decisions as an operator. Once you’ve found the business structure that’s best for you, be sure to write it down and put it somewhere where everyone in the company can access it. This will come in handy if you ever have any questions or concerns about your business structure.

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Confirm your location

Confirming your location is one of the most important tasks you can take on in starting a studio. Sure, you have great intentions of taking your studio to the next level, but until you can confirm where you’ll be teaching, you’ll be nothing more than an idea. For example, if you’d like to open a studio in Los Angeles, you’d confirm that you are in fact located in Los Angeles. You can do this by walking into your local city hall, or by checking the map yourself with your phone.


Ditch the debt

Debt doesn’t need to be a part of your business. If you plan on opening a studio and using any debt financing, count yourself out of the business right away. This is a huge red flag and will likely spell the end of your studio. There are so many ways to finance a business without using debt, and in most cases, the owners and investors will be the primary beneficiaries of the business. There are many ways to finance a business without using debt, such as equity-based financing, LLC financing, crowd funding, and more. Whichever route you choose, don’t use debt financing. Simply put, debt financing is when you borrow money from a bank and then pay interest on that loan. This is a bad idea for a number of reasons, most importantly being that you will be trapped in debt for years to come.


Establish your brand and marketing strategy

Your brand is everything when it comes to marketing your business. You may want to start small with a Facebook page and some Instagram posts, but don’t stop there. Invest in where your studio will be placed; for example, you may want to start with a niche community site or even a blog. These sites can be very effective when it comes to growing your brand and marketing your studio. Your marketing strategy will also help you determine how you will be marketing your studio. For example, will you be using a combination of paid and organic strategies to promote your studio? Or, will you be relying solely on organic strategies?

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Develop a contract with all students

When you hire teachers to teach classes at your studio, you’ll want to have a contract between you and your teaching staff in place. This contract should outline many things, including the amount of time teachers will teach, the amount of time students will need to practice, and how students will be graded. The contract should also outline how teachers can be dismissed if there are any issues with their performance. The best way to write a contract is to use a template or sample contract. You can find many of these contracts online or from your local business association. If you aren’t sure how to write a contract, you may want to seek legal counsel.


Stay updated on new technology and trends

New technologies and trends pop up every day and it’s important that you stay updated on these things. For example, you’ll want to be on the lookout for new apps, new software, and anything else that will help you market your studio. You’ll also want to stay updated on new technologies, such as virtual reality, which has a lot of potential when it comes to marketing dance studios.


Bottom line

Running a dance studio is no easy feat. It takes a lot of work and a lot of dedication to succeed in this industry. It’s important that you approach the task with the right mindset and take into consideration the tips and steps laid out above. This will help ensure that you have a successful and rewarding experience as an owner of a dance studio. Now that you know what to do, it’s time to get started!



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