Do you have one of ‘those’ moms at your studio?
You know, the one who doesn’t read the notices about payments due, rehearsal schedules, or performance times?
Or do you have one who drags their feet and doesn’t sign up until the last minute?
What about the mom who calls you all the time, emails constantly or has a million questions?
You might have more than one at your studio!
Communicating with parents is one of the most frequently reported challenges and problems that dance teachers and studio owners face when it comes to running a successful business.
Guess what? I am one of those moms!
I’m probably a great example of some of the moms at your studio. A mom who can barely find the time to get the lunches packed and get to school on time, let alone read the many papers and emails and notices that come home on a regular basis.
Here’s just a few reasons why:
- My 3 year old daughter recently refused to go to dance class in anything except her fleeced footed PJ’s and absolutely freaks out at the idea of me putting her hair in a ponytail.
- My minivan is what I call my ‘mobile office’. Some days it seems like I get in and out of my van to drop-off, pick-up, drop-off, run errands, pick-up about 20 times.
- I get invited to dozens of events by email: pampered chef parties, scrapbooking events, birthday parties, girls nights out, volunteer days at my kids school, parent committees, the list is endless. If I can RSVP to half, I’m doing well.
- My dining room table on most days serves as a place to fold laundry.
- I run from work to soccer practice then to music class. We have school and dance class and work again. Then it’s over to the studio, back to my home office, and school again. My google calendar looks like a puzzle of appointments!
It’s no wonder that communicating with parents is a top concern and complaint of dance teachers and studio owners!
Can you relate? There’s good news here…
Teachers and Studio Owners, increase your success in effectively communicating with parents by keeping them engaged and involved through a variety of modes of communication.
- If there is an important date or deadline that I should know about please deliver that communication to me in a variety of ways, more than one time.
- Post announcements in the studio, announce it after class, post it on the studio website, email me. I need more than one reminder and it’s not that I don’t care, it’s that sometimes I just cannot record that date into my calendar at that moment or the form could be lost among many others.
- Thank you for going out of your way to let us know about important dates and deadlines.
- Ask me what I can do to help. Seriously.
- Believe it or not, even in the midst of the chaos with a couple of kids most moms want to be involved and help out.
- Do you need a parent volunteer at the show?
- Need someone to steam costumes or maybe email moms I know to let them know spots are still open in dance class on Tuesday mornings? If you don’t ask, I think you have it all handled, by all means ask. If I can’t help this time around, I’ll make sure next time.
- I’m looking to the internet first, you should be too.
- With my busy life, one thing has made my life easier: the internet. I like to register my kids for their activities at off hours, I check my email from my smart phone, I Google everything and I’m communicating with my friends and work colleagues on social media.
- Thanks for keeping your website up to date, posting important news, and keeping in touch online. It really helps me know what is going on at the studio. Even better, I like to let my friends know and I’m happy to share it with them.
Lastly, and MOST importantly: Thank YOU
I am one of ‘those’ moms who may not say it often enough, or perhaps even at all.
Thank you. All I want for my child is to see them succeed and be happy. Thanks for making dance class fun for my kids. I appreciate the time and thoughtfulness you show with your enthusiasm and praise.
Dance class is a highlight of the week for my child. You create that moment each and every week.
From all those moms and parents out there that may not say it, thank you for all that you do to keep the joy and magic of dance alive in the world.
Suzanne Blake Gerety is not only the very busy mom of two young children but is the owner and co-founder of DanceStudioOwner.com, and the Vice President of Kathy Blake Dance Studios. She is a regularly featured contributor in various pieces for Dance Teacher Magazine including, “Ask the Experts”, business articles, and has presented live workshops at Dance Media’s Dance Teacher Summit New York City.
Suzanne experiences the ups and downs of studio ownership too, which is what inspires her to help studio owners and teachers keep their passion for dance alive as they grow their business. You can connect with Suzanne on Twitter @SuzanneGerety and at DanceStudioOwner.com.