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3 Steps to Opening a Dance Studio


Dancing isn’t just an activity high school kids do at proms or twenty-somethings do at night clubs. Technical dance classes offer a ton of health benefits regardless of how young or old you are. It’s an excellent workout that can improve memory, balance, and coordination. You don’t have to look a certain way or act or a certain way to be a good dance. All you have to do is put in passion and energy.

Passion and energy are also vital if you’re thinking of opening a dance studio. Going from being a dance fan to a dance teacher is a bold step, but by being prudent and scouting out the competition, you’ll know exactly what to expect. Here are three steps to ensuring you make the right moves when opening a dance studio.

Scout the competition

If you don’t already have a grasp on how your competition looks, you need to do some research. Look at dance studios that already exist in your neighborhood, city, county, and even larger metro region. For instance, if you want to open a studio in the Portland, Oregon, area. That’s a strong market, as Portlanders tend to be focused on fitness. Among other things, it’s a bicycle friendly locale that is one of the top spots for urban exercise in the country.

But that reputation is a double-edged sword, because it means you’ll have both a big potential market base and a lot of established competition. If you want to open a spot in or near the west side of town, you’ll need to visit a dance school in Hillsboro, OR, plus other studios throughout Washington County. You may think you have a cool new concept that’s never been thought of before, only to find out that three or four schools in the area area are based around similar themes. That doesn’t mean you have to abandon your goal, but it might mean you make some changes to your plans.

Find a building

Once you’ve zeroed in on a couple of desirable zip codes for your new dance school, it’s time to look around for a suitable building. Renting a commercial space will be likely your likely. The real estate market is more expensive in some markets than others, and Portland in particular can be a challenging environment, although it’s shown some signs of a slowdown in 2018.

You may run into real estate agents who pressure you to make a decision faster than you’d like. They might say stuff like “I have three other offers in on this property, so you must act today.” If they’re giving you the hard sale, that’s at least a bright orange flag. You shouldn’t rush into a leasing agreement before you’ve gotten a property inspection. If the property inspection reveals structural integrity problems with the roof, you should consult with commercial roofing experts in Portland, OR, before taking the next step. Backing out of a real estate deal before you sign a contract is usually much less work than trying to end a lease early because the building has structural problems.

Get the proper licensing

You also have to check with your city, county, and state about any licensing requirements for opening a new dance studio. Some places will take a more hands-off approach, while other jurisdictions will require you to pass multiple inspections before you so much as think about setting an opening date. It’s better to be overly prepared when it comes to dealing with governmental regulations for your brand new dance studio.

As a small business owner, you’re also going to have a uniquely complicated tax situation. Start looking for reputable business accountants before you do things like put up a sign or start advertising. The best accountants can tell you what steps to take now to reduce your dance studio’s tax burden in the coming years.

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