How have you structured your studio’s enrollment process? Do you stop registering new students at a specific point in the year? October? January? Some other month? Are you missing out on new business?
Of course, your registration process is based upon a variety of factors relative to your recital or year-end performance- costumes, pictures, and performance dates. While this should be taken into consideration and accommodated to the best of your ability, think about how many new students may not join your studio if you have a registration deadline.
(And, yes, in a utopical society, everyone would register at the start of the season; however, from a business perspective, new clients are integral to your studio’s development and growth.)
At our studio, we try to accommodate everyone that is interested in our programming. Here are some tips that are effective for us:
- Consolidate recital-related commitments (picture/rehearsal/etc.) to as close to the show date as possible (our show is in early June).
- Order your bulk costume order in time to receive a volume discount. Place 1-2 follow-up orders for new clients’ costumes.
- Start recital choreography 2-3 months prior to the show date. (If students are regularly working on technique in class, a recital routine will be easy to learn, rehearse, and clean in a 2-3 month time span.)
- Recommend technique only classes or open new classes if there is a demand.
By applying these tips, we can usually accommodate new students through early-mid March. We have found it disadvantageous to allow students enroll in the final months leading up to the recital if it is a recital class and the child will not be able to participate because it makes the experience a misrepresentation of our brand.
For students we cannot accommodate, we allow them to take a complimentary trial class and immediately refer them to our Summer Session. Many times, they will be very appreciative for the suggestion and guidance and will enroll.
Of course, our studio businesses are all unique, and we have different rationales for our choices. Take some time to consider if there is something you can do differently to attract versus alienate prospective, new clients throughout the entire year.