You have a business that makes you money. Hurrah!! You can breathe (finally) and perhaps you have a little space to pause, re-energize and step off that hamster wheel.
You can't really stop though, can you?…
Your mind is thinking… what’s next?
What's the next step? When do I take that next step?
For some of you who want to scale and reach more people, opening a second (or third or fourth) location has probably been sitting at the back of your mind for a while now.
When does adding a location makes sense?
- leverage your existing resources: booking systems, teachers, website & marketing time
- allow you to reach new clients further afield
- may increase accessibility to existing clients
Multiplying your business while being able to utilize resources you are already paying for, can be very, very appealing.
What you should consider:
Location, location, location! I’m a fan of staying local to your area vs going across the country or to a different state. This allows you to be able to leverage your brand name and marketing efforts as well as your instructors. You want to be accessible to the clients you want in your studio, so be close to where they live or places they go. Finding the right spot can take longer than expected - you will invest a lot of time looking at empty spaces! Prepare your schedule for this.
There is an initial dollar cost to opening a second location, think rent, new equipment and furnishing the space.
Work with your numbers and make a budget. Do you need to borrow to open? Can Studio 1 support Studio 2 initially? How long do you anticipate that being possible? Be realistic in your projections. Remember that it will take time for your second studio to build up occupancy - no studio is full on day 1. Be sure to account for that in your cashflow.
Negotiate on your fixed costs (rent etc.). The lower you can work these on day one the healthier your bank balance will be in the long run
Beware that there is also an investment of time for you - and not just initially. Longer term, you will be managing two or more locations which means you will need to invest time early on in creating systems that help you to best utilize your time.
Get systems in place that ensure clients are well taken care of, that payments happen, and that bills get paid.
Check that your teachers are willing to teach in both locations - are they happy to travel?
Delegation is important as you expand, so invest in training your team and surround yourself with strong and capable people who can help you. You can’t be in 2 places at once; both locations need to be able to operate without your hand holding. Can someone else be “you” when you are at the other studio?
Growing your business can be a deeply fulfilling experience for you and your community. Making your mark in the world is a big part of why you started this journey. The world needs more people like you and many more people need what you do.