Studio Growth and Wait List
Found in: Studio Management
Mark M. New York
First part, some reason to give encouragement to others looking to grow their studios.
For most of the nearly two years I’ve taught SM, my student body has fluctuated between 15 -20 students. At the beginning of October, I started seven students in two groups, then last week started another private online, and in a week or two will be starting another group of three, leaving me, even with one or possible two discontinuations this month, with a big and sudden leap to 30. Most of this growth has come down to word of mouth, patience while people get their own lives in a place to allow them to want to enroll, and consistently going back to prospects when group opportunities have arisen. So I encourage those looking to grow to, in addition to whatever else you may be doing with advertising and marketing, remember to always keep the basics going as well.
Second part, resulting from the first part. I’m now for the first time somewhat close to where I want to be in terms of numbers. That means that, for the first time, I’ll need to know how to handle things when new students would like to enroll.
In the past, when someone enrolled and I didn’t have a group for them, I told them they were on my waitlist and that meant that I’d be working as much as I could to make a group for them, even though it might take several weeks or months. Soon, there will be a need for a new attitude about my waitlist. It will probably mean something more like, great, thanks for your interest, when I can make a group for you and have a time slot free, we’ll get started, and though I wouldn’t tell the enrollee this, I wouldn’t then be working very hard to create that group since I wouldn’t be wanting/needing to start them right away, if I’m considering my studio “full.”
How, then, are teachers out there handling such situations? Do you ask for a financial commitment to put them on your waitlist even though you don’t intend to start them anytime soon and are content to wait as long as necessary? What other concerns/policies may be out there around these sorts of situations?
Dixie C. Washington
I just let them know I currently have no openings. I ask if they’d like to be added to my waitlist, or if they’d like a referral to another SM teacher. (I’ve referred several students to two other teachers here in my area.) Last summer I added 11 new students to my studio that had been on my list for several months. I currently have a waitlist of seven.