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Why you need to start planning 2023 today

Updated: Nov 18, 2022

It's almost September, which means most Australian and NZ studios are just two months away from opening 2023 registrations. If you haven't already started planning for next year, now is the time to get started.


Decide Key Dates

Start planning the new dance year by thinking about when you want to release information (class schedule, fees, info pack/handbook), when you want to open enrolment to existing students, and when you want to open registrations to new students.


From there work backward to determine when you should have your information ready to go so your website can be updated, your marketing can be scheduled and any printing can be done. For example, if you're opening 2023 enrolments on 1 November, you probably want to release your schedule and Info Pack at least two weeks prior to that date. To avoid a last-minute rush, you should have everything finalised no later than the first week in October!


Timetable/Class Schedule

Your next stop should be your class schedule - this can help determine how you market your classes to new families, ie. Can students get most of their classes done in one afternoon? Does your Preschool acro class immediately follow your Preschool jazz class?

If what you've got this year has been working for you, your staff and your dance families, don't feel like you need to reinvent the wheel. A few minor changes (or none at all) might be all that is necessary.


If you're adding a new style or want to move things around a bit, think about how it might affect your current student cohort in terms of hours spent at the studio, the number of days they need to be at dance, and how early/late their classes run. As an exercise to see if your new schedule works, select some existing students from each age group and plan out their proposed 2023 schedule based on the classes they're taking this year. This will quickly show you any clashes or issues you need to sort before releasing your schedule.


Using a timetable planner can be helpful to avoid conflicts with studio space and allows you to see gaps in your days or times and where there are opportunities for growth. This will help you to be more efficient and develop a program that works well for your studio.


Info Pack/Handbook

Your next priority should be finalising your 2023 Info Pack which is what you'll use to communicate your 2023 class schedule, important dates and tuition fees to both existing dance families and new leads. This is an important document and, if done properly, can save you from answering a LOT of questions down the track.


Creating this resource can be as simple as updating this year's Info Pack or you could create a digital handbook that you can update throughout the year with studio news, videos, performance dates and important links (registration & booking forms, schedules etc.).


Registrations

Next up is deciding how you're going to handle registrations. If you use a studio management software like Dance Studio Pro or Jackrabbit, I STRONGLY encourage you to take advantage of their online registration feature where parents can enrol directly into their preferred classes with minimal (read: none) effort from you.

If you're not using online registration, you can still create an easy digital form using a tool like Google Forms or JotForm that you can send out to families and link to your website. Our new Ultimate Studio Forms Pack features a traditional paper form as well as a digital template you can customise to your studio.


Don't forget to include a waiver requirement with your registration to ensure you're covered in the event of a disgruntled parent. Your insurance company can help with one and we've also included a basic template in the Ultimate Studio Forms Pack. If you have any questions about creating an effective waiver, talk to your solicitor.


Team

Now you have your class schedule, registration and handbook sorted, turn your attention to your team - both admin and teaching. Arrange one-on-one meetings with all of your team members to discuss their year, any goals they have for 2023 and your vision for how they fit into your studio during the next 12 months.

Even if you want to keep your team doing exactly what they're been doing in 2022 or you've had informal discussions about next year, make it a priority to meet with them as soon as you can after finalising your 2023 class schedule so everyone knows where they stand.


If you've decided to let a teacher go, don't put off having that conversation. It might be uncomfortable but it's important to be transparent so they can find alternate work and you can start looking for a replacement.


The new dance year is a great opportunity to review your official agreements with each team member. Are they due for a pay increase? Have they attained extra qualifications? Would you like them to take on extra duties next year? If you don't have a comprehensive agreement document to use, we've included one in our Ultimate Studio Forms Pack.


Extras

The new dance year is the perfect time to look at renewing or updating things like any agreements you might have with external hirers of your studio space or procedural documents like an incident report, student progress reports and exit surveys. Our Ultimate Studio Forms Pack includes templates for these documents and more. Click here to learn more.


Our new Ultimate Studio Forms Pack includes 10 must-have templates so you can save HOURS of your time getting ready for the new dance year without all the headaches!

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