Do you want to start a dance team? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a dance team with NO money and no experience plus a sample dance team business plan template.
Are you a professional dancer? Do you have what it takes to entertain people of different class and background with your dance? Can you work with a team? If you have answered a yes to all these questions, then you might be on your way to becoming a celebrity and making mega bucks as the owner of a dance team.
There are many business opportunities in the entertainment industry and if you are interested in this industry, you can consider starting your own dance team. Depending on the part of the world you live in, establishing a dance team whether for western dance or traditional dance means that you stand the chance of making good fortune from the business.
In other words, starting a dance team with a well – equipped dance studio can be capital intensive but it is indeed a profitable venture especially if your dance studio is well equipped and furnished and if it is located in the entertainment hub of your city or state.
If you have decided to start a dance team, then you should make sure that you carry out thorough feasibility studies and market survey on the business. This will enable you properly locate the dance team in a community or city with the right demography; a location that can readily accepts your services.
So, if you have done the required feasibility studies and market research, then you might want to venture into this business. If you have been pondering on starting your own dance team, but do not know how to go about it, then you should consider going through this article; it will sure give you the needed guide and direction.
Steps to Starting a Dance Team
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
- 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
- 17. Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products
- 18. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
- 19. Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers
- 20. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
1. Understand the Industry
The dance team business belongs to the music and theater production industry and players in this industry produce live theatrical or musical performances including concerts, opera, ballet and drama plays et al. Establishments within the Music and Theater Production industry vary significantly.
Traditional performing arts production establishments rely heavily on government funding to remain viable, while contemporary music production establishments run on high profit margins.
The revenue generated in the industry fluctuates according to changes in government funding and industry operators’ ability to stage popular shows. Over the last five years, the number of big-name musicians performing has increased, boosting the share of industry revenue attributable to popular music concerts.
While the two markets (traditional and contemporary performing arts) generally appeal to different demographics, growth within the popular music segment has come at the expense of traditional segments such as ballet and classical music concerts.
The Music and Theater Production industry is indeed a large industry and pretty much active in countries such as United States of America, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Holland, Switzerland, Australia and Canada et al.
Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, there are well over 1,263 registered and licensed music and theater production companies scattered all across the United States responsible for employing well over 8,981 people and the industry rakes in well over $13 billion annually.
The industry grew at 0.2 percent annual growth between 2011 and 2016. It is important to state that there are no establishments in this industry that have a lion market share. A recent report released by IBISWorld shows that the industry has recently expanded due to increased demand for popular music events, higher household expenditure on music and theater productions and greater government funding.
Despite this, the industry is expected to be in the mature stage of its life cycle. Industry value added is estimated to increase at an annualized 0.7 percent in the 10 years through 2022-21, which is lower than growth in GDP of 2.6 percent over the same period.
The report further shows that most segments of the industry are saturated, with only the popular music segment growing faster than the overall economy over the past five years.
Revenue in some segments has gained more from government financial support than increasing box office ticket sales, particularly for opera, classical music and dance productions. Due to the fact that it is easy to establish a dance team, it is easy to come by a dance team in the United States of America when you search for one.
Even though the industry seems to be over-saturated, there is still room big enough for an aspiring entrepreneur who wants to launch his or her own dance team in the United States.
Over and above, starting a dance team requires professionalism and good grasp of both classical and contemporary dance steps and the overall entertainment and performing arts industry. Besides, you would need to get the required certifications and business license to fully launch your dance team.
One good thing about the entertainment industry and the music and theater production industry is that there is readily available market for their services simply because individuals and even organizations naturally would want to hire dance teams for entertainment purposes at their events. So, if you are well positioned and you know how to reach out to your target market, you will always smile to the bank.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographic composition of those who require the services of a dance team cut across individuals, corporate organizations, government agencies, event planners, institutions, political parties and religious organizations et al who usually entertain their guests.
So, if you are looking towards defining the demographics for your dance team, then you should make it all encompassing. It should include every individual and organization that can pay for your services.
3. Decide What Niche to Concentrate On
If you have plans of starting a dance team, you just have to carve out niche areas that you need to specialize in. This is so because there are loads of dance teams out there and most of them are invited to perform based on their niche areas. These are some of the niche ideas a dance team can choose from;
- Dance and ballet company operation
- Circus operation
- Musical theater operation
- Musical performances
- Opera operation
- Orchestra operation
- Performing arts operation
- Theater operation
- Theater restaurant operation
The Level of Competition in the Industry
No matter the line of business you decide to pitch your tent, you are still going to compete with others who are into same area of business and dance team is not an exemption.
The level of competition in the music and theatre production industry depends largely on your area of specialization and how big and organized your dance team is.
The truth is that no matter the level of competition in an industry, if you brand and promote your products or services properly, you will always make headway in the industry. Just ensure you have what it takes to entertain your clients and you know how to reach out to your target market.
4. Know the Major Competitors in the Industry
In every industry, there are always brands that perform better or are better regarded by customers and the general public than others.
Some of these brands are those that have been in the industry for a long while and so are known for that, while others are best known for how they conduct their businesses and the results they have achieved over the years. These are some of the leading dance teams in the United States of America and also in the globe;
- Rhythmic Eagles Dance Team
- Salsa Swings Dance Team
- Doomsday Panthers Dance Team
- Lady Rebels Dance Team
- Diamond Dolls Dance Team
- Agnes de Mille Dance Theatre
- Gangstagroove Dance Team
- Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
- Liquid Smoke Dance Team
- Dance-versity Dance Team
- Top Gun All Stars Dance Team
- Rebel Angels Dance Team
- Desi Hoppers Dance Team
- Jabba WockeeZ Dance Team
- Super cr3w Dance Team
- Kings United India Dance Team
- Fanny Pak Dance Team
- SoReal Cru Dance Team
- Rated Next Generation Dance Team
- Street Kingdom Dance Team
When it comes to starting a dance team, you just have to get your feasibility studies and market research right before venturing into the business.
It is good to mention that starting a standard dance team can be demanding; it is for professionals who have successfully gathered the required experience and expertise to lead a dance team and to deliver whenever they are invited to perform.
Starting this kind of business entails that you acquire the required skills and build good working relationship with stakeholders in the music and theatre production industry. If you are already a major player in the music and theatre production industry and you are a professional dancer before venturing out to start your own dance team, this might not be an issue.
Depending on the scale at which you want to start from, you might require as much as multiple thousands of dollars to strike this off and at the same time you might need far less than that if you choose to start the dance team on a small scale with friends or family members performing in small community based shows.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
If you are looking towards starting a dance team, you would have to start from the very scratch simply because you can hardly get a franchise of a dance team to buy.
It is a business that is open to all and sundry. Besides starting a dance team from the scratch is less stressful when compared to other small scale businesses in the music and theater production industry which usually requires detailed groundwork before launching the business.
With a dance team, you should just try as much as possible to get professional dancers who are of like-minds, build business relationship with key stakeholders and then leverage on every marketing tool within your disposal, especially the internet when it comes to marketing your services.
Please note that most of the big and successful dance teams around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
If you decide to start your own dance team today, one of the major challenges you are likely to face is the presence of well – established dance teams and also schools (both high schools and universities) who also have their own dance team. The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market.
Some other threats that you are likely going to face as a dance team operating in the United States are unfavorable government policies, the arrival of a competitor within your location of operation and global economic downturn which may affect businesses such as dance team.
There is hardly anything you can do as regards this threats other than to be optimistic that things will continue to work for your good.
7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
Generally, you have the option of either choosing a general partnership or limited liability company which is commonly called an LLC for a business such as a dance team.
If your intention is to grow the business and have clients both corporate and individual from all across the United States of America and other countries of the world, then choosing general partnership is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company, LLC will cut it for you.
Setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk. It is not so for general partnerships. Limited liability companies are simpler and more flexible to operate and you don’t need a board of directors, shareholders meetings and other managerial formalities.
These are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a legal entity for your dance team; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners, investors’ expectation and of course taxes. If you take your time to critically study the various legal entities to use for your dance team, you will agree that limited liability company; an LLC is most suitable.
You can start this type of business as limited liability company (LLC) and in future convert it to a ‘C’ corporation or an ‘S’ corporation especially when you have the plans of going public.
8. Choose a Catchy Business Name from the ideas Below
Generally, when it comes to choosing a name for a business, it is expected that you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. If you are considering starting your own dance team, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;
- X – Trims Professional Dance Group
- Top Flight Dance Team
- Onyx Genders Dance Team
- Dennis Gilbert & Co Dance Team
- Sonny Star Dance Team
- Straight from Eden Dance Team
- Prince & Princess Dance Group
- Hall of Fame Dance Team
- Psalmist Generation Dance Team
- Paula Gang Dance Group
9. Discuss With an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
In the United States of America and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. So, it is imperative to create a budget for insurance policy covers and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your dance team.
Here are some of the basic insurance policy covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own dance team in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Risk Insurance
- Financial reinsurance
- Health insurance
- Liability insurance
- Workers compensation
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
- Payment protection insurance
10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
If you are considering starting your own dance team, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection/trademark. This is so because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run the business without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.
11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
Aside from the performance you produce as it relates to music and performing theater industry, professional certification is one of the main reasons why some professionals stand out.
If you want to make impact in the music and performing theater industry, you should work towards acquiring all the needed certifications in your area of specialization. Certification validates your competency and shows that you are highly skilled, committed to your career and up-to-date in this competitive market.
These are some of the certifications you can work towards achieving if you want to run your own dance team;
- ASFA® Dance/Hip-hop Aerobics Instructor Certification
- Dance Teacher / Instructor Certification
- Certificate in Dance Education
- Degree or Diploma in Music and Performing Arts Related Courses
Please note that you can successfully run a dance team in the United States and in most countries of the world without necessarily acquiring professional certifications and business license especially if you have adequate experience cum background in the entertainment, music and theater performance industry.
12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own dance team in the United States of America;
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Federal Tax Payer’s ID
- State Permit
- Business License and Certification
- Business Plan
- Non – disclosure Agreement
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Contract documents
- Apostille (for those who intend operating beyond the United States of America)
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Asides from the required certifications and hands-on experience, starting a dance team can be cost effective. Securing a standard studio facility in a good business district, equipping the dance studio with the needed dance instruments, equipment and tools and paying your employees are part of what will consume a large chunk of your startup capital.
No doubt when it comes to financing a business, one of the first things and perhaps the major factor that you should consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business or to partner with you.
Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for startup capital for your dance school;
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Sell of shares to interested investors
- Applying for loan from your bank
- Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from donor organizations and angel investors
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
The fact that you can operate your dance team from any part of the world and even in your home does not mean that locations has little influence on the success of a dance team.
If you have taken your time to study the music and theater production industry, you will realize that dance teams and related entertainment companies are willing to pay expensive rents in order to stay in a busy entertainment hub; a place where there are loads of socialites.
It cannot be overemphasized that the location you chose to open your dance team business is key to the success of the business, hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location; a location where the demography consists of people and businesses with the required purchasing power and lifestyle.
If you make the mistake of renting or leasing a facility for dance team cum dance studio in a not too visible or hidden location simply because it is cheap, then you must be prepared to spend more in promoting the business and perhaps giving direction to potential clients.
It is important to note that a business facility in good location does not come cheap hence you should be able to allocate enough fund for leasing/renting in your budget.
If you are new to the dynamics of choosing a location for a business such as dance team, then you should feel free to talk to a business consultant or a realtor who has a full grasp of the city and perhaps country you intend starting your dance team.
These are some of the key factors that you should consider before choosing a location for your dance studio;
- The demography of the location
- The demand for the services of dance teams and other players in the music and theater production industry in the location
- The purchasing power of the residents of the location
- Accessibility of the location
- The number of dance teams and related entertainment companies in the location
- The local laws and regulations in the community/state
- Traffic, parking and security et al
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
On the average, there are no special technologies or equipment needed to run a dance team except for the needed studio equipment and technology, but you will definitely need computers/laptops, internet facility, telephone, fax machine and office furniture (chairs, tables, and shelves).
These machines, equipment, tools and instrument can be purchased as fairly used especially if you have limited finance to meet your budget.
When it comes to choosing between renting and leasing a facility for a dance team and dance studio, the size of the dance team you want to build and your entire budget for the dance team should influence your choice. If you have enough capital to run a standard dance team with a well – equipped dance studio, then you should consider the option of leasing a facility.
As regards the number of employees that you are expected to kick start the business with, you would need to consider your finance before making the decision.
Averagely, you would need a Chief Executive Officer/Principal Partner, Professional Dancers, Instrumentalists, Technicians, Business Developer/Marketing Executives, Accountant (Bursar), Customer Service Executive/Front Desk Officer.
Over and above, you would need a minimum of 10 to 15 key staff to effectively run a medium scale but standard dance team with a dance studio. Please note that there will be times when you are expected to go out of your way to hire professional dancers to perform with your team.
The Services Delivery Process of the Business
The service delivery as it relates to dance team is simple and almost same amongst dance teams in any part of the world. Basically, when a dance team receives an invite to perform in a show, the invite usually contains the kind of performance that is expected from them and the duration they are expected to perform.
In most cases, especially with big concerts, the dance team would usually carry out the last phase of rehearsals on the stage they are to perform and on the D – Day, they go out there to perform and entertain their guests. As regards performance fees, sometimes the organizers of the event give the dance team honorarium and in some cases the dance team charges performance fees based on their brand name.
It is important to state that a dance team may decide to improvise or adopt any business process and structure that will guarantee them efficiency and flexibility; the above stated dance team business process is not cast on stone.
16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed With ideas & Strategies
As a team, you would have to prove your worth over and over again before attracting corporate organizations and individual clients to hire your services to perform at their events, concerts and shows.
So, if you have plans to start your own dance team, it will pay you to build first build a successful career in the music and theater production industry. People and organizations will only hire your services if they know that they are going to get value for their money.
So, when you are drafting your marketing plans and strategies for your dance team, make sure that you create a compelling personal and company profile.
Aside from your qualifications and experience, it is important to clearly state in practical terms what you have been able to achieve in time past as it relates to the music and theater production industry and the organizations, concerts, shows and events you have performed for. This will help boost your chances in the market place when sourcing for clients.
Here are some of the platforms you can utilize to market your dance team;
- Introduce your business by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to all the individuals, corporate organizations, government agencies, event planners, institutions, political parties, and religious organizations et al who usually entertain their guests within and outside the city you are operating in, and who have the capacity to pay for your services
- Advertise your dance team in relevant magazines, radio and TV stations (make yourself available for music, dance and theater production related talk shows and interactive sessions on TV and Radio)
- List your dance team on local directories/yellow pages
- Attend international music and theater production expos, seminars and business fairs et al
- Create different packages for different category of corporate and individual clients in order to work with their budget
- Leverage on the internet to promote your dance team
- Join local chambers of commerce and industries around you with the main aim of networking and marketing your services; you are likely going to get referrals from such networks
- Engage the services of marketing executives and business developers to carry out direct marketing
17. Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products
One key factor that will help you offer your services at a price that is highly attractive is to ensure that you source your startup capital from sources that won’t put pressure on you. So also, it is important that you purchase your dance studio equipment, tools, instruments and costumes directly from the manufacturers or from wholesale distributors. If need be, you can purchase these dance studio equipment, tools, machines, costumes and instruments from fairly used market. It will still save you some bucks.
Another strategy that will help you offer your dance team services at the right price is to ensure that you cut operational cost to the barest minimum, channel your efforts towards marketing and promoting your brand name. Aside from the fact that this strategy will help you save cost, it will also help you get the right pricing for your products and services.
18. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
The music and theater production industry is a competitive industry and you must come up with a unique and highly creative strategy to be able to outsmart your competitors in the industry. Part of what you need to do in order to stay competitive in the industry is to continue to deliver top notch performance whenever you are called upon to perform. Organizations and people will always hire your services if they know that you will always entertain their guests far beyond their expectations.
Another strategy that you can adopt is to ensure that your organization is well positioned; key members of your team are highly qualified and certified as it relates to their job roles (professional dancers).
19. Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers
When it comes to business, no matter the industry that you choose to pitch your tent in, one of the easiest ways to increase customer retention and perhaps attract new customers is to produce results and satisfy your customers always. If your customers are satisfied with your service delivery, they can hardly source for alternative service provider or products.
If you can continue to deliver top notch performances whenever you are called upon to perform and your customer service delivery is excellent, then you won’t struggle to maintain loyal clientele base.
Part of what you need to do to achieve this is to track progress, results or outputs with the aim of improving on them quickly as the case demands. When it comes to managing your customers and building loyal clientele base, you should purchase a customized CRM software. With a customized CRM system, you can easily stay in touch with your clients (you can carry out quick survey, introduce new products and prices to them without any hitch, felicitate with them on their birthdays and other anniversaries, keep track of their progress, send bulk sms and customized emails and above all, you can easily receive compliance and feedback from them).
20. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
If your intention of starting a dance team is to grow the business beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national and international brand, then you must be ready to spend money on the promotion and advertisement of your brand.
In promoting your brand and corporate identity, you should leverage on both print and electronic media and also social media (the internet). As a matter of fact, it is cost effective to use the internet and social media platforms to promote your brand, besides it is pretty much effective and wide reaching.
Below are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand and to promote and advertise your dance team;
- Place adverts on entertainment related magazines and newspapers, radio and TV stations
- Encourage the use of word of mouth publicity from your loyal customers
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Badoo, Google+ and other platforms to promote your dance team
- Ensure that you position your banners and billboards in strategic places all around your city
- Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas in and around our neighborhood
- Contact individuals, corporate organizations, government agencies, event planners, institutions, political parties, and religious organizations et al who usually entertain their guests within and outside the city you are operating in, and who have the capacity to pay for your services by calling them up and informing them of your organization and the services you offer
- Advertise your dance team in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site
- Brand all your official cars and ensure that all your staff members and management staff wears your branded shirt or cap at regular intervals.
21. Create a Suppliers/Distribution Network
In order to successfully run a dance team, you must establish good business relationship with key players in the entertainment industry, music and theater production industry. It is advisable that you enter into business partnerships with event planners and other key stakeholders in the entertainment industry, and the music and theater production industry; they are in better positions to give you steady invites to perform at shows, concerts, parties and other events. That of course will guarantee your company steady flow of income.