We see you, potential dance studio buyer. Once you decided to move forward with your dream of owning your own dance studio, you started Googling tips for how to buy a dance studio and your brain has been racing with ways to turn that dream into a reality ever since.
While compiling a list of design ideas for your new lobby and dance studio is fun, a more important exercise at this point in the game is figuring out your marketing strategy for your soon-to-be new dance studio.
What is a marketing plan?
You guessed it. Step number two in how to buy a dance studio is to generate a marketing plan for the launch of your new business.
A marketing plan is a document that includes everything you need to know in order to successfully promote your dance studio.
Before your grand opening, you want the prospective students in your community to know:
- how unique your studio is; how impressive your dance teachers are;
- how affordable your dance lessons are;
- and how taking dance at your studio will bring value to their lives, right?
That’s because these are the most marketable aspects of your business. So don’t skip this step when you decide you want to buy a dance studio.
How to create a marketing plan for your new dance studio
Creating a marketing plan can seem overwhelming, but in a few steps you can be on your way to promoting the dance studio of your dreams.
Know your business and where you want it to go
The opening section of your dance studio’s marketing plan should include your business summary, an analysis of your studio’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis) and any major objectives you’d like to accomplish- #goals.
Identify your target market
If you’re tired of the buzzwords by this point in your research, just think of your target market as your ideal customer.
Use this section of your marketing plan to document anything and everything you know about your prospective students and their guardians, such as demographic, age, purchasing behavior and decision making tactics.
When it comes to this section of your marketing plan, don’t rely solely on your gut instinct. Use key statistics from research and data collected to back up who your prime customers are.
Set your market strategy
Using the research collected in step number two, this section is all about identifying strategies that will help you achieve the goals you set in step number one.
Confused yet? You shouldn’t be!
Look at each goal separately to identify the action items needed to push that goal forward to accomplishment. This is a great time to get a handle on your goals to see if they are realistic or if they need to be adjusted.
Examples of goals:
- Increase previous student enrollment by 50 students
- Reactivate 10 lapsed students
- Increase recital ticket sales revenue by a specific percent
This section is also the time to identify what makes your dance studio different from your competition. What will your studio offer students and parents that other studios in your community cannot?
Set a budget
I get it. You’re already dropping a huge chunk of change on the purchase of your new dance studio, so setting away money for marketing is probably one of the last things you want to be doing right now.
Your dance studio’s business plan provides the full-blown financial breakdown for your dance studio. You don’t need to do that again here. Rather, determine the financial resources you’ll need to tackle marketing related activities only, such as hiring a marketing consultant, paid promotions and events.
Identify your marketing channels
Where will you publish content that will educate potential students and parents on everything your dance studio has to offer?
If you intend to publish content on social media, in local news outlets, via emails, etc. this section of your marketing plan needs to talk about it. But don’t just talk about each channel. Identify how publishing content in each area will help spread awareness and serve to grow your dance studio.
When should I start marketing my new dance studio?
When you want to buy a dance studio, planning is everything. So it’s no surprise that you need to start developing your marketing plan well in advance of opening your new dance studio doors.
In a recent interview with Jackrabbit Dance clients, Angie Henley and Hayley Justus shared some great marketing tips they learned through the sale of Angie’s Dance Academy (now Legacy Dance Center) to Hayley in 2019.
Here’s what the duo says all potential new dance studio owners should know about marketing their business before, during and after you purchase.
Prior to purchase announcement:
First things first, identify how confidential the marketing materials that are being developed for your studio need to be kept.
Pro tip from Hayley: If you’re working with an outside design firm for branding purposes, use people you know and trust so that word of your studio’s opening doesn’t get into the wrong ears. And don’t hesitate to ask your designer to sign a confidentiality agreement if you don’t know them personally.
When coming up with a new studio name, owners should consider what they want the community to think of them. Do you want your studio to be perceived as bright and poppy, soulful, etc.? Do you want to be known for offering a versatile lineup of dance classes or are you going to focus on a singular technique, such as ballet or tap? These details must be given consideration when branding your new dance studio.
The deal is done and you’re ready to share the news of your new studio with the world. Yippy-this is where the real fun begins!
Pro tip from Hayley and Angie: As soon as the ink has dried, make your announcement and make it big and make it personal! Community and customer support mean everything to staff at Legacy Dance Center, formerly Angie’s Dance Academy, so it’s no surprise that the announcement of Hayley’s purchase of the studio felt anything other than personal and full of love.
Whether you know the pair or not, you can feel their true appreciation for each other, their students and the community in the announcement of Legacy Dance Center.
The public announcement of your new dance studio should be as unique as your personal dance style.
After studio purchase is announced:
Launching your new dance studio isn’t as simple as publishing a video and calling it a day. You need to continue to remind the community that you’re a player in the game and that you’re here to stay.
Pro tip from Hayley and Angie:
- Reach out to your local news outlets for continued coverage for events happening at your studio after your doors have opened, such as holiday performances, camps and space rental opportunities.
- Use industry peers and organizations your business is associated with to help spread the news of your new studio to owners in different markets. This will help ensure your referral traffic doesn’t take a dip!
After your new dance studio doors are open, it’s time to look ahead to how you can help your business thrive. Keep an eye out for our next blog in the series of ‘how to buy a dance studio’ when we dive into finding the right software for your dance studio.
Ready to dive into dance studio software now? Start your free trial of Jackrabbit Dance today!