Business expansion is not for every teacher. If you think you might want to expand your music teaching studio business, read this article first.
⬆️ Listen to the podcast above or keep on reading, whichever fits your style. ↙️
My job in this post is to persuade you NOT to expand your music teaching studio business.
Why am I doing that?
I’m taking on this project because everyone else seems to be taking the opposite one. Everywhere you look, people are talking about entrepreneurialism (what a word, hey?), profitability and impact.
But, maybe, you can have a bigger impact by staying small.
Consider these 7 factors carefully. Then if you still want to expand your music teaching studio, know that I am 100% behind you. But if you want to stay small and mighty, I support that too. 💛 💙 💚
Expansion Consideration 1: Money
Making more money might be your reason for looking into studio expansion in the first place. So let’s step back for a second.
How much money do you want to make? Do you have a number in mind?
If you don’t, I can tell you something for certain: It will never be enough. Start by deciding how much you need to live comfortably.
If you do have a number in mind and your current studio isn’t getting you there, how far off is it?
Are we talking about a raise of 10% or more like 50%?
There may be things you can do to give yourself that raise without adding other teachers or moving to group lessons. Consider whether you could manage your budget better or raise your rates to make up the difference.
Expansion Consideration 2: Managing other people
Expanding your music teaching studio business doesn’t have to include hiring other people, but that’s definitely one of the main options open to you. So let’s stop and think about whether you want that.
Close your eyes and really imagine yourself managing other people. It can be a fun and invigorating experience for some, but it can also bring extra stress.
If you’re an introvert like me, you’ll also need to consider how you manage your energy levels. These extra people are going to need face time with you and you don’t want that to burn you out.
Over-extroverted introverts do not make great teachers.
Take a moment to place this people management into your week and consider what you would have to give up in order to make it happen.
Expansion Consideration 3: More admin work
This is a big one which blindsides many teachers. If you take on other teachers or start group lessons with more students, you will have more office work.
You can be smart about it. You can automate things and create systems.
But more people will lead to more admin work.
Are you ok with that?
How do you feel about the level of admin work you do now?
If you pay someone to help on the office side of the business, can you afford to pay them for more hours?
Don’t fall into the trap of growing your business to the detriment of your job. The work you do takes up a considerable portion of your life and you need to find it fulfilling, even if it’s not always “fun”.
If you want to refine your studio systems to prepare for expansion, take a look at our course “Smooth Studio Systems”.
“Smooth Studio Systems” is just one of lots and lots of courses and other resources inside the VMT membership. Check it out today!
Expansion Consideration 4: More time
If you do expand your music teaching studio, you’ll have to reallocate time at the very least. If you’re not willing to do that (e.g. if you want to keep the same student load) you’ll have to work more.
Do you want to work more? Or teach less?
If the answer to both of those is no and you can’t think of a way to claw back time somewhere else, I don’t think you have the scope to expand.
Expanding your business without considering the time implications is a recipe for burnout.
Consider carefully what extra time this might take and where that will come from.
Expansion Consideration 5: Tax & Accountancy
Along with the admin work, you may be creating a much more complex tax situation for yourself.
Think about whether this expansion of your music teaching studio will put you in a new tax bracket or mean extra accounting fees. Is that worth it to you?
In many cases, it will be. But you need to go in with your eyes open.
You can get more help with your business on my hub page devoted to running your music teaching studio business.
Expansion Consideration 6: Lesson location
If your teaching business expansion includes adding more students/teachers, you might have to move teaching location.
If you’re currently teaching from your home and expanding would mean renting a commercial premises, this is a BIG consideration.
What will it cost? Can you make the numbers work?
Do you want to commute to work? What will this cost you in time each week?
Renting a space outside your home is exciting. But it comes with agreements, costs and tradeoffs. Consider all angles before you make this move.
Expansion Consideration 7: Complexity
The final consideration is really a rollup of all the others.
Expanding your music teaching studio business means increasing complexity.
Do you want that?
Maybe you do. The opposite of complexity for you might be mundanity. I take on a lot of projects myself because it keeps my life exciting so I get it!
But simplicity is a beautiful thing too.
Before you add this to your life, really think about whether you’re doing it for your own reasons or because that’s what’s expected of you.
Your One Thing.
Write down all the reasons you shouldn’t do something which you’ve been considering in your business. It could be expansion, changing a policy or reducing your student load, for example.
Take a moment to look at the cons and then, if you’re still excited, do it anyway!
Are you considering expanding your business?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments below. 🙂
8 thoughts on “7 Reasons NOT to Expand Your Music Teaching Studio Business”
Thanks so much for this! I have 53 students studying different instruments. This is the perfect number for me but I have to admit it’s sometimes hard to say “no” when people ask for lessons. I love my job but have to always think about the things you mentioned to keep me grounded and happy with my studio as it is. I feel encouraged now.
Thank you so much for sharing this information. I am a full time music teacher (veteran) and I offer piano/voice lessons after school. My husband is very encouraging and supportive of anything I do. However, this is a big topic. He suggest-est I expand my business once I retire. However, I love what I’m doing, I love how it is being managed, I love the impact the program makes on children and families. I’m in my comfort zone. Again, thanks for sharing this blog.
Thanks for the comment Pamela. It’s one of those situations where if it’s working for you, why change! Glad you enjoyed the article.
Colourful Keys Community Assistant
Many thanks for your kind feedback on our blog which is very much appreciated…all best wishes too for your retirement!
Thanks for this insightful thoughts. I currently teach at my residence and I’m enjoying it because it doesn’t put extra expenses on me and I intend things to stay like that for now.
Hi Seun, Yes that is definitely a nice benefit!
Colourful Keys Community Assistant
This episode is a wonderful accompaniment as I continue to work through Studio Systems and explore ClickUp – thank you!