Home » Business » 10 Winning Tips for Success as a Dance Studio Owner

people in dance studio

Unlock success with insights, innovative strategies, and tips tailored for modern dance studio owner. 

Entrepreneurship is as risky as it is rewarding. An entrepreneur nurtures an idea, takes unprecedented risks, and creates something incredible from scratch. It’s a powerful feeling but one that doesn’t come easy.

The fitness industry, in particular, suffered a lot during the COVID-19 pandemic. But people eventually started to come out, make new connections, and restart their fitness journey. Now there are certain things that you must do to be successful in the industry, whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or are already a dance studio owner.

It takes so much more to build a business that makes a positive impact on the community around you. Resilience, discipline, creativity, knowledge, and dedication are just some of the qualities that the most successful entrepreneurs have to foster. So, what will it take for YOU to be a successful dance studio owner?

Here are ten ways a dance studio owner strives for success.

  1. Set Clear Goals
  2. Innovate
  3. Empower your Employees and Customers
  4. Build a Community
  5. Adapt to Changing Times
  6. Hire the Right People
  7. Use Social Media Marketing
  8. Invest in a Dance Studio Management Software
  9. Stay Alert to your Customer’s Needs
  10. Keep Learning

Unlock Success as a Dance Studio Owner

In an industry where passion meets business, tried and test strategies and valuable tips empower dance studio owners to stay ahead of the curve, fostering an environment where both their business and their dancers can flourish.

1. Set Clear Goals

First things first. Set clear, attainable goals. None of the most brilliant minds in the fitness industry went in blind. They did their homework, planned diligently, and carved out certain goals for their business. Strategic goal-setting is a crucial first step in any venture.

Short-term goals help you stay focused, motivated, and productive. In the first few months, your focus would likely be on brand awareness. Get the word out as much as you can via email marketing, social media marketing, and cross-marketing. Once the ball gets rolling, it’s time for the rest of the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) goals. Perhaps you want to increase client retention by a certain percentage within the next 6 months or increase revenue to a certain amount, or perhaps you’d like to bump new registrations per month by 20%. 

Whatever your particular goals, it’s important to make sure they are reasonable, and measurable in order to stay motivated. These goals are your answer to becoming a successful dance studio owner. If you have a clear vision of your business and are able to meaningfully track your progress, you’ll get where you want one step at a time. 

2. Innovate

Innovation  is the backbone of any successful business. Especially in the fitness industry, your customer wants something that keeps them pumped and wanting to show up. 

As a dance studio owner, you already have an advantage. You are offering something different than a regular old cardio workout and have myriads of ways to combine fitness training with high-energy, mood-boosting dance. Study the latest trends and create different classes of different styles, moods, and levels. 

Obé Fitness’ take on innovation has brought something completely out of the box to its community. They offer themed classes to make it extra fun for their clients. Think Disney, HBO, and Paramount-themed fun dance sessions. 

Here are some more exciting avenues you can explore to innovate:

  • Hybrid Classes: Blend different dance styles or incorporate elements from other fitness disciplines like yoga, Pilates, or HIIT to offer fresh, unique workout experiences.
  • Technology Integration: Use AR (Augmented Reality) or VR (Virtual Reality) for virtual dance sessions, making it feel like students are in a dance environment from the comfort of their homes.
  • Fitness Tracking: Partner with wearable tech companies to track dance-related metrics, helping students monitor their progress and performance.
  • Specialized Workshops: Host guest instructors from various dance backgrounds to introduce students to new styles or advanced techniques.
  • Themed Nights: Organize events like ’80s dance night, Bollywood evening, or salsa socials to foster community spirit and introduce new rhythms and styles.
  • Dance Retreats: Organize weekend or week-long retreats in serene locations where members can immerse themselves in dance while enjoying relaxation and other holistic wellness activities.
  • Sustainability Initiatives: Adopt eco-friendly measures like recycled dancewear, energy-efficient lighting, or partnering with eco-brands. This appeals to the environmentally-conscious clientele.

Innovation in a fitness dance studio not only helps in attracting and retaining customers but also in ensuring the business remains vibrant, relevant, and successful in a constantly changing fitness landscape.

3. Empower your Employees and Customers

Successful entrepreneurs don’t shy away from empowering others – whether it’s the employees or the customers. Empowering your employees, however, should take precedence. Hire good people, share your vision of your dance studio with them, and let them know that their contributions are instrumental in that progress. 

An empowered environment encourages individuals to voice their ideas and think creatively. This can lead to fresh approaches in instructing, marketing, and studio operations, helping the studio remain competitive and relevant.

Empowered employees often feel a greater sense of ownership over their work. This means they’re more likely to take initiative, go the extra mile, and ensure the success of their tasks, leading to a higher quality of instruction and studio management. With the feeling of having agency and impact, they not only work better and harder but they find more meaning and value in their work.  

Similarly, when you take your members’ voice into account too, they ultimately member become advocates and ambassadors for the studio. They’re more likely to refer friends, provide positive reviews, and participate in studio events, helping in organic growth and community building.

4. Build a community

In today’s world, where social isolation is rampant, people crave human connection. They want to form relationships but more than that, many people simply want to feel like they are a part of a community of like-minded people. This is something that your dance studio can give them. 

Building a community is the untold recipe for success. Joey Gonzalez of Barry’s Bootcamp has proved the wonders that a close-knit community can do for a fitness business. The brand has built a community that loves sharing their experience and helping one another overcome their challenges. Joey joined the company as a customer in 2004 and 11 years later became its CEO. He still teaches classes, and to this day, is committed to the continued growth of the community. 

If you’re looking for a good place to start. Before you can help build a community, it would be good to develop relationships with those that already exist around you.  Dance Studio Owner Association is a great resource if you’re a new face on the scene.

5. Adapt to Changing Times

Change is inevitable. As a dance studio owner, keep an eye out for fresh opportunities, new potential, and the latest trends that the fitness industry is gravitating towards. Taking advantage of digital spaces is a huge thing now. Especially after COVID-19, many fitness businesses have transitioned to online booking, virtual classes and digital video libraries. Bria Young, a personal trainer, completely transitioned from in-person training to virtual training and has no plans of going back. She has, in fact, expanded her horizon and is now able to reach so many more clients than before. 

Dance studios like DanceBody, Forward Space, Obé Fitness, and Block21 Fitness did not hesitate from adding flexible virtual classes to their services. They kept up with the times to ensure they stayed relevant and competitive.

6. Hire the Right People

As passionate and dedicated as you are, you cannot possibly do everything or be present at all times. Having the right people around and delegating the responsibilities will take heaps of burden off your shoulders. 

Successful entrepreneurs understand the importance of hiring the right people because they understand that the right people lay the foundation of success for your business. They want to grow with you and contribute to your goals. They can also save you a lot of money and painful mistakes. 

So when you’re hiring trainers, a social media team, a human resource manager, or accountants, go through an exhaustive and well-structured interview process. Know what you’re looking for and go for people who have the skill and align with your company’s values. 

7. Social Media Marketing

An entrepreneur wears many hats. They’re the manager, the salesperson, the accountant, and most importantly, the marketer too. Marketing is an integral part of all successful businesses.

Building a large, successful dance studio without harnessing the power of social media is nearly impossible now. Ben Francis, the founder of the fitness giant, Gymshark, made perfect use of social media. By creating an effective influencer marketing strategy, he partnered up with famous fitness influencers and reached millions of fitness enthusiasts. 

A dance studio owner association can sure help you but you shouldn’t ignore the potential of platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Tiktok. Tiktok is now especially popular with the new generation. So plan out a combination of targeted ads, giveaways, social-only discounts, and influencer marketing to set your dance studio on the way to success. 

8. Invest in a Dance Studio Management Software

When you’re running a dance studio, there is a lot to do for you, as the owner, but remember that your clients lead busy lives, as well. Your clients need to be able to book and schedule classes whenever they find the time, wherever they might be. Moving your business to the digital space and introducing the tools of good dance studio management software to help manage your business is perhaps one of the most important things that you can do to make things easier and more efficient.

Management software such as Fitli will help you streamline your classes, manage bookings, take appointments, and handle scheduling. What’s more is that you can also monitor registrations, attendance, sales, and your customers’ account balances. Collecting payments also becomes a breeze. Basically, your dance studio gets a 24/7 diligent assistant that does much of the work for you. 

dance studio management software

9. Stay Alert to your Customer’s Needs

As time changes, customer needs also change. Their interests change and so do their buying habits. It could be personal factors, situational changes, social awareness, or world events such as COVID-19. 

Recognizing and responding to customers’ needs helps in building a sense of community. When members feel their needs are acknowledged, they feel a deeper connection to the studio, fostering a supportive and thriving environment.

Understanding what customers truly want also allows the studio to allocate resources effectively. Instead of investing in less popular classes or equipment, resources can be channeled towards in-demand offerings.

Happy customers are the best brand ambassadors. When their needs are met, they’re more likely to recommend the studio to friends and family, providing organic growth through positive word-of-mouth referrals.

10. Keep Learning

And lastly, never stop learning or let your curiosity dim. When you’re in business, you’ll want to be aware of new trends, opportunities, and shifting dynamics of the industry. 

Dance, like any other art form, is constantly evolving. New styles emerge, old ones get redefined, and global influences shape local trends. To remain relevant and attractive to members, instructors and studio owners must keep up-to-date with these shifts. By continuously learning, a studio can introduce new dance forms or fitness routines to its clientele, diversifying its offerings and attracting a wider audience.

Beyond the artistic side, continuous learning about the latest in business strategies, marketing, and management can significantly impact a studio’s profitability and growth.

The integration of technology in dance and fitness—be it through virtual classes, performance analysis tools, or interactive dance platforms—is becoming increasingly prevalent. Keeping abreast of these changes helps a studio innovate and cater to a tech-savvy clientele.

In Summary

Opening a dance studio is a tough process but it’s just the beginning. Once you open, then begins the long process of repeatedly trying, failing and learning until you achieve your goals.  It’s a path that will require a plan, passion, motivation, determination, and above all – an open and curious mind. Here’s a quick recap of tips to set you on the path to success.

  • Set clear goals
  • Innovate and stay relevant
  • Empower your employees
  • Build a community 
  • Adapt to changing times
  • Hire the right people
  • Harness the power of social media 
  • Invest in a dance studio management software
  • Stay alert to your customers’ needs
  • Keep learning constantly