If dancing is your passion and you want to pass your talents on, the most obvious route is to start a dance academy. However, once you make up your mind to go forward with this project, you should to treat it like a business venture and get the basics right.
Here is a start-up guide to opening your own dance academy. This is of course not standardised and you have to modify some pointers to fit your own requirements.
Type of Dance Academy – Your first step should be to decide on the type of school that you want to set up, which comes with its own set of questions. Will it cater only to children or adults or both? Will you only specialise in one dance form such as a tap or Latin genre, or do you want to cover as many forms as possible to get more interested students? If you want it to be a professional and competition level studio, you should plan to employ similar grade teachers who will naturally have a higher pay structure than a general teacher. All this information and more will go into your business plan for the dance academy.
Dance Academy business plan – As in any business venture, having a business plan in place is crucial to breaking even and making a profit quickly. It is recommended that you hire an experienced business consultant to draw up the plan on your behalf. The plan will be a road map for the academy clearly laying out all the business variables, milestones and contingency strategies. The first is the financials, taking into account your investment, rentals, running expenses, and fixed expenses like utilities and the expected rate of return. This will give you a fair idea of when you can expect to break even and become a profit generating entity. Marketing is another variable that will be in focus. Competitors’ analysis will be carried out as well as the functioning of other dance studios in the locality. Based on these factors, strategies will be devised to bring your academy to the forefront.
The consultant will also provide necessary guidance to get the required licenses and permits.
Location – This will be the key to success of your academy. A studio that is situated on a busy area and visible to passing traffic should be ideal for you. Have a good frontage for signage and adequate parking space. Plan your academy layout and ensure that your chosen site fits the bill including dance floors, rest rooms, office space and washrooms. A good aesthetically pleasing lobby and reception area will convert first impressions of visitors to being students. Make sure that there are end to end seamless walls where mirrors can be fitted.
Before finalising the property ensure you have sought a professional legal opinion. For example, if your dance academy is in Victoria, contact an experienced residential property lawyer in Melbourne to help you draw up the necessary contracts.
Getting staff and students – Initially, if you have the necessary expertise, you can be the sole instructor. But as you expand, you’ll need additional teaching staff. Get them to take trial classes to judge their dancing skills before hiring them. However, even if you are only teacher, hire someone to help you out at reception and other small daily chores.
Enrolling students should not b e difficult if you can market your academy well. Social media is the best platform to spread your message as is having a highly visible SEO optimised website.
Start off with these guidelines for opening a dance academy and you will surely be successful in your venture.