In the next month or so I would like to discuss in depth the marketing strategies shared with me from Gary Heavin founder and CEO of Curves for Women. Some may ask, “How can you relate a music studio to a fitness franchise?” This answer is simple as there are many similarities between the two. Both industries provide services to people; have a specific target market in mind and perhaps the biggest one of all is that both have desired outcomes which in turn can reflect the effectiveness of your service. I am sure that if their proven system was not effective he and his wife would not have had all of the success they’ve experienced. That goes the same for sharing the gift of music. We as educators know that when a student does his or her part coupled with the guidance of a caring instructor that the possibilities are limitless!
When I was with both Diane and Gary Heavin I had the opportunity to see with my own eyes, what is now a fitness empire. Their campus is immaculate and I can tell that his employees enjoy what they do by the warm welcome I received. Owning a music studio is no different, we should have clean, safe facilities with staff who have a vested interest in music education. Nothing happens over night, it is all a process. That is why I want to look closely at the 3 main marketing strategies shared by Gary over the next month.
The first strategy is to build an efficient business model. I have to be honest; when he told me Strategy #1 I was thinking how can this possibly help me to market our business. As I listened to his reasoning, it became evident that in order to have a successful business you have to have a firm foundation and an efficient business model does just that. Notice that he didn’t say you have to have a business model, but he specifically said you have to have an “efficient” business model.
An efficient business model is detailed information of the operation of your business, from what employees say when answering the phone to the organizational structure of your music studio. You’re model should include step by step information on how to effectively run your business. We’ve noticed in our own music studio that our demographics have changed. After running our music studio for seven years we’ve discovered that we had greater success with the early childhood, pre-teen and teenage markets. So we decided to build our business model around these markets. You can look at this decision two ways, one is that we’ve excluded the adult market or two we are focusing on the market that works for our music studio. Prior to curves, Gary and Diane targeted both men and women, but later decided to focus on women and now Curves for Women is the worlds largest fitness center franchising business.
Another thing that is in our business model is our hours and days of operation. One of our business values includes a “Commitment to Family.” When we first started our music studio we were open Monday through Saturday, but we saw the stress it put on our own family and made the decision to close our business on Saturday’s. This gives our family, our staff and students the opportunity to spend time with their family on the weekends. We may hold special events such as workshops and recitals on Saturday’s, but for the most part we value this as family time.
Other components of your efficient business model may include the programs you offer, how they operate, the amount of staff needed, your target audience, staff policy and procedures, payment procedures, parent/student handbook, website content management system, studio policy and anything else that helps your business operate effectively. Trust me, once you create your efficient business model…on paper, things will look and be a lot better! A firm foundation is the key to marketing a successful music studio.
In my next blog I will discuss Marketing Strategy #2 Utilizing Community. Click here to view the video with Curves CEO, Gary Heavin.