Competition is generally a common thread for dance studios. Not only do dance studios prepare students for competition, they deal with competition first-hand. Children are kept busy with extracurricular activities, and studios compete with other studios, sports and clubs in the community to get students through their doors. When a studio begins to see waning enrollment numbers, there are a few things that may be able to help get the enrollments to increase again.
- Create a family environment. Your customers want to feel like they’re a part of a community. Make sure the teachers and staff are personable and put an effort into making families feel welcome and cared-for. Host customer appreciation events. Show off members on social media. Give back to the local community. Little caring messages go a long way.
- Incentivize referrals. Your current students sing your praises, so reward them for the friends they bring to the studio. If a current family refers a new family, reward them with a discount on their tuition next month, a free t-shirt, or another prize.
- Offer a free trial for new students. A free trial could be a one-time event, such as a free dance day. Promote your event, share information with parents who bring their student, and offer the opportunity to enroll in regular classes. When parents see how much fun their children had, they may be more likely to say yes.
- Communicate with previous students. Sometimes when students leave, it isn’t because of anything upsetting. It could simply be for a season. Reach out to previous students, see how they’re doing, and let them know much they’re missed. Chances are, they miss you too!
- Offer classes with a shorter commitment. Signing up for a weekly class for a nine-month commitment can feel intimidating to some people. Even if their children love dance, the fear of having to break the commitment and pay extra fees can be a deterrent. Offering shorter commitments may help more parents feel more comfortable with saying yes to a class.
Growing and keeping healthy enrollment takes a lot of effort. However, a thriving dance studio with quality instruction and management will continue to observe, monitor, and adjust to keep new and familiar faces happy and coming back.