When I saw that our studio was surpassing the revenue goals we set for 2016, I planned to reward our staff by taking them on a dreamy vacation.
In the summer, after we surpassed the previous year’s revenues, our team traveled to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for a beautiful and exhilarating long weekend. But by year-end, when it was clear that the studio would far exceed our already impressive 20 percent growth rate, we knew we had to plan an even bigger reward.
In February, our team traveled to Universal Studios in Florida, as a reward for far exceeding the 2016 goals we set of $1.1 million in revenues and achieving just over $1.45 million. That’s more than a 52 percent jump over 2015, a goal I could not have imagined when I set business goals for 2016.
While people set personal resolutions for a new year, businesses can get in on the action by planning and setting reachable goals. A key to continuing a business’ success is constant training and strategic rewards for great service.
We do dance training and business training every day. I believe in training. I believe in working as a team. I have weekly incentives for my teachers, and if they meet the weekly goal, I buy lunch on Fridays.
Small rewards, like weekly lunch on the house, couple with big rewards, quarterly or annually, and help my team feel appreciated. I pay 50 percent of health care costs for our staff and match some of their retirement savings, which is not common in the ballroom dance industry.
We are very goal-oriented, not only for our students but for our teachers. Everybody is a little different. It can’t all just be monetary.
For this year, teachers have individual goals and team goals, so they are motivated to help one another achieve their personal levels. That will happen because I will reward the team in small ways for individual goals and bigger ways when they all hit their goals.
Growth plans for this year including opening more FADS studios in Michigan and helping other local ballroom dance studios grow.
We always plan for good business results, knowing that ballroom dance is a growing industry, but this is beyond our dreams. Eleven years after opening this studio, we have realized that we are selling more than dance. We are selling companionship, community and happiness as well as good health and peace of mind.
People don’t walk into the studio saying they want to compete or perform, but they see the happiness it brings them, they make friends, find community, and suddenly they are bursting with a desire to take dance in uncharted directions. That’s how I feel about my business.