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Are you looking to level up the way you manage your organisation? 

We recently hosted a webinar with Louise McHendrie, owner of The Dance Business Academy to discuss exactly that. Louise is also the owner of Dance Inc Studios, a Scottish-based dance school in three locations.

But whether you own a dance studio, a theatre school or a gymnastics club, it’s important to understand the value of your offering and view yourself as you are – a business owner. 

Keep reading to see how you can not only grow your business but also achieve a rewarding work-life balance. 

Change your mindset

Before you can really experience great success, you have to shift gears and level up. If your school is growing, you need to start thinking on a bigger scale. 

Louise’s business has grown dramatically over the last 5 years, but she had to adjust her mindset and decide to make it work for her rather than make her work for it. 

After a few years of running her dance school solo, Louise decided it was time to, “… step back and be able to run it like a business, making sure that it was financially sustainable and making sure that I had a good quality of life.”      

Here are seven tried and tested ways you can help change your mindset to support growth and success:

See yourself as a business owner rather than, “just a teacher” 

It’s important to value your offering and what you bring to it. Take the time to work out how many hours you put into your business. 

Include admin, teaching hours and events. When you see how many hours you work you can then work out your hourly rate. 

 During a recent coaching session with some of her clients, Louise noticed that ”… a lot of them were way below the minimum wage.” This was a huge eye-opener and made them question why they were getting such a small return on such a huge investment of time and energy.

Expand your business before you feel ready 

If you wait until you feel ready to take the next step, it may never happen. Deciding to expand your business involves taking a huge leap of faith, but when you’re struggling to keep everything afloat on your own and your quality of life is suffering, you need to take stock. 

Allowing your business to grow will not only bring in more revenue, but it’ll also give you renewed pride in what you do and the freedom to delegate. Think big and aim high.

Grow with your school

As your experience increases so does your expertise. Start seeing yourself as an expert in your field and let that give you the confidence to get to the next level.      

Although change can be hard, it can also breathe new life and excitement into you and your school. Moving into larger premises and employing more people are great signs of success as well as a reflection of how far you’ve come.

Be led by passion and purpose

It’s important to remember why you started your business in the first place. You started your business because you wanted to do something you loved and felt passionate about. It’s still going now because other people love it too. 

However, to keep things fresh, you must make sure you’re happy and fulfilled. If you don’t enjoy teaching anymore but love the planning and strategy side of things, employ more teachers and focus your energy on expanding your vision. Customers love to feel like they’re part of something exciting and that kind of dynamic starts at the top with you.

Accept you can’t please everyone

Fussy parents or customers can make things really unpleasant and stressful, but once you accept that you can’t please everyone all of the time, it’s easier to stick to your guns. 

Have confidence in the decisions you’ve made and your reasons for them.

Louise says, “As a business owner, I try not to justify my decisions.” Remember, you’re the boss and the visionary and your plans can’t just be changed because they don’t suit one parent. It’s always best to respond politely when you get these requests, because often people, “… just want to be heard. They want to know you’re listening to them.”

Don’t sweat the small stuff

Although as a business owner, you have to be aware of everything going on, you don’t have to be directly responsible for all the little day-to-day things that can go wrong.

It’s easy to get distracted by negative feedback or a child not re-enrolling, your priority, as the business owner needs to be the bigger picture. 

Work towards a work-life balance that suits you

This is probably the most important thing to get right, because if you can be happy and fulfilled at work and at home then your business is more likely to thrive.

Louise said, “… for me, it was just about figuring out how I wanted my life to look and how I wanted my business to look.” She wanted to be able to travel during term time but also wanted to know that if she did go away, the school wouldn’t fall apart.

Get good systems in place

Once you’ve honed your vision and your business is expanding, it’s time to set up the systems that will make it all possible. 

Here are five practical things you can do to make your life as a business owner easier:

  • Delegate

As business owners, it can be really hard to trust other people to do things properly, but unless you start delegating, your growth will be limited. As the boss, you can choose what you delegate, so it may be teaching or client facing or admin. 

The important thing is that you have the time to focus on the side of the business that you’re most passionate about. Also, to develop a strong team, they must feel trusted. If you micromanage everything they do, you’ll have a very frustrated workforce.

  • Create a great training programme

When you hire new people, it’s important for them to understand your values, methods and systems. By giving them company training straight away you avoid any confusion or conflict down the line.

  • Outsource

Certain jobs, such as accounting, are perfect for outsourcing. It’s really important for the books to be reliable and up to date, so getting someone else to do it can save time, money and stress. 

  • Clearly define all roles

When you give your employees a clear description of their roles and responsibilities, they know their purpose and what’s expected of them. This helps to avoid mistakes down the line and provides a clear framework for people to work within.

  • Automate your admin and billing

Using a software such as LoveAdmin can save you time and money by taking care of subscriptions, enrolments and emails. Louise has started collecting fees on a monthly basis so that money is coming in all year round. This is also helpful for parents who struggle with big, one-off payments each term.

  • Make time for yourself and what’s important to you

It’s much more acceptable after Covid, to prioritise a healthy work-life balance and as the boss of your own company, you can work out what that looks like for you. 

It’s a really good idea to build practices into your day that’ll help you to cope with the pressures of running your own business and also inspire you to keep innovating.      

Here are a couple of things you can do:

  • Habit stacking

This just means making the most of your time when time is limited. For example, listening to an inspirational podcast as you commute to work.

  • Practising thankfulness

Louise really believes that being thankful is a fantastic way to keep everything in perspective and acknowledge the things that are really important to you.

Remember that your business’s growth is a process and an evolution. Enjoy it and value the life you’re building for yourself, your team and your family.

Join the LoveAdmin community 

Our LoveAdmin Facebook communities are a great way to share and receive advice. Whether you’re a football club, dance school, swimming school or gymnastics club, our communities are a helpful resource for you.

Join our FREE communities below!





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