The world has gone digital. There are literally millions of business tools that you can use to operate and grow your dance studio. After years of research and testing, I have put together a list of the five essential online business tools that I have discovered that are vital to running your studio well and with ease.
Google Drive – Google Drive is a ‘cloud’ storage location that is free for up to 15 GB. Cloud storage is where you store information off site and off of your computer.
For studio owners, this has several advantages over storing data and files on your computers hard drive:
Sharing documents – You can share documents with your teachers, students, and parents easily. It is as simple as entering an email or sending everyone a link to the item. Documents like studio newsletters, flyers, and more can all be shared very easily.
Safe storage – Because your data is up in the cloud, you don’t need to worry if your computer crashes. All of your information is kept safely in a place where a faulty computer can’t hurt it. This makes it easier to ensure the continuity of your business, even if your primary computer dies.
Easy access – With Google Drive you can access your files from anywhere in the world. As long as you have Internet access, you can get to your files on almost any device. This means that you can work from anywhere that has Wi-Fi access. Being a studio owner is a full-time job and Google Drive can make it easy to work from anywhere you are.
The first 15 GB (gigabytes) are free. One terabyte (TB) is USD$9.99 per month.
Slack – Communicating with your team is very important. Slack makes it easy. Not only can you send messages, you can also upload all kinds of files. You can also create channels for separate projects and invite people to those channels. Our members use their channels to organise costumes, recitals, enrollment etc.
As a studio owner, you have lots of information to share from music lists to schedules to new student information. Slack makes it very simple to share and discuss these items and will eliminate all those back and forth emails. Since the teachers at your studio probably work on different schedules, you can even host meetings so that everyone can attend. Keeping your entire team informed is an important key to continuing to employ great teachers.
Slack is free with limited features, but unlimited users. The prices then range from USD$6.67 to $12.50 per month with a huge variety of features and applications.
Asana – Project management is important to guaranteeing that all of your projects are completed well. Asana is an online project management program that lets you work with everyone directly, laying out the stages of a project and making it simple to check off “to do” lists.
As a studio owner, you probably always have projects coming up. Dance recitals, open houses, and new student drives are just the beginning. Every event has multiple steps. If you have been doing this a while, you are used to doing everything yourself. With Asana, you can plan out the steps and assign them to members of your team, parents, and even students. Everyone will know what they need to do and they can keep you posted on progress.
Up to 15 people can work on Asana for free. There is a charge after that, but their website says, “$8.33 per month or less per user”.
LeadPages – A landing page is a single page website that usually promotes a single item, event, or offering. LeadPages has hundreds of templates that make it easy to create a new page for almost anything, from an upcoming recital to a new class offering.
I have found that using landing pages is a fast and effective way to market new offerings. New class pages can be set up without any programming experience. The biggest advantage is that you don’t need to change your main website every time you want to offer a new product or service. For example, if you are creating a new adult class, you can make a simple landing page and just put a link on your main website. Your marketing materials for the class can just send people directly to the landing page.
LeadPages makes marketing much fast and simple.
The prices at LeadPages start at USD$25 and go up to $199. All of their plan include unlimited landing pages. The upgraded packages have marketing and testing tools as the added bonus. One very nice part of the LeadPages is that you get unlimited domain names as well.
GetResponse – Email marketing is an amazing way to keep people informed, make more sales, and maintain relationships with customers.
With GetResponse, you can automate your enrollment process. If someone is interested in learning more, they put in their email address and the system will automatically send out emails for you.
You can use it to answer new student enquiries and for the on-boarding of students. It is also an excellent way to communicate with former students and retain current students by keeping lines of communication open.
For a dance studio, you can use it to answer new student enquiries and for the onboarding of students. It is also an excellent way to communicate with former students and retain current students by keeping lines of communication open.
GetResponse starts at USD$15 per month and goes all the way up to $799 per month. The guiding factor is the size of your mailing list. The lowest price is for 1,000 emails, which is going to be enough for most dance studios.
Filling Your Business Tool Box with the Right tools
These five online tools can make life as a dance studio owner much easier. The fact that you can access them from anywhere means that you are never out of touch with your current students or prospective students. Your staff is able to communicate with you and each other at anytime. Saving your data and files is like an insurance policy on your most valuable asset, data.
P.S. I will be presenting a free live online workshop on How to Eliminate Empty Dance Classes – 6 Ways to Grow Your Student Enrollment in February. You can check the schedules and register here.
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