Alexis Ingold, Alexis Stephens, and Lindsey Riedle
Six Business Activities
Generating Ideas: The Barre is a dance studio located near the coast Santa Barbara California. This center is for people of many different ages who want to learn the basics of dance and eventually, with the help of our staff and employees, become sophisticated and beautiful dancers. The founders of The Barre met through the dance program at Dominican University of California. Alexis Ingold majored in business and Alexis Stephens and Lindsey Riedle majored in dance. We decided to collaborate and open a dance studio together, seeing as how we all had similar interests in our career paths. We’ve been in business for three years since we’ve graduated. Classes start in September and run regularly until May. We also have some summer classes available.
The money we accumulated came from 2 different places. To start out the business, we bought the space that our studio is in using bank loans of $100,000. It helped immensely. To add our own additions to the studio, including the mirrors, barres, and stereos, we used and are still using money right out of our joint bank account. We have all saved up money from our previous part-time jobs and all together we have about $15,000 in our account.
There are 6 main dance teachers including the three owners. We also have two maintenance men. When hiring new dance teachers, we look for what their dance background has been. How long have they been dancing? What types of dance are they trained in? What skills do they have when it comes to teaching? If we choose to hire a new teacher, we train them for about a week in advance before they actually start their first day at the studio. We require our employees to have a High School diploma and have or are currently getting a higher education. The money we pay the employees with comes from our students tuition that is separated and give out every month.
In our building, we have 3 different studios that are used and equipped with supplies to provide the best lessons we can offer. We have three stereos that we bought from the business Sony, and have been using them since we opened our studio. Our mirrors were bought in a resale store, we got really lucky with that find. The barres that we have are made from wood, and our maintenance men, Steve and Robert, made them for us. After they shaped the wood into cylinders, they sand them down and paint over them to ensure that no one gets a splinter from the wood. We buy our paper and other necessary office supplies from the local Office Depot. We furnished our single bathroom and dance owner's’ offices with furniture from IKEA.
The business has a Facebook account run by the owners. We get many inquires through that because of people sharing and liking our page. We also put out ads in the newspaper every month and we even have a local radio advertisement that plays every so often during commercial breaks. We are privileged to have some students whose high schools ask for ads in their yearbooks. Some of our students who are employed take our cards and/or flyers to their jobs. We post flyers in the city and in other local places. All of these ads cost money that we use from a fraction our students tuition in order to keep the business open! The business also has a website where we post important information and other things such as the registration/ application forms, pictures, and important dates.
- In our studio we have a payment box for monthly tuition of students and other payments, and also have a front desk where people are welcome to pay over the counter which we would then put into the payment box to collect all together. We have an office for just the three owners to sort all of the payments out. When it comes to registering, we have a week dedicated to registration, but we also have a form on our website that people can fill out and bring in. All students are required to “audition” before being enrolled in a class just simply to figure out what level they are at. There is an audition fee of $10. Everyone who auditions will be a member of the studio but the auditions just help us figure out where they are at skill wise. We keep track of each individual student's tuition with a filing system and send out reminders when it is due. Obviously we have property taxes that goes to the government and also electricity and water payments.
Our three different studios
Our business is a partnership because the three of us all want to have ownership. Some advantages are we don’t need a board of directors or anyone else to help run it, and we decide everything. Some disadvantages are, if we fail, the government could condemn our personal belongings. Although full power means making our own decisions, we have to be able to run it by ourselves and don’t get help if we need it.
We expect enrollment to go up from 25, which are already signed up, to 40 by the end of the first year.
We want to hire two new instructors before the year is over.
We hope to have a new space picked out for a new location.
Our studio would like to raise money by selling merchandise in order to purchase a studio bus for when we travel.
We hope this year’s profit will exceed 50,000 in tuition money.