Q: How can I build my studio up if the location where I started my business is not a good one?
A: First, ask your parents and students for feedback on your current location. Have them rate the location’s accessibility or proximity to where they live, the studio space itself, traffic patterns and parking, opinion of surrounding businesses, studio security and general program offerings. Do your own research, too: Get data on births, population growth or decline, school expansions and commercial and housing developments in your area.
After gathering feedback, determine what can be improved. For example, you can improve studio security by augmenting your outside lighting and adding closed-circuit monitors and cameras in waiting areas. Have a policy in place about coming and going from the building, too. If traffic patterns are an issue, find out from your local government how to add stop signs or traffic lights.
If, after consideration, you determine that you cannot grow your business in your current location, then it may indeed be time to move or add a second location. There are many factors to consider when evaluating a new location. We recommend you identify the number of nearby dance studios, as well as your current student base’s proximity (plus the other demographic research we suggest above). You can upload your student contact list into a free geocode map-making service such as Easy Map Maker (easymapmaker.com) to create visual pins of where your students are actually located. This will help identify clusters from where people travel.