I understand that dance studios are a business. There is going to be competition for patrons. There is going to be competition for the community’s dollars. This is the nature of business in America. As such, people will try to undermine each other – charge less, offer more hours, offer a greater variety of classes – to get a leg up in the industry. There is going to be good hearted competition in any industry and there will be nasty competition to offset that.
Competition breeds options. That is a great thing. Competition also can breed segregation. This especially true if restrictions are placed on what other dance industry businesses can be solicited by the patrons of one dance business. Patrons include students and teachers. I understand that there is an attempt to control chaos within the business. You want to know that those that are yours are truly yours. However, that restriction can increase the grass is greener on the other side mentality. As I’ve told you before, if you tell me that I cannot do something, I’m going to try to do it. I like to get as much information as possible as to why things are as they are, especially when a boundary is placed on me. I have found that boundaries are often enforced out of fear.
In the dance industry, this fear grows for a number of reasons. Allowing patrons to see that there are other options that might suit them better at another business is a common one. Allowing patrons to patronize other businesses dilutes the business you get to keep for yourself. Allowing patrons to patronize other businesses may have those patrons realize the weakness in what your business offers. Fear holds people back in so many ways. I see it in business frequently. Holding patrons back out of fear will actually hold you back as well.
So much energy ends up expended on the silliness of fear when it could be better used. It could be used to expand your skills as a business owner. It could be used to expand the talent patronizing your studio in the form of students and teachers. It could be used to get a marketing edge. Rather than putting bars on your students’ and teachers’ windows, how about you take out the windex and clean those windows so they can clearly see what dance can do for them. When was the last time you looked at this aspect of your business? Spending that fear energy on researching and developing the delivery of this to your patrons would be a far more efficient and effective use of energy, brain power, talent, and time. In the end it would also be better for anyone patronizing your business. Be innovative rather than fearful. You will see how much happier life will be.