As the year draws to a close and I think about goals for the new year, I’m using these questions to evaluate my studio as it currently is and determine where I can improve. I’ve broken the questions down into categories so I can choose where to spend my energy in the coming months:

Branding

  1. How does my current messaging represent me and my studio?
  2. Is my studio represented consistently in all elements (website, social media, print materials, the way I dress, etc.)?
  3. What changes can I make to my studio to make it more attractive to potential students? (Consider all areas: location, pedagogy, lesson format, new programs, etc. Nothing is off limits!)
  4. How can I welcome new students to my studio in a way that makes it a unique, special, and memorable experience (in a good way)?

Marketing

  1. Which tactics have brought new students to my studio?
  2. Which tactics have brought the “right” students to my studio?
  3. Which tactics helped me reach students outside my regular sphere of influence?
  4. Have I been using social media to effectively promote my studio? How can I improve?

Sales

  1. Have any students left my studio this year? If so, why? What could I have done differently to keep them?
  2. For students who called/interviewed but didn’t enroll, what were their objections? How could I handle these objections differently in the future?
  3. Describe the typical first conversation with a prospective student. How can I use this conversation to more effectively promote the benefits of my studio?

Networking

  1. Who should I intentionally get to know in the coming year?
  2. Have I collaborated with any teachers over the last year? What opportunities might there be for working together in the new year?
  3. What organizations could I join to connect with other musicians and small business owners?

Professional Development

  1. What conferences or training seminars would be inspiring and informative?
  2. What technology or concept, if I understood it better, would make me a better business owner or teacher? What can I do to learn more about that technology/concept?
  3. Am I doing anything now to build a satisfying career, not just a full studio? What does that career look like? What would it take to get there?
  4. What kind of support would help me accomplish my goals?

Finance

  1. Do I have a good sense of my financial needs? Am I earning enough to meet them?
  2. What financial goals do I have (besides paying bills)?
  3. When was the last time I raised my rates? Should I consider doing so this year?
  4. How do my rates compare to other teachers in the area with my skills?

Mental Health

  1. Do I harbor any feelings of resentment toward students/parents for any reason? How can I deal with these feelings in a healthy way?
  2. Do I enjoy teaching? If not, what specifically has stolen the joy?
  3. What do I least like about teaching? How might I eliminate this pain point?
  4. Are there any students I need to let go in the new year?
  5. Is there a decision I have been avoiding? If yes, why?
  6. What do I need to quit or let go of to make space for a more meaningful life?

Service

  1. How can I support other music teachers in my area?
  2. How am I using my unique skills to serve those around me?
  3. How does my music studio serve the community as a whole?

If you found any of these questions challenging, that’s a good thing! They are meant to help you dig deep to figure out what you need both personally and professionally. These are the types of questions we wrestle with when people work with me. I hope you found them helpful!

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