Stacks of paper, envelopes with money, invoicing sessions that continue into the wee hours of the morning, updating spreadsheets with thousands of rows…any of this sound familiar?
I bet it does! I remember when I started my own dance studio and ran into the exact same thing. Folders full of registration forms, payment sheets, teacher timesheets, etc. etc. etc.. When I started, all of our administration tasks were manual…INSANELY manual. We didn’t accept card payments – only cash in envelopes every week. Looking back at my 16 year old self I ask “What was I thinking?!” I suppose the answer is that I’d only seen things get done that way so I thought that was the way to go. Wow…was I wrong!
I ran into the problem most people have: believing in the dreaded phrase “That’s the way we’ve always done it.” If it’s not broken, don’t fix it…right? Sure…it may not be broken and that may be the way it’s always been done, but are you sure there’s not a better way? Are you sure there’s not a way that would cost you less time and money?
At our recent live event, Dance Studio Make Over, I presented my blueprint for automating administrative tasks and the benefit of bringing on a virtual assistant to help. It was no surprise to me that so many gave me feedback that this was their favourite session…that and the online marketing strategies.
So, with today’s newsletter, I wanted to give you two tips on how you can start automating your administration tasks in your studio.
- Start creating systems – I’m sure you do the same thing over and over again when it comes to the administration tasks you do in your business. These are all usually pretty repetitive. From enrolling a new student to ordering stationary – you need to develop a system that you use to complete these tasks. Start by screen capturing either using your “screen print” button on your keyboard or by using a screen capture tool such as Screenflow (mac) or Jing (pc) that records the screen and you talking. Then – upload these images and/or videos and start creating a library of training videos for future reference. This will pay off 100 times over when you bring someone on board to take over these tasks. Just have them watch the videos! In short, take every opportunity to get the business out of your head and onto paper/online.
- Get help – Even if you’re just at the start-up phase, you’re going to need some administrative support. A Virtual Assistant is a great place to start. These are people that work remotely from anywhere in the world and cost you around $4-$8 per hour (USD). You can head to websites like Elance or ODesk to get started. Many of our program members have recruited a virtual assistant which, on its own, has transformed the way their business operates.
These two tips are a great place for you to start. My advice…get started on it now! Every hour spent working on more important issues is only going to benefit your studio. It’s time that you started working on high value tasks to move it forward and not get stuck in the low value administrative jobs we generally end up doing as a studio owner.
Have a great day!
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