So you want to open a dance studio. First off, congratulations! Entrepreneurship takes courage and can be incredibly rewarding. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a fresh face in the industry, you can find success as a studio owner if you know what to expect, stay positive and embrace your dream. If you’re still contemplating whether the role of an owner is right for you, read these pros and cons for a little insight.
Do What You Love
Whether you’re an independent instructor or dance school alumni, one big bonus of owning your own studio is that you get to do what you love – every day! You’ll get to work with young dancers, stretch your artistic muscles and organize lots of recitals. When you’re first starting out, you’ll probably end up teaching a lot of your studio’s classes as well. If you’ve ever found yourself wishing you could spend all day in a dance studio instead of an office cubicle, this might just be your calling. However, if the thought of working with kids every day scares you, you might be on the wrong track.
Your Work is Never Done
If you’re transitioning from independent instructor to studio owner, you’ll be shocked at how much work there is to do. When you open a dance studio, you’ll teaching classes, handling finances, creating marketing content, organizing human resources, responding as customer service, event planning and more. The blogger behind Confessions of a Dance Studio Owner explained that she works longer hours than her instructors and always has items left on her “to-do” list. It’s a lot of work, but you also get control over many more things than when you work for someone else. You’ll have the final say on studio aesthetic, class sizes and schedules, fees, performance spaces, marketing, fundraising and more.
A ‘Mom-Friendly’ Job
If you love kids, both your own and other people’s, starting a dance studio is a good option for you. Not only do you get to be around young, vivacious students every day, you also will have greater flexibility with your own kids. No one will bat an eye if you bring your kids to work or let them sit in on your class. Owning your own studio will save you money on daycare and give you more free time during the summer.
Be Prepared for Mama Drama
With all the wonderful enthusiastic kids come demanding parents. The majority of your parents will be happy as long as their dancer is happy, but you’ll definitely encounter some “mama drama” that will make your head spin. As a teacher, you can pass off serious squabbles to the studio owner. As a studio owner, all those issues land right in your lap. Before you open your own studio, make sure that customer service is something you’re ready to commit to. Parents are paying customers and have the right to make their concerns and suggestions heard. It’s not the most glamorous part of the job, but mitigating conflict in your studio is crucial to its success.
Still Not Sure?
If you’re still on the fence about whether you should open a dance studio, Dance Teacher Magazine suggested that you would benefit from working at one. Being an apprentice at a successful dance studio is the perfect way to learn about the different jobs and responsibilities an owner faces. This is also a good way to learn about the “business” side of entrepreneurship, which many dance instructors are shielded from. A mentor can help you figure out whether ownership is the right path for you. However, as a professional courtesy, you should avoid being an apprentice at a studio that would be your direct competition.