For studio owners who have been in business a long time, building a calendar for the school year seems like, meh…what’s the point? You already know the school year to-do’s and it is going to take an extra hour or two, no thanks! For studio owners who are new to the business, it can be intimidating! “I’m just trying to get through the next WEEK, not the next 9 months!”- said all newbies at one time or another. I’m here to tell you (or yell at you) that YES you do need this and YES you must sit down for about an hour and knock it out, let me tell you why.
- Organization: Remember when you ordered costumes just a little late? Then had to make changes because the ones you really wanted were sold out. Now is your chance to put in writing and set a reminder so you don’t forget. How about invoices-we have all sent out invoices late once or twice. Set a recurring event on your calendar every month so it doesn’t happen again this year.
- Strategizing: Setting your calendar in advance gives you an opportunity to figure out what events you can or should attend. It also lets you plan when you should start marketing campaigns. At our studio, we ALWAYS forgot about Bring-A-Friend week. The result: no one brought friends. We missed out on a HUGE opportunity to bring in more students all because we forgot. Put it on the calendar, advertise it starting a month out, and create a call to action flyer that friends can bring home. If it is on the calendar you will have reminders set for yourself, office staff, and teachers.
- Communication: As a studio owner or director, you are an expert at what you do. You have developed an intuition on what things need to get done and when. The people who work for you do not have that same intuition and cannot read your mind. The calendar is your opportunity to set expectations for office staff, teachers, graphic designers, etc. This is how they will know when to start creating that flyer or sending invoices without you having to constantly check in.
- Efficiency: Yes you did read that right, you will be more efficient by putting in the EXTRA time up front to build your calendar. Your time is valuable. So let’s start giving yourself that time back. How many times have you written an email to your administrators or teachers letting them know what to do that night, week, or month? I know at our old studio, it would take about 5-10 minutes, 5 days a week. That doesn’t seem like much but if you add it up for the year the total is 21.5-43 hours! That is equal to 1 to 2 whole days spent on writing the same email over and over! With a calendar in place, a good amount of those emails can be completely eliminated. Do the work once (writing your calendar now) and let it work for you the rest of the time. That amazing process is called automation.
Now that you are super jazzed up about why you MUST create a calendar for the year, I hope you will join me in learning HOW you can do this (easily) in part 2. I promise it is not as hard as you think.
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