Do you want to start a voice training school? If YES, here’s a complete guide to starting a voice training school with NO money and no experience. In as much as being a great singer is not a guarantee of running a successful voice training school, but it would definitely put more confidence in those who enroll for the training sessions if the owner of the school already has some type of background in music or entertainment.
A voice coach is more than just someone who helps entertainers, singers and actors develop their voices, they also provide certain professional guidance and mentoring for the students. One of the best ways to go into this venture is to first of all define yourself as a person, assuming you have some type of musical background. It would put you in the shoes of the students who come in, and you will be able to develop your own teaching techniques to meet with the very specific demands of your clients.
Another thing that would be an added advantage is your ability to coach clients, inspire them to do more and stretch them beyond their comfort zones. In as much as you will employ other coaches, it would be most appropriated if you as the owner could take some sessions without any problems.
Getting formal training may not be a requirement for establishing a school like this, but it will certainly help to know that the president of such an institution is a certified vocal coach. In fact it is required that those who train voice to go through training for more than one year to be certified as professional voice coaches.
However if you simply want to put together the organization for others to run the day today activities, then getting a formal degree may not be as important, although as said earlier, some type of involvement with the world of music and entertainment would be a plus to the reputation of your school.
In setting up your school, you would need to determine your clientele. You could choose to major in adult clients, children, teenagers, up and coming artistes or even high profile celebrities. You have got to identify your niche before anything else, know exactly who you major clients are going to be. This may not necessarily mean that you will not take on other kinds of clients if they too desire to be trained by you, it only means that you know what your niche is and the rest are simply add ons.
The second thing of course would be for you to identify what your mission and vision is going to be for the school you are starting up. A mission statement is great at keeping all employees on a straight path no matter what may happen as time goes on.
The next thing you would want to do is to is to develop a business plan, it is not advisable to start any business without having one. The advisable duration for your business plan is above 4 years, when developing your plan make sure you are as realistic as you can be, avoid ambitious projections and simply stick to the facts.
Developing a team to work with should be the next reasonable step, as well as planning the various departments you will need to hire to make this school work; this would include the accountant, lawyers, and voice coaches and so on. You would of course need to get the requirements for registering your school as a business entity as well as educational institution from the state department of education within which you intend to start your school.
16 Steps to Starting a Voice Training School
Table of Content
- 2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- 3. Decide What Niche to Concentrate On
- 4. Know the Major Competitors in the Industry
- 5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
- 9. Discuss With an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
- 10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
- 11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
- 12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
- 13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
- 14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
- 15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
- 16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed With ideas & Strategies
1. Understand the Industry
The interest in learning music formally began with the need to make church music a lot better. The first set of music schools were designed for church choir members, for the purposes of making their music a lot more harmonious and heavenly.
Slowly the study of music education began to separate from religion to a more classical background. Today there are various musical schools across the country within which voice training is a major part of the curriculum.
There are four types of approaches to musical education and only one of them distinct itself from the traditional fundamentals of musical training. Most musical schools can be found as part of a larger university in the states, but in recent years many private musical schools have emerged to make a name for themselves apart from the traditional universities within the country.
Voice training as a private entity in itself has experienced great increase in revenue as the general income of the average home in the United States continues to increase in a more stable manner. When it comes to private schools, their ability to attract the patronage of those who live around the vicinity continues to be one of the great advantages to starting one.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographic make up of this type of business centers around those who are into the voice talent industry. You may be looking for recording studios that have artists that require a trainer for their voice. Producers around the entertainment industry that work with a great number of artistes can also need a voice coach.
Professional singers and hobbyists alike will also be excellent targets for a voice training school, not to mention those who speak publicly or act for a living. Sometimes parents who want their children to have some type of musical inclination may want to contact you.
Educational institutions that require vocal training as part of the musical training courses may require the freelance services of a voice training school. Or even churches with choirs or members of singing groups will want to attend a voice training school. The psychographics would involve people with a flair for music as a whole, it doesn’t really matter whether they are in a group or not, those who love musical sounds, tones and love to entertain would attend voice training schools.
It would also be known that people within the ages sixteen to twenty-eight are most likely to enroll in a voice training school if they feel a strong sense of duty to sing. Children and teenagers will be enrolled by their parents who would already have had some type of interest in the performing arts either as teenagers or young adults.
Singing professionals who may want their children to follow in the same path as they did would also be excellent candidates for your voice training school.
3. Decide What Niche to Concentrate On
Like was earlier stated in the introduction, finding a niche for yourself in this industry is the key to maximizing your full potential. You could choose to focus on training children between the ages of eight to seventeen. That way you are focusing on the market of parents who want to give their children a chance at achieving their dreams in singing or maybe just want to have their children doing some type of extra curricula activity during the holidays and so on.
Another niche could be focusing on training choirs, singing groups and other singing professionals as they build their careers. This way you can make a mark as the go to school for those who want to expand the potentials.
You can also offer your services to recording studios around your location, for producers to send singers who need voice coaching to you and you could give them some type of compensation for their referral.
One good thing having a niche will do is to ensure that you are known for one particular thing and that you are a specialist in the field. Approaching a market with a core niche can be one of the best things one can do for their businesses.
The Level of Competition in the Industry
The Level of competition in this industry is very high because of all the individual voice coaches out there available for private services and other private voice training schools in the market. The truth of the matter is that there is no industry where competition is not found. The best thing to do is to make sure that the quality of services you provide with your brand is exceptional. When you stand out from the rest by establishing yourself as a quality service provider, then the competition itself would not affect your bottom line.
The competition is high especially in the United States of America, with its international range in entertainment. Everyone seems to think they can make it in music as singers, not to mention the classical music scene and opera as very strong genres on their own. So it is no surprise that there would be multiple independent voice training schools all over the country.
Some may even present more competitive pricing as their own way to swaying prospective clients their way. Competition is one of the major things to consider before going into this type of industry, it would be good to do your research and establish a strong competitive advantage, because without that you would not be able to win in this industry.
4. Know the Major Competitors in the Industry
When you mention certain names within a particular industry of choice, you may become intimidated because of how well known the brand is and how they may pose a big threat to your venture. Some of these brands have been in the business for years and so they have created a lasting impression in the minds of the general public.
Instead of seeing these well-known brands as threats, it will be more advantageous for you to see them as role models, a sort of like projection to what you would like to accomplish with your brand. Should this be the case, then you may have just discovered some type of path to unleashing your own individual greatness.
Below are therefore some of the leading Voice Training Schools in America;
- Berklee College of Music
- Bucknell University
- The Juilliard School
- Manhattan School of Music
The interesting thing with this kind of business is that you can actually start operating it from the garage space in your residential area, especially if all you want to do for the time being is serve your neighborhood and its immediate surroundings. If this is your approach to this kind of business then starting it off would be very pocket friendly as you would only need to establish your business name and do proper publicity.
However, if you want to have a large number of students coming in and you want to hire tutors, coaches and other staff, then you may need to prepare to spend a lot more money. However seeing that you would major on voice techniques alone, the costs may not be as hefty as you may think. All you may require is a studio from which to operate from, a keyboard or piano, and an administrative office.
Depending on how you want to go about it, this business can be a very economical business to set up and operate.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
There are not many voice training school franchises to buy in this industry. Many companies that go into this kind of business usually maintain a singular place of operation. So starting your own voice training school from scratch stands to be the major option when entering this market. This is good because you can develop yourself as an entrepreneur as you build your brand. You can enjoy the sweet liberty of being your own boss and advance as you will. However the guidance and support that may come from one who has been in the industry longer may not be available to you.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
One of the driving forces of this particular business is the purchasing power of its usual demographic. This will include mostly up-coming singers and parents who want to give their children some type of musical advantage in life. One of the things that will affect how this class of people respond to your voice training school would be general economic downturn.
Developing ones voice does not seem like a necessary need for survival, it seems more like a luxury service that one does when they have the extra cash or when finances are conducive. Needless to say, when there is an economic crisis, every person would have a strong desire to conserve how much they spend. This goes for both upcoming singers and parents alike.
Another threat to this kind of business would be changing governmental policies, rules, regulations and licenses that would have to do with running a private practice in whatever state you may find yourself in. It would be a very smart choice to pay attention to the law of the city where you are operating from.
Looking at the way music and the arts are right now, there are always new trends and standards coming up from time to time. One day a particular curriculum is the standard and then in just a short time, those styles of training become outdated and obsolete. One would have to stay focused on the trends in the musical world.
7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
The best legal entity for this kind of business would have to be the Limited liability Company as one would finally desire to expand or grow. Also this type of company frees the owner from any personal liability should there be any problems arising as business continues. However, sole proprietorship can also work in this type of business especially if you choose to operate on a smaller scale. You can have about one or two other tutors to assist you.
Another business entity that would be great for this type of business is a private partnership, this gives you the opportunity to go into business with a few trusted people. Getting this kind of assistance and support cannot hurt especially in the beginning when things may appear to be rough as you work through gaining your stance.
8. Choose a Catchy Business Name from the ideas Below
One may think the name of a business may not really matter, but it does especially if there are other brands with similar names. Before choosing a name for your voice training school you would need to also look to how the name plays against the dot.coms, dot.org and so on. A catchy name will stick with prospects as they hear it for the first time.
If you are therefore considering what names to use when starting your own business, here are some names you should try;
- Elegant Voice School, LLC
- Prime Tones, LLC
- The Bellows Voice School
- Bedrock Voice
- Sailing Notes Vocal Training School
9. Discuss With an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
Insurance helps to keep your interests safe in case of any damages to your facility or properties. Some of these insurance policies are requirements from the government, and not applying for them may hinder you from operating your school successfully. Before you go into investing fully in this business, take out the time to visit the department of education in your state, find out all the necessary licenses you would require to make this business legit.
Below are some of the insurance policies needed;
- General Insurance
- Payment protection Insurance
- Overhead expense disability Insurance
- Risk insurance
- Liability Insurance
- Health Insurance
- Workers Compensation
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
Except you develop a new revolutionary way to train voice that no other person in the world has done, then there is no real need for intellectual property protection in this type of business. You may want to protect your curriculum and training materials or books you may have developed yourself with this type of protection option. In the process of training your clients, you may develop audio training materials for them to listen to or even purchase. Such media items are to be protected by the intellectual property act.
These materials originally produced by you are registered as your intellectual property and should not be used without authorization from you.
11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
Certification is needed if you intend to run a professional voice training school. You may need to take courses to better train you for handling clients. If you are not the person to train the clients directly, you may need to hire professional voice coaches who have gone through some type of certification training. The most basic certificate one can get to begin their career a voice coache usually lasts for about six months, with other courses taking anything from a year to three years.
Certification may not be a must, but it will be an added advantage as it will help you have a more professional approach to your work.
12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
Below are a list of legal documents needed to run a voice training school in USA;
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Operating Agreements
- Business License and Certification
- Business Plan
- Insurance Policy
- Employment Agreement
- Non-disclosure Agreement
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- Consulting contract documents
- Company Bylaws
13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Raising capital is one of the major hurdles to cross when looking to establish any kind of business. Usually people are skeptical about releasing money to ventures they do not really feel confident about. When it comes to raising money for your school, you would need to have great confidence, the kind of conviction that will not budge at the resistance you may get from some of the people you meet. You would have to believe strongly in your vision, to push through every discouraging occurrence along the way.
In spite of the usual challenges facing the ability to raise money, there are very interesting ideas to get money for your venture. One of these would be to sell some of your company shares to investors, or even apply for a loan. Mind you when applying for a loan, you would need to recognize that banks may not give money to one who has not done their research well enough to show realistically how they intend to run the business. So before going to the bank or any other investor for that matter, ensure you have done your homework and that you can prove that it is a profitable business indeed.
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
Like was stated above, one could actually start this kind of business from home. But if you intend to have a more professional outlook to your school then you will need to hire a space and some sort of administrative office. Your location should be a place where the people around have the purchasing power to take advantage of the services you provide. It should be accessible and operating such business in the area should be in accordance with the law of vicinity.
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
You may not need as much manpower to operate a business like this if it is small scale. A small scale operation would simply require you as the boss and maybe two other coaches to assist you. On the other hand if you intend to operate a much larger business then you would require quite a number of people.
Business Developer, Accountant, Lawyer, Coaches, Managers, Instrumentalists and so on make up a few in the list of people you may need to employ in order to make your voice training school a success. And when it comes to equipment, you will need to purchase a public address system, a keyboard, office tables, chairs, cabinets and other usual office furniture.
The Services Delivery Process of the Business
The client enrolls for a course either through the internet, mobile app or physically. Then all the required information is received by the administrator who communicates with the client on when the program is to commence, who their coach is going to be and the schedule of the entire course.
The client comes in for the days they have sessions and continue till the timetable is complete and the curriculum is fully taught. After that, the client receives their certificate as a validation that they have gone through the required training.
16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed With ideas & Strategies
Without marketing no person would know about your voice training school, so it would be best to have some type of marketing plan before going into this business. As previously stated, this is a highly competitive industry and guerrilla marketing may be needed especially in the first few years of operation.
No matter how aggressive your marketing drive, if there is no direction; the desired impact would not be achieved. It is important to have a plan, a set of strategic actions to take towards making your brand stand out and become the choice school for those who you intend to have as clients.
Below are some platforms you can use to market your Voice Training School.
- Advertise your business in relevant financial magazines, radio and Tv Stations
- Introduce your business by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to all the corporate organizations, households, start ups, small and medium scale businesses
- List your business in the local directories
- List your business in the yellow pages.
- Attend international micro finance and financial services expos, seminars and business fairs.
- Engage the services of marketing executives and business developers to carry out direct marketing
- Utilize the internet to promote your business
- Create different packages for different categories of clients in order to be more specific in meeting their loaning needs.
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