Building A Music Lessons Studio
Building a music studio as a music teacher is not easy and requires patience, as well as the five key elements we look for in all our music teachers. But what are factors to help ensure success? Beyond the brand promise of each individual music teacher, are there other components that help define success?
Take a group of exceptional teachers, what separates those really busy teachers from those teachers who can’t seem to maintain a steady clientele?
We look deeper behind the numbers to give a glimpse of how success can be built. This is just the beginning of several articles to come on building a success teaching studio, and how to maximize your time, travel, and talent to achieve optimal results.
Building Studios: Example Scenario
What is the data telling us?
In this example, both Teacher 1 and Teacher 2 had positive student growth over the course of their first year of teaching. Not only did both teachers continue to gain students month to month, they retained their numbers throughout the year.
The data for Teacher 3 and Teacher 4 showed the student growth in their studios was unpredictable and unstable. Both teachers lack a steady progression of new families beginning each month and an observable retention of the families from the month before.
We compared three of the main acceleration factors that contribute to studio growth to find commonalities between the teachers with higher studio volume versus those with a lower volume.
As discussed previously, our research showed having 4+ days of availability for teaching greatly increased a teacher’s likelihood of building a large studio more rapidly. It is important to have not only multiple weekdays available, but imperative to have the afternoon and evening blocks available to schedule students. Since most families have work or school during the day, the prime time for lessons comes later in the day. Morning availability is difficult to fill regardless of how many mornings a teacher has available.
Additionally, both Teacher 1 and Teacher 2 had one weekend day available. While weekends can be hit or miss for families, having some time on a weekend day, either Saturday or Sunday, offers more opportunities to schedule students.
Teacher 3 and Teacher 4 both had very little availability. This gives little flexibility for students who have already packed calendars and it becomes difficult to add more families to a teacher’s schedule. Additionally, only having one or two days of availability limits the amount of possible rescheduling options. Not having very many opportunities for makeups can deter some students who need more flexibility from wanting to remain with their teacher. Further, keeping clients whose availability may change seasonally is challenging when a teacher has little time or few days with which to work.
Number of Contracted Regions:
Being contracted for multiple areas, neighboring zones, and in some cases multiple states, allows teachers to expand their overall territory and increase the number of possible families they may teach. Each region has specific needs and some regions, especially those around larger metropolitan areas, have a higher volume of students looking for a teacher. While the industry as a whole can be unpredictable, starting with a wide net allows a teacher to take full advantage of growth spikes in whichever region demonstrates the biggest need.
Both Teacher 2 and Teacher 3 were contracted for four regions. While this factor works in favor of them both, Teacher 2 had more than double the amount of available teaching days in which to schedule this increased pool of students.
This interpretation shows that teachers have to check multiple acceleration factor boxes in order to grow their studios. Just being contracted for multiple regions is not helpful if a teacher only has two days in which to schedule those students.
The time of year a teacher begins to build their studio is very important when it comes to how quickly they can amass a schedule.
Most students look to book their lessons for the same day and time each week. This reserved time is dependent on many factors in the student’s personal calendar including, work, school and other extracurricular activities. Many students set up their year’s calendar either at the beginning of the fall school year or after the beginning of each calendar year. Therefore, teachers building a studio at the top of the fall semester, August and September, or after New Years, January and February, are going to have access to a larger number of students looking to reserve a spot on a teacher’s calendar long term.
Teachers who onboard during mid-semester times, October-December or March-May, or during the summer months, will see a slower acceleration of their studio because most students are already on a teacher’s calendar or are on summer holiday.
Out of the three factors compared, the starting semester, while an important indicator, is not alone indicative of a teacher’s likelihood of success. Again, teachers must have multiple acceleration factors working in their favor to see positive and steady studio growth and retention.
What does this mean?
While we look for the cream of the crop at FMC, teachers who are very committed, excellent communicators and experts in their field, there are external factors that will influence success. Building a studio requires an understanding of how teaching scope, availability, seasonality, and consistency all affect how rapidly any teacher can accelerate their business potential.
Stay tuned for a deeper dive into the numbers to see just how important these things are.