Building a music lesson business can be very challenging. When students continuously quit and you constantly need to enforce your studio policy you may find that building your studio is next to impossible. The first thing you have to do is rid yourself of negative thoughts and here are some constant hang ups that keep us from moving forward to building a successful studio.
I just need to be good at what I do and my business will be successful
Being the best studio is not good enough. I have seen numerous music teachers who are really great at teaching and are also superb musicians and still are unable to attract enough students and clientele to rely on music lessons as a full-time steady income. If you focus on learning real business strategies, implementing marketing systems and goals in your business structure you will become the success you have always dreamed of!
Music teaching can only be a hobby business or a labor of love
The amount of money that is available to you if you apply the right structure and technique towards building your studio as a business is right in front of your eyes and many music teachers don’t even realize it. Researchers have already done the work for us and the word is out about the benefit of enrolling in music lessons and how imperative it is if you want your child to have the slightest chance at being competitive in life! Once you put your business techniques into motion potential customers will be knocking down your door to ask you to teach their child all of the knowledge you have within you!
It’s a business, it’s supposed to be hard work and long hours, it’ll get better.
Working extended hours and double shifts is the number one way to achieve burnout as an entrepreneur. Instead you want to be able to stay fresh and positive towards your music lesson business so that you can be focused and provide a quality learning environment. Divide the income you need by the number of hours you have to work and average the result with the standard rate in your area. When I first began teaching my rate was very low, when I needed to decrease the number of students I was teaching I raised my hourly rate and therefore was still able to make the same amount of money I was making prior to downsizing.
We just need to get our name out there.
Getting your name out there is great however you want to focus on branding your business. What makes you different from the teacher next door or down the street? What can you offer or guarantee? Some of the ways I have branded my studio have been through mentioning in my advertisements the family atmosphere and how we care about all of the students. In addition to that we mention our flexibility in time slots, affordability of lessons, and most of all mentioning the convenience of our location. Think of branding as letting your customers know what you do well and what your company is known for. When the clients come in for a consultation I inform them of the major benefits of studying in my studio. For instance, we specialize in helping students to progress at a faster rate, and our students participate in state level grading programs as well as receive trophies for their hard work. Clients already believe that you can do the job (that’s why you are in business) so no need to teach them during a trial lesson – instead spend time informing them of why your studio is the best above all the others.
If only I could get more clients in the door my business would be successful
More clients just any kind of way is a fast tracked path towards stress and failure as well. Focusing on attracting the right kind of students will ensure that you have success. If you only want to teach beginners and that’s what you are best at don’t market and advertise for all levels when that’s not what you specialize in-it will only leave you frustrated. I recently encountered the same experience when I was working with a lot of in-home clients and I wanted to transition to only offering lessons at my studio I found that in the middle of the transition I was losing more students than gaining students at my set location. Although, I was tempted to going back to offering in home lessons in the mean time to carry me over, I didn’t because I knew I would’ve lost focus. Instead I focused on getting more students to come to my set location and by doing so I was able to fill that void.
I have to lower my prices to beat out my competition
Why do we always feel as the service provider cheaper rate equal more clients?? When if were the recipient of the service our first question would be…what’s wrong with this product? As the owner of your business realize that lowering rates will not help you to build a quality clientele. Charge rates based on the average rate in your area. For instance if the average rate in your area is $25 per 30 minute lesson, charge $23 or $26 however charging extremely below the rate such as $16 will only make it that much more challenging for you to attract quality clients who respect what you have to offer. If you are a well trained music instructor and are able to provide a professional service for your business then there’s no reason why you can’t charge the standard rate. My experience with charging a lower rate is that you will attract clients that don’t appreciate what you have to offer.
I could do this on my own
Although it may seem very easy, running a music school is a challenging profession. It takes organizational skills, communication skills and just like any other business it takes money and time to grow into being a substantial business. Sometimes seeing an instructor at an awesome recital as an end results can get you beaming and dreaming of ways to start your own studio full of talented musicians. If that’s what you desire to do then make sure you have full understanding of the work that happens behind the scenes too!
This is the way it’s always been done, so I will continue this way!
Adopting new techniques and new methods will always keep you ahead of your competition. So take time and attend workshops and music events in your area at least once a year to stay abreast of new methods. Also subscribe to blogs such as this (www.IOwnAMusicSchool.com) and other magazines that will help you stay up to date with new techniques.
If you have identified at least one of these “Lies” within yourself its okay because we all have been there. It’s wonderful that you are educating yourself so that you can develop quality skills of being a successful entrepreneur and apply that to running the business of your dreams.