I'm Leaving My Thriving Group Studio and Starting Over. Here's My Plan.

 
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As I’m writing this, we are two weeks from moving from North Carolina to Eastern Washington.

We’ve been in North Carolina for 10 years, so as much as I’m excited about moving to a new home, I’m saddened to leave behind a studio of families I know and love.

As entrepreneurs, we have the luxury of moving because we want to - and that’s exactly why we’re moving. We’re ready for a new adventure, we love the Northwest, and my family lives nearby.

As entrepreneurs, a cross-country move is thrilling…and also terrifying.

We aren’t moving to a new job. We are leaving behind my thriving studio, which is wait-list-only. My website has been organically on page 1 of piano lesson results for my city for a long time now, and my reputation is well-established.

We’re moving to a new city where we don’t know anyone but our real estate agent.

And yes, I will be rebuilding my studio in our brand new city just as quickly as I can.

What does this have to do with you?

All of us started from scratch at one point. Many of us start over at least once in our teaching careers.

Traditionally, it takes a long time to establish and build a studio in a new location. Word of mouth doesn’t bring in a full studio within the first month, and most teachers are dependent on another income (from another job or from a partner) while they rebuild.

So here’s your front-row seat to a studio rebuild that will happen quickly.

You will find this particularly helpful if you find yourself in the position of:

→ Starting over

→ Building your first studio

→ Increasing your studio size quickly

→ Finding yourself unable to rely on another source of income

Here’s a front-row seat to my studio adventure.

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What I’m Leaving:

→ I currently have a group piano studio of about 50 students.

This includes about 15 young students (ages 4-6), 30 elementary through high school students, and 5 adult students.

→ I teach in my home studio. We’ve sold our home, so I’m losing that space.

We’re purchasing a home in our new city that also has room for a studio space.

→ Nearly all of my inquiries come through my website.

Families find me through word-of-mouth, our local Facebook moms’ group, and through Google searches, but 95% of people who contact me visit my website before reaching out.

My website is my most valuable tool in rebuilding a studio, and I intend to leverage it to its fullest potential.

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My Game Plan:


→ I’ll continue to work with a few current students in online lessons.

I’m teaching a handful of current students in 3rd grade or older (their technical foundation is already in place) online, and will include occasional partner lessons with someone currently in their piano group.

I will teach one full day each week of online lessons. I’ve already enrolled all of these students for the coming year.

→ I’m changing my studio website SEO to match my new location.

I’m hiring an AdWords expert to set up an account and manage this for me as I’m serious about getting to the top of Spokane piano lesson search results - quickly.

I’ve never needed to use AdWords before, so this will be an exciting new experience for me.

(Watch for a future AdWords blog post!)

→ I’m asking current parents for testimonials.

I’ve never needed them before, but this will be a key element in my website as I’m earning trust in a new area. Social proof is powerful!

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My Goals:

→ I will begin the studio year on September 1st with 12-16 students (3-4 groups) in my new studio.

That’s one day of lessons each week.

→ I will have 24-30 students at my new studio location by January 1, 2020.

I’m not planning to teach more than 2 days of group lessons for the foreseeable future, so 30 students will be a full studio for me.

→ I will continue to work with my small online studio of North Carolina students.

I’m looking forward to the variety this will bring to my teaching week. I don’t anticipate expanding my online lessons, however.


What You’ll See:

I’m planning to share a blog update about my studio rebuild each month as long as I’m in the process of rebuilding.

You’ll learn exactly what it’s like and what works for me, and you will know exactly what to do if and when you ever need to build a studio from scratch.


Your Turn:

Do you have specific questions for me about starting over? About my plans? Anything you’d like to see me cover during our move?

Thanks for reading.