Brick and Mortar Visibility

Do you ever look at a studio owner and wonder, “How in the world did they do it?”  

Jen Dalton peels back the curtain on how she started, grew and continues to grow both her studio and herself in this episode. She’s successfully run and owned multiple dance studios for 30 years with in excess of 1200 students, has managed teams of over 30 staff members at one time, and knows  just how important strategy, planning and continual learning is if you want to be successful.

Connect with Jen:

Referred podcast: The Power of Collaboration with Melissa Rose 

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A bit about Melissa: 
In 2009 Melissa Rose started her business, The Dancing House  in the basement of her home. There she taught the art of dance to students of all ages while her babies were right along with her in the pack and play.  With passion, resilience, and tenacity - she created a business that has become "The Highlight of Your Week" for her tribe, her team and her community.  

Along with running a successful brick and mortar business and an online dance membership,  Melissa is also a visibility coach for brick + mortar studio businesses. Guiding other boss ladies to a flourishing business that provides well for their own tribe - creating a legacy for themselves, their family and their community.  

When not inspiring or empowering, Melissa is a super mama of five kiddos, enjoys long hikes (without her kids) and playing in her garden.  

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What is Brick and Mortar Visibility?

Are you a brick and mortar business owner that has put your blood sweat and tears into creating a storefront that lights you up and serves your clients well only to be frustrated that you’re the best kept secret in town?

If you’re NOT hearing your new clients say, “I found you on Google!” then you’re in the right place.


I'm Melissa Rose—mom, business owner, and your straight-shooting visibility coach. I've cracked the SEO code to becoming the top choice on Google in my industry, and now, I'm sharing the secrets on this podcast. Get ready for stories, fail-proof strategies, and practical tips to elevate your brick and mortar presence to the top choice on Google.

So let's get real, because we're about to make your business, “The Only Option in Town!”

Melissa: One of the coolest things about being a podcaster is that I get to meet studio owners and business owners from all over the world. And today we get to meet Jen Dalton. Jen Dalton is the voice behind the Dance Studio Empire and the badass business owner behind Million Dollar Dance Studio and the Business of Dance Conference in Sydney, Australia. How cool is that?

Melissa: We found a time when we could chat. She woke up really, really early and I stayed up really, really late to be on her podcast and collaborate with each other because you guys know I love collaboration, so I am going to put the link to my show inside the show notes here where I was on her podcast, and then she's coming here to talk to us about how she grew her studio to not just a couple hundred students, but to lots and lots and lots of students, to the tune of over 700 students. Can you guys imagine, I mean, how amazing, how awesome? And you guys get this. It's a REC program. So for those dance studio owners out there, you... your mouth just dropped, Right? Listen in as Jen shares some wisdom on growing a studio, what she did, tips to do that, and you guys, it's really, really just awesome to hear somebody's story and where they came from and how they started and then the twists and turns that happen and go, 'Okay, I can do this, too'. And that's what we leave here with Jen. You're going to listen and go, 'Okay, I can do this too'.

Melissa: So enjoy. She's just a lovely soul and I'm so glad to have her on the podcast. Take a listen. And if you enjoyed it, screenshot this episode and put it out on your stories, tagging Jen and me and we will shout you out as well. All right, everybody, enjoy!

Melissa: You've put your blood, sweat, and tears into creating a storefront that lights you up, serves your clients well, and contributes significantly to the community you love. You are my hero and I affectionately call you a rebel woman. Hey there. My name is Melissa Rose, a Brick and Mortar business owner with a handful of kiddos and a few passion projects that I head up like this one. I'm also your visibility coach and consultant for a service-based business like yours. I'm passionate about helping small business owners thrive in their community and become the only option in town for their industry. In this podcast, we're going to share the nitty-gritty of running a successful Brick and Mortar business by sharing stories, talking strategies, and learning practical tips to run a kick-ass business. Ready to be inspired, empowered, and equipped to create the small business of your dreams? Let's get real.

Melissa: All right. We have Jen Dalton here. Welcome to the Brick and Mortar Visibility podcast.

Jen: Thank you so much for having me.

Melissa: Yes, Welcome. Jen Delton everybody is coming in from Australia at a very early 6:15 a.m. and she looks just beautiful. She's all like... fresh as a daisy.

Jen: Well, I don't know about that. I don't know. Maybe you can relate when you know you've got to get up early. I think I just woke up about six times last night just making sure that I'd set my alarm right because I didn't want to miss it. So, yeah. But I'm here. And I feel great.

Melissa: Yeah. Oh, you look good. Maybe later this afternoon, it'll... that wall will hit her a little bit. But that's where we are. I'm at 2 p.m. where my wall is hitting, so I have my little Celsius here. So anyway... I'm so glad to have you because you are a dance studio owner, a very successful dance studio owner, and not a new dance studio owner. You have had your studio for 30 years. 30-plus years.

Jen: Yeah. Into our 30th year this year.

Melissa: That's amazing. So super congrats to you. That's awesome. Okay, let's back up, though. Let's just do... Did you always want to be a 'dance studio'? Was that always your passion or vision?

Jen: No, no, I just fell into it. And I was 14 when I started, so I was quite young and I was actually approached by someone to teach their daughter dancing in their garage. So I was assistant teaching where I was learning and she was... this little girl was in my class and her mama asked if she could just have some extra lessons. And so I spoke to my... the studio owner that I was teaching for and asked if that was okay. And she said, 'Yes, absolutely, go for it'. And yeah, that's how it started with one student in their garage, paid me $3 for a 45-minute lesson.

Melissa: Love it. I love it. That's how it often starts with us. So can you give us the, like cliff notes of your journey of how you got to be where you are?

Jen: Yeah, no worries. So that... that student I started teaching her, and then she said, Oh, I've got two friends. Would you mind if they came and joined us? 'Yep, absolutely. That would be great'. So we're running these classes, and so by the end of that year, we did a little concert on their back veranda at their house. And yeah, they did three dances and that was you know a lot of fun. They got a... we got a nice little tiny trophy for them all. And so that all started that's been going on now for 30 years as well. But yeah, and then from those three the following year, it started to... word got around at the local school and so that three became 12 and those 12 were then moved into my parent's double garage, and then that 12 became 30.

Melissa: Yep.

Jen: So this is all just word of mouth throughout the school. That's when I had to get local halls. So we have like scouts hall. So I started moving in there and then we were there and yeah, we just grew. At the point I was doing my last year at school, we had... I had 100 students and so yeah, so I basically finished school and it was... I had a successful business and I just kept going into that. Loved it. I love thinking back because it's so different now...

Melissa: Yes!

Jen: And how I was then and how it ran is totally different to now. But anyway, I'm really grateful for those days. So then what actually happened? The studio kept going until about 20... 20... about 20... I'm really... I'll just... Caveat, I'm really bad with my memory and exact moments in time. So I'm just gonna... general...

Melissa: It's Okay. We don't know any definitely.

Jen: I know. Some people might hear my story and go, 'I'm sure she said it was 21, I'm sure she said it was 19'... I don't know... General. It was a long time ago.

Melissa: Okay.

Jen: And then Yeah. And so I felt the need to learn again... to do something. And I didn't know exactly what that was. So I just started studying psychology and communications because I figured they were going to be helpful in whatever I chose to do. And that then led me into joining the Police. And so I then was trained and became a police officer. And so while I was running a studio, yeah, I was a police officer. So I did both of that for 13 years I was in the police.

Melissa: No way. Oh, my goodness.

Jen: Yeah. Yeah. And so it was also there where I met my husband so very early, early, early on. So I was still training and I met my husband. He was in the police already and so he quickly then became part of the business. So we're, you know, I mean, I was running it as a business, which is a very different term to what it means now.

Jen: But yeah, he was really innovative and very... just very smart. And so before websites were a thing, he got the studio onto a website, you know, before anything was really... there was no Google. There were no smartphones. There was none of that. But just common sense told him to start a website. He just used common sense to... to start doing SEO, which was... I didn't even think it was a thing back when websites first started. But yes, honestly, a lot of my success is thanks to him, and that which we can go into later. But anyway, back onto my journey. So he's joined. We got married, and had our babies like pretty early or straight away once we got married, and yeah, just continue to build the studio.

Jen: I just continued to study as well. So when I was on maternity leave from the police, I started doing my fitness certificates as well. So personal training and group fitness training just... just that continual need and want to educate and better myself. I just... Something I truly believe in, and still do to this day. And yeah, it just kept growing and then got to a... got to a crossroads where the business was going really well. My work at the police... They were always very accommodating to me. I was really stretched. I felt like I was at a point where I could no longer give more to each. Plus, I had a young family as well. But yeah, I just got to a point where and I just said to my husband, like, 'It's either we just plateau now and keep going the way we are, or we need to just let me put my energy into one thing and do it really, really well'.

Jen: And so at that point, that's when I resigned from the police and so I might pull out of the studio. At that point also, I... we put on my mum as a major staff member and that was a big deal because that was a very big financial commitment because we said to her, you know, we will replace her income. She was working full time at an accountant's office.

Melissa: Okay.

Jen: 'We'll, you know, replace your income'. It was a big risk for us financially, but the best investment we made because she... she almost, you know, 4-5xed our income with the work she could do. So of course, it left me then to do other stuff in the business.

Melissa: Right.

Jen: And that is... I go back to that as to how powerful it is to invest. And just sometimes you just have to take that risk, a calculated risk. I'm not saying... And we are not massive risk takers, my husband and I. But that was one big payoff.

Melissa: So was your mom your first hire?

Jen: No...

Melissa: Or did you have teachers?

Jen: I did. I had teachers.

Melissa: Okay.

Jen: They were all homegrown, though.

Melissa: Sure.

Jen: So at the point where, you know, they became assistant teachers first, and then as they got to 17, 18, they then became staff. I call them CE teachers.

Melissa: Yeah, yep!

Jen: And I talk about the evolution of how I was able to let go. And that happened really slowly, that trusting someone else...

Melissa: Yes!

Jen: And, you know, that relinquishing of power, which I... it was hard. But yeah. And I again, I look back in. At first, I was in a position where the studio that I was teaching, which was still a community hall at this point, there were two studios, one was upstairs and most downstairs and there were actually windows downstairs. And so I was teaching upstairs and I could just continually look down to make sure everything was going okay. And it wasn't that I didn't trust the teacher, it was just this thing inside me, it's like this... letting go of control...

Melissa: Yeah, can we talk about that? Because even people that aren't in our industry, dance studio industry, that is a legit thing of letting... I was talking to a realtor and, you know, even her letting go of control in communication with, you know, she wanted these, you know, while they came to me originally. So I should work with them originally. And she's growing a team and, and I was like, I'm not in the realtor business. But I think, you know, I think that might be an opportunity for you, too. If you want to grow your team, you need to enable your team to do the work. And that is so, so hard.

Melissa: And we have windows in our studio too. So I... I... it's really hard for me to even be at the studio when somebody else is teaching because they may not be doing it exactly how I would do it or the pace of the classes and how I do it. But they're doing it in their own way really well. So how do you... Talk a little bit about that or share some stories about that or maybe tips you have for them.

Jen: Yeah, So I, I started like that and I really think it is a muscle and it's something that you just have to keep doing and you just get better at it and become okay with it. And so it was slow. So it was that first year I was able to just for my own peace of mind, just keep making sure everyone was happy and following through on what my promises were to these families. And then I was confident with her. So I'm like, 'Okay, great'.

Jen: And then I started to bring in some more senior teachers to teach my older children at the studio. So, you know, I just... I was at a point again, self-awareness is another big factor. And I was at a point where I'm at... I just don't feel like I can give these students who I've been teaching since they were pretty much in nappies, they are now older teens. And so I'm like... I feel like I need to bring someone in. And then, so I found some great teachers to come in. And again, they were in there and I just would set up a desk. It was a strange setup, the studio was. But, you know, I just sort of set up a desk at the end of the room and do work. But, I mean those poor teachers... I would be sitting there watching in. But yeah, I was just... I don't know, I was constantly worried. And then they were great and the kids loved it and I'm like, 'Okay, that's okay'. And that was one more step.

Jen: So then I was able to move downstairs. And then when we started our first location, it was at a different location. These classes were actually being run by my cousin who I grew up dancing with, and her mum was the one who owned the studio I grew up with. She had owned her own dance studio in our Central Coast, so about an hour away from where I am. And I still remember at the end of every... and I... So I know how great she's, I wouldn't have hired her, but she was so great. At the end of every day that she was teaching, I'd go, 'How was class, was everything okay?'

Jen: You know, so again, it was at that next step. Then that became okay. You know, she was doing a great job and then just continue. And so now my studio currently, there are people that don't know who I am, and I'm actually really okay with that. And I say to a lot of studio owners, it really becomes about you and how you feel. And so they... they're almost hung up on not being known... I think it's just 'practice' and it's just doing it and becoming okay with it. And doing it slowly worked for me. Like if I had just rushed it, and stepped back, I mean, I couldn't have done that, but I think that would be harder. But just, just slowly, just a little bit by a little bit and yeah, and hire smart, you know, choose who you hire, I think makes a big difference as well.

Melissa: You said a lot of things there. And when you said you would check in even with your cousin who you knew was a really good teacher, but you would still check in with her at the end. People might perceive that as micromanaging or being, you know, not letting go of control. But there is that delicate balance of being available and training in and making sure that you as a leader are able to communicate with your people so that they... they know that you're available and that you have their back. A lot of people hire and then they don't allow that opportunity to train or to have that communication given. And that's where the wheels fall off the bus and... And then we don't love our team and our team doesn't love working for us. So it sounds like you did that really well. You were super intentional with that. And I love that you went slow. Like just really taking your time to bring in those people.

Melissa: Can we just speak... How big is your studio and tell everybody where you're located.

Jen: Yeah, so we're in Sydney, Australia. At our peak, we had 1200 students and we had six locations. I had over... just over 30 staff members, teachers, and staff. And that was at our peak. We grew very fast, so we were growing at about 200 students a year. This was in... Again, this is a very conscious decision that my husband and I made that we were going to grow and what we were doing was working. And yeah, got to this point and it was running. So I was at this point not doing any teaching. So I'd sit right back. Actually, I might have been teaching our preschool, our babies in the mornings a couple of mornings a week.

Jen: And yeah. And so it just got to the point where everything was running. And then one day I just started to feel like I again was spreading myself too thin and I was starting to feel like I can't check in at this location to, you know, even just to drop uniforms off or someone needed this. And I thought to myself, 'Okay, so at what point do you stop? At one point, you know?'

Jen: And so for us, it was at that point and we looked at each other and our kids were in their next phase of life, so they were that little bit older. So things were starting to happen. And so I made a decision to consolidate. So it was a really... It was a conscious consolidation of the businesses. Now, surprisingly... You know you do lose a few because all of a sudden our location doesn't become as convenient.

Melissa: Yeah.

Jen: However, we didn't lose as many as I thought, and so at this point, we bought our own building. We, you know... That was all decked out. So a lot of... A lot of kids were able to come to that or they moved to other locations, you know, pretty close by. Yeah, and the same financially. I... You don't lose as much money as you think because your expenses are reduced.

Melissa: Yeah. Yeah.

Jen: Yeah.

Melissa: You're right!

Jen: Yeah, so... So right now, at the end of last year, I sold off a new area. So if I take a step back, we, so we'd grown, we'd consolidated, and then about six years ago I just said to my husband I really feel like we need to just prove that... Because I was starting to work with studio owners. That's when I started cutting them. And I just said, 'I feel like we need to make sure that what we're teaching is still working'. And you know, I just... I don't want to be promising these studio owners, 'Just do this, and it'll work because 30 years ago' It's not the same.

Jen: And so we started another studio in a different location and... Yeah... And it basically went from... In five years, it went from 0 to 250 AUD, and that was two years of CoVid in that as well.

Melissa: Wow!

Jen: That studio was being completely run and managed by one of my senior teachers. And so she was doing that, you know, she was the same consulting with us, but we were letting her have creative control. We truly trusted her, you know with everything. And so at the end of last year, we sold that. And so we're sitting at about... I think about 900 students. So we sold off that.

Jen: And I actually haven't done our count this year, so I'm thinking we are probably at about 750, but I really do need to check in with my Admin team. Numbers are really irrelevant to me. Like I just... Yeah, it's a funny thing. The numbers just don't matter. I just know our classes are really full and we have waitlists and everyone's happy. So yeah, we're doing good.

Melissa: Okay. Interesting to hear you say that as somebody who... cause you... I know you probably saying that facetiously because you're a business coach for studio owners. You help studio owners. I mean, we want to know our numbers. We want to know where things are at, I mean... But you're at a place where it's not like you're, you know, totally losing sleep if you lose ten students or 50 students or 100 students, you know.

Melissa: Okay, So let's talk about that newer studio because you were... you wanted to test your philosophy on that. And this is a visibility podcast. And I love hearing different people talk about visibility strategies that work for them. For me, it's collaboration with other like minded business owners. What is something for you, Jen Dalton? And you have different spokes for your business, so we can speak to that as well too. The different things, and businesses that you have. What strategies are working for you or that you find success with in getting your brand and name out there?

Jen: So I feel really grateful that we had years of experience with the website starting early and the SEO starting early.

Melissa: Yes!

Jen: It is still that successful because of consistency and I know it's... that's a really boring word, but it honestly is the underlying factor for everything. So I look at some of our Brick and Mortars. They are... We are consistently updating the website, we are consistently on social media, and we are consistently trying to stay one foot ahead of everybody else. It's just a matter of... I say, being relentless. Relentless comes across as a negative word, and I don't mean it as a negative word, but it's just about continuing even when you're not seeing the response and when you're not feeling like people are seeing you, if you just keep going, it just... it just happens.

Jen: So that's exactly how we did it with our second Brick and Mortar that we started from complete scratch. And as I said, the girl that was... took that on, she... all the credit to her for that because she was just continually on and this has been... Reels were starting in, videos were starting to become a big thing and she just put herself out there and she just continued to... to challenge herself, to challenge for a comfort zone, and yeah, and she took it from 0 to 250 in the five years, which is a real credit to her.

Jen: And now for us now. And we still do the same with our studio, with my... my business that... my other businesses that are newer... same thing. It's... It is just you know and that we're starting from zero again and yeah and I'm... I'm now seeing the momentum of that now. It's all... It's all just picking up. So yeah, that's for us. So I love that you talk about collaboration and I was even saying to my husband how I just love some of your philosophies and it's, you know, being able to speak to someone, having a different idea, like, yeah, wow I never actually thought of that. So we do a little bit of collaboration with other businesses not related to dance. So the local cafe and the local schools, we try and get in and do classes there, we run discos there, things like that. So yeah, that's pretty much it for us.

Melissa: That's so funny because I preach the same thing here with the SEO and consistency. It's... It's not really exciting. Like it's not flashy, it's kind of boring and you got to kind of do it all the time. And it's... And you don't see these huge bumps. But then all of us, you know, all of a sudden you look up and three years later you're like, and you and you look your numbers and you see the traction and you see the projection and you're going, oh, my gosh, you know. But it is... it's just really that consistency factor.

Melissa: And I'm glad you leaned into SEO because that truly... I just really dialed in on that here. And that is something that nobody really talks about, that nobody really puts the energy behind talking about SEO, at least what I'm seeing there, everybody's flashy with the social media and the reels and the TikToks and all that stuff, but that SEO, people are Googling you. They're just like, 'Where are the dance classes? Who's doing this kind of dance? Or who's doing this kind of physical therapy? Or where's the chiropractor that works with this kind of person?' That's what they're looking for. So I love that you spoke to that. And I didn't even tell her that y'all. I didn't coach her to say that. So that's awesome. Okay. I do want to talk about, though, and for those dance studios listening, you have a REC program, right? You said you had a REC program...

Jen: Yeah.

Melissa: Which that makes me so excited. Like, I was just so happy to hear that because that's... Usually, when people talk about big numbers like you have, they have a competition program or other things that bring in. So that's... that's quite impressive.

Jen: Yeah, we do. And it's always been that way. And so when I started 30 years ago at 14 years old, it was actually a conscious decision, an intentional decision, which I wasn't aware it was an intentional decision, now that I can look back. But I grew up doing the competitions and having no bad memories of it. But it actually came down to me not wanting to spend my weekends at a competition...

Melissa: Yeah, that's actually why I don't want to do it.

Jen: And... and so yeah, so basically I just niched and again, that wasn't even a thing back then.

Melissa: Right.

Jen: But yeah, it was... And the parents were just... were hanging for it because there are a lot of studios around and they're all fabulous studios and you know, the quality of dance was excellent. But yeah, I just was like, 'No, so there's no competitions'. There was no... no uniform back then like it was just really... just come have a great time. Still the same philosophy now, you know...

Melissa: Yeah.

Jen: Just come. It was always about just developing the child, you know... Everyone got to go in the front. Everyone was welcome, you know, again, before inclusivity became a word.

Melissa: Right.

Jen: Everyone was. And so we had... I had a Down Syndrome stream. I had a class of just kids. And I still to this day, they're still in my heart. I just love them. But yeah, just coming, seeing the joy, there was no stress. It was fun. And then they went home and it's... it's still is that now, you know, 30 years later. And there are obviously more studios that offer REC streams now and there are a few studios that just do recreation. But again, I think just with our now past and still when they Google Dance studios in our area, our... our studio comes up first because of the SEO, because, you know, every year updating website.

Melissa: Yeah.

Jen: Yeah, and we have low, low fees like it's not over the top so it can be done and that's what I try to encourage business owners who, you know are feeling the pressure to do what other people are doing or the only way to be successful is ... No, no, it doesn't have to be that way.

Melissa: I love it... When I heard you say that for the first time, it was such a breath of fresh air. It was just like a release off my shoulders. Because you do... I get... Not that anybody is pressuring me, but people are like, Melissa, you're leaving so much money on the table by not doing Competition. And it came down to your reason. Like, I just don't want to do my weekends. Like, I don't. I mean, I work a lot, you know, days or evenings teaching and I just know. So we have a... We do... Same thing with you, this beautiful REC program that I just love and have grown it for 15 years.

Melissa: So I'm sure you have lots of milestones in your business where you have learned and said, 'Wow, I am a badass, I can do anything'. Do you have something that comes to mind that is a moment or something that happened that you were like, 'I got this, I can do this'.

Jen: Yeah. Again at the time when it was happening, it didn't feel like that. But now that I look back, I can see and probably... probably the biggest thing was... So computers were around. So it was... I'm trying to timestamp again.

Melissa: Like 95-ish?

Jen: Yes, exactly, exactly. I started to think outside of what I was offering as a studio owner, and again, it wasn't an intentional extra revenue stream. How can I, you know, it was always about how can I make my studio as convenient as possible for the parents? That's not always came down to it even before I was a parent. So I look back at it, but... Yeah, and so what would be helpful? The first thing I thought, Okay, what would be helpful? Supplying a uniform. So that might be helpful. So I just started googling how to supply uniforms. Also, I had a cousin who was... she's actually in beauty and she had just started importing equipment. And I said, 'How did you do that?' And she said, 'Oh, I just went on to'. I'm like, 'Oh, okay. let's check to that'.

Jen: And so all of a sudden I was starting this importing factor in my business, which I did... Again, it wasn't like, 'Oh, I wonder if I can import oh, I wonder...' It was just like... It just rolled, like the stone just kept rolling and like, and then all of a sudden, so I found some companies and I got them to send samples. And then I thought, 'What about shoes?' Maybe I could actually make my own brand of shoes. And then like, 'Okay, how do I do that?' And then I just started googling and then I found people that made shoes and they were sending samples and then all of a sudden I was importing and then I sort of look back and I go, 'How did I even do that?', you know, And then... So now we are in such a good place financially, thankfully. But we still just import. I'm still using the same company to get some of our pieces that we... all those years ago. So that was a... I look back at it, I think that was a really big achievement.

Jen: And... And that's probably one of the things I also credit my success to is, not listening so much to what everybody else is doing, but just continually trying to think, think about my customers, thinking about my families and what would make their life a little bit easier, what could make their life a little bit better. And that's honestly how I get going. So that was a big thing back young.

Jen: Probably my next biggest achievement was starting my podcast, actually, I think. So again, that was just something I didn't have any clue really how to do. It's obviously a lot easier now because you can Google, but it was something I didn't really want to be asking people out and yeah, so I just did that and I didn't even really tell my family. I just started. And you know, every week... there's been an episode every week. So I'm really proud of that as well.

Melissa: Yeah, Yeah. I love the nugget that a huge nugget of paying attention to your client, paying attention to your families and what could you do to add value to them, for them. And smart women create value and creating your own brand of shoe like wow!

Melissa: But making it easier for your family, like what are those things that you can do in any... In any Brick and Mortar that you... just pay attention to who's coming in your doors and really, really... who do you love working with? Who is that person and what traits do they have? And do you do this, Jen, like we intentionally sit down every year and like, who is that person and what are we missing to help them? Like as a team, I just sit with my leadership team and just like, how can we serve them a little better? What can we do? Do you do that with your team, with your leadership team? I would think you would.

Jen: Yeah! Yeah, we do. So every yeah, well we have... We meet four times a year. But the main meeting that we do, we sit down and we talk about. Even the changes in the children, the changes in the parents, you know? And we sort of... I try and go a little bit deeper as to why. So I just love that question, 'Why do you think this is? Why? Why did that person respond the way they did?' You know, I sort of just try and challenge them with the question of why. And that's where we tend to uncover, you know, possibly what's happening. But it also just gives us a strategy or something to try or something to implement. And so far so good, you know? And if you're wrong, it doesn't really matter. We've given it a go and we start again to go back to the drawing board.

Melissa: Right.

Jen: Yeah.

Melissa: Yeah. I want you to just share a little bit about your Million Dollar Dance Studio, the Mastermind and the Business of Dance conference. Share with everybody about that. And then we'll wrap up.

Jen: Yeah. So seven years ago, maybe... I need a big calendar of my life. I started having studio owners come, approached me and said, Do you mind sitting down for a coffee or just seeing your success? I'm hearing about your success, and I just would love to know, you know, struggling. And so obviously more than happy to do that.

Melissa: Yeah.

Jen: And I still love doing that. And so that evolved into now where I'm coaching and spending more time focusing on running the business of dance. And I do... I actually do work with a few other small business people as well who aren't actually in our industry, which is really exciting as well. That does challenge me.

Melissa: Yeah.

Jen: Yeah, and so that's been my focus and sort of again, consistency in that. There have of course been ups and down and then there was COVID in the middle, but that momentum is just really picking up now. And so then that led to more one on one coaching, which then led to almost a divide in the clients that I was working with. And so they were the newbies, the ones who were just starting, and then they were the ones who have been around for a while. They've studios really big and they were ready to take the next level. And so, and, and so then it was like, okay. Again, I'm listening to my people, Okay, There is now a need. I need to separate these. And so that's when I brought in the Mastermind, which is our high-level studio owners. And these are the girls who and guys, I just have girls at the moment, but the girls and guys who are... they're ready. They're pushing that comfort zone. They're ready to invest. They know the power of investing both financially, but also in time because we are so limited with time. So they're smart enough to to be able to move forward. They know they have to choose where they're going to invest.

Melissa: Yeah.

Jen: And if they invest with me, then hopefully I'm so far so good and can help take them to that next level. And that's just by diving... It is... I feel like I own about 27 businesses because these studios, I'm just in their business and we're meeting at one on one every... every week and it's like, 'Okay, what... what's the next thing we can do?' So that's really intimate and intense. So that's the mastermind. But they see results fast.

Melissa: Yeah, yeah.

Jen: And then on the flip side, the people, the ones who are starting, it's just different languaging, it's different strategies. We're working with different things. We've got Mindset at the top. Down here, we're still working on strategy and I just love, I love watching the progression. I just love watching the hope. I just love watching... Or Decision. So sometimes I just need to make a decision that it's time to close or sell and that... that is a thing too. And I don't have to feel bad about that. We're just ready for the next chapter, and that's okay. And so then sometimes with tidying up the business itself. And so, yeah, it's, it's a big array. And from what I... the business of dance conference. So this is the first year I'm holding this and it is a day just for dance entrepreneurs. So it's all business. I'm going to be bringing in the coaches and the mentors that I've used over the years. They're going to come in. They're going to talk strategy. Again in the room that we're going to split. So they'll be talking to everyone and then we'll be splitting the splitting into the... the ones who are in the five-year plus bracket and the starting people just so we can really get in your strategies.

Jen: We have some great dance festivals and conventions. We've got an expert starting this year for the first time where people are coming in but this is just for the studio owner, the CEO who just really wants to just take their business to the next level.

Melissa: I love that.

Jen: So and I look, I'm really excited about connecting with them because it... it's just... it's different and it's a funny business because we are creatives and we are business owners and that sometimes doesn't mix well. So yeah... I feel like it's my, it's my mission to... to help those people.

Melissa: Yeah, I love it. I love it. And well done. Congrats on all your success and running a studio for over 30 years and then going into the Million Dollar Dance Studio Mastermind and Coaching. I've watched you start that and grow and so it's fun to see that flourishing as well. So good luck with the business of Dance Conference. I would be right there. That is totally what I want. We are trying to do our regional one, create a regional one here because I think it's totally needed. It's totally needed. But any last nugget of wisdom for that female entrepreneur.

Jen: No, just keep going, keep going. But listen to yourself. Listen to your body. And if you do need to rest, you should be resting or slowing. I think what we're... The pace of life is so fast right now and everyone's trying to keep up. And I think this is why so many people are getting to that point of burnout and so keep going, be consistent. It doesn't matter if you're not kicking goals every day as long as you're walking onto the field and yeah... 'You've got it, you've got this'. And there's always... You can always make decisions. So and it's okay to change your mind.

Melissa: If you have not checked out the dance studio empire, please check out Jen Dalton on her podcast. She does share a little bit, actually quite a bit. You share a little bit about burnout and just rest and the importance of that has played into you and your journey. You have some kiddos that you talk about being a mom too, and your... the way you parent... parent them, and I love that as that was inspiring to me. So and even if you're not a dance studio owner, go check her out and take a quick listen. So, Jen, I appreciate you coming on the Brick and Mortar Visibility podcast, sharing your wisdom and especially helping us dance studio owners be even better. And I appreciate your new friendship and I wish you all the best. We'll be in touch. I know we will, so thank you.

Jen: Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. It's been a pleasure.

Melissa: Of course. Of course. All right, everybody, we will see you here, same time, same place next week. Peach, bye-bye.

Melissa: Oh my goodness, you're still here. You are so awesome. So here's what you're going to do. Number one, you're going to click that follow button so that you can get the latest episode of Brick And Mortar Visibility every week. Second, leave an honest rating on Apple iTunes. This is how more people can know about Brick And Mortar Visibility. And number three, come on over to Facebook into the Rebel Women Tribe. The link is in the bio. This is where I hang out and share with you every week the nitty-gritty of running a studio business. I share with you the tips, tools and strategies that are working right now in my business to help you in yours. It's real, it's raw, it's unfiltered and it's fun. So come on over. I'd love to meet you.