One essential piece of any start-up, including a new dance studio, is a detailed business plan. But, sometimes its hard to find examples or guidelines for specific industries, exactly like what you would need to write a business plan for dance studios. If you’re thinking about opening your own dance school, you’ll want to get this roadmap down in writing as soon as possible. DanceStudioOwner.com recommended completing a dance studio business plan a full year before your opening.
So what exactly is this document? The words “business plan” might conjure up images of a thick manual, filled with financial charts and growth projections. While those things may be included, the task doesn’t need to be quite so daunting. A business plan is essentially a roadmap of the route you intend to steer your new studio down. It should project three to five years in advance and detail how you want to grow your business.
Use this guide to familiarize yourself with the essential parts of a dance studio business plan so you can get on your way to opening the school of your dreams.
*Editor’s Note: Since the publishing of this article, TutuTix has created an example Dance Studio Business Plan that you can download, review, and use to build your own business plan!
Think back to high school or college and you might recall that teachers always said a good essay needed a strong, attention-catching opening. That’s exactly what your business plan’s executive summary should be—especially if you intend to use your business plan for more than just personal inspiration. The U.S. Small Business Administration explained that this section should concisely detail where your company is, where you plan to take it and why it will be successful. It’s easy to get carried away writing an executive summary, but remember that it’s just an overview. You’ll go into detail in the body of your plan, so keep this section brief. Many experts recommend that you write this text last. The summary should appear first in your final report, but it’s important to give it a lot of thought and consideration so your words pack a big punch.
The next essential part of your dance studio business plan is the company description, which is essentially a glorified elevator pitch. Talk briefly about what your studio will entail and what market you’re targeting. You may want to give a concise overview of the services you plan to offer, but don’t go to in-depth, as there’s a later section dedicated solely to the topic. Your company description is the place to note what advantages you have over your competitors, whether it’s expert staff, prime location or your own dance prowess.
If you haven’t hunkered down to research your competition, this is the time to do so. The market analysis section should include details about the size and scope of the dance industry in your region, as well as its growth rates. Find out how many studios are in direct competition with you and approximately how many students they serve. This is the best place to include a thorough competitive analysis and your plan to enter the market. You should also figure out how many customers you can realistically serve and define your pricing structure. There are many other market factors that can be included in this analysis, so check out this article from the SBA for an in-depth list of topics.
Services and Products
After all the technical market speak, you’ll be relieved to reach the services and products section. This is where you get to detail your plan to offer the best classes in the area. Outline the benefits for your students, how your services meet customer needs and how you’ll develop your curriculum moving forward. The Finance Resource also recommended including an explanation of any secondary sources of income, such as dance apparel or recital ticketing.
As the SBA explained, customers are the “lifeblood of your business,” so you need to figure out how to reach them! In your marketing and sales section, explain how you intend to bring new students into your studio and retain them as customers. You may also want to include a growth strategy if you plan to target other markets, such as adults, in the future.
Finally, you’ll want to create a section dedicated to your funding plan and financial expectations. Many entrepreneurs write business plans to help raise capital, so this portion may be key to your cause. A strong business plan can be an invaluable selling point when you’re looking for investors or seeking a loan. You’ll also want to create a section with your financial projections – it can be lumped with your funding plan or in a separate component. At the end of the day, your studio will be a business, so it’s essential to have a solid plan to bring in revenue, pay your bills and continue to grow.
If there’s other information that you want to include in your dance studio business plan, you can either create a section for it or place the data in an appendix. Once you’ve written down all your dreams and plans, proofread and edit the document. Chances are that you’ll find something you missed or want to add. If your business plan is just for personal reference, you can stash it away. However, if you’re presenting it to investors, you’ll want to edit it another time and have someone else look it over as well.