U&Me Dance

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Dance Studio Business Plan

Strategy and Implementation Summary

U&ME Dance marketing strategy will target people who wish to get more for their investment in dancing. A large variety of dance lesson packages and programs will be offered in an effort to make dancing affordable to any budget. Teachers will be highly skilled and professional, keeping with the image of the studio. The ballroom will be an elegant place to come, where customer service is number one. Marketing venues will include placement advertisement, direct mail, Internet Web page and include partnerships with community businesses.

U&ME Dance sales strategy will be based on a consultative style where the customers and teachers work together to identify and plan a course of action to satisfy the customer. Teachers will participate in continuous consultative sales training and receive regular sales coaching where the identification of customer buying criteria will be paramount. Sales closes will be based on demonstration of satisfying the customer criteria.

5.1 Competitive Edge

As previously mentioned, there is currently no other ballroom or social dance studio in Bellingham or Whatcom County. This automatically gives U&ME Dance a competitive edge on the market. However, we do not plan to sit back and think that people will come to us if we wait. Because Bellingham is not used to having a dance studio, this gives us the challenge of introducing the benefits of having a dance studio. One advantage to us, is that there is a strong dance community, including a local chapter of United States Amateur Ballroom Dance Association  (USABDA) in the area.

We plan to keep our prices in line with the lower cost of living expenses of the Bellingham area. We will offer a wide variety of very competitive packages. Our teachers will be trained in the latest trends and with up-to-date styling of today's dances. We plan to partner with many of the studios in the Seattle area so that we can keep up with the trends of the big city and offer more variety to our students.

5.2 Marketing Strategy

Our marketing plan will be very simple. Satisfy our customers and provide them with the desire to continue dancing. A happy customer will not only keep coming back, but they will tell other people about U&ME Dance. We will offer discount awards as an incentive to people who provide us with referrals.

We will market fun! What better product could we possibly have than that?! Our biggest challenge will be getting people who have never been in a dance studio before to come and try us out. Many people have never considered taking dance lessons before. Our marketing message will emphasize the opportunity to meet people, to enhance the quality of leisure time, to gain health benefits and gain life-long skills that will give them respect from their peers.

We will advertise in the yellow pages, local newspapers, flyers, coupons, discount books, radio, and signs around town.

5.3 Sales Strategy

One of our marketing strategies is to advertise discount specials or introductory offers.  These are designed to introduce people to the different dances our studio offers, and the dances our customers want to learn.  Our instructors will work with the customer on these specials to discover what it is they are looking for in dance, and to outline a course that suits the customer's wants and needs.  When a course outline is agreed upon by customer and instructor they will meet with a manager for a brief consultation to make sure the customer is satisfied with the lesson outline and that the course will meet the expectations of the customer.  The customer will then sign up for the lessons by contract and commit to a series of appointments; the studio also commits to these appointments.

We will offer a variety of courses, all mixed with combinations of private lessons, group lessons, and practice parties.  Our course outlines will follow industry standards of recognized progression in dance, referred to as program dancing.  The different levels of dance are recognized as Social Foundation, Bronze, Silver, and Gold, which is consistent with the dance industry.  Although our instructors will be designing course outlines according to the specific needs of our customers, there are basic packages that we can offer in these different levels.  Also, because of the size and amount of time required for those levels after Social Foundation, we have divided them into Bronze I, and Bronze II, Silver I, and Silver II, and Gold or our Showcase Level.

U&ME Dance also offers the ability for customers to take group class packages.  These may be more affordable, and although take longer for advancement, might be more preferable to some of our customers. 

In addition U&ME Dance offers something unique from other dance studios,  which is a membership card.

There are three different memberships offered:

  1. The Basic, which allows unlimited admission to dance parties as well as discounts to special events.
  2. The Gold, which allows limited access to group classes, unlimited admission to dance parties, five party guest passes, and discounts on special events.
  3. The Platinum, which allows unlimited access to group classes, unlimited admission to parties, ten party guest passes, and discounts to special events.  These memberships will last one year.

U&ME Dance will offer discounts for larger dance packages.  All payments for dance lessons will be collected at time of purchase.  Customers may be given 30 days to pay with a down payment of 50%.  We will accept payment in the form of cash, check, or credit card.

5.3.1 Sales Forecast

This sales forecast is an estimation on the number of customers we acquire while open, and an average cost of lesson outlines. The Social Basics Introductory special is averaged at $50, but this may vary depending on the special running that month.  The special is not an accurate count for the cost of lessons, and is used primarily to bring people who may be interested to our studio so that they may continue with more lessons.  We are forecasting that we will sell 20 Introductory packages in our first month, and 30 each month there after, as this is what we can handle with the hours we have available.

The Social Foundation average package price is $720.  It is an average price based on the assumption that students would buy a package containing 12 private lessons and 12 group lessons. We offer a 20% for paying in cash, and have therefore shown $600 for our package price to show the discount.  We are forecasting to sell a social foundation dance package to 25% of the people who come to take the introductory special.

Bronze I is priced at $1,200, and is based on the assumption that students would buy this package with 19 privates and 25 groups. We offer a 20% discount to people who pay cash for their lesson, and show this in our forecast by making this package show at $1,000.  We are forecasting to sell a bronze dance package to 50% of the people who bought the social foundation package.

Bronze II is priced at $1,440, and based on the assumption that students would buy a package containing 24 privates and 24 groups.  We offer a 20% discount for paying in cash, and show this in our forecast by showing this package price at $1,200.  We do not expect to sell any Bronze II packages the first couple of months. Starting on the third month we are forecasting to sell 50% of those that were in Bronze I. 

Silver I and Silver II $1,620.  These are both based on the assumption that the student buys a package of 27 privates and 27 groups.  We offer a 20% discount for students who pay in cash, and have shown this in our forecast with our package being $1,350.  Starting in the fifth month we are forecasting to sell at least two Silver I dance package per month.  We have estimated that we will not sell any Silver II packages until the end of the first year of business.

We have kept our estimates low, knowing that we are not only a new business but a new type of business in this community, trying to break through with our marketing. Therefore, we are showing a 25% closing ratio for new students. That is saying that 25% of the customers who come in for the introductory special will buy the next level of dance,  Social Foundation package.  We then show a 50% closing ratio for existing student,  50% of Social Foundation customers will move on to Bronze I, etc.  Mary's previous sales results were 70% (out of every ten potential customers she sold a dance package to seven). 

Memberships were forecasted to show that people would buy the Gold at $600 each.  We forecast to sell an average of five memberships per month, with that average increasing to 10 during the peak months of November-February.

Miscellaneous sales include series group classes and kids group classes averaged at 10 people per class. 

Weekly dances will be held each Friday night. We will charge $5.00 per person plus $3.00 if they come for the pre-dance lesson.

The Majestic is currently reported as bringing in about $30 to $40K per year in space rentals. We will continue to rent out this space and increase the advertising.

Other category includes one time privates lessons, special services (i.e. DJ service, lesson packages for special events, wedding packages, etc.).

Sales Forecast
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Introductory Specials-Social Basics $18,000 $20,700 $23,805
Social Foundation Syllabus $57,600 $66,240 $76,176
Bronze 1 Syllabus $48,000 $55,200 $63,480
Bronze 2 Syllabus $48,000 $55,200 $63,480
Silver 1 Syllabus $21,600 $24,840 $28,566
Silver 2 Syllabus $2,700 $3,105 $3,571
Memberships $48,000 $55,200 $63,480
Miscellaneous Packages $9,330 $10,730 $12,339
Weekly Dances $12,000 $13,800 $15,870
Space Rental $33,860 $38,939 $44,780
Other $2,900 $3,335 $3,835
Total Sales $301,990 $347,289 $399,382
Direct Cost of Sales Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Introductory Specials-Social Basics $0 $0 $0
Social Foundation Syllabus $9,792 $11,261 $12,950
Bronze 1 Syllabus $8,160 $9,384 $10,792
Bronze 2 Syllabus $8,160 $9,384 $10,792
Silver 1 Syllabus $3,672 $4,223 $4,856
Silver 2 Syllabus $460 $528 $607
Memberships $0 $0 $0
Miscellaneous Packages $0 $0 $0
Weekly Dances $0 $0 $0
Space Rental $0 $0 $0
Other $0 $0 $0
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales $30,244 $34,780 $39,997

5.4 Milestones

The following milestones reflect an approximate timeframe and cost  for beginning and completing actions that will be needed to get U&ME Dance up and running. Our goal is to open our doors to customers and begin teaching dance by September 1st, 2002. We realize this date is subject to the timeframe for renovation completion, permits, etc. and may need to be adjusted.

Milestone Start Date End Date Budget Manager Department
Meet with SBDC 4/16/2002 9/1/2002 $0 Both Marketing
Legal 6/1/2002 9/1/2002 $750 Both Marketing
Develop Web Site 4/1/2002 4/5/2002 $90 Mary Evans Marketing
Train New Teachers 4/15/2002 9/1/2002 $0 Mary Evans Marketing
File for State Business License 6/1/2002 7/1/2002 $0 Toni Simler Marketing
File for City Permits 6/1/2002 7/1/2002 $0 Toni Simler Marketing
Negotiate Lease 6/1/2002 9/1/2002 $0 Both Marketing
Order Tables and Chairs 7/1/2002 8/1/2002 $3,750 Both Web
Purchase Sound System 8/1/2002 9/1/2002 $2,000 Both Web
Renovate Space 7/1/2002 9/1/2002 $0 Both Department
Acquire Insurance 6/1/2002 8/1/2002 $2,000 Toni Simler Department
Create Calendar of Events 7/1/2002 9/1/2002 $100 Mary Evans Department
Open Doors for Business 9/1/2002 9/1/2002 $0 Both Department
Begin Advertising 7/1/2002 9/1/2002 $2,000 Toni Simler Department
Grand Opening 11/2/2002 11/2/2002 $3,000 Both Department
Totals $13,690