Before I launched my own studio, I was teaching under the umbrella of two different churches and my own home.
I was easily able to retain 80 - 90% of my students each semester.
When I launched my own studio, 98% of my students who had been taking with me between the churches and my home followed!
But after the first year of being in the new studio, I noticed retention had dropped to 60%.
My studio actually ended our first year of lessons with MORE students than when we started!
But it didn't matter.
Shauna and I were focused on making more money, so naturally, we focused on learning how to advertise and persuade MORE new students to sign up for lessons.
We achieved the goal, but ironically, it cost us more.
Here are 3 reasons why...
1. Our current students were our biggest fans until we put them on auto pilot.
I didn't have a clear path of where I was taking each student, but I also had stopped thinking about it.
They caught on.
Most of them didn't even leave disgruntled.
Most of them gave valid reasons for moving on!
The underlying problem was this:
Because I stopped focusing on making the lesson experience better, they lost interest.
2. If I had kept my current students happy, they would have stayed and brought MORE referrals my way.
I think parents were still happy to refer others to my studio if they were specifically looking for lessons... but when their kids were LOVING lessons, parents would actually START UP conversations with others about how much Billy loved guitar and how Stickandstrum was amazing.
3. I wasn't able to keep the NEW students walking in my studio!
I had also hired a lot of teachers who were brand new to teaching.
Though I don't regret hiring beginner teachers, I do regret not training them well enough to teach.
A lot of our teachers were flailing.
Most of them overwhelmed or underwhelmed their students.
Kids left our studio either bored, or thinking they weren't good enough to play since they were over-challenged.
Trying to fill our teachers' schedules was like trying to fill a styrofoam cup with a hole in the bottom.
We were working our BUTTS off advertising, but all of it was wasted because we weren't able to keep them!
At The Studio Challenge, we talk aggressively about getting new students...
We all want a full schedule of happy students!
We don't want to worry about money.
Our dream is to sustain ourselves and make a living doing what we LOVE!
NONE of it matters if we can't keep our current students invested!
I learned how to improve my student retention, but it took a few years to figure it out HOW to grow and keep students engaged without having to consume my time worrying about them!
As studio owners, we have MANY things we have to worry about.
Let's get the necessary systems in place to improve retention and the lesson experience so we can keep students happy and keep growing...
Let's make sure your studio is set up to both ATTRACT and KEEP students in your door so you don't end up over-working like I was...
We're going to talk and work through 4 things next month:
We'll focus on one of these areas each week. A workbook and lesson videos are included.