For many dance teachers, a dance studio is an ideal business. Opening your own studio is challenging, but it has a greater earning potential than standard teaching gigs. By implementing smart strategies from the beginning, you can build your new studio into a financial success.
Use Social Media
As you prepare to open a dance studio, smart marketing is essential. Start with social media — it’s a free, easy-to-use option that provides access to an enormous audience of potential dance students and parents. Visually oriented platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are particularly effective for dance studios. Draw in viewers with beautiful photos or videos of your teachers in action, post shots of your studio space and upload images of your class schedule. Integrated analytics on Facebook make it easy to experiment and track engagement for different types of content, which is crucial for studio owners without a marketing background.
Use Inexpensive Marketing Materials
Once you have a solid online presence, increase awareness with inexpensive marketing materials. Use a simple, attractive flyer that introduces your studio, lists class offerings and provides website and social media links. Print at home, or use a low-cost online print service. Then, put your flyers in places that are visible to potential dance students and their parents, such as on community bulletin boards and in gyms, local cafes and dance stores.
Keep Overhead Low
Overhead costs can eat into your profits. Start by reducing essential costs: shop around for the best deal on insurance, and install energy-efficient fixtures to lower utilities. Recruit friends to help with repairs, painting and dance floor installation instead of hiring professionals. If possible, negotiate a lower rent in return for studio improvements.
Maintain High Enrollment
Enrollment is the most important factor in the success of a dance studio. The first step in maintaining high enrollment is employing excellent instructors. Great teachers keep students happy, ensure quality performances and improve word-of-mouth marketing. Programming is another key consideration; classes that support large numbers of students are a more profitable use of studio time than classes with a few students. Finally, consider the atmosphere of your studio, which goes far beyond the dancing itself. A welcoming, friendly community can typically retain a variety of students.
Offer Fitness Classes
A dance studio is ideally set up for fitness classes. Since most studios hold classes outside of normal school hours, use the daytime and late-evening hours to schedule adult classes such as yoga, Zumba or barre fitness. To gain an edge over gyms and fitness centers, which often pay instructors low hourly rates regardless of class size, consider offering your instructors a 60/40 split of the per-student fee.
Rent Studio Space
Your dance studio is one of your most valuable assets. Bring in additional income with little to no extra effort by renting the studio during off hours. Advertise to local theater groups, singing groups, dance troupes or mommy-and-me groups who need a space for rehearsals or meetings. Studio rentals are also attractive to teachers looking to hold dance camps and professional performers looking for a dedicated practice space.
If your city has limited options for dancewear shopping, a small store in your studio can be a lucrative side business. You might not be able to compete with online prices, but you have the advantage of allowing students to try on shoes, leotards and warm-up gear. Consider offering special deals at the beginning of each dance season or at holidays, and be sure to market the store to parents.
For an experienced dance teacher, a studio is a natural career move. When you maximize your assets and offer high-interest programming, you can build a business that’s viable over the long term.