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TAKE YOUR LESSON PROGRAM TO NEW HEIGHTS THIS FALL By Tim Spicer

Fall is here, bringing with it school, family schedules, sports and music lessons. A lot of music stores have a lesson program, but many may be in need of a facelift. A robust lesson program can bring steady revenue to your store and can greatly increase your company’s bottom line. Lessons are an important part of our industry, but as a music store, it can be easy to focus most of our attention on retail instead of a consistent lesson program. A healthy lesson program has a multitude of benefits, including a consistent and steady revenue source, a stronger brand in your community, and directly feeding your inventory sales. So, what does it take to run a successful lesson program? The first step to running a successful lesson program is to give it your full attention. This sounds obvious, but in an industry that is largely focused on retail, it can be difficult to give your lesson program the attention it needs each day. Retail has a lot of moving pieces, 36

and it takes a lot of effort to manage the complexities of sales: managing a sales team, hitting sales goals, inventory purchasing and receiving, inventory upkeep, marketing and financing. It’s no wonder retail becomes the main emphasis for many stores. It’s important to understand that in some cases, an effective lesson program can generate a lot of profit with much less work and energy. Spend some time truly focusing on your lesson program. Are you focusing enough on lessons? Or are you spending all of your time concentrating on retail? The second step to running a successful lesson program is to make everyone involved in your program comfortable. Your students and parents should feel comfortable and safe at all

times. How safe are your lesson rooms? Do you have windows, glass doors or cameras in each room? Do your instructors walk students into a closed room and shut the door to teach their lesson? It’s essential to continuously ask yourself how safe your students and instructors are. If you don’t have a camera system in your lesson studios, research options immediately. Not only does a camera system assist in child and instructor safety, but it gives comfort and peace to your parents that their children are safe while in music lessons at your store. Next, think about the comfort of parents while their children are in the lesson. I have spent time in music stores where parents waited in their cars instead of coming in to wait on their children due to the lack of clean and comfortable seating. What kind of a message is this sending to your lesson parents? At our store, we have found

parents who come in and spend time each week in the shop are more engaged in the student’s learning. This creates more lesson consistency and retention. A parent waiting in your store instead of waiting in their car can result in more retail sales as well. Place relatable inventory near parent seating areas with easy-to-read signs. Ask yourself how your lesson studios look and feel. Are your studios clean and organized with quality gear and an attractive color scheme? If you haven’t been into every lesson studio in a while, walk into each room and observe the lighting, temperature, cleanliness and paint. Look for improvements that can be made prior to the fall-season rush. Talk to your instructors about their feelings of the studios. After all, your instructors are the ones living in these rooms each day. The more comfortable your lesson studios and parent-waiting areas are, the better chance you’ll keep students longer, adding to your bottom line. The third step to running a successful lesson program is to give your students a reason to keep taking lessons. RetenOCTOBER 2019

Profile for Music & Sound Retailer

Music & Sound Retailer October 2019, Vol 36 No 10  

In the October issue of the Music & Sound Retailer, learn the latest news about the percussion industry, discover what many retailers and ma...

Music & Sound Retailer October 2019, Vol 36 No 10  

In the October issue of the Music & Sound Retailer, learn the latest news about the percussion industry, discover what many retailers and ma...