Offering discounts at your music school for families with multiple children or studying multiple instruments or paying in advanced can become a slippery slope for a music school owner. Let’s use an example that if you and a group went to dinner tonight, not only do you not receive a discount, but you are also expected to tip! Or for example when you stay at a hotel, do they offer a discount by the time you’ve stayed 3rd or 5th time? Absolutely, not. You will still be charged the same rate.
While there some restaurants and businesses that do offer loyalty programs . The reality is that parents feel that if their child is taking piano lessons, and they add on voice lessons, and then adds on drum lessons it should be easy for you to give a discount. But it not that simple. Many parents come to this conclusion because they are comparing to their child’s dance school or gymnastics programs. What they fail to realize is that it’s much easier for those programs to offer discounts because they are offered in group settings and music lessons are often offered in private sessions. In order to start offering discounts in your music studio in a way that’s helpful to the parent and still profitable for you let’s consider a few things…..

What Is An Appropriate Discount?
First figure out what is your studio profit margin. If your business is only making 50 percent profit after your expenses you may want to rethink discounting your lessons. Offering even a 10 percent discount will reduce your profits to 40 percent! Additionally, taking on more students (due to discounts) may result in your operating expenses increasing therefore causing your profit margin to decrease even further. While discounting private music lessons may not be ideal, incorporating a discount in your registration fee, or your recital fee may be a lot more feasible for your music studio.

Updating Your Policy to Inform Parents
You may have relied heavily on discounts in the past for building your studio but now you see the benefit in making a change. In order to start the process of scaling back on discounts offer smaller discounts that make sense for your revenue and expenses. Do it at the beginning of the school year, or at the beginning of the calendar year. Do it once, be firm and stand by it. If your parents want to continue music lessons with you they’ll understand. Yes, we like to always consider families who can’t afford lessons but it’s also no fun teaching music lessons when you are barely scraping by or can never afford to take a vacation of your own.

Offer Discounts through Discount Sites Like Groupon
Groupon is often viewed as a negative to recruiting people for music lessons often because many people only want to attend for the discount and music lessons are preferred to be long term commitment in order to progress. Additionally the business owner doesn’t make much profit from the Groupon or the customer if they don’t sign up after the Groupon deal. So, Instead of using Groupon to boost enrollment for private music lessons consider using it to attract interest in your music studio. Create introductory classes and workshops that will attract interested students to your music studio. That way you can make sure to create discounts around short term events and it’s not expected overall for your music lesson program.