Q: I’m very paranoid about posting my schedule online. I’m a new studio, and the only studio out of four in the area that has a website. It has been the best business decision I made (people now request information and ask to be added to the mailing list), but every time I offer something new, another studio does it, too. I have adult classes, now they have adult classes. I have the only musical theater program, now one of the other studios is trying to start one, too. The list goes on, and I know it’s only right they compete against me, but how do you handle it when a studio copies your information?
A: Business is and always will be competitive. To stay ahead in this industry, which requires creativity and business savvy, you have to consistently innovate, reinvent and stay informed on relevant resources and trends. Consider it desirable that you are the pace-setter. And know that, while a competitor may copy your business or marketing strategies, they cannot duplicate your teaching style, personality and manner of doing business.
Many prospective parents or students will not trust or have confidence in a dance studio that does not make information readily available. Being progressive and professional in all business practices is the foundation for success, especially now, when instant access to information is expected. A current website with informative class descriptions, up-to-date schedules, tuition information and news invites people to register and make referrals to their friends.
People will always have choices. What will bring them to your studio and have it grow stems from the quality of your programs and what you do to make it a great experience.
Kathy Blake is the owner of Kathy Blake Dance Studios in Amherst, New Hampshire. She and Suzanne Blake Gerety are the co-founders of DanceStudioOwner.com