All year long it’s about your students. Now that summer has arrived, it’s time to focus on your business. Use our checklist to take inventory of your technology and equipment needs. Investing now can save you time, money and hassle in the long run
Are you still running your business off spreadsheets? If so, you could greatly benefit from investing in studio management software. Maybe you do have a program, but it’s a little outdated. You may be surprised at how much time and energy you can save with a new system. Many programs allow students to register and pay bills online and check in for class by swiping an ID card. Overwhelmed with recital planning? Some programs make costume sizing and ordering a breeze and prevent scheduling conflicts, so dancers have enough time to change between numbers.
Has your enrollment grown in the past year? Regardless, it’s a good idea to review the terms and limits of your general liability and workers’ compensation policies. Do you need additional protection for special events and fundraisers? Make sure your coverage extends beyond the walls of your studio—accidents often happen in high-pressure situations like competitions and performances.
Tunes can make or break a class—add some variety to your library. Expand genres and try using unexpected music. It will force students to pay more attention to their musicality and may change your phrasing. And make sure you’re up-to-date with your music rights memberships through ASCAP (www.ascap.com) and BMI (www.bmi.com). Copyright laws should be followed even if you’re not using the music for performance.
Proper flooring is one of the most vital elements of a studio. If you’ve expanded classes with the rise in popularity of yoga and Zumba, or have started renting to supplement income, your floors must also adapt. Think about dedicating rooms to specific techniques with appropriate floors, or get all-purpose marley. If you can’t afford or don’t need to do a full replacement, many companies sell finishes that fill in scratches and cover stains. As always, use this time to give your studios a thorough cleaning, refinishing wood floors and using pH-neutral heavy-duty cleaners for vinyl.
Portable barres can help you make the best use of your space and are great for teaching a range of ages. These either come with a lower and upper barre or have adjustable features. It also means that little dancers, whose classwork often faces the barre, won’t get distracted staring at the wall. Take time to ensure that permanent barres are secure and splinter-free.
Dancers spend hours looking at themselves in the mirror; why not make sure the material is clear and safe? Shatterproof glassless mirrors are worry-free and don’t require an additional insurance rider, but they are more vulnerable to punctures and tears. If you want to help soundproof studios, go with glass, which adds an extra barrier between rooms.