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While talking with a friend this weekend, I was asked to give my job description.  Hmmm… where to start?

We as teachers and business owners not only manage, promote, and create our studios… we fulfill a job description so extensive, anyone would be amazed.

Are you a planner?  Then you are the events, lesson, & class schedule coordinator.
Are you a teacher?  Then you are probably the one instructing – the main face of your studio.
Are you skilled in math?  Well, even if you aren’t, you are probably the billing department.
Are you good with computers?  Then you are likely the reason your website is kept up-to-date & people are always impressed with your professional documents.
Are you personable, friendly, and quick to respond to your customer’s and student’s concerns and questions?  Then you are the human resources (HR) department.
Are you a person your students can trust, talk with, and relate to while in the studio?  Then you are a mentor, a counselor, a friend.
Have you taken years and years of lessons in your field & do you continue to learn every feasible opportunity?  Then you are a professional.

The list could continue, but you get the idea.  Never underestimate the immense shoes you fill.

businessplan
Every Successful Business Has a Business Plan.

That being said, I have to admit that when I began my home piano studio, I did not write out a formal business plan or even a startup plan! I did, however, create professional documents such as a studio policy, studio brochure, business cards, tuition statements, and many other documents necessary for running my studio. I also had a lot of goals for my business but they were mostly in my head. In spite of not writing out a business plan, my business has flourished and I am now in my ninth years with a full studio and a waiting list. As I become more and more educated on the business end of things, I realize the need for a business plan. It’s never too late to write one. In fact, to insure that my business continues to be successful, it is absolutely essential.

Why Write a Business Plan?

Putting everything on paper is powerful. Similar to writing weekly assignments for our students and asking them to document their practice for the week, writing a business plan aids in solidifying goals and recognizing both strengths and weaknesses. The United States Small Business Administration stresses the importance of writing a business plan for the following reasons: to obtain outside funding and credit from suppliers, to manage operation and finances, to promote and market your business, and to achieve goals and objectives. A standard template for a business plan usually includes:

I will take my cue from cseifert, who wrote an excellent article entitled “Maintaining Income During the Summer” to expand on the topic I would like to address… “Ideas on Maintaining Interest During a Normally Slow Summer of Lessons and Creating Interest During a Time When Potential Students May Be Interested in Starting Music Lessons”.

How can these ideas help you bring in new students? I’d love to hear from you! Already, a few have come this studio’s way… I hope, if you use some of these ideas, the same will happen for you.

Summer Sun

Yes, absolutely the longest title I’ve probably ever written, but covers the idea of this article rather thoroughly.

Many in the audience of this blog are teachers, while others are purely the business minded who manage said studios. Still others do both. Hopefully this article will hold tips and ideas many of you will enjoy, be able to use, and inspire studios around the world. If not, maybe I am simply enjoying the writing experience. 🙂

Summer is a difficult time for most studios, and while everyone handles it differently, I’ve come across a solution in my studio that seems to work for all the families involved…