I’ve met a few thousand dance studio owners over the last few years and one game I like to play is to work out what type of studio owner they are.
I’ve basically worked out that there are 4 really distinctive ways people run their studio, lead their team of staff and teachers and pursue opportunities.
I wanted to share the characteristics these 4 types of studio owners have to help you identify where you fit and, more importantly, how you can grow as the CEO of your studio to help transform your business and personal life.
Now I have to say that I don’t think we would have any followers here that fit inside the complainer box, but I wanted to explain a bit about these studio owners as we all know one or two of them. They are the studio owner who blames everyone else for not achieving the level of success they want. They blame their area, that everyone is poor, that they don’t have support at home, that their parents don’t help them, that the economy is bad, that their teachers are leaving and taking their students and on and on. You get the idea.
Complainers make excuses for why they are not where they want to be which in turn means they don’t take any responsibility for anything that happens in their studio nor do they commit to making any changes. They have a fixed mindset and not a growth mindset. Generally, they don’t last too long in their business or they do but never get it to the point where it’s self sufficient and makes a good profit as the culture is toxic and so are the people they attract.
I’m sure we can all identify with this one a little bit. This is the studio owner that puts everyone else ahead of what they need to thrive. I always say that if you don’t work, nothing does and the people pleaser studio owner is often exhausted, low on energy (sometimes can’t get out of bed) but gives it their best shot when they get to the studio each day. They often live off an empty tank which means their passion and fulfillment tanks are regularly empty. When it comes to managing staff and teachers they often bottle up how they feel as they don’t want to hurt anyone’s feeling and they don’t understand that by doing this they are undermining the growth of the business. Some people pleaser studio owners would say that their parents run their studio because they’re afraid to have a voice. If this is you, don’t worry because you can turn it around. You have the heart to build a go-to studio… you just need tools and resources and support to get you there.
Wishers are the hardest workers but often their days are full of low-value tasks that keep the studio running but don’t move the business forward. They are fantastic project managers, they can put on the best recital, organize hundreds of costumes, put together a whole year’s schedule in hours and can roster teachers and staff. However, when it comes to the activities that build the business and take it to the next level like marketing, offering additional products and services and recruiting more of the right staff… well they don’t “have time for it.” They often use “hope” marketing to land new students and find it hard to know where to start when it comes to growing the business from a financial and profitability standpoint. If this is you, then you’re in a really exciting place as you only need to make a few tweaks to take that next step. Putting in place a few core business systems, a marketing and retention plan and getting some more support staff will get you that studio you have always wanted.
This is the stage I believe as studio owners we all want to get to. This is where you step into your true potential as the CEO of your studio where your role is about leadership and transformation. What I love about transformer studio owners is that they know their value, know where their zone of genius lies when it comes to the business and they are focused on the four E’s in their business.
1. Experience – Ensuring every single customer (parent and student) knows that they are more than a number. They are continually looking at how they can make their studio the place their customers never want to leave.
2. Experts – They have the right people in the right roles. They know that they can’t have the wrong teacher or inadequately skilled office staff members in their business because it means the business stops growing. They mentor, support and train all staff to help them grow which, in turn, creates a more profitable, impactful business for everyone involved.
4. Evolution – As their business grows they are continually putting in place new business systems to support the growth that allows them to focus on what they do best.
5. Enrichment – At this level your marketing goes from reactive and unplanned to putting promotions in place that add huge value, build trust and credibility with your potential customers which in turn brings in more students and has more students staying with you.
The biggest thing is that transformer studio owners are avid learners. They work with mentors, read books, go to courses and most importantly implement and take action on what they learn.
If you’re reading this, then I know the Transformer studio owner is where you want to be and you can certainly get there with some hard work, discipline and commitment.
And yes, you may have a little bit of all of them in you, but there will be a dominant one. Be honest with yourself here because the good news is that you can immediately make the decision today that you’re going to start to work towards being the transformer studio owner.
Once you make the commitment, you then need to take the small actions each day to move you forward to allow yourself to become the studio owner you’ve always wanted!
I’m excited to hear about your progress over the next few months. If you need to… print out this email and keep it up where you can see it everyday to remind you of where you want to head.
P.S. My book Dance Studio TRANSFORMATION was out officially yesterday. If you haven’t grabbed your copy then you can do it here.