Do you REALLY need them?
Planning and writing a handbook for your dance studio is probably one of the most time-consuming and thankless tasks a studio owner can take on – hence the reason why it keeps getting pushed lower and lower down your to-do list.\
But have you ever stopped to think about WHY you want to have one? Because your competitors have one? Because you see other studio owners talking about it in online chats and it seems like a great idea?
Let’s face it…your studio mums and dads aren’t even going to read it (you can’t even persuade them to read a monthly newsletter, so it’s unlikely they’ll be chomping at the bit to read an entire studio-bible.
But before you take the easy road and write it off (so to speak), here are a few reasons why you might want to either a) take the time to create your A-Z guide of your studio, or
b) Outsource! Spend a small fee to have someone else write it for you 🙂
First impressions are so important when you are attracting and enrolling new students to your business, and we all know there is no shortage of studios around the corner for them to try if your communication and professionalism leaves something to be desired.
Did you know that if you can keep a student for the 6 weeks following their first class, your chances of retaining them for years skyrockets. 6 weeks and they are committed, which is why emailing them a clear and concise handbook with everything they want or need to know about their favourite dance studio in that first week will prove that you are not only a great place to dance, but also a business that takes communication and administration seriously.
Helpful? You bet!
Remember back when your dance teacher would hand out notes at the end of class…blue paper had your important dates on it to go on the fridge, yellow notes were important reminders, and newsletters took on a greyish hue from cramming all that information onto a single sheet to save paper. You always knew where those notes were lying around in your house for quick reference, and your mother held them in her hands to read quickly while waiting in line at the supermarket because it was there.
These days, mothers and fathers are receiving emails, facebook messages and app notifications around the clock. They flash up on the screen for a second before being ‘filed’ in the later pile, before disappearing to the bottom of their inbox to be completely forgotten.
It’s HARD to take in information like this. It’s EASY to forget what you read when it’s on a phone or you are at work. Giving your parents a handbook (a digital copy is fine, no need to go crazy on the printing) doesn’t mean they need to read it all…it does mean that they will for once know where to find information. In the life of a busy parent of 2016, they will love you for that luxury.
The Cherry on Top…
Believe it or not, your handbook is also a huge influence in building your studio culture, which is one of the most important (if not THE most important) facets of your business.
A handbook for staff, students and parents means everyone is quite literally on the same page when it comes to the inner workings of your studio. Everyone can see immediately that you prioritize communication, and will go above and beyond to help your dance family by answering any or all of their questions.
Are people still going to ask you what date your recital is, despite it being on Page 1 of your handbook? Of course they are. Are you going to roll your eyes and tell them to read your handbook? Maybe….but you’ll be out of business by recital time if you do this every time!
Instead you’ll smile and pretend it’s the very first time you’ve been asked, give them all the information they need, and see your happy and informed customer walk away.
So before you push that Handbook back any further, think about the benefits that you can give your staff and families by providing this resource for them. You can write it yourself – after all, who knows your business better? OR if you’d rather go home and have a glass of wine while someone else writes it for you, you can do that too 😉
Over the last few years we’ve had request after request from studio owners just like you asking us to write the three core handbooks that we believe are needed in a dance studio:
- Student/Parent Handbook
- Teacher’s Handbook
- Recital/Concert Handbook
Well… we finally did it and after 6 months of research, speaking with studio owners and development we now have these three handbooks which are available to you now.
For all the details on how you can get your hands on these handbooks please visit www.dancestudioownersassociation.com/handbooks.
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