One common mistake made by small businesses in all sorts of industries is failing to equip their teams with the right technology. Your dance studio is no different!
Sure, purchasing new technology will typically require an upfront investment when you might not have a ton of revenue to begin with. However, doing so means that you’ll be able to automate key processes and make the most of the time, energy, and resources that you do have.
At DanceStudio-Pro, we know that the right technology can bring any dance studio to the next level with streamlined operations and intuitive dance student management. Specifically, we believe in the power of the following types of high-tech solutions:
- Dance studio software
- Custom mobile app
- Live streaming tools
- Marketing and communication software
- Financial management tools
Are you ready to learn more about what each of these technologies can offer your small dance business? Let’s jump in.
1. Dance studio software
Arguably the most important dance technology solution you’ll need for running an effective and modern dance business is a top-notch dance studio software provider. This initial solution provides you with the foundation on which to build your software ecosystem and will likely even encompass a number of the additional tools on this list.
According to our DanceStudio-Pro guide to top dance studio software, you should look for a solution that offers:
- Scheduling and communications
- Event and ticketing tools
- Leads and prospect management
- Digital punch cards and attendance resources
- Dance-specific resources for choreography and recitals
The best dance studio software helps you manage every aspect of your small business, including student, parent, and teacher management and behind-the-scenes operations like finances and prospecting. Even better, all these tools can be automatically integrated to ensure a seamless and streamlined process.
2. Custom mobile app
To take your dance studio software solution a step further, consider a custom dance studio mobile app. Nowadays you don’t even need to have an experienced coder on your team to get your own custom-built app for your business. Instead, you can work with an existing service provider to create a fully branded app for your dance studio and make it available for download in the Apple and Google Play stores.
According to this guide, an app that is “specifically designed to make it easier for parents and students to interact with your studio means loyalty.” Here are some key features to look out for:
- Secure login to protect user data
- Easy and secure mobile payments and transaction history
- Automated calls, texts, and push notifications for easy communication
- Integrations with your dance studio software and other solutions
While your dance studio software is likely designed with dance teachers and studio owners in mind, your custom mobile app is tailored to the end consumer: your students and their parents. When you leverage these tools together, you can create a comprehensive system that works to seamlessly meet the needs of your entire studio.
3. Live streaming tools
Due to COVID-19 and social distancing guidelines, many dance studios and similar recreational businesses are turning to virtual classes to engage their students from afar. When doing so, instructors simply record their lessons using a camera, microphone, and live streaming software to transmit content in real-time to students’ devices in their own homes.
Like with any software buying decision, it’s important to choose your live streaming solution carefully. Widely used tools like Zoom offer the obvious benefits of affordability and ease of use, but a more robust solution will likely provide your studio with more powerful capabilities. For instance, you’ll want to look for key features like these:
- Ability to stream in real-time and save recordings for future playback
- Easy-to-use production capabilities for amateur streaming
- User interaction through streaming and chat functions
And remember, this is a worthwhile investment that can set your dance studio up for long-term success. While many studios are leveraging live streaming tools for the first time amid the current pandemic, these virtual offerings provide unique benefits to businesses going forward as well.
According to re:Charity’s guide, live-streaming offers organizations key benefits such as increased geographic reach, accessibility, and community engagement. Now, when you’ve likely lost some critical business, these factors are more important than ever before.
4. Marketing and communication software
Effective marketing and communication software are two key solutions that will set your dance studio up for success—both internally with current students and parents and externally with your leads and prospects.
But with so many marketing channels with which to grab your customers’ and prospects’ attention, how can you choose which ones to invest your marketing dollars in? For most businesses, the answer is emphasizing omnichannel engagement—or communicating a single message across a number of marketing channels. For example, you might try:
- Using automated text and phone calls to communicate with current students and parents
- Launching a social media campaign to raise awareness among leads and prospects
- Leveraging push notifications to send messages to users of your mobile app
- Optimizing your dance studio website for SEO marketing
- Sending strategic email appeals to different segments of your contact list
The more touch points you have with each individual, the more likely they are to take the desired action—whether that’s registering for prospects or creating brand loyalty for existing customers. Just remember, your messages should be cohesive across every medium to ensure a successful omnichannel strategy.
5. Financial management tools
One key component of effective software necessary to most small businesses is the ability to accept payments online. That’s where your financial management tools come in! Here are some key features to look out for:
- Easy to set up mobile payments
- Automated recurring payment functionality
- Ability to accept tuition and additional fees
- Credit/debit card, ACH, and eCheck payment capabilities
- Accessible and detailed transaction histories
As a small business owner, you know that managing and maintaining your revenue streams is more important now than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic downturn. With top payment collection, processing, and management tools, you can ensure you have a steady stream of income even in the toughest of times.
The key takeaway here is to never settle for “good enough” tools and processes. By doing so, you force your business into stagnation and allow competing studios to surpass you with their new and improved tech solutions. As available technology continues to grow and adapt to a changing world, so must your dance studio grow and adapt along with it. Good luck!