Cost of Running a Dance Studio

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by Larinda McRaven, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Certainly not saying you should charge more, that's of course entirely your choice, I'm just making the point that until you raise your rates to the point that you sometimes have lesson slots free, you are charging less than the market will bear for your lessons.

    Now, just curious, do you just teach students, or do you also train teachers as well?
  2. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    I don't see why it wouldn't be reasonably facile to set up a web-based lesson booking system (for you). You could enter which hours you'd like to be available to teach privates, then students could select times on a FCFS basis. You'd need a cancelation policy to cover flakes (but you probably already have one).
  3. Purr

    Purr Well-Known Member

    That's an interesting point of view. If you're planning on teaching dance, then you must be contemplating renting floor space from someone else who was willing to bear the burden of opening and/or carrying the costs of operating a dance studio.

    While I am a student, not an owner, I do know something about the cost of operating a dance studio. I saw the studio I attend open and go through an expansion. I ended up learning more than I probably wanted to know with the expansion. In particular, there a lot of cost over-runs, in particular with putting in a much bigger floor.

    The studio I attend does have several teachers who rent floor space from the owner. I'm not sure what the going rate is (I haven't asked), but its more than likely competitive with the market because the teachers keep renting. I believe that income provides a nice supplement to the regular studio income.

    It might be interesting for you to take some classes to learn how to operate a business. Larinda's posts in the earliest part of this thread were spot on about expenses. Think of it like a business, and what is the purpose - to make money.

    Please note this is the polite version. I was going to add to the first paragraph a sentence - something about unless you expect to teach out of a barn with a boombox.
  4. nucat78

    nucat78 Active Member

    It's generally $10-$15 per hour around here.
  5. nucat78

    nucat78 Active Member

    Does anybody make money on USA Dance socials or are they more a de facto marketing tool?

    :uplaugh: Sorry! Just had an image of a teacher walking out into the reception area and having a meltdown when she saw yet another pen was stolen.
    I imagine that does get irritating in time...

    Re: A Web-based appointment system - Dunno, Joe. I wonder if removing that human element / interaction might be detrimental. I'd probably react somewhat negatively if my doctor or dentist had a system like that. And yes, I know dance lessons are not the same as medical appts, but nonetheless...

    (Aside: I have an MBA with an emphasis in accounting. I'll work in exchange for dance lessons!)
  6. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    both. there are a few pro couples that come in for smooth training and a few teachers that come for test prep.
  7. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    I am having one custom built for me right now... gotta love MIT students :)
  8. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    I am talking about donating lessons to various fundraisers type things. Like someone calls and asks if you can give a 5-lesson package to a raffle for (i dunno) the firemans ball. This is considered normal for most studios and has to be considered in the cost of running a business. Eventually you have to give stuff away for free.

    I don't plan on using the web-appointent thingy full time. Mostly students just schedule with me while we are sitting at the table at the end of thier lesson. But when I am on campus and don't have my computer with me it gets tricky with 10 college couples all asking for the 715 slot right before group class next week. So for the most part I just plan to direct them to use the web.

    And the pens, yes the pens that everyone walks away with, which is fine. But you still have to buy them. And paper and paper clips, staplers, printer ink, fax line, lightbulbs, toilet paper, paper towels, soap, sound system, speakers, speaker wire (good stuff is not cheap) amplifier, and...furniture to put it all in.

    And no, these aren't things you make money on. They are the cost of running a dance studio.
  9. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    I'm shocked that New Studio has a paper-based registration system. I bite my tongue whenever they have to go look up something in the single book where it's written down! And I can't just go on-line and check when my lesson is if I forgot, I have to call! So twentieth century. ;)
  10. Purr

    Purr Well-Known Member

    There is value in standing appointments. ;)
  11. Purr

    Purr Well-Known Member

    It probably is something similar here. I prefer not to get into details about bookkeeping, unless its my own expenses. I do enough stuff.
  12. Any of you dance instructors or studios out there consider setting up a Google Calendar account and hooking that calendar up to an iPad? I've seriously considered suggesting it to the instructors/owners at my studio, but I don't want to come off as rude and give them the impression that I think I know how to run their business better than they do...
  13. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    I find generic calender programs useless myself (we have one for our work network and I don't think ANYONE in our office ever uses it.)

    What my studio in Boston has is a database program--the STUDENTS can't book or anything like that (I personally think letting the students input lesson times without talking to someone responsible for scheduling is a bad idea) but they can have a login to see the calendar and check their lesson time, and look at things like how many lessons are left on their account. For staff with more login privileges, you can book time, block times, check detailed student records, that sort of thing. One thing I really dislike about the paper-only thing is I have to kind of guess how many lessons it's been since I bought and just have a feel for "Oh, I'll probably need a new package soon."

    Purr--standing appointments are easy. But if you only take from one pro, if he's out of town and you have to rebook for a different day? Then flipping through a book is a lot more of a hassle than just opening a screen and saying "Okay, he's got X, Y, and Z times next week."
  14. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    google calendar sucks... and doesn't even sync properly with my android phone. I have been struggling with it for almost a year now. let me say it again... google calendar sucks

    i loved using mobile me with my old iphone.... now if only andoid phones would sync with mobile me we would have a deal :)
  15. DerekWeb

    DerekWeb Active Member

    My android synced with my Google calendar, picassa photos , and Google contacts from the first day and has not missed a beat for a year!
  16. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    Have they figured out a way yet for partners to split the cost of a purchase?
  17. I don't currently use them. So what you are asking is for 2 partners to pay 50% each for one lesson?

    Cause you can just pay each other back in person...

  18. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    I used mindbody when I first opened my place. It was bloated and expensive.

    All I really need is just a basic calendar that is synced between my devices. That way I can schedule someone even when I am on the road, say coaching in Philly.

    But if I cannot have Ical sync with a droid then I will have my student (who also happens to work at google) build me something and get a few little extras out of it.
  19. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    I write software for a living. That's a workaround with which I would not expect a paying customer to be happy for long. Dance studio software ought to have a notion of "couple".

    My understanding is that mindbody is really yoga studio software that dance studios adopted. Fair enough; but sooner or later I hope it starts to sport dance studio features (or that dance studios switch to something that does).

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