Whether it's a yoga studio, dance studio, martial arts school or a place to take a spin class, opening a school can be extremely rewarding, stressful, and everything in between. Most of us who are inclined to open a school or studio for the first time are diving head first into their passion. Passion is what drives us to practice our art, our craft, every day. However, that may not be enough to successfully launch your own school. Your passion will be the drive but research and know-how will carry you through. Here are some of our best tips on how to successfully open a new studio or school.
1) Manage expectations.
Many teachers opening their own studio are doing so to earn money. However, most businesses don’t see a real return, in the first few years. There are start-up costs, equipment invoices and other charges that need to be recuperated. At the same time, you'll also have to manage expectations on the time and capital commitment you will need to get the business off the ground and rolling smoothly. Starting a business has a lot of costs that go without consideration; plan for them, so you don't get stuck before you are able to launch the way you want to.
2) Your studio is a business.
It's easy to forget it is, when you're running something so close to your heart but, at the end of the day, your school is a business. Billable hours are of the utmost importance and you will have to look for income opportunities from different sources.
Selling merchandise, apparel, and gear that your students want or need can give you a huge boost. Try hosting special classes outside of the regular programmed schedules where you can invite prospective students to attend. Be careful you don't undercharge or commit to too many free classes. Bartering is a touchy one, as the right agreement can work, but it's usually best to keep that to a minimum.
3) Get experienced.
The biggest mistake many make is to jump in to opening your own school right after you're qualified to do so. Competition is fierce. Ensure you get loads of teaching experience under your belt, before you embark on this journey. It's easy to be over-confident but know-how, intuition and wisdom take time and work to develop.
Don’t forget that it’s okay to ask for help. In terms of using PerfectMIND, you can always contact us about how best to use our software to help build your business. We’re here for you!
4) Build community.
You need followers, and loyal ones at that, when opening a new studio or school. To do that, you'll need to build community, which you should be doing long before the opening date. Make connections with complimentary businesses. If you're thinking of building a yoga studio, meet the people at the juice shops, vintage stores, vegetarian restaurants, and coffee shops.
Cross-promotion can help each business build their clientele. It aids in expanding everyone's networks; just ensure you're providing value for them if your following doesn't rival theirs yet.
5) A solid business plan goes a long way.
If you have a lot of experience, you might have it under control, but there are tons of ways to get more help. Check out your local resource center, call upon business-savvy friends, or do some research online. However you do it, make sure your plan is rock solid. It's going to be your guide along the way and, with the proper business plan, you'll be set up for success.
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