After taking classes for a few years and gaining experience as a performer, you are confident and ready to start a belly dancing business. In fact, the desire to run your own business is on your mind every day.
Here are some guidelines to consider before opening a location:
- Do you have a golden goose for start-up financial costs, miscellaneous expenses, and savings to overcome unforeseen emergencies?
- Do you have dedicated students who agreed to enroll when the doors opened?
- Do you have any knowledge or experience in running a business?
- Do you have business associates who can help you?
- Are you able to commit to the long term?
- Are you able and willing to work long hours, which means giving up some of your social activities?
- Are you a person with many talents and creative abilities?
- Are you adaptable and flexible? A popular, yet true statement we hear regularly is location, location and location.
Location and community:
A popular but true statement heard with regularity. is location, location, location. The studio should be easy to find, safe and within reach of the target market.
Most of the students are women taking night classes and their safety is a business concern. The studio and its car park must be well lit and maintained with security.
The dance studio should be located in or near a diverse community of nationalities. Many of these women love international-minded dances. If your target community is small, consider in-home or private instruction before investing in renting or buying a studio.
Licenses, insurance, lawyer, company name:
- Acquiring licenses and permits is a necessity. Check with your local and national governments for business requirements.
- Hire a lawyer. This person assists in the creation of various types of corporations, partnerships or sole proprietorships.
- Insurance for the protection of self, customers, property and other liabilities.
- Hire an accountant or CPA.
- Music royalties may be required. Speaking from experience, they will find you if you don’t know how to locate them.
- The business name will need to be filed with the state and there is no guarantee that the name will be accepted. The attorney will search the entire state to make sure it can be used. Get ready with three different names.
Advertise, market and sell:
Besides being a good teacher, there are three other major concerns where knowledge and experience will help you succeed in business. These three elements are advertising, marketing and sales. These three skills requiring knowledge, creativity and financing will be a constant in all aspects of your business.
Advertising, marketing and sales are the three pillars to continue being in business and making a profit. Belly dancing is a lot of fun, but we have to wear a professional cap to continue our fun and make a living from it.