Have you ever heard of batching? If not, it is something that could completely change the way you do business. I’m not even exaggerating! If consistently done, it can dramatically increase your efficiency. Better yet, it can improve the chances that those extra things on your plate actually get done. Sounds good right!? Batching is basically lumping similar tasks together and doing them all at the same time.
For instance, instead of doing your social media posts one by one every day you will do ALL of your social media posts for the month in one day. Instead of doing a little bit of everything every day and all day, you are going to tackle things with a more systematic approach.
Now, you may be asking why the heck this matters at your dance studio. If you start working faster and smarter at your studio, you will instantly free up some of your valuable time. With that extra time, you could spend it doing the things that never get done on your list or take some time off (whoo hoo!). Becoming a more efficient worker will not only affect you but also your team members. With your new found knowledge, you will be able to pass along this valuable information to your staff members. They will learn a new skill and also get faster at doing their job. Which means, they have more time to tackle MORE on your list(double bonus).
With that, I am instantly taken back to my bakery days. In case you have forgotten, in my past life, I made thousands of cupcakes each and every day (yes, I am for real). Those were the days where my team and I didn’t go home until the order was complete and we were paying our workers until they left the building. Quite literally, time was money. My boss at the time was obsessed with always working faster and trying new techniques to help this along. He taught me a very valuable lesson that I will always remember and try to apply to ANY job I have.
The more you have to do, the faster you work.
Wait, WHAT?! Yea, read that again if you need to. I was instantly like “NO WAY… That makes no sense!” But after months and months at the bakery, I finally understood that that statement was completely true. Essentially, my boss was talking about batching. When you lump together a lot of things that are the same, you do them faster and more efficiently. The larger that lump is, the faster you get at doing it.
At the bakery, we started out with 1 store that we made cupcakes for. We were making and decorating around 30 flavors of cupcakes each and every day for that one store. When you broke it down, that meant we were making really small amounts of each flavor. Within 1 year, we increased the number of stores we serviced. So NOW, instead of making 3 cupcakes of a particular flavor, we were at least making 24. You may be thinking that we needed to hire more employees or stay longer hours and trust me, I thought that too. BUT after a lot of nagging on my part, my boss assured me of his rule time and time again. Although it seems impossible and to my disbelief, my team put in around the same number of hours that they did earlier that year when we just had 1 store.
How is this possible you ask? That is the magic of batching. When starting any task (whether it is making cupcakes or starting work at your dance studio), you have an initial set up time. That could be getting your computer out, firing up the correct program, looking for your address book, skimming through emails to find the right one, etc. There is also the transition period where you need to direct your full attention onto the task at hand. How many times have you gone to check your work email and been sidetracked by a sale going on at Wayfair.com?
With batching you are reducing the amount of time spent on the setup and clean up of the task because you are just doing it once versus 5 times a day/week. You are also able to hold your focus on that one task much better without the setup/clean up. When doing a task over and over again, you naturally start to figure out ways to make it go faster. That is the same whether you are frosting 50 cupcakes in a row or scheduling a whole month worth of social media posts. The bonus?? It feels AMAZING to get something done for the whole month all at once (much faster than you normally would) and not have to worry about it again until next month.
Here are a few ways you can give batching a try at your dance studio:
- Check your emails once a day. Know that it is perfectly reasonable to get back to customers within 24 hours. If there is something urgent, they will call.
- Calling people back should be done once a day. Sit down, pour yourself a cup of coffee and make all your returned calls once a day (unless it is urgent of course).
- Checking your social media page can be minimized to once a day. This one can be a HUGE time suck! Try to resist and engage with your audience once a day.
- Schedule your social media once a month. Yes, that is right. Once a month! You can use the Facebook scheduler or an application like HootSuite or Buffer to schedule posts out. Look at your calendar to know what is coming and just go for it! This is one of my most favorite ways to batch.
- Recital tasks and company stuff can be batched as well. Pick one day a week (or just an hour) to knock out some recital stuff, if there is nothing on the list right now maybe you can get ahead!?
- Choreography/class planning can be batched once a month. This is another one that I LOVE to knock out all at once. I plan all my classes in one or two sittings for the month. It also allows me to be really conscious about the progression of my classes.
As a dance studio owner, you probably get paid either a salary or whatever is left over in the bank after payroll. You may not have that hourly, worker mentality but nevertheless, your time is valuable. You need to make sure you are working to your full capacity. Batching is a GREAT way to get started working smarter and faster so you can spend more time growing your business.
Does this sound really awesome but you have NO idea where to start? Don’t worry, we can help! Send us a message and we can walk you through how to get started, create an annual calendar for you, or get you all set up on Trello.
We would LOVE to help you get to a better place within your studio.