STRATEGIC COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS:
Consider who your best students are and think of other organizations they associate with. For the studios who serve school-aged children, local grade schools are great strategic partners.
Not only can a strong relationship with a preschool, elementary school, and/or high school provide you the opportunity to meet lots of potential students, but it also allows you to make a greater impact on your community.
Keep reading to see some of the best ways you can work with the schools near you!
Forming the Partnership
Having a good working partnership means keeping up open and regular communication with the schools in your area.
The two best points of contact here are going to be the front office for more official business and the PTA for more connections with local families and fundraiser-style events.
The Front Office
This is generally your point of contact for more "official" business.
If you aren't already offering After School pick-up from these schools, then this will include communicating with the front office to get set up.
You can also work with the front office (if you offer After School services and once you are doing pick-ups) to make sure you're included on flyers and handouts regarding the after-school care options that the school provides to parents (informing them what options they have).
This is FREE marketing so you'll definitely want to make sure you work this out!
In case you haven't heard this abbreviation before, the PTA is the parent-teacher association and nearly every single school has one. It can go by other names, such as PTO (parent-teacher organization) as well.
This is the group that often holds fundraisers, meetings, and events on behalf of the school to help improve the quality of education and activities for students in attendance. It connects the parents with the teachers and allows them to work together.
For connecting with local parents and getting involved with local events this is the best way to go!
And speaking of events...
Events are the best (and most fun) way to work with local schools to help boost your business and your community impact.
The two key ways that you can participate are:
Assist with events hosted at the local schools (such as back-to-school night or fundraiser events like "ice cream socials") OR
You can host an event at your studio to help raise money for the PTA.
Both of these are great options and offer different benefits and opportunities.
Assist with School-Hosted Events
This is where keeping in touch with the school's front office is going to really come in handy. When the school is hosting fundraiser events, back-to-school nights, or even fun-themed event nights - try and get an invitation!
For back-to-school nights you can offer to run activities in the gym to entertain students while their parents meet with teachers.
You can also sponsor or host something at these events - such as photo booths.
Alternatively, at bigger fundraiser events, setting up a booth with board breaking or other fun and quick activities makes a great impression and generates a lot of attention for your business. It allows you to really take your studio "on the road." If you have your phone or a tablet (e.g. iPad) with internet, you can launch your MyStudio Point of Sale and collect lead information, OR have people enroll into a trial, membership, or event right on the spot!
Both of these ideas are great for meeting a lot of new potential students who may not have ever heard of you otherwise and exposes you to their families.
If the kids have a ton of fun breaking a board, their parents might just grab a flyer off your table and reach out to you in the future. They can also sign up for more information on your MyStudio Point of Sale (POS), or you can always go old-school and make a sign-up paper where they can write down their email and ask for more information (just add those leads to the MyStudio system when you get a chance after the event).
This is also a good opportunity to create a special discount code for people that saw you at the event - they only learn the code because they attended and it allows you to promote a special deal/offer (fully discounted trial or 50% off an upcoming event etc.).
Host Fundraiser Events at Your Studio
This one generally requires you to work closely with the PTA of your local school but it's an incredible opportunity.
The PTA and the school will provide you with free marketing (since they want the event to be a success too) and these types of events have the advantage of bringing all these new leads and potential students directly into your studio.
This is the best chance for them to really see your facility (making it easy for them to start visualizing actually attending here) and try out some of what you have to offer obligation free (with the added benefit of helping their school and PTA).
While you won't make any direct profit off of events like this (but will still have the cost of food, staff, activities, etc.) it's a wonderful opportunity to give back to your community and help out the schools nearby, providing better supplies or activities for the students.
Plus, it really strengthens your relationship with the PTA and they’ll be more likely to recommend you to others moving forward - inviting you to other events/opportunities in the future!
Do you have any questions about how to do this? If so, feel free to reach out to our team at InCourage to learn more about our school partnerships @ firstname.lastname@example.org or www.incouragesystems.com.