Though a new studio year brings with it its own stressors—class scheduling, orientation, newly sore muscles—you’d be remiss if you didn’t also use this opportunity to carefully consider what’s been working (and what hasn’t) for your studio. Is it time to repaint your lobby? Get rid of that more-trouble-than-it’s-worth vending machine? Finally add a social-media clause to your student handbook? August is your chance to roll up your sleeves and give every aspect of your business the mental elbow grease it needs.
Review and edit your studio policies
Andrea Wachholtz, who owns a studio in Staten Island, New York, uses the summer months to update her handbook. “When I first opened,” says Wachholtz, who founded Andrea In Motion eight years ago, “my policies were maybe half a page. You think, ‘I don’t need to put that as part of my policies. People will just know that!’ Then you end up saying to yourself, ‘This needs to be included next year.'” What problems cropped up last year that you need to address in your guidelines, to make sure they don’t happen again? Wachholtz, for example, expanded her handbook to include specifying dress code, down to students’ hair (“No hair down,” she says), and a rule that if a parent contributes in a negative fashion to the atmosphere of the studio, they’ll be asked to leave immediately. “If you read my mission statement, I promote that when you bring your child to my studio, it’s a safe environment,” she says.