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Six Ways to Strengthen Your Business

Whether you’re already up and running your own Street Dance Fitness business or still unsure whether you have the skills required, this information is for you. All successful businesses need to be competent in the six areas below, and if you have those areas under control you have the makings of a successful Street Dance Fitness enterprise.

1. MARKET RESEARCH

This is probably one of the most difficult areas to get right as a start-up business. Hiring a specialist market research team is beyond the budget of most small companies and yet it is vital that you understand what your potential customers are looking for. Online software and processes such as bulletin board and webcam focus groups have made DIY market research more common, but you still need to know how to interpret the results so consider taking a short market research course.
Many small enterprises opt to study a smaller sample of people in more depth and rely on talking to people and listening carefully to their responses. You probably know people who are already attending dance fitness classes, so ask them why they chose those specific classes, what the pros and cons are and how they could be persuaded to go to a class like yours.

2. WISE INVESTMENT

There are so many people offering opportunities in business that it can be difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff. Clearly you have to spend some money to get going: few people will trust an unqualified fitness or dance instructor, and you would be hard-pressed to find anyone offering free qualifications. On the other hand, don’t fall into the trap of equating cost with value. Just because a franchise runs into five figures, it doesn’t follow that your path to success will run smoothly. Street Fit® have been careful to price our Instructors’ Courses to be affordable to the majority of people who are serious about making a future for themselves.

3. EFFECTIVE SYSTEMS

While you won’t need many of the business systems that big corporations do (production, HR, distribution, etc.) you will need to be organised in two main areas: customer records and accounts. But don’t panic! Neither of these areas need to involve much more than a spreadsheet or two, and there are plenty of cheap and free software programmes about. It can take some shopping around before you find a system you’re comfortable working with, but once you’re set up it’s just a case of organising your time so that you keep on top of the data entry. Some people choose to nominate ‘admin days’, whereas others prefer to work on a day-by-day basis. If you’re not comfortable with using spreadsheets and databases, there are plenty of affordable IT courses that would be worth considering.

4. FINANCIAL DISCIPLINE

It can be easy to get excited and blow large amounts of money on marketing campaigns or business systems that promise the Earth. A more sustainable approach is to set aside a small percentage of profit for sales and marketing and think carefully about what you are going to spend it on. Track the results over a month or two using promotional codes or web-based analytics as appropriate.

5. KEEP UP-TO-DATE

Every industry is in constant change, driven by competition and new trends and technologies. In particular, the dance fitness and fitness instructor industry never stands still, so you should be constantly staying on the pulse and making use of new styles, concepts and technologies.

6. BUSINESS PLANNING

A basic two or three year business plan is essential to keep you focused on your performance and targets. This should include a profit and loss projection and a cash flow projection to ensure that you will:

a)    Make a profit
b)    Have access to the cash needed to keep the business going

See our previous post for more detailed information on business planning.

So What’s Your Look?

Creating your brand’s look (or in business language, its ‘corporate identity’) is one of the most fun parts of starting a new Street Dance Fitness business. But just as with choosing a name, you can really hinder your success by not giving this process your full attention.

Your Street Dance Fitness business name, your logo and how they are used will be the first experience many of your customers will have of your business. These first impressions must be two things:

a)      Attractive (to your target market)

b)      Memorable

Some big brands with huge budgets for awareness campaigns can get away with being quite obscure and confusing, but most start-up Street Fit® Instructors will not have that luxury, so it’s probably best to keep it simple and not be too clever.

Creating your look

One of the first questions you might ask yourself is whether your Street Dance Fitness business name is enough, or whether you need a pictorial logo to go with it. There are no definite answers to this, and you will find there are as many companies out there that use logos as those who stick to stylised text. If a picture really jumps out as being relevant to you it is probably worth experimenting with. If not, you might just want to concentrate on colour and typeface.

Colours are very powerful symbols to the unconscious mind, and typeface (the style of the lettering) can also add extra meaning to your name. For example, you would be very brave or foolish to try putting the following businesses on the marketplace:

If you are marketing yourself as a dance fitness instructor you will probably want to choose a look that suggests movement, action, excitement, speed, health and energy. If you are specialising in street dance/hip-hop you might want to add an anti-establishment feel, but this would be a mistake if you are also offering more formal styles (e.g. ballet or ballroom).

Look around at your competitors and similar businesses for inspiration but do not copy them. ‘Passing off’ as another company, particularly a big brand can land you in hot water. Besides, it’s much more ‘street’ to be different!

How much will it cost?

How much you spend on creating your look is up to you, but you should get advice from other people before committing to anything. The design process itself can cost anywhere from nothing (if you are a competent designer) to tens of thousands of pounds. You should be able to get something very professional from a graphic designer for £100 to £200 but make sure you research their previous work and understand exactly how they charge. Crowdsourcing design work is a popular alternative to using a designer, while a print shop will often have a budget option for under £100.

However you decide to fund it, the design process should start with a brief, where you explain what you want to achieve and what parameters the designer has to work to. It is usually best to strike a balance between specific (it has to be pink and in Boulevard font) and vague (I want it to be fun and modern). Bring in examples of brands you like and dislike, particularly if words don’t really say enough.

Your designer should produce several ideas for you to look at, enabling you to choose one or two to focus on in more depth. Once you are close to making a decision, your designer should be able to mock-up some examples for print and online use to give you a realistic idea of how your look will translate to the real world. When you’re completely satisfied, make sure that your designer sends you the electronic files in a variety of print and web suitable formats.

Testing your design

Before handing over any cash, it is a good idea to trial your design with prospective customers or at least some honest friends. Some crowdsourcing design sites even create competitions so that you can invite friends to rate short-listed designs.

Your final decision should be based partly on how others react and partly on your own reactions. After all, your brand identity is an extension of your own so you need to create something that inspires you too.

Choosing Your Trading Name

Even as a sole trader, you are free to trade under a business name, and choosing the name of your new Dance Fitness Instructor business can be one of the most enjoyable aspects of starting up a business. That being said, naming your venture is not to be taken lightly: there are several things you should bear in mind before making a final decision.

Making an immediate impact

Unless you have the financial muscle to launch a long-term brand awareness raising campaign, it is advisable to choose a name that leaves people in no doubt as to what you do. In the early days of advertising, companies tended to name themselves after their founder (e.g. Ford, Cadbury’s), but it has become far more common to clearly point out what you do (e.g. Homebuyer or Compare the Market). So, if you are setting up as a Dance Fitness Instructor, putting ‘dance’ somewhere in your business name is not a bad idea.

Don’t pigeon-hole yourself

While you should make it clear what you do, don’t fall into the trap of limiting your services by your name such as ‘Street Fit with Susie’ or ‘Street Dance Fitness‘ with Danielle. You could spend time and money creating a name for yourself as ‘Hip Hop Harry’, but what happens if you decide to add salsa to your repertoire?

Tread carefully

There are certain rules that restrict what you can legally call your business. As a sole trader, you are forbidden from suggesting you are a company by using Ltd., LLP or plc after your name. You are also not permitted to use offensive terms or anything which:
•    Suggests you are a royal or governmental organisation
•    Suggests you are qualified to perform a specialised service for which you are not qualified
•    Suggests you have national prominence (e.g. British)
•    Connects you with an institution that you are not a member of
You will also need to check that any domain name you intend to use is not already taken (most domain name providers will allow you to check for free),and that your name isn’t already registered as a trademark (visit www.ipo.gov.uk).

Try the trademark trick

Once you have decided on a name for your business, there is a great way you can deter others from using it. The mark ™ is a notification of intent to register a trademark, but you do not need to actually pay to register one unless another company tries to do so, in which case you will have the right to register it first. If you do need to register a trademark, current costs are £170. Only registered trademarks are allowed to carry the ® sign.
Changing an existing business name can be costly, time-consuming and a step back in terms of brand awareness. Follow the guidelines above to get it right first time.

Book a Course now with Street Fit and take the first steps to create your own empire!

Being Your Own Boss: 8 Ways to Cope

Becoming your own Street Dance Fitness boss gives you more control over your life, your goals, your time and your schedule than being an employee, but when your Street Dance Fitness business becomes your life, it can be overwhelming at times. In particular, the frustration of not meeting your goals can be very tiring, and the weight of responsibility, especially if you have a family to support, can ramp up stress levels.

If you find life at the helm a struggle sometimes, don’t despair. Here are a few ways you can ease the burden:

1.    Get an extra pair of hands.

Do you have to do it all alone? Depending on your business, it may be possible to team up with someone else, another Dance Fitness instructor, either more or less experienced. If you can work alongside someone who has been in the industry for longer than you, you will have the bonus of being able to pick their brains and learn how they go about things.

2.    Reward yourself

When you work for yourself there is no boss who can reward your good work with a slap-up meal or a social evening, so you will need to do it yourself. Everyone needs to spice the hard work with a little enjoyment now and then, and the bonus is that you get to pick the venue, the activities and the company.

3.    Make time for a hobby

No-one should be a one-trick pony, so make sure you devote time to at least one hobby – no matter how much you love your job. A hobby can be a refuge from the day-to-day pressure of the business and help you to relax, take your mind off things and express other facets of your personality.

4.    Balance your life

One of the main challenges for many self-employed Dance Fitness Instructor is successfully dividing work time from home time. When you work to someone else’s schedule there are usually clear start and finish times, but when you work for yourself it can be tempting to do too much. Try creating a structure for your work day that you try to stick to as much as possible. This shouldn’t be too rigid (everybody has to do overtime sometimes), but it will at least serve as a model of best practice.

5.    Keep on learning

Learning new things will not only improve your skills, it will also add variety and interest to your working life. If you are a Dance Fitness Instructor, try learning a new style and then incorporating it into some fresh Dance Training Choreography. Attend seminars, set up Google Alerts and subscribe to online and/or offline industry publications. Aim to learn something new every day, and don’t forget to keep educating yourself about business itself.

6.    Be patient with yourself

The desire to succeed can make you want to rush through strategies that aren’t ready to deliver. Sometimes it takes a while for actions to bear fruit, so learn to take a step back sometimes.

7.    Find a confidant

The benefit of having someone else you can voice your ideas and worries to should not be underestimated. Not only will it help you clear your mind, and shed light on your concerns, you may end up coming up with novel solutions. The best person to have as a confidant is someone you can talk to but whose security is not affected by your success. Your partner may not be the best candidate, since they may have worries of their own that cloud their objectivity.

8.    Join (or create) a network

Check your local listings or search the internet for groups and associations related to your industry.  If one doesn’t exist, consider contacting other businesses and individuals in your area to club together and form one of your own. Failing that, join your local chamber of commerce/board of trade, a business network that supports businesses of all kinds. If you are a Street Fit® Instructor, Street Fit® Membership can put you in touch with a 24/7 source of peer support where you can get access to tips, advice and moral support.

Become a Dance Fitness Instructor today with Street Fit.

Ever Thought ‘What if?’

Saying no can become a habit; before you know it, you’ve automatically rejected a suggestion out of hand and are now coming up with justifications for doing so. Lateral thinking guru Edward de Bono realised this stumbling block, and suggested swopping the word ‘no’for ‘po’, reminding ourselves that an idea is worth considering before making a final decision.

Are you addicted to the N-word? How about setting yourself a challenge. For the next week – or longer – whenever you dream about doing something out of your comfort zone, whether it’s taking up a team sport or running your own Street Dance Fitness classes, don’t dismiss it as fantasy. Try thinking ‘what if?’ instead.

Supersize your dream

You may have been told to scale down your ambitions in the past, to aim for something more ‘realistic’. Not this week! For this exercise you need to raise your expectations. Don’t aim to join a team, aim to be the captain; don’t plan to start a Street Dance Fitness class, plan to start the best Street Fit Dance class.

When you take the brakes off your aspirations, you release the power of hope and this, according to University professor and ‘hope scientist’ Shane J Lopez, is responsible for more than 10 per cent of productivity in any workplace.

So you’ve decided, for example, to start the best Street Dance Fitness business in the area. What next?

Prepare for the Bumps

You may already be thinking to yourself, ‘that’s just wishful thinking – nothing runs smoothly.’  True, so after harnessing the excitement of having a big dream you need to plan for major hiccups. What if no-one responds to your adverts? What if your chosen Street Dance Fitness Course venue proves to be unavailable or unsuitable? What if your day job becomes more involved and you need to devote more hours to it? You should begin to realise that no obstacle is insurmountable if you plan for it, and that planning takes away a lot of the fear that stops you from acting. A ship’s captain uses all of the knowledge and navigational aids available to get an accurate view of potential hazards – he or she doesn’t stay back at the harbour worrying that there may be hidden rocks.

Get some ‘intrusive support’

If you’ve been used to turning things down all your life, you may need reminding to break the habit. Enlist the help of a friend to provide that service. Lopez calls it ‘intrusive support’ and is another key to what he calls ‘strategising hope.’

So for one week (at least) try a novel approach: replace ‘no’ with ‘what if?’, dare to dream big, add in some contingency planning  and ask for some peer support. Make a change, start your new life, book one of Street Fit Dance Fitness Instructor Course now Here’s to your success!

Writing a Business Plan – the Simple Way With Street Fit

If you’re about to start up a career as a Street Fit Dance Fitness Instructor you might be wondering whether you need to come up with a business plan. Many successful entrepreneurs claim they have never felt the need to formalise their ideas in a written plan, but it is often an advantage to see everything laid out for you in black and white – which is fundamentally all that a basic business plan is.

Why you might want to write a business plan

Writing a formal business plan is a must if you intend to raise lots of money from a bank or investors, but unless you are really ambitious (e.g. you want to buy a studio from scratch and do it up), this will probably not apply to you.

If you want to borrow a small amount from the bank, then they will definitely want to see something written down to show you have put time in to planning the future. Sometimes a simple letter will be enough, but rather than risk rejection, it is better to compose a concise business plan.

Even if you don’t anticipate the need to raise any funds, a business plan is a great way to focus your thoughts and concentrate on the all-important details that can be lost amidst all the excitement. A business plan can also help you to communicate your ideas to others, whether that is for feedback or promotional purposes.

What goes in a business plan?

If you look around the Internet you will find a variety of templates and guides to creating a business plan, and the important thing to remember is to try and keep it tight and comprehensive. If you find yourself exceeding ten pages of A4, you are probably being more detailed than you need to be.

In a nutshell, your business plan has to explain what your business does, how you are going to set it up and run it, how much money needs to be invested in it and how much are you going to make from it; that’s pretty much it.

An example structure

There is no one way to write a business plan, but here is a structure that should suit most Street Fit Dance Fitness Course Instructors.

1.    What does your business do? One to two sentences is sufficient, and should be interesting enough to spark a reader’s interest.
2.    What makes you different from similar businesses? (Hint: being certified in a unique fusion of street dance fitness).
3.    What are your long-term targets?
4.    Do you intend to borrow any money? If so, how much and when do you expect to be able to pay it back?
5.    Who are you and where did your idea come from?
6.    Who is your competition (put something down – even if it is the latest line in console fitness games).
7.    A summary of local/regional trends in your market (half a page is fine).
8.    Resources needed (such as staff and premises).
9.    Your marketing strategy – how are you going to promote yourself?
10.    Your financial forecasts (profit and loss and cash flow projections for three years are standard). There is a handy guide on these forecasts at https://www.gov.uk/forecast-business-finances.

Once you’ve written your business plan, make sure you review it occasionally to take into account any changes in circumstances or feedback. A business plan is a living document and many business owners create several versions as their business develops.

Could You Turn a Hobby into a Career? With Street Fit You Can!

When starting out in business, it helps if you’re offering a product that people already need or want. If your passion is in dance and fitness, you can rest assured that the demand is still huge.

Dance Fever Goes On…

If there was any reason to suspect that the enthusiasm for all things dance was on the wane, then the incredible popularity of PSY’s Gangnam Style has surely ended the discussion. Not only was the K-Pop hit the most viewed YouTube video in 2012, it was also the second most popular search phrase of that year (according to Google’s Zeitgeist feature).

In terms of hot markets, dance fitness and early years dance are two of the liveliest trends of recent years, and with the addition of Street Fit Kids®, we are in a great position to offer you a real opportunity to enhance your lifestyle. And the best news is that there are just a few tweaks you need to make to start turning a hobby into a career.

Low-Cost Start Up

Many of the changes you will need to make will be subtle and psychological – like learning how to organise your paperwork and being savvy with your money. Nevertheless, there is no getting around the fact that you will also have to invest some of your hard-earned cash to get going. We sincerely believe that the £285 we charge for our one-day Street Fit Dance Instructor Course is about as low-cost as you get for a serious business opportunity – certainly far less than the dance franchises that are out there (anything from £8,000 to £25000 according to Startups.co.uk).

Diversify

Even if you are already a dance teacher but are not convinced that street dance is a genre you would be comfortable with, it is still worth considering adding it to your toolbox. By becoming a Street Fit® member, you can also enjoy the luxury of regularly updated choreography, saving you the time and effort of creating your own from scratch. If you do catch the Street Fit® bug, you could always hire freelance dance instructors to take over your other classes!

Planting Your Flag

The location you choose to set up in will have a huge bearing on your success. While that may seem like a common-sense statement, it is surprisingly easy to get carried away with assumptions only to find out that the demand isn’t there.

It may seem strange to set up near another dance school (or facility offering dance classes), but the extra competition is balanced by the fact that you will know from the outset that there is an active market. Your task then is to show everyone that you offer something different. That’s where the benefit of the Street Fit® name and distinctive branding comes into play.

Support – with No Ties

Street Fit® Instructors do have rules to follow (like following the workout structure safely and abiding by the branding regulations), but compared to a franchise, you are refreshingly free to run your classes as you see fit. But if you do want that little bit of extra support, Street Fit® Membership is available as an affordable add-on giving you access to additional resources, training,  marketing templates, peer support and all of those other things that make your journey that little bit smoother.

Is it time you made the most of your passion for dance?

Sign up to one of the eLearning packages.

Six Ways to Strengthen Your Business

Whether you’re already up and running your own Street Dance Fitness business or still unsure whether you have the skills required, this information is for you. All successful businesses need to be competent in the six areas below, and if you have those areas under control you have the makings of a successful Street Dance Fitness enterprise.

1. MARKET RESEARCH

This is probably one of the most difficult areas to get right as a start-up business. Hiring a specialist market research team is beyond the budget of most small companies and yet it is vital that you understand what your potential customers are looking for. Online software and processes such as bulletin board and webcam focus groups have made DIY market research more common, but you still need to know how to interpret the results so consider taking a short market research course.
Many small enterprises opt to study a smaller sample of people in more depth and rely on talking to people and listening carefully to their responses. You probably know people who are already attending dance fitness classes, so ask them why they chose those specific classes, what the pros and cons are and how they could be persuaded to go to a class like yours.

2. WISE INVESTMENT

There are so many people offering opportunities in business that it can be difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff. Clearly you have to spend some money to get going: few people will trust an unqualified fitness or dance instructor, and you would be hard-pressed to find anyone offering free qualifications. On the other hand, don’t fall into the trap of equating cost with value. Just because a franchise runs into five figures, it doesn’t follow that your path to success will run smoothly. Street Fit® have been careful to price our Instructors’ Courses to be affordable to the majority of people who are serious about making a future for themselves.

3. EFFECTIVE SYSTEMS

While you won’t need many of the business systems that big corporations do (production, HR, distribution, etc.) you will need to be organised in two main areas: customer records and accounts. But don’t panic! Neither of these areas need to involve much more than a spreadsheet or two, and there are plenty of cheap and free software programmes about. It can take some shopping around before you find a system you’re comfortable working with, but once you’re set up it’s just a case of organising your time so that you keep on top of the data entry. Some people choose to nominate ‘admin days’, whereas others prefer to work on a day-by-day basis. If you’re not comfortable with using spreadsheets and databases, there are plenty of affordable IT courses that would be worth considering.

4. FINANCIAL DISCIPLINE

It can be easy to get excited and blow large amounts of money on marketing campaigns or business systems that promise the Earth. A more sustainable approach is to set aside a small percentage of profit for sales and marketing and think carefully about what you are going to spend it on. Track the results over a month or two using promotional codes or web-based analytics as appropriate.

5. KEEP UP-TO-DATE

Every industry is in constant change, driven by competition and new trends and technologies. In particular, the dance fitness and fitness instructor industry never stands still, so you should be constantly staying on the pulse and making use of new styles, concepts and technologies.

6. BUSINESS PLANNING

A basic two or three year business plan is essential to keep you focused on your performance and targets. This should include a profit and loss projection and a cash flow projection to ensure that you will:

a)    Make a profit
b)    Have access to the cash needed to keep the business going

See our previous post for more detailed information on business planning.

So What’s Your Look?

Creating your brand’s look (or in business language, its ‘corporate identity’) is one of the most fun parts of starting a new Street Dance Fitness business. But just as with choosing a name, you can really hinder your success by not giving this process your full attention.

Your Street Dance Fitness business name, your logo and how they are used will be the first experience many of your customers will have of your business. These first impressions must be two things:

a)      Attractive (to your target market)

b)      Memorable

Some big brands with huge budgets for awareness campaigns can get away with being quite obscure and confusing, but most start-up Street Fit® Instructors will not have that luxury, so it’s probably best to keep it simple and not be too clever.

Creating your look

One of the first questions you might ask yourself is whether your Street Dance Fitness business name is enough, or whether you need a pictorial logo to go with it. There are no definite answers to this, and you will find there are as many companies out there that use logos as those who stick to stylised text. If a picture really jumps out as being relevant to you it is probably worth experimenting with. If not, you might just want to concentrate on colour and typeface.

Colours are very powerful symbols to the unconscious mind, and typeface (the style of the lettering) can also add extra meaning to your name. For example, you would be very brave or foolish to try putting the following businesses on the marketplace:

If you are marketing yourself as a dance fitness instructor you will probably want to choose a look that suggests movement, action, excitement, speed, health and energy. If you are specialising in street dance/hip-hop you might want to add an anti-establishment feel, but this would be a mistake if you are also offering more formal styles (e.g. ballet or ballroom).

Look around at your competitors and similar businesses for inspiration but do not copy them. ‘Passing off’ as another company, particularly a big brand can land you in hot water. Besides, it’s much more ‘street’ to be different!

How much will it cost?

How much you spend on creating your look is up to you, but you should get advice from other people before committing to anything. The design process itself can cost anywhere from nothing (if you are a competent designer) to tens of thousands of pounds. You should be able to get something very professional from a graphic designer for £100 to £200 but make sure you research their previous work and understand exactly how they charge. Crowdsourcing design work is a popular alternative to using a designer, while a print shop will often have a budget option for under £100.

However you decide to fund it, the design process should start with a brief, where you explain what you want to achieve and what parameters the designer has to work to. It is usually best to strike a balance between specific (it has to be pink and in Boulevard font) and vague (I want it to be fun and modern). Bring in examples of brands you like and dislike, particularly if words don’t really say enough.

Your designer should produce several ideas for you to look at, enabling you to choose one or two to focus on in more depth. Once you are close to making a decision, your designer should be able to mock-up some examples for print and online use to give you a realistic idea of how your look will translate to the real world. When you’re completely satisfied, make sure that your designer sends you the electronic files in a variety of print and web suitable formats.

Testing your design

Before handing over any cash, it is a good idea to trial your design with prospective customers or at least some honest friends. Some crowdsourcing design sites even create competitions so that you can invite friends to rate short-listed designs.

Your final decision should be based partly on how others react and partly on your own reactions. After all, your brand identity is an extension of your own so you need to create something that inspires you too.

Choosing Your Trading Name

Even as a sole trader, you are free to trade under a business name, and choosing the name of your new Dance Fitness Instructor business can be one of the most enjoyable aspects of starting up a business. That being said, naming your venture is not to be taken lightly: there are several things you should bear in mind before making a final decision.

Making an immediate impact

Unless you have the financial muscle to launch a long-term brand awareness raising campaign, it is advisable to choose a name that leaves people in no doubt as to what you do. In the early days of advertising, companies tended to name themselves after their founder (e.g. Ford, Cadbury’s), but it has become far more common to clearly point out what you do (e.g. Homebuyer or Compare the Market). So, if you are setting up as a Dance Fitness Instructor, putting ‘dance’ somewhere in your business name is not a bad idea.

Don’t pigeon-hole yourself

While you should make it clear what you do, don’t fall into the trap of limiting your services by your name such as ‘Street Fit with Susie’ or ‘Street Dance Fitness‘ with Danielle. You could spend time and money creating a name for yourself as ‘Hip Hop Harry’, but what happens if you decide to add salsa to your repertoire?

Tread carefully

There are certain rules that restrict what you can legally call your business. As a sole trader, you are forbidden from suggesting you are a company by using Ltd., LLP or plc after your name. You are also not permitted to use offensive terms or anything which:
•    Suggests you are a royal or governmental organisation
•    Suggests you are qualified to perform a specialised service for which you are not qualified
•    Suggests you have national prominence (e.g. British)
•    Connects you with an institution that you are not a member of
You will also need to check that any domain name you intend to use is not already taken (most domain name providers will allow you to check for free),and that your name isn’t already registered as a trademark (visit www.ipo.gov.uk).

Try the trademark trick

Once you have decided on a name for your business, there is a great way you can deter others from using it. The mark ™ is a notification of intent to register a trademark, but you do not need to actually pay to register one unless another company tries to do so, in which case you will have the right to register it first. If you do need to register a trademark, current costs are £170. Only registered trademarks are allowed to carry the ® sign.
Changing an existing business name can be costly, time-consuming and a step back in terms of brand awareness. Follow the guidelines above to get it right first time.

Book a Course now with Street Fit and take the first steps to create your own empire!

Being Your Own Boss: 8 Ways to Cope

Becoming your own Street Dance Fitness boss gives you more control over your life, your goals, your time and your schedule than being an employee, but when your Street Dance Fitness business becomes your life, it can be overwhelming at times. In particular, the frustration of not meeting your goals can be very tiring, and the weight of responsibility, especially if you have a family to support, can ramp up stress levels.

If you find life at the helm a struggle sometimes, don’t despair. Here are a few ways you can ease the burden:

1.    Get an extra pair of hands.

Do you have to do it all alone? Depending on your business, it may be possible to team up with someone else, another Dance Fitness instructor, either more or less experienced. If you can work alongside someone who has been in the industry for longer than you, you will have the bonus of being able to pick their brains and learn how they go about things.

2.    Reward yourself

When you work for yourself there is no boss who can reward your good work with a slap-up meal or a social evening, so you will need to do it yourself. Everyone needs to spice the hard work with a little enjoyment now and then, and the bonus is that you get to pick the venue, the activities and the company.

3.    Make time for a hobby

No-one should be a one-trick pony, so make sure you devote time to at least one hobby – no matter how much you love your job. A hobby can be a refuge from the day-to-day pressure of the business and help you to relax, take your mind off things and express other facets of your personality.

4.    Balance your life

One of the main challenges for many self-employed Dance Fitness Instructor is successfully dividing work time from home time. When you work to someone else’s schedule there are usually clear start and finish times, but when you work for yourself it can be tempting to do too much. Try creating a structure for your work day that you try to stick to as much as possible. This shouldn’t be too rigid (everybody has to do overtime sometimes), but it will at least serve as a model of best practice.

5.    Keep on learning

Learning new things will not only improve your skills, it will also add variety and interest to your working life. If you are a Dance Fitness Instructor, try learning a new style and then incorporating it into some fresh Dance Training Choreography. Attend seminars, set up Google Alerts and subscribe to online and/or offline industry publications. Aim to learn something new every day, and don’t forget to keep educating yourself about business itself.

6.    Be patient with yourself

The desire to succeed can make you want to rush through strategies that aren’t ready to deliver. Sometimes it takes a while for actions to bear fruit, so learn to take a step back sometimes.

7.    Find a confidant

The benefit of having someone else you can voice your ideas and worries to should not be underestimated. Not only will it help you clear your mind, and shed light on your concerns, you may end up coming up with novel solutions. The best person to have as a confidant is someone you can talk to but whose security is not affected by your success. Your partner may not be the best candidate, since they may have worries of their own that cloud their objectivity.

8.    Join (or create) a network

Check your local listings or search the internet for groups and associations related to your industry.  If one doesn’t exist, consider contacting other businesses and individuals in your area to club together and form one of your own. Failing that, join your local chamber of commerce/board of trade, a business network that supports businesses of all kinds. If you are a Street Fit® Instructor, Street Fit® Membership can put you in touch with a 24/7 source of peer support where you can get access to tips, advice and moral support.

Become a Dance Fitness Instructor today with Street Fit.

Ever Thought ‘What if?’

Saying no can become a habit; before you know it, you’ve automatically rejected a suggestion out of hand and are now coming up with justifications for doing so. Lateral thinking guru Edward de Bono realised this stumbling block, and suggested swopping the word ‘no’for ‘po’, reminding ourselves that an idea is worth considering before making a final decision.

Are you addicted to the N-word? How about setting yourself a challenge. For the next week – or longer – whenever you dream about doing something out of your comfort zone, whether it’s taking up a team sport or running your own Street Dance Fitness classes, don’t dismiss it as fantasy. Try thinking ‘what if?’ instead.

Supersize your dream

You may have been told to scale down your ambitions in the past, to aim for something more ‘realistic’. Not this week! For this exercise you need to raise your expectations. Don’t aim to join a team, aim to be the captain; don’t plan to start a Street Dance Fitness class, plan to start the best Street Fit Dance class.

When you take the brakes off your aspirations, you release the power of hope and this, according to University professor and ‘hope scientist’ Shane J Lopez, is responsible for more than 10 per cent of productivity in any workplace.

So you’ve decided, for example, to start the best Street Dance Fitness business in the area. What next?

Prepare for the Bumps

You may already be thinking to yourself, ‘that’s just wishful thinking – nothing runs smoothly.’  True, so after harnessing the excitement of having a big dream you need to plan for major hiccups. What if no-one responds to your adverts? What if your chosen Street Dance Fitness Course venue proves to be unavailable or unsuitable? What if your day job becomes more involved and you need to devote more hours to it? You should begin to realise that no obstacle is insurmountable if you plan for it, and that planning takes away a lot of the fear that stops you from acting. A ship’s captain uses all of the knowledge and navigational aids available to get an accurate view of potential hazards – he or she doesn’t stay back at the harbour worrying that there may be hidden rocks.

Get some ‘intrusive support’

If you’ve been used to turning things down all your life, you may need reminding to break the habit. Enlist the help of a friend to provide that service. Lopez calls it ‘intrusive support’ and is another key to what he calls ‘strategising hope.’

So for one week (at least) try a novel approach: replace ‘no’ with ‘what if?’, dare to dream big, add in some contingency planning  and ask for some peer support. Make a change, start your new life, book one of Street Fit Dance Fitness Instructor Course now Here’s to your success!

Writing a Business Plan – the Simple Way With Street Fit

If you’re about to start up a career as a Street Fit Dance Fitness Instructor you might be wondering whether you need to come up with a business plan. Many successful entrepreneurs claim they have never felt the need to formalise their ideas in a written plan, but it is often an advantage to see everything laid out for you in black and white – which is fundamentally all that a basic business plan is.

Why you might want to write a business plan

Writing a formal business plan is a must if you intend to raise lots of money from a bank or investors, but unless you are really ambitious (e.g. you want to buy a studio from scratch and do it up), this will probably not apply to you.

If you want to borrow a small amount from the bank, then they will definitely want to see something written down to show you have put time in to planning the future. Sometimes a simple letter will be enough, but rather than risk rejection, it is better to compose a concise business plan.

Even if you don’t anticipate the need to raise any funds, a business plan is a great way to focus your thoughts and concentrate on the all-important details that can be lost amidst all the excitement. A business plan can also help you to communicate your ideas to others, whether that is for feedback or promotional purposes.

What goes in a business plan?

If you look around the Internet you will find a variety of templates and guides to creating a business plan, and the important thing to remember is to try and keep it tight and comprehensive. If you find yourself exceeding ten pages of A4, you are probably being more detailed than you need to be.

In a nutshell, your business plan has to explain what your business does, how you are going to set it up and run it, how much money needs to be invested in it and how much are you going to make from it; that’s pretty much it.

An example structure

There is no one way to write a business plan, but here is a structure that should suit most Street Fit Dance Fitness Course Instructors.

1.    What does your business do? One to two sentences is sufficient, and should be interesting enough to spark a reader’s interest.
2.    What makes you different from similar businesses? (Hint: being certified in a unique fusion of street dance fitness).
3.    What are your long-term targets?
4.    Do you intend to borrow any money? If so, how much and when do you expect to be able to pay it back?
5.    Who are you and where did your idea come from?
6.    Who is your competition (put something down – even if it is the latest line in console fitness games).
7.    A summary of local/regional trends in your market (half a page is fine).
8.    Resources needed (such as staff and premises).
9.    Your marketing strategy – how are you going to promote yourself?
10.    Your financial forecasts (profit and loss and cash flow projections for three years are standard). There is a handy guide on these forecasts at https://www.gov.uk/forecast-business-finances.

Once you’ve written your business plan, make sure you review it occasionally to take into account any changes in circumstances or feedback. A business plan is a living document and many business owners create several versions as their business develops.

Could You Turn a Hobby into a Career? With Street Fit You Can!

When starting out in business, it helps if you’re offering a product that people already need or want. If your passion is in dance and fitness, you can rest assured that the demand is still huge.

Dance Fever Goes On…

If there was any reason to suspect that the enthusiasm for all things dance was on the wane, then the incredible popularity of PSY’s Gangnam Style has surely ended the discussion. Not only was the K-Pop hit the most viewed YouTube video in 2012, it was also the second most popular search phrase of that year (according to Google’s Zeitgeist feature).

In terms of hot markets, dance fitness and early years dance are two of the liveliest trends of recent years, and with the addition of Street Fit Kids®, we are in a great position to offer you a real opportunity to enhance your lifestyle. And the best news is that there are just a few tweaks you need to make to start turning a hobby into a career.

Low-Cost Start Up

Many of the changes you will need to make will be subtle and psychological – like learning how to organise your paperwork and being savvy with your money. Nevertheless, there is no getting around the fact that you will also have to invest some of your hard-earned cash to get going. We sincerely believe that the £285 we charge for our one-day Street Fit Dance Instructor Course is about as low-cost as you get for a serious business opportunity – certainly far less than the dance franchises that are out there (anything from £8,000 to £25000 according to Startups.co.uk).

Diversify

Even if you are already a dance teacher but are not convinced that street dance is a genre you would be comfortable with, it is still worth considering adding it to your toolbox. By becoming a Street Fit® member, you can also enjoy the luxury of regularly updated choreography, saving you the time and effort of creating your own from scratch. If you do catch the Street Fit® bug, you could always hire freelance dance instructors to take over your other classes!

Planting Your Flag

The location you choose to set up in will have a huge bearing on your success. While that may seem like a common-sense statement, it is surprisingly easy to get carried away with assumptions only to find out that the demand isn’t there.

It may seem strange to set up near another dance school (or facility offering dance classes), but the extra competition is balanced by the fact that you will know from the outset that there is an active market. Your task then is to show everyone that you offer something different. That’s where the benefit of the Street Fit® name and distinctive branding comes into play.

Support – with No Ties

Street Fit® Instructors do have rules to follow (like following the workout structure safely and abiding by the branding regulations), but compared to a franchise, you are refreshingly free to run your classes as you see fit. But if you do want that little bit of extra support, Street Fit® Membership is available as an affordable add-on giving you access to additional resources, training,  marketing templates, peer support and all of those other things that make your journey that little bit smoother.

Is it time you made the most of your passion for dance?

Sign up to one of the eLearning packages.

Put Blue Monday Behind You…For Good! With Street Fit

Put Blue Monday Behind You…For Good! You may or may not have realised that last Monday was supposedly the most depressing day of the year. So-called ‘Blue Monday’ was created by a PR company back in 2005 but the concept is now so popular that #bluemonday was trending number one in the world on Twitter on the day.

The good news is that by becoming a Street Fit Instructor you can put any lingering Blue Monday feelings  behind you,  and focus on creating the 2013 you want – living life to your schedule.

No More Monday Mornings

With Street Fit® your time is your own, which means it’s up to you when and where you work. It’s amazing how quickly those Monday morning blues become a thing of the past once you realise you’re doing things for yourself and not a company boss. If you don’t like getting up on Monday morning – or any morning come to that – build your business around evening classes and give yourself  a bit of a lie-in.

How successful you want to become is also up to you. Not everyone wants to rule the world, but there’s nothing wrong with setting up a few classes to make a little on the side. On the other hand if you want to dominate your area, the Street Fit® brand will give you the kudos you need to start your rise to the top, and you could always work your way towards becoming a Street Fit® Trainer. Exciting new add-ons, like the SF Kids® licence will open up new and lucrative markets for you as your experience and confidence grows, while Street Fit® membership can give you added support and resources.

Your Future Awaits

The life you deserve may be closer than you think, but making the step from dream to reality requires action. Do you have any spending money left over from Christmas that is burning a hole? Does someone in the family still owe you a gift? What better way to kick-start the year on a high than investing an affordable £285 in your future by booking a spot on one of our UK-wide courses. Courses last just the one day, and there is even an online option for those who really can’t find the time to come to us. So does Blue Monday actually exist? Only if you believe in it –we say try believing in yourself instead!

Keeping the Fire Burning

The ability to live life on your terms and to earn a healthy income along the way is one of the main benefits of becoming a dance fitness instructor. That doesn’t mean that you won’t experience challenges along the way.

At different points of your journey you might find yourself wishing for more opportunities, more members or more inspiration.  Browse the following tips and keep the fire burning through the difficult times.

Dancing is not just classes

One of the first things you might do when setting up a dance fitness business is to find out the demand in your local area and create morning, evening and weekend classes to suit. Although this makes perfect sense, if you find that you have time on your hands in the middle of the day, consider some alternative strategies. Perhaps you could kick off a mums-only fitness group and provide a crèche. Another idea would be to approach your local authority and enquire about suitable projects for dance instructors, or to ask at your local schools. The bonus with Street Fit® certification is that it is REPS accredited, which will help you when bidding for contracts.

Market yourself daily

Marketing can seem a time-consuming and daunting process, but committing yourself to small, regular steps can bring significant results. Even if you did just one marketing activity a day (e.g. post on Twitter, record a YouTube video, design a flyer or even speak to a neighbour about your new class), just imagine how much progress you can make in a month. Some dance fitness instructors have reported a clear correlation between increased marketing effort and more customers in the door.

Retain your regulars

In your natural quest to attract more feet off the street, don’t shoot yourself in your own foot by ignoring or, worse still, inadvertently penalising your regulars. If you charge a £20 yearly registration fee, for example, your loyal fan base will not take kindly if you waive it for all new customers while charging them to re-register. Always remember that retaining existing members is far more cost-effective than recruiting new ones, so make sure you make them feel special.

Are some of your dancers ready to teach dance fitness classes themselves? Perhaps you could show them support by offering discounted master classes to prepare them for their own Street Fit® Instructor training.

Build your knowledge base

Street Fit® membership is designed to provide you with a constant stream of new choreography, music and learning opportunities to keep you and your members engaged in hip-hop dance fitness. Even if you are not a member, you should still keep on top of your craft by researching new moves and styles; the latest trends and fashions and anything else that can inspire and/or educate you. The more you learn and incorporate into your classes, the more you will grow as a teacher and as a dancer.

Try StreetFit® today and see the powerful new craze is not just a dance!

http://www.streetfit.tv/become-an-instructor

Looking Ahead: Your Own Dance Studio

This post is aimed mainly at those Street Fit® instructors who have already been running their own classes, although it’s something that might have crossed the mind of newly qualified instructors or even those considering taking the course.

One of the first steps in launching your street dance career will usually be to scout out a suitable venue for hire. You may be happy with the rent you pay but once you’ve become established and have a fair idea of your earnings, it is natural to think about the possibility of buying a venue outright. After all, all rent is ‘dead money’ that is destined for the pockets of others.

Whether you decide to buy and fit-out a building from scratch or to purchase an existing dance studio, there are several benefits:

More Stability; more control

Owning your own premises immediately sends out several messages to potential new customers. They will begin to see you as part of the community and likely to stick around for some time. This translates to increased respect for you and your business and a marketing advantage over those who are content to rent.

As owner of your own building, you are completely free to design and equip it to your own specifications. Everything from the type of flooring to mirrors, air-conditioning, mats, sound system and more will be in your hands. You could even allow other businesses to offer services on-site (e.g. sports massage or hair styling), boosting your income further.

Rent out your space

A major benefit of owning your own studio is that you can rent out space to other dance instructors. If your premises are small, you will need to think hard about what classes will fit around your own. If you have the luxury of space to spare, other instructors could run classes alongside yours – imagine the extra earnings that could bring in!

Bring talent through the ranks

Once you know who your star performers are, you can suggest that they take the Street Fit® Instructors’ course too. Once they qualify, they could hire space from you and even take some of your classes for a fee. Before long your humble dance studio could become more of a dance academy as more and more dancers make the grade.

Are you ready?

Taking the step of actually buying a dance studio is a huge commitment and shouldn’t be taken lightly. It is advisable to rent for long enough – at least two years – to get an accurate picture of your earning potential.

If you feel ready to take the plunge, the next step would be to draw up a business plan. This should be done even if you are fortunate enough to have the capital necessary to buy your premises.

On the other hand, if you’re happy with the flexibility of renting, you can still earn a comfortable income. Buying your own dance studio is just one of many avenues to explore once your Street Fit® career is up and running.

Got what it takes? ….. Become StreetFit® today! –  http://www.streetfit.tv/become-an-instructor