The pandemic era is a challenging time to start a business, but, not a “mission: impossible”. Indeed, Mark Cuban argues that despite “the horror of it all, this is the best time ever to start a business.” If you can organize your business model in the right way to survive and thrive in the pandemic era and beyond, then you should take the opportunity to think about starting a dance business. Depression rates have skyrocketed during the pandemic period, as well as other mental health issues, either because of lost incomes or because people are struggling to cope being confined without anything to bring them joy, because they feel disconnected, they lack an outlet for their anxiety about the future and because they need someone to help them with their fitness. This presents a unique opportunity to start a dance business given the right business model.
Lia Muniz is a great example of someone who started a dance business, Studio Samba in Australia. She had, as you likely have, a passion for dance that she wanted to transmit to others, so she started her business while still working as a full time flight attendant. She too saw a gap in the market with dance companies not meeting the needs of a market that wanted more connection, to get fit, feel good and learn the culture behind each dance.
It is important to know that you will not have ideal conditions from day one. A business is above all things an idea and after an idea it is about execution according to a rational growth strategy. You may have to accept, as Muniz did, that you teach classes just once a week in a rented space and as you grow you can establish your own dance studio for group or private classes for different genres of dance. You must learn to work through realities to attain your goals.
Dance is more than just a series of steps or routines, it is a joyous, immersive experience and you want to find ways to make it more than just a mechanical exercise, to give it life for your students. For example, Muniz gave dance tours to Rio de Janeiro Brazil for Carnival, India and Hawaii.
Your worry may be bubbling to the surface: how does a dance business grow in a period in which physical contact is a risk? You can set up an online dance school, Zoom classes and stream instructional classes to your audience. It just may be that your business grows faster without the limitations of physical space.
Find out if you need to register a business name. Your location and business structure determine how you’ll need to register your business. Determine those factors first, and registration becomes very straightforward. For most small businesses, registering your business is as simple as registering your business name with state and local governments.
In some cases, you don’t need to register at all. If you conduct business as yourself using your legal name, you won’t need to register anywhere. But remember, if you don’t register your business, you could miss out on personal liability protection, legal benefits, and tax benefits.
Most businesses don’t need to register with the federal government to become a legal entity, other than simply filing to get a federal tax ID. Small businesses sometimes register with the federal government for trademark protection or tax exempt status.
To create an S corp, you’ll need to file form 2553 with the IRS.
When you have your legal ducks in a row, you can then work on growing your market share. A simple way to start is to have a website showing the full range of services you offer. If your offering is sufficiently powerful then people will find your site and enquiries will start coming in. Perhaps you yourself need dance classes to freshen up your routine and get inspired and get ideas. Training and developing yourself are very important for the development of your business. Learning never ends.