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Common challenges of running a dance studio

Starting and running a dance studio requires a lot of moving pieces. You need to switch hats as quickly as you switch dance shoes. Some days you are wearing your instructor hat, writing dance curriculum and lesson plans, and other days you need to wear your business owner hat. On those days, you need to think about how to make registration and class management as simple as possible for your customers and staff.

As a dance studio owner, you likely know you need a business plan, budget, studio space, music licenses, and, of course, class registration and management software. But, you might be wondering what you are missing. What other elements should you consider that you might not be thinking about from the get go?

Luckily, at Sawyer we work with business owners like you every day and we know what dance studio owners need to make their lives more efficient and simple. We’ve outlined some of the common challenges of running a dance studio and how you can solve them to help you get your groove on.

Organizing rosters

Managing rosters is one of the biggest challenges when you run a lot of different classes at your studio. Rosters help you and your instructors keep track of everything you need: Registered students, attendance check-in and -out, and important information like pronouns, allergies, and more. If you do not have a system in place, rosters can become overwhelming. We recommend using a class registration and management software like Sawyer to keep your rosters organized.

Auto-generated rosters

Rosters are even better when they are generated automatically! With Sawyer, once a student signs up for a class, they are immediately added to the roster along with all of their information like parents’ names, pronouns, birthday, allergies, costume size, and more. Instructors and administrators can also track attendance at drop-off and pickup online on the roster or by exporting and printing. And if something comes up, instructors can email everyone on the roster to keep them in the know.

Learn more about how Sawyer can make managing rosters simple for your dance studio.

Taking online registrations

Millennials are digital natives. They do everything on their devices. That’s why it is important to show that your classes can be booked online, 24/7, without the need to make a call or send an email. In our 2023 Children’s Activity Trend Report [will link], we reviewed 8.9 million activity bookings and found that 42% of parents book outside of typical business hours (9am to 5pm). Plus, over 60% booked on mobile! To capture this business, you need to be available for online bookings and mobile optimized.

Managing waitlists

If you have more interest in your classes than space, that’s a great sign! Utilizing waitlists can help you capitalize on these potential customers and ensure you don’t leave any potential customers behind. Plus, waitlists are a great way for you to see which specific classes resonate with your audience more strongly.

For example, Sawyer educator Oh! Canary explains that waitlists are beneficial because they also act as a growth projection and planning metric. Lacey, founder of Oh! Canary, explained that “waitlists are helpful because we can really see in real time the demand for our classes. In some weeks, our camp waitlists are up to 70 kids! It shows us the potential of what could be possible.” Read more about how Sawyer helped Oh! Canary grow and scale in our case study.

Selling different types of classes

By offering registration options, like semesters, drop-ins, open studio time, camps, and more, you can increase your enrollment numbers. People are looking for flexibility when they make booking decisions because they have busy schedules. However, it is difficult to offer options like semesters, camps, and drop-in classes unless you work with a class registration and management software that has these capabilities built in.

With Sawyer, you can choose to offer semesters and summer or school break camps as well as drop-in classes. You can even offer multiple options for one class, so some customers can choose to pay for the whole semester or month while others pay by week or even by day.

Allowing transfers

Life happens. Sometimes bookings need to be changed due to unforeseen circumstances. If you can allow customers to choose whether they want to transfer into a different class or program or request a refund, then you can accommodate more customers and increase your booking numbers. And with class registration and management software, a few clicks means the booking has been updated, saving you and your team time!

Getting customer information

Without registration and class management software, you need to ask each customer to print and fill out registration materials, waivers, consent forms, and more documents before they can participate in class. Then, you have to file these papers and keep everything organized. Instead, you can use class management software like Sawyer to seamlessly collect information about each camper and access it easily from anywhere.

Custom form fields

Require custom forms for registration to keep track of consent and waiver forms, important responses about medications, allergies, and pronouns, and emergency contacts. You can get student costume and shoe sizes, include add-ons, and much more. This information is then exported automatically into the roster so that instructors and staff have access to everything in one place.

Running a dance studio requires a lot of moving pieces, but with the right tools at your disposal, you can minimize the mental load on some of the administrative tasks. Plus, providing flexibility, offering options, and making booking as easy as possible will increase your bottom line and help your customers get excited to book again!

If you are looking for guidance on managing and running your children’s education and activity business, the team at Sawyer is here to help.

With our suite of tools, like custom forms to record allergies and t-shirt sizes, flexible payment options like gift cards and installment plans, and seamless scheduling and registration on any device, Sawyer saves business owners 28 hours per month. If you are ready to spend less time on admin and more time doing more of what you love, see how Sawyer can help with a free trial or demo.

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