As governors across the country monitor their states criteria for re-opening businesses and other organizations, children’s music studio owners should be developing a plan for how and when they will resume their in-person classes in a safe and responsible manner. Many childhood music classes have not ceased with the shutdown of their physical studios, and have taken advantage of technology to hold virtual classes online. Even though online classes do provide a continuation of curriculum for students, home activities for parents, and continued revenue for the business, many teachers are understandably looking forward to when they can see their parents and students in person again. Here are some thoughts and ideas on what to consider looking forward:
- First and foremost, check with the CDC and your state guidelines for opening – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have detailed multi-faceted health considerations and tools for Child Care, Schools, and Youth Programs, that can help to plan both safely and within the law. States should also have guidelines for reopening of businesses, which may include additional requirements and/or considerations.
- Remember who ultimately decides when your business reopens – While politicians can announce or declare the economy reopen, they cannot force a music studio to reopen if the owner does not feel that it is a good choice for their staff or customers. But ultimately, its neither politicians nor business owners who decide when the economy is reopen. It is the decision of the consumer. If the population does not feel that it is safe to patronize businesses, then as living in a free market society, they will “decide with their pocketbooks.” Parents are particularly careful when it comes to their children’s well-being, and you can bet that they will not take unnecessary risk.
- Communication and a good plan is the key – Children’s music studio owners understand that communication with parents is the key to running a successful curriculum and business. As parents start to become more comfortable with the overall safety outlook, they will next want to see what a studio is specifically doing to keep their children safe. A written plan shared with parents about intentions of how and when to reopen for in-person classes nurtures that important customer relationship and reinforces trust. This written plan may include conducting only outdoor classes for a period of time, social distancing procedures, and/or processes for keeping studio and instruments clean.
- Have a contingency plan in place – No one wants Covid-19 to have a resurgence in our communities, but in the event that does happen, it’s important that you have a plan in place for your music studio to quickly and efficiently deal with it. Contingency plans help to put consumers, business owners, and employees’ minds at ease so that a situation does not quickly go into crisis management mode. Finally, remember that a good contingency plan can be applied to a wide variety of unexpected situations, so write it so that it can be quickly applied to almost any unexpected situation. As some studio owners have already shown, continuing business through virtual classes may be part of that plan.
While not advocating when or exactly how children’s music studio owners should reopen their particular business, these tools and techniques are provided to help determine the best and safest way to help keep your business open through unprecedented times. By understanding the official guidelines, understanding and communicating with your customers, and finally contingency planning makes the next unexpected crisis a bit easier to manage.