Now is the time to take active steps to add students for your teachers. Acting now gives you time to implement solutions based on what responses you get to ‘The Four Asks.‘
What are these mysterious questions?
1. Ask teachers if they want more students.
It’s possible your teachers would like to expand the number of students they teach. If so, adding time slots to their schedule in Studio Helper will remind you (and them) that expansion is part of their goal. These students could come from a variety of sources.
Perhaps you email the families of all existing students and ask them to refer people they know. Maybe you include an announcement in your newsletter: ‘The following teachers are accepting new students for fall registration…‘ Some of the responsibility could also fall on the teacher, networking with their personal contacts.
2. Ask teachers what other classes/subjects/instruments they are comfortable teaching.
If your studio flute teacher spent time playing piccolo, maybe there’s a specialty market to be explored. Perhaps an music instrumental teacher plays jazz in addition to classical. Is a karate instructor also certified in judo or another martial art? Does a dance or art teacher have other areas of expertise?
Crossing this sort of boundary takes advantage of existing resources, drawing on teachers you have a relationship with – those you already know and trust.
3. Ask your experienced teachers if they have former students who went on to advanced work and are now teaching.
This ‘ask’ could be a source of new teachers. As a benefit, their skills and approaches are likely to be compatible with what’s already going on in the studio. When it comes to suggesting a different teacher for a new student, it’s easy to say “Ms. Jones’ classes are full, but Ms. Anderson has spaces and she studied with Ms. Jones for 8 years before going on to get a degree in…”
4. Ask yourself which areas can be expanded most profitably.
Where is the ‘break point’ when adding students to class size diminishes quality of instruction? Do your teachers agree, and is it possible to increase class sizes by a few students?
What market niches are expanding in your area? Is there a specific subset or variation that could be added to meet a current need?
While it doesn’t make sense to ‘chase trends,’ are there untapped markets? Look around at your students, see what their other interests are. What music do they listen to? What dancers do they admire? Where do they gather? That may point you towards new areas. Perhaps a music studio could add electronic music production/recording; and art studio, digital photography and computer image editing; a dance studio, popular dance styles.
This sort of thinking will likely require an investment in time to find the right new instructor, perhaps even some outlay for equipment. Still, there are needs out there. I can’t help but remember the local camera store with over-filled classes on introductory digital photography, aimed at all those who just bought a camera and have no idea what all those settings and buttons mean.
The key to business expansion is ‘Ask…’ Ask others, ask yourself.