After taking lessons for a few years and gaining experience as an artist, you feel confident and ready to start a belly dance business. In fact, the desire to operate your own business is on your mind every day.
Here are some guidelines to consider before opening a location:
- Do you have a cash cow for financial startup costs, miscellaneous expenses, and savings to get you through unexpected emergencies?
- Do you have dedicated students who have agreed to enroll when the doors open?
- Do you have knowledge or experience in operating a business?
- Do you have business partners who can be of assistance?
- Are you able to make a long-term commitment?
- Are you able and willing to work long hours, which means giving up a part of your social activities?
- Are you a person with many talents and creative abilities?
- Are you adaptable and flexible? A popular, but true, statement that we hear regularly is location, location, location.
Location and Community:
A popular statement, but true, heard regularly. It’s location, location, location. The studio should be easy to find, secure, and within reach of the target market.
Most of the students are women who attend night classes and their safety is a business concern. The studio and its parking lot should be well lit and safely maintained.
The dance studio must be located in or near a diverse community of nationalities. Many of these women enjoy dancing with an international spirit. If your target community is small, consider in-home or private instructions before investing in renting or buying a studio.
Licenses, Insurance, Lawyer, Company Name:
- Acquiring licenses and permits is a necessity. Check with your state and local governments for business requirements.
- Hire a lawyer. This person helps establish various types of corporations, partnerships, or sole proprietorships.
- Insurance for the protection of yourself, clients, 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 lawyer will do a statewide search to make sure it can be used. Be prepared with three different names.
Advertise, market and sell:
In addition to being a good teacher, there are three other important concerns where knowledge and experience will help you succeed in business. These three are advertising, marketing and sales. These three skills that require knowledge, creativity and financing will be a constant in all aspects of your business.
Advertising, marketing and sales are the three pillars of staying in business and making a profit. Belly dancing is a lot of fun, but we have to wear a business cap to continue our pleasure and make a living from it.