Let’s talk numbers and make a studio business plan.
Don’t run away, you can do this! If you’re someone who dreads figures try to take deep calming breaths and let me walk you through this. Making a studio business plan can actually be an interesting exercise and it doesn’t have to be as painful as doing taxes.
Remember this plan is just for your eyes. It doesn’t have to be perfect, you don’t have to sweat over every cent and decimal point (unless you enjoy that sort of thing) but it will help you to make a proactive plan for your future.
(Psst….If you’re not already getting studio refresh updates sign up for the 30DSR emails by clicking here.)
Start from what you already know. Write down all the income and expenses you had last year. Divide the income up into whatever categories are appropriate for you.
Here’s how it’s divided in the sample plan that you can download below.
- Individual lessons
- 30 min
- 45 min
- 60 min
- Group lessons
- 45 min
- 60 min
- Piano parties
- 1 day
- 3 day
Then under costs include anything directly related to your business. If you rent a space include that. If you buy materials for your students, stationary, bills, etc. Write it all down and either fill in figures from your records or just estimate averages per month.
Now you get to dream a little. Take a good hard look right in the face of your business finances from last year and think about the good, the bad and the ugly.
Combine this with the information you filled in the studio self assessment on day 1. Did you write that you wanted to teach less? Earn more? Compare this with your finances to create a studio business plan for next year. Play around with the numbers of students, group classes or workshops to see how you can balance things out differently.
Here’s how this looks in the sample studio business plan using random figures. You might prefer to organise your plan by the academic calendar instead (2016-2017 and 2017-2018) if that’s the way your studio runs.
- Create your own spreadsheet or use the ‘Studio Financial Plan Sample’ google sheet I created as a template. You should be prompted to make a copy – save it to your own google drive before editing.
- Fill in all the different incomes you currently have, and those you plan to have for the next year.
- Write in all the costs you currently have as part of your studio. Estimates are fine for this but be as accurate as you can.
- Once you have your current income approximation – get to work on next year’s. Not just how much but what’s the split? Do you want more group lessons, workshops or perhaps longer lesson lengths for more students?
- If possible let this sit and then revisit later on, tomorrow or next week with fresh eyes.
Still struggling to get to grips with your finances?
Myself and the other teachers in the Vibrant Music Studio Teachers group would be happy to try and help. Head over and ask your business planning questions, or let us know an epiphany this exercise caused you to have.