Making a Business Plan for your Studio
Before you completely collapse from boredom at the words “business plan,” take a deep breath and hear me out! As the owner of an aerial, pole, yoga, dance, or other creative movement studio, the importance of planning and precision is nothing new to you. Just as a carefully choreographed routine captivates your audience, a well-crafted business plan can be the key to your studio’s success. A “business plan” might sound tedious or boring, so if it helps you to consider it more like a map, blueprint, or design, go right ahead! You’re a creative, make up a better name for it!
A business plan is a comprehensive document you can turn to anytime that outlines your studio’s goals, strategies, and the steps you’ll take to achieve them. I like to think about this in terms of Matriarchal and Patriarchal principles. The patriarchal principle (or value) is structure and organization. The Matriarchal principle that it supports is creativity and intuition.
A business plan provides the structure needed for you to step more fully into creativity and intuition. With the framework in place, you can play and problem-solve with more spaciousness and ease, because you have created clarity in the core aspects of your business.
It’s also SUPER helpful to have a detailed plan if you at some point sell your business.
Let’s explore the purpose of this dreaded business plan for your studio and consider the topics to include in it.
The Purpose of a Business Plan
A business plan is like a roadmap for your aerial or creative movement studio. It’s a comprehensive document you can turn to anytime that outlines your studio’s goals, strategies, and the steps you’ll take to achieve them. Here’s why it’s essential:
- Clarity of Vision: A business plan helps you define your studio’s vision and values. It challenges you to articulate what makes your studio unique and what you aspire to achieve in the long run. This helps to keep you connected to your joy and love for your work, which is so important when challenges arise.
- Financial Guidance: Financial planning is a keystone in any business plan. It helps you estimate your startup costs, project future revenue, and plan for expenses. A well-structured financial section can be invaluable when seeking funding or loans, and simply for understanding your cashflow. Having clarity around your finances can stop you from becoming emotionally reactive to the highs and lows of cashflow, and empower you instead to remain objective and decisive as you move forward.
- Strategic Decision-Making: Your business plan serves as a reference point for strategic decision-making. It helps you stay on track and make informed choices about marketing, expansion, and resource allocation. This is great for mitigating indecisiveness.
- Team Alignment: A business plan is a valuable resources for aligning your team. It helps ensure that everyone understands the studio’s goals and their role in achieving them. This is key for community vitality!
Getting Started with Your Business Plan
Let’s explore some practical steps to get started as you make your plan:
- Define Your Studio’s Identity: Begin by clearly defining your studio’s identity and the niche you serve. Are you focused on aerial yoga, pole dancing, or a unique blend of creative movement forms? While this step may seem obvious if your business is already up and running, it is an opportunity to consider if your set of offerings is serving your goals.
- Market Research: Conduct thorough market research to understand your target audience, competition, and industry trends. This information will inform your marketing and business strategies. For example, check out this blog post: Survey of Pricing of Aerial Arts Classes in the U.S. in 2022
- Set Clear Goals: Outline your short-term and long-term goals. What do you want to achieve in the next year, five years, and beyond? Make sure your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Remember at the same time though, that there will be many moving parts of your business – prepare to flex and adapt with changes.
- Financial Projections: Create a detailed financial plan. Estimate your startup costs, monthly expenses, and projected revenue. Consider factors like pricing, class sizes, and seasonal variations.
- Marketing Strategy: Develop a marketing plan that outlines how you’ll attract and retain customers. Include online and offline strategies, social media, email marketing, and partnerships with local businesses.
- Operational Plan: Describe how your studio will operate day-to-day. This includes staffing, scheduling, equipment, and maintenance.
- Risk Assessment: Identify potential risks and challenges that your studio may face, such as unexpected expenses, competition, or changes in customer preferences. Develop strategies to mitigate these risks. Having these problems defined and solutions outlined will make it easy to manage as they arise – you’ll turn to this document for insight into your next steps.
- Executive Summary: I know. A TERRIBLY businessy term. Stay with me. This is where you summarize the key points of your business plan. That’s all. It’s just business people wanted to call it something fancy. This section is typically placed at the beginning of the document and provides a concise overview for potential investors, partners, or someone you are considering selling the business to.
Remember that your business plan is a dynamic document. As your studio evolves and grows, you’ll need to revisit and update it regularly to ensure it remains aligned with your goals and market conditions.
So there you have it! A well-structured business plan is a vital tool for the success of your aerial or otherwise creative movement studio. It provides clarity, direction, and a roadmap to navigate the often challenging terrain of entrepreneurship. Remember that this is a structure that supports creativity, play, and ease. By taking the time to create a thoughtful plan, you’ll be better equipped to achieve your studio’s aspirations and inspire others through the beauty of movement.
Explore a selection of practical and holistic insights for your creative movement studio in this 100% FREE mini ebook. Consider strategic tips that encompass income balance, class boundaries, community cultivation, and essential self-care. A concise and insightful resource to get you thinking about your business more clearly.