Though a new studio year brings with it its own stressors—class scheduling, orientation, newly sore muscles—you'd be remiss if you didn't also use this opportunity to carefully consider what's been working (and what hasn't) for your studio. Is it time to repaint your lobby? Get rid of that more-trouble-than-it's-worth vending machine? Finally add a social-media clause to your student handbook? August is your chance to roll up your sleeves and give every aspect of your business the mental elbow grease it needs.
Give your summer camp schedule another look
"I found with summer classes, less is more," says Carroll. "The fewer classes I offered, the more kids I received." Last year, she offered five summer camps: four weeklong ones for youngsters (including new students) and one all-day dance camp for her more serious dancers. She was surprised by the low turnout. "Summer camps were a bust for me," she says. "Only one of [the weeklong camps] filled." This past summer, she offered just one weeklong camp and added an early drop-off and late pickup option for parents who work a typical 9-to-5 schedule. Maglasang also trimmed her summer camp schedule this year, from four weeks to three. "I don't want to take away the kids' summer," she says. (She herself found four weeks of camp draining.) Maglasang was thoughtful about pricing, too. "Everyone in my area was pricing at $200 a week. I have three kids—how do I afford $600 a week? That's like a mortgage," she says. Instead, she charged $45 a week per kid, and wound up with 70 kids in her first weeklong camp. Her deal also helped usher in new students. By the time fall registration came around, Maglasang had increased her enrollment to 113, up from 76.