Dance Teacher Resources

Studio Expansion Vlog: What feels clunky in your studio?

Advice for dance studio owners

>>Join the Studio Planathon Here<<

There are two things as a studio owner that you need to make running your studio easier, and let me tell you right now the answer is not a bottle of wine and a glass to drink it with. 

The answer is we need to make your studio simple to run and scalable to grow.

What you’ll find is that if you’re able to bring simplicity – beautiful, beautiful simplicity – to every element of your studio, it becomes so much easier to grow and attract more students because your time is not sucked up by those greedy little time-grabbers. 

In fact, I want you to write this down: “Complexity equals cost.”

If you have a process such as inputting new student information, but it’s kind of really detailed and tricky, it costs you time in wages you’re paying your admin staff. Every time you’ve got a really convoluted process of how you’re paying your teachers, it’s taking up your time as well. 

The simpler we can make everything in your studio, the easier everything becomes.

Let’s start by making things a whole lot simpler for you. I want you to go grab a notepad and find a lovely little comfy spot on the couch. We’re going to do a mind map. In the middle of the notepad write the word “Clunky”.

We’re going to find out everything that is clunky in your studio. Write this in big words in the middle, put a circle around it, and then write everything that’s not flowing for you in the studio, everything that is annoying you, everything that you’re like, “Ugh!” Everything that’s really frustrating you every time you have to do it, it’s not smooth, it’s not easy.

You could write down everything from how we’re collecting payments, it’s manual, we’re having to reconcile them in the bank account, too hard. You could work out that communicating with parents, they’re not reading their emails, that’s really frustrating you. Teacher absentees, how you’re scheduling make-up classes.

All these things that are annoying you, I want you to get everything out of your head. I’ll give you a bit of a heads-up in advance that because we’re going to get into the kind of grungy dirty side of running the studio, it’s going to feel pretty heavy to begin with. But just keep going.

I did this exercise recently at a live event, and people wrote pages. It was quite funny actually. They just wrote reams and reams of what was frustrating them, what was clunky in their studio, but you get to a stage afterward when you’ve got it all done, and you’re like, “Oh! I feel so much better.”

It’s very cathartic. Let’s get everything that’s annoying you down on paper, and then you’ll be ready for the next step. 

Now just take a bit of a deep breath, and let’s celebrate all the clunkyness. It’s fantastic. There’s no point keeping our head in the sand. Let’s just acknowledge this is what’s not working right now, and if you have a little look at the list that you’ve written, you’ll start to see that there are definitely trends that we could fix. We want to start looking at the list you’ve written. 

What is the root cause of this? 

Potentially, and usually, when we do this activity, you’ll find that maybe transitioning to online payment collection would change a whole lot of your enrollment processes to simplify and streamline a lot of time. Otherwise, it might be having another person do three more hours of admin work a week, which would actually simplify a lot of your time as well.

I want you to look for one of the trends and what you could do to simplify a whole lot of the clunkyness in your studio. 

Look at it from other angles.

The next thing to do after this is to look at it from lots of different angles. I want you to look at your list and look for the solutions from different perspectives. 

Look at it from a teacher perspective. How, for your teachers, could you make this simpler for them? From an admin perspective. How could you make your administration processes simpler? From a parent or a student perspective. What would make their life easier in their dealings with the studio? 

The more that we can look for simplicity (look for the simplest version), the more confidence you gain in how the studio runs. It comes back to that point I mentioned earlier about complexity equals cost. 

On the flip side of that, simplicity gives you the scale.

If you look at the most successful studios, you’ll find they’re not offering 50,000 different programs catering to everyone’s needs. Usually, they have a few core programs that they have systemized and simplified to such a beautiful degree that they are easy to understand, easy to market and easy to manage. 

This is what we’re seeking in your studio. When we can bring all that beautiful simplicity to how you run your business, it’s going to give you so much more peace of mind and growth in your business.

Your task for today is to dive into the clunkyness. 

I want you to shine a light onto all the grubby, grimy little corners in your studio. Find out what’s not working, what you’d like to improve, get it all down, and then you can start to create a bit of an action plan to solve the clunkyness, to simplify your studio. 

Find five major trends, five big clunky areas, and just allocate them one a month. “For this next month, I’m just going to solve this bit of clunkyness, and then next month work on the next bit of clunkiness.” It’s a great way to solve the problems in your business and bring back the ease and flow into your studio.

There’s something very special that I’ve created that will really help you to put this into place. I’ve created a five-day Studio Plannathon. 

It guides you through looking at what you want to achieve and what you want to fix up in the studio and puts it into a super easily manageable five-day process. It’s five short videos delivered to your email every day for just five days. It’s going to give you everything you need to plan out the next couple of months in your business. You can join below, and it’s completely free as well.

>>Join The Studio Planathon Here<<

What is feeling completely clunky for you in your studio? I want to know in the comments section below what your clunkiest clunker is. What’s the real bit of gunk in your studio that you’d love to streamline and simplify? Share it below.

By Chantelle Bruinsma Duffield, Studio Strategist at

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