Throw Pillows vs. New Roof

One of my very favorite things about More Than Just Great Dancing® is that I get to spend time coaching fellow studio owners.  

Working together one-on-one to strategize and problem-solve is one of the most rewarding things I get to do in my career!

During a recent coaching session, a studio owner and I were discussing her concerns about making changes to a big program at her school.  She had made a pretty significant overhaul to the program two years prior and was questioning whether she should implement her new ideas or scale back to avoid possibly overwhelming her people.  There were certainly pros and cons to each pathway.

As we worked through her questions and brainstormed, it occurred to me that her situation was not unlike home improvements!  (Maybe this was fresh in my mind because of the recent work we’ve been doing with an investment property; who knows?) And so the conversation turned toward everyone’s favorite pastime: watching HGTV.  

Now, I know you’re probably either nodding your head because this sounds all-too-familiar OR laughing at me because dance studios and home improvement television don’t exactly bring to mind apples-to-apples comparisons.  

EITHER WAY, hear me out!

Sometimes, when you are contemplating changes to your business, I think you have to consider them just like you would home improvements.  Are the changes you need cosmetic or structural? Are they touch-ups or reconstructions? And how will they affect your budget, timeline, and effort?  The bottom line is that there’s a big difference between buying new throw pillows and getting a new roof!

The same goes for your business.  Like this studio owner was experiencing herself, there are going to be situations where you want to introduce a brand new program structure or a big idea, but perhaps it’s not the right time.  Maybe it’s too soon on the heels of other transitions and as a result, your customers would feel disrupted or frustrated. Or maybe it’s not the right decision for your finances right now.  In those moments you may decide to simply freshen up what you already offer (aka …you change out the throw pillows).

Other times, you know you need to take the plunge and invest in the “new roof”: Maybe your recital needs to be completely revamped to accommodate your studio’s growth, or your 10-year-old tuition structure needs to be reexamined so it can carry you into the next decade.  With research and due diligence, you can follow through the transformation without creating an undue burden on yourself, your team, or your customers.

So, what did this studio owner end up deciding to do?  She went with the pillows 🙂

We discussed the probable outcomes of each of her ideas, and ultimately she decided it was not the right time to introduce another major change to the program.  Instead, she made the decision to make two small tweaks to the policies and discuss those in advance to the families involved. And because she put in the time to think through the possible loopholes and communicate on the front side, there was not a peep of complaint.

With this in mind, I hope you’ll feel encouraged the next time you’re faced with a big business decision!  Just ask yourself, is it time for a few cosmetic updates or do we need to rebuild? What are the short-term and long-term consequences of making this decision one way or the other?

Pillows or roof, making changes can be daunting.  Have the confidence that if you do the work, seek out coaching, and walk through the possible outcomes, you’ll make the best decision possible for your business.  I believe in you!

Love, Misty