When a new student is deciding whether or not to join your studio, they may ask how much the classes cost, but It’s not about the money. The cost of your classes or private lessons maybe a very important decision for your prospective students and it is something that needs to be looked at but that it’s not the most important aspect of opening up a business. One thing I’ve come to realise after running a number of successful businesses is just how important trust is. Trust that you’re going to be around, trust they can rely on you to deliver your product for months and years.
Your product is very important and having a great product that your students can trust is vital for the ongoing health of your business. It takes time to build this kind of trust in your community. This is why it’s absolutely vital that you treat each encounter with your students with the respect that they deserve. Your students will take their information on your business with them every time they train, and it is up to them what they say about your business to their friends and family. In an age whereby anyone can comment in open forums and have these comments open to the world, we need to ensure that what we say is congruent with what we do.
Whether it be a membership meeting or a cancellation it must leave your student with a great feeling that they can trust you. Problems with money, like overdue membership fees need to be sorted out immediately. That is why it is very important that you are crystal clear and totally transparent about your fees and what the member obligations are regarding your fees. From the very beginning the students understand exactly what you’re getting themselves into.
For a business to be successful you need to have a great name in your local community. So people can rely on you being there for the long term. This is not a quick fix, it’s like a drip as you slowly increase the critical mass of your members. The feeling of your business in the community must be one of trust and loyalty and your brand must be consistent, not always changing , capable of enduring the hard times as well as enjoying the fruits of your hard work.