6 Lessons I Learned the Hard Way

In our August issue, we asked seven longtime owners—with more than 200 years’ experience among them—for their single most important piece of advice for new owners. As it turned out, the information they offer is valuable for any stage of a studio business career. Carole Royal, one of our Dance Teacher Summit ambassadors attending the Long Beach Summit this weekend, has excellent advice about dealing with parents:

Carole Royal

Royal Dance Works

Phoenix, Arizona

400 students

37 years in business

Be available to talk to parents and resolve issues. “But not too available,” says Royal. “Have parents set up a meeting, versus ambushing you in the hallway between classes.” She’s trained her parents and staff to go through the proper channels: “At my studio, parents know to call and say, ‘I’m really upset about this, I need to talk to Carol,’ and my front desk knows to set up a meeting.

“Sometimes, if I know it’s a sensitive topic, I’ll go into the meeting with my assistant. I never want to be surprised. Don’t be meek, or you’ll get easily run over by parents.”

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