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How to Start a Dance Competition Company

Do you want to start a dance competition company? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a dance competition business with NO money and no experience.

If you love dancing, have the passion for the arts and feel that you can put together a dance team that can compete with other dance teams in the united states of America, then you can start your own dance team competition. However, like several other forms of businesses, you will need to take certain factors into consideration before starting your own dance team competition.

You first off have to understand why it is important that you start a dance team competition in the first place, is there a need for it?

Will you get clients to sponsor your team if you choose to start a competition? Can you get people with the same vision and goals into your team? The last question is very important because you do not want to take in members who do not have the same skills or obligations as yourself.

Once you have put together the team that you feel will help you attain your goals and objectives, you need to start preparing by setting schedules and traveling for competitions so that your team can get well organized. This can be a very tasking process, so you need to get the necessary assistance, especially if you know you won’t be able to coordinate all activities as you would like.

Asides from setting up a schedule, you would need to set up practices and lead these practices, get the necessary costumes that you would need, apply for competitions and also ensure that all travel documents are ready in case your team is called up.

Since you are going to be setting up a dance competition team, it is important that your team members know all that is expected of them. For instance, how many practices they can miss, what you will and won’t tolerate, what they need to pay to become members and the level of responsibility they have towards their hair, costumes, travel and make-up and any other necessary details.

Then because of the type of team you are, it is necessary that you spend most of your time practicing together so that you not only create routines but also hone your skills. While having a new team might be exciting, don’t forget to consider getting someone that has the experience of attending competitions to come and give you and your team an insight on how you are all doing.

After analyzing your competition in order to know what you are up against and who your target market will be, you can then go into marketing your dance competition company by deploying both offline and online measures.

While marketing your dance competition company offline might be good, the internet offers better means in getting you to the right audience as well as you can create a website and use it to get to your target audience, you can also put up videos of your practices but not full performances and tease projects up on your website or on video sharing platforms such as YouTube.

Steps to Starting a Dance Competition Company

1. Understand the Industry

According to IBIS World, the industry is a fragmented one and as such, there are no stand-out companies who have a dominant market share in this industry. The revenue generated by this industry amounts to $3 billion and between the periods of 2011 to 2016, the industry experienced a 2.5 percent growth.

There are more than 66,700 dance competition companies in the United States of America employing nearly 116,000 people.

Even though there is no projected growth percentage for the periods of 2016 to 2022, it has been predicted that the boost in the economy which will lead to a rising income will make more people demand to join competitions and also buy related dance merchandise.

The increasing popularity of dance television shows as well as movies and also a growing interest in dance as another form of exercise by fitness experts has given the industry not only a positive impact but has caused its revenue to rise tremendously.

Therefore, improving economic conditions will likely cause an increase in per capita disposable income, thereby allowing more people to spend on recreational activities such as dance. The industry is offering its teeming participants instructional classes that is focused on the provision of knowledge and skills that are related to all forms of dance.

The dance studio industry generated about $2.1 billion revenue which meant the industry had a 1.2 percent growth over the past five years which includes a double growth of 2.4 percent in 2013. The industry received positive impact between the periods of 2008 to 2013 especially due to the fact that dance inspired television shows and movies have led to its popularity.

Also, fitness nuts have proclaimed it an alternative form of exercise that helps people to stay in shape. This has led to dance studios offering their increasing customers ballroom class dances, Latin-inspired dances as well as fusion.

This does not however mean that it has all been rosy for the industry as it has had its own share of challenges especially during the recession which began in 2008, causing the industry’s high revenue period to end in 2011. The loss of revenue for the industry was from loss of jobs which led to a decline in disposable income, thereby enabling more customers to limit the way they spend on discretionary items.

Clients that were still interested in dance during this period declined to enroll in dance classes or have private lessons and instead preferred to enroll in group classes that were inexpensive in nature. The industry is one that is largely fragmented and most of the dance competition studios operate from a single locality in order to be able to cater to the local and regional market.

Due to the rising demand of dance over the past five years (2008 to 2013), it is expected that the number of dance studios will increase at a rate of 1.2 percent annually on the average. Between the periods of 2013 to 2018, it is expected that there will be a positive growth in the number of dance competition companies which will lead to an increase in the annual income generated over the same period of time.

Due to how highly fragmented the industry is, the market share concentration for the industry is on the low as the top four companies in the industry account for less than 10 percent of the revenue that was generated in the year 2013. The baby boomer has been tipped to be the source of growth for the industry, especially over the next five years.

According to an economic census which was conducted in 2007, more than 98 percent of companies in this industry operate from a single location. The industry has had consolidations although they aren’t regarded as significant statistically.

From a 2012 IBS report, the dance competition industry generated revenue of $487 million, with growth over the next five years (2012 to 2017) projected to be at 1.7 percent and with average revenue expected to rise to $529 million as a result of high recreational spending, as well as higher corporate profits in addition to more kids between the ages of 10 to 17 joining dance competitions.

The dance competition industry has 331 dance competition companies in existence. The industry has low regulation for already existing participants as well as for new entrants. There are no major players in the industry and the industry is seen as recession proof.

2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies

  • Demographics and Psychographics

The demographic and psychographic composition of those who require the services of a dance competition company usually include participants, other dance competition companies, corporate organizations, celebrities and those with one or more stakes in the industry.

If you are looking towards defining the demographics of your dance competition, you should set the ages for your participants between the ages of 10 to 17, 18 to 25, and 26 to 35.

3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On

Dance competition have been garnering attention especially as there have been dance competition related movies that has caused an increase in the demand for completion groups and companies. The increasing number of dance competition companies has led to more companies striving to differentiate themselves from the other by using different means to do so.

There have been concerns relating to how dance competition companies can differentiate themselves and get the members that would be required for them to participate in serious competitions, and the issue of niches has helped these dance competition companies stand out from others in the same industry.

Even though there aren’t many niches available, if you are looking to start a dance competition in the United States of America, below are some of the niches that you might consider going into;

  • For profit dance competition
  • Non-profit dance competition
  • Dance competition instructor
  • Sale of merchandise
The Level of Competition in the Industry

Even though there are about 331 dance competition companies in the United States of America, competition is very intense as most of these dance competition groups usually have to go into very limited number of competitions in order to be able to retain visibility in the industry.

Dance competition companies usually have to be located in a region that is easily accessible by its members in order to be able to function. No one will want to go very far before they can join up with a dance competition group, especially as these groups all have to practice continuously to be able to put up for a major competition and so rather than go through the stress will rather look for like-minded members in the area to practice with.

If you therefore are looking to start your own dance competition business in the United States of America, you should know that even though there are still very few dance competition groups in existence, the competition is still one that is very intense. Also, with the evolution of the internet, you should be aware that your competition will be on a global scale and you should therefore be ready for this.

4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry

The dance competition industry is one that is highly fragmented with dance competition companies coming up and then fading away. There are however means that can be used to determine how well known a dance competition is and that is due to how many competitions they are able to get into year after year, how long they have been in existence and how good their members are.

Therefore, some of the well-known dance competition brands in the United States of America are;

  • Dancers Inc
  • Elite Dance Challenge
  • Backstage Performing Arts
  • Star Talent Productions
  • Dance Machine
  • Boogie Fever
  • Diva Dance Competition
Economic Analysis

The dance competition has different distinct subcultures and most of it is based on a strict pay-to-play as costs can run into thousands for participants who are strictly involved. According to a dance instructor, dance competition companies are majorly a business and so there are participants who would do anything to win the competition.

However, there are many negatives in the dance competition industry as it sometimes causes unhealthy competition and rivalry. Also, if the participants are young, there is a huge toll that the competition will take on them especially when they have to do hard routines and meet up with practices that have to be mixed with their school work.

Dance competition is regarded as a very demanding sport activity that requires physical abilities. According to research, more than 80 percent of dance competitors have had at least one form of injury and most dance instructors became one after getting injuries that ended their careers as participants in dance competitions.

The high amount of injuries gotten during dance competition is usually due to high levels of fatigue which is usually caused by little time for rest. Also, the injuries persist due to high levels of stress and a little time for injuries to heal. These all join to increase the burn out periods for these dancers and also cause a lowering of their strength, immune, coordination and cognitive functions.

5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch

Starting your business from scratch or buying a franchise is totally the prerogative of the entrepreneur as the goals and objectives of the business will go a long way in determining the outcome of this decision. Each option comes with its pros and cons and as an entrepreneur, you must make sure that you have intensely studied each option in order to determine which will be of more benefit to your business.

It should however be noted that even though there are franchises and consolidations in the dance industry, the dance competition segment of the industry has no such options available and so if you are looking to go into this business, you must be ready to start from the scratch.

In starting a business from the scratch, the entrepreneur must be ready for any sort of eventuality or challenges that might likely be thrown up. This is because starting a business from the scratch comes with a lot of unpredictability which can either mar or make the business.

This is why it is necessary to have a business plan as this will help you tackle certain decisions and actions that you will need to take in order to move your business forward. In starting from the scratch, all the aspects that would be needed to make the business a success such as practice times, funding, how to get into competitions and how to market and promote your dance competition group has to be taken into consideration.  

6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face

Every entrepreneur faces threats and challenges during the course of starting or running a business. Therefore as an entrepreneur, you must be prepared for whatever threats and challenges you are likely to face. You should be aware that some of these threats and challenges can be easily controlled, while some cannot. You cannot do anything about threats that cannot be controlled, except hope for the best outcome.

Therefore, some of the threats and challenges that you are likely to face during the course of starting your dance competition business are; non-committed and non-zealous members, competition from already existing dance competitions, economic downturn which might lead to less people participating or joining dance competitions.

7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)

There are factors to consider when choosing a legal entity and they are liability, flexibility, taxation, ease of control and ownership. There are four legal entities that are available for those intending to start a dance competition business and they are; sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation and Limited Liability Company (LLC).

In a sole proprietorship, the business and the owner are regarded as one and the owner controls all the aspects of the business. The major disadvantage of this legal entity is that the owner is personally liable for all the debts that the business will incur. In the partnership kind of legal entity, two or more people come together orally or via written agreement to start a business. A decision taken by one partner affects all partners. All partners are personally liable for any debt the business incurs.

In a corporation, the business is regarded as a separate entity from the owners and this kind of legal entity usually requires a lot of formalities and paperwork and so it is best left to a lawyer to handle. For a business to be regarded as a separate entity from the owners means that any debt incurred by the business cannot be hung on the owners. The LLC kind of legal entity is almost the same like that of a corporation. The difference is that it is less formal in nature and has a taxation benefit.

Legal entities and the way they can be set up might differ from city to city, which is why it is best for a lawyer with experience in the industry to help you choose which will be best for your business.

8. Choose a Catchy Business Name

When starting a business, it is important that you choose a name that will fully depict what kind of business you are into. The name you should choose for your business must be one that is distinct, memorable and easily pronounced. If you are having difficulty choosing a name for your dance competition group, you might need to scour the internet to come up with names that you like and from there craft out what you feel will be best for your business.

Below are some of the names that you might need to consider when starting your own dance competition business in the United States of America;

  • Groovity Dance Group
  • Utopian Dancing Group
  • Pricked Roses Dance Competition
  • Forceful Gravity Dance Group
  • Hipititity Dance group

9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You

Having insurance policies are very necessary because they help protect you from any financial loss that might occur during the course of running your dance competitor business. If you do not have any insurance policy at all, you might have to pay personally from your pocket and this could prove to be very expensive for you in the short and long run.

If you are not sure of what insurance policies to get, you might need to consult with an insurance agent or broker who would best advise you on what insurance policies to get and how much you would need to keep aside. Below are some of the basic insurance policies that you would need to consider purchasing if you intend to start your own dance competition business in the United States of America;

  • General Liability Insurance
  • Umbrella Liability Insurance
  • Travel and Sponsored Competition Insurance
  • Excess Accident Medical Insurance
  • Property Coverage Insurance
  • Hired Auto and Employers’ Non-ownership Liability
  • Dance Teacher Liability Insurance
  • Professional Liability
  • Personal Property Liability
  • Premises Liability
  • Bodily Injury Liability

10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents

Even though the dance competition industry is under the performing and creative arts industry and should therefore have most of its products intellectually protected from theft, this is hardly the case as this industry is a difficult one where intellectual property can actually be proven to be stolen. This is because unlike certain form of arts, an original move can be modified by another participant and claimed as a new move.

This does not however mean that properties cannot be intellectually protected as you can seek to protect your company’s logo, slogan and production or concept materials. In order to do this, you will need to apply for an IPP by engaging the services of a lawyer and getting them to help you file for protection with the office of the USPTO.

11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification

In order to be a member of a dance competition company, it is not necessary that you obtain any sort of professional certification. If you however aim to become a dance instructor or teacher, then there are certain certifications you will need to get in order to know the proper dance techniques and alignment and then communicate this to the students.

A dance instructor can also help a dance competition company to better understand how each individual member of the team are progressing, how strengths can be used to win competitions and also how weaknesses can be made to become strengths.

Even though certifications are not compulsory, they help give the dance instructor an edge over others and may help a dance competition group have an edge over others in the competition. Therefore, some of the certifications that you might need to consider are;

  • Cecchetti USA
  • RAD
  • DEA
  • NDEO
  • CDTA
  • DMA

Most of the above certifications are available through private dance membership organizations, universities, public and also private colleges.

12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate

In every business, it is necessary to have a list of legal documents that you would need in order to be regarded as running a legal business by the concerned authorities. Not having the right documents could lead you into trouble with the law and cause you to either close down your business or be financially penalized.

If you are not sure of what legal documents you would need for your dance competition company, then you should consult with an attorney or accountant to help you with what documents you would need to start your dance competition business.

Below therefore, are some of the legal documents that you need to run a dance competition company in the United States of America;

  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Operating Agreement
  • Insurance Policies
  • Employment Agreement
  • Business Plan
  • Business License
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • Federal Tax Identification Number

13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital

Even though you might have the passion and commitment needed to start your own dance competition company, you still need to have the necessary finance to kick-start your business. Even though sourcing for start-up capital can be very tasking for an entrepreneur, it is something that must be done.

This is why it is advised that you create a business plan as this is what you can use to convince investors and stakeholders of the seriousness and commitment you have regarding the business. Some of the financing options that you might need to explore when sourcing for start-up capital are;

  • Using your personal savings or sale of stock or property as part of your start-up capital
  • Sourcing for soft loan from family members and friends
  • Approaching private investors and business partners for start-up capital
  • Applying for loan from a bank or financial institution
  • Going on crowdfunding sites to source for capital

14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business

One important decision that you will need to take into consideration when starting your dance competition business is where you will locate your business as the location must be an ideal one that will meet up with size and layout that will best suit the needs of your dance competition. You might need to conduct a thorough research in order to determine the best location for your dance competition and if it is in close proximity with other dance competition companies.

If however you live in a building where there is space on the rooftop, you might consider using the space on your rooftop to practice especially if you have a budget constraint. However, it is vital that you get permission from other tenants so that they do not report you to the building’s owner. If you also live in a house that is big enough to accommodate a dance studio, then starting this business from home shouldn’t be a biggie.

If you however will be renting or leasing a commercial facility in order to set up your dance studio, then you must ensure that it is in a location that has enough foot and vehicular traffic and is also conspicuous as this will help you get the attention you need, not to mention that it will be very easy for everyone in the team to get to.

Also when renting like a building layout, you might need to consider how many rooms it will have as well as space for other important rooms such as the offices, storage areas, reception room, lobby and bathroom.

Another option available is to rent an existing studio for your practice. This will remove all the stress of having to look for a location that fits with your budget as all you will need to do is to have an agreement with the dance studio owner as to what times are convenient for the both of you so that there isn’t a clash.

15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs

In starting your dance competition company, there are several factors that you need to take into consideration, from how you will promote your group to how many competitions you will enter for. These and many more are very necessary to ensure that your dance competition company attains all its intended goals and objectives.

You will need to have the necessary finance in order to be able to run the business till it starts to generate revenue via sponsorship deals from corporate organizations. There are several ways by which you can seek for finance to start up your dance competition company and you will need to explore all the available options available.

Ensuring that the dance studio is adequately equipped is very important so that all members are not inconvenienced in anyway. This means that you should install big pieces in your studio, make sure the studio has sufficient lighting and sound whilst also being soundproof as well. Other equipment that you will need include; studio management software, computer, phone, payment processing system and a high speed internet.

No business can run on its own and if you intend to run your dance competition business to become a success, you will need to recruit the services of others. Therefore, the employees you will need to recruit in order to build a solid business structure are; chief executive officer (CEO), office manager, dance instructor, accountant, business development and marketing executive and front desk officer.

This therefore means that you will need at least 6 people in order to make your business become a success.

The Service Delivery Process of the Business

The dance competition company is one where there aren’t too many processes involved in setting up and in also attaining all the desired goals and objectives. First off, you have to know the genre you want to go into and what the target market for that genre or niche is like. Once you have determined this, you will need to come up with a Business title=”business name” data-wpil-keyword-link=”linked”>business name for your dance competition group and get the necessary licenses and other documentations that will allow you to run as a business.

Once you have gotten the name you need, you would need to look for members that are aligned with your same vision and ideals. You will then need to set practice times and give room for new routines. You will also need to ensure that each of your group members will be able to pay up when it is time for a competition and that they have their travel documents ready.

Once you have agreed on the competition you intend to enter for, you will need to have consistent practice. You might engage the services of a dance instructor, especially one who has coached teams going for competitions.

16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies

Before you can craft the right marketing strategies for your dance competition business, you must first study the market so as to know who your target market is, what you should expect from them and what they should expect from you as well.

Once you have studied the market, then you can empower your marketing team to draft strategies that are in line with your desired goals and objectives. Some entrepreneurs go as far as engaging the services of a marketing consultant who has the kind of experience they need to help them craft marketing strategies that will allow them stand out and have an edge over their competition.

Below are some of the strategies by which you can market your dance competition company;

  • Introduce your dance competition company to various major dance competition event planners as well as other stakeholders in the industry
  • Empower your marketing executives to physically market your dance competition business
  • Ensure that your business is listed in online directories as well as yellow pages
  • Advertise your dance competition company in print, audio and visual media
  • Make use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat and Tumblr to market your dance competition company
  • Attend other competitions and dance related events in order to network and market your dance competition company

17. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity

Promoting your business is very important and this is because promoting a business allows the business to not only gain the publicity it needs but to also generate the needed revenue. This is why already established dance competition companies will not mind spending a percentage of their earnings to promote their businesses.

If your intention is to run a dance competition business that is well known and reckoned with, then you must start to take measures to ensure that you engage in publicity strategies and measures that will boost the brand of your business.

Another thing with promoting your brand and helping to increase awareness for it is that you are able to shape your target audience’s mind about your business in such a way that will be favorable to you. There are enough avenues by which you can promote your business and the internet has made it easy for dance competition groups to stand out and gain the attention they need.

Below therefore are the platforms that you can leverage on in order to boost the awareness of your brand and create a corporate identity for your business;

  • Ensure that you tell your loyal fans to help spread the word about your dance competition company
  • Employ the use of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat to promote your business
  • Distribute handbills and business cards in strategic locations
  • Use your website to promote your business
  • Place adverts in local newspapers, magazines and on radio and television stations about your dance competition business
  • Ensure that you advertise your dance competition company in popular dance-related online blogs and forums