Business ideas
8 min read

How to Start a Profitable Dance Competition Business [11 Steps]

Learn how to start a profitable dance competition business in eleven easy steps. Discover the tips and tricks you need to make your business a success!
Nick

By Nick Cotter
Updated Feb 05, 2024

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This page may feature products from our affiliate partners, which could influence the products we discuss due to potential compensation. Despite this, our evaluations are impartial, based solely on our independent analysis. The content here is intended for informational purposes and should not be seen as legal advice. For professional guidance, consulting with a legal expert is recommended.
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1. Perform market analysis.

Embarking on a dance competition business requires a thorough understanding of the market landscape. A comprehensive analysis will reveal insights about your competitors, target audience, and industry trends, guiding your strategic decisions and helping you carve out a unique position. Follow these crucial steps to perform a robust market analysis:

  • Identify your target audience by demography (age, gender, location) and psychography (interests, values). Understand their preferences, such as dance styles, competition formats, and event experiences.
  • Analyze competitors by examining existing dance competitions. Assess their scale, frequency, pricing, marketing strategies, and customer feedback to identify gaps and opportunities.
  • Assess industry trends by staying informed about the latest dance styles, technology in event management, and shifts in consumer behavior due to social and economic factors.
  • Examine the legal and regulatory environment to ensure your business complies with local laws, including permits, licenses, and insurance requirements for events.
  • Conduct a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) to evaluate your business potential and strategize accordingly.
dance competition business image

How Much Can I Charge for My Dance Competition Business?

When an entrepreneur first decides to start a dance competition business, determining how to make money is often the first question that comes to mind. If you want your dance competition business to be profitable, then you need to take the time to do your research.

The best way to determine what your customers will be willing to pay is by looking at industry standards and what other businesses in your area are charging. Ideally, you would have done this research before starting your business so you know how much money you need just to stay even with the local competition.

Once you know which pricing strategy works for your industry and location, it's time for a little math—but don't panic! You don't have to be an accountant or even own a calculator—this is simple stuff! Your goal here is simply some quick number crunching so that you can determine how much money you need in order for this business venture of yours to actually turn a profit.

Your expenses fall into two categories--fixed and variable--and these can change from month-to-month or year-to-year depending on the size of your operation and where it is located in relation to other competing companies. Fixed expenses include things like rent/mortgage payments and staff salaries (if applicable), while variable expenses include advertising costs, transportation costs, maintenance costs, cleaning costs and food/beverage costs (if applicable).

You'll also want to set aside some extra dollars each month for taxes and unexpected emergencies; if nothing else goes wrong during the year, then those are funds that can go toward expanding or updating equipment or supplies!

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2. Draft a dance competition business plan.

Starting a dance competition business requires a clear and comprehensive business plan. This plan will serve as a roadmap for your business, outlining your vision, goals, and the strategies you'll employ to achieve them. Below are key elements to consider when drafting your dance competition business plan:

  • Executive Summary: Begin with an overview of your business concept, mission statement, and the objectives of your dance competition.
  • Market Analysis: Research the dance industry, identify your target market, and analyze your competition to understand the market demand and positioning.
  • Organization and Management: Describe the structure of your business, including the management team, their roles, and qualifications.
  • Services: Detail the types of competitions you will offer, the genres of dance, and any unique selling points.
  • Marketing and Sales Strategy: Outline how you plan to attract dancers and audiences, including pricing, promotion, and sales tactics.
  • Financial Projections: Provide an estimate of startup costs, projected income, and a break-even analysis to showcase the financial viability of the competition.
  • Operational Plan: Explain the logistics of organizing the events, such as venue, scheduling, staff, and technology requirements.
>> MORE:

How does a Dance Competition business make money?

A Dance Competition business typically makes money by charging an entrance fee for participants to compete in their competitions. This can range from a small amount for local competitions, to a higher fee for more prestigious competitions. The business can also make money by charging their audience a fee to watch the competition and by selling merchandise such as t-shirts and hats to their attendees. A target audience for such a business could be competitive dancers and their families, as well as dance enthusiasts who are looking to be entertained.

3. Develop a dance competition brand.

Creating a compelling brand for your dance competition is essential to stand out and attract participants and audiences. Your brand should encapsulate the energy, professionalism, and style of the events you plan to hold. Here are some key steps to consider:

  • Define Your Niche: Determine the unique aspects of your dance competition, such as focusing on a specific dance style, age group, or skill level.
  • Create a Memorable Name and Logo: Design a catchy name and a visually appealing logo that reflects the spirit of your competition and is easily recognizable.
  • Establish a Brand Voice: Decide on the tone and language you will use in your communications, whether it's professional, friendly, or inspirational, to consistently convey your brand's personality.
  • Choose a Color Scheme: Select colors that not only complement your logo but also evoke the right emotions and stand out in promotional materials.
  • Develop a Tagline: Craft a succinct tagline that summarizes the essence of your competition and leaves a lasting impression.
  • Build a Strong Online Presence: Create a professional website and actively engage on social media platforms to connect with your audience and build brand recognition.

How to Come up With a Name for Your Dance Competition Business:

There are a few things you should keep in mind when choosing a name for your dance competition business. First, you want to make sure the name is memorable and easy to spell. You also want to avoid anything that could be perceived as offensive or suggestive. Additionally, it's important to choose a name that reflects the type of dance competition business you're running.

Here are a few tips to help you choose the perfect dance competition business name:

  1. Keep it simple and easy to spell.
  2. Avoid anything offensive or suggestive.
  3. Choose a name that reflects the type of business you're running.
  4. Be creative! Brainstorm with friends, family, and colleagues.
  5. Do your research. Make sure the domain name is available and that the business name isn't already trademarked.

You should also check out the following resources when choosing the perfect name for your baby clothing business:

With these tips in mind, you should be well on your way to choosing a great business name for your dance competition business!

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4. Formalize your business registration.

Starting a dance competition business requires not only passion and planning but also ensuring that the business is legally recognized. Formalizing your business registration is a critical step to establish your company's legal foundation and protect your personal assets. Below are key actions to take when registering your business:

  • Choose a business structure (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation) that best suits your needs and understand the liability and tax implications of each.
  • Register your business name with the appropriate state authorities, ensuring it is unique and meets all naming requirements for your chosen structure.
  • Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS for tax purposes, especially if you plan to hire employees.
  • Apply for any necessary business licenses and permits that are required for a dance competition business in your city, county, or state.
  • Understand and comply with any specific regulations that may apply to your business, such as music licensing, event permits, and safety standards.
  • Consider consulting with a legal professional to navigate the complexities of business registration and to ensure all legal requirements are met.

Resources to help get you started:

Explore key resources designed for dance competition entrepreneurs to gain insights on market trends, best practices, and growth strategies:

  • Dance Magazine: Features articles on the latest in dance trends, business advice for dance professionals, and insights into the competitive dance industry. Visit site.
  • International Dance Entrepreneurs Association (IDEA): Offers resources, workshops, and networking opportunities for dance studio owners and competition organizers. Visit site.
  • Dance Studio Owner: Provides detailed guidance on managing and growing a successful dance business, including aspects relevant to competitions. Visit site.
  • Dance Business Weekly: Offers news, trends, and advice tailored to the dance industry with a focus on helping entrepreneurs thrive. Visit site.
  • The Dance Entrepreneur: A comprehensive guidebook for starting and sustaining a profitable dance business, including how to organize and market dance competitions. Available for purchase through major book retailers.

5. Acquire necessary licenses and permits for dance competition.

Starting a dance competition requires careful attention to legal requirements to ensure your event is compliant with local, state, and federal regulations. Depending on your location and the scale of your competition, various licenses and permits may be necessary. Here are some steps to help guide you through this process:

  • Research local business licenses: Check with your city or county clerk's office to determine if you need a general business license to operate your dance competition.
  • Investigate event permits: Large gatherings often require a special event permit. Contact your local government to understand the requirements for hosting a public event.
  • Secure music licensing: If you plan to play recorded music, you’ll need to obtain a public performance license from organizations like ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC.
  • Understand zoning laws: Ensure the venue for your dance competition complies with zoning laws which may affect the number of attendees or noise levels.
  • Consider liability insurance: While not a permit or license, liability insurance is crucial for protecting your business in case of injuries or accidents at your event.
  • Food and beverage permits: If you're selling food or alcohol, check the requirements for health permits and liquor licenses.

6. Open a business bank account and secure funding as needed.

Starting a dance competition business requires careful financial management, and two critical steps in this process are establishing a separate business bank account and securing the necessary funding. These foundational steps will help ensure that your business finances are well-organized and that you have the resources needed to successfully launch and grow your venture. Below are guidelines to help you with these steps:

  • Choose a bank: Research and select a bank that offers business banking services with favorable fees, convenient access, and good customer support. Consider local banks or credit unions that may offer more personalized service.
  • Open your account: Prepare the necessary documentation, such as your business registration, EIN (Employer Identification Number), and personal identification, to open a business bank account. This will help keep your personal and business finances separate.
  • Explore funding options: Assess how much capital you will need to start and run your business. Consider personal savings, loans, investors, or crowdfunding as potential sources of funding.
  • Develop a solid business plan: Presenting a well-thought-out business plan is crucial when applying for loans or pitching to investors. It should outline your business strategy, market analysis, financial projections, and how you plan to make your dance competition business profitable.
  • Understand the terms: Before accepting any funding, make sure you fully understand the terms and conditions, interest rates, repayment schedules, and any potential impact on your business operations or ownership structure.

7. Set pricing for dance competition services.

Setting the right pricing for your dance competition services is crucial for the success of your business. It ensures that you cover all your costs while providing value to your customers. Consider the following guidelines to establish a competitive and fair pricing strategy:

  • Research the market to understand what competitors charge and what dancers and dance studios are willing to pay.
  • Calculate your total costs, including venue rental, staff wages, marketing, and prizes, to determine your break-even point.
  • Consider a tiered pricing structure to offer different levels of participation or amenities, catering to a wider range of customers.
  • Factor in any additional value you provide, such as unique features or superior judges, which can justify higher fees.
  • Offer early bird discounts to encourage prompt registrations and help with cash flow management.
  • Ensure your pricing is transparent, with no hidden fees, to build trust with participants.
  • Regularly review and adjust your pricing based on feedback, changes in costs, and the evolving competitive landscape.

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Dance Competition Business?

Initiating a dance competition business can involve substantial financial commitment, the scale of which is significantly influenced by factors such as geographical location, market dynamics, and operational expenses, among others. Nonetheless, our extensive research and hands-on experience have revealed an estimated starting cost of approximately $20000 for launching such a dance competitionbusiness. Please note, not all of these costs may be necessary to start up your dance competition business.

8. Acquire dance competition equipment and supplies.

Starting a dance competition business requires careful planning and acquiring the right equipment and supplies to ensure a successful event. From audiovisual gear for music and performances to seating for judges and spectators, each item plays a crucial role. Here's a list to help you gather what you need for your dance competition:

  • Sound System: Invest in a professional-grade sound system for clear music playback, including speakers, mixers, and microphones.
  • Lighting Equipment: Obtain stage lighting to enhance performances, spotlight dancers, and create the right ambiance.
  • Dance Floor: Purchase or rent a portable dance floor suitable for the styles of dance in your competition.
  • Seating: Secure comfortable seating for the audience, judges, and dancers awaiting their performance.
  • Scoring System: Implement an electronic scoring system to streamline the judging process and display results.
  • Dressing Rooms: Ensure there are private, secure areas for costume changes and preparation.
  • First Aid Kit: Always have a fully stocked first aid kit on hand for emergencies.
  • Merchandising: Consider selling branded merchandise or dance supplies as an additional revenue stream.
  • Signage and Decor: Create banners, signs, and decorations to guide participants and create a festive atmosphere.

List of Software, Tools and Supplies You Need to Start a Dance Competition Business:

Dance Studio Management Software

Dance studio management software is the next item on your list of new dance competition business supplies. This software makes running a dance competition business so much easier by helping you manage your schedule, financials, customer contact and more. Walk into any dance studio, and you’ll likely see computers in use behind the counter as employees use this software to check students in for classes and workshops or process payments.

There are many options out there for dance studio management software. Jackrabbit Dance is popular because it’s easy to learn and use, provides mobile apps that allow parents to easily check their student’s class schedules on their smartphones and offers online registration pages for events. Studio Director and Dance Studio Pro are other options that can work well with your new competition business.

Payment Processing Service

Your dance competition business will need a way to accept payments for entries and merchandise, so you'll need a payment processing service provider. A payment processor is an online company that charges a fee for allowing merchants like your dance business to accept credit card payments from customers.

A payment processor that can meet your needs depends on the type of services your dance competition business offers. For example, if you want to offer gift certificates or pre-paid packages, you’ll need a service that specializes in selling these types of products. If you accept credit cards in person at the competition venue or through your website, consider using a payment processing service that also provides merchant account services.

Laptop Computer

If you want to start a dance competition business—and if you can't get the cash together now, get a laptop. You don't need much to get started, but it should be a decent machine that lasts and can handle video editing and music production. Also, make sure the laptop has an optical drive so you can burn the videos that are going to be competing for your attention!

Video Camera

You need a digital video camera with the following minimum specifications:

  • Resolution: 720p
  • Frames per second: 30
  • Zoom ability: digital 2x and optical 10x
  • Battery life: 2 hours of continuous recording time
  • Storage capacity: at least 60 GB of memory (i.e., approximately 24 hours of recording time)
  • Audio quality: at least two built-in microphones for stereo sound effects during playback
  • Weight: under 1 pound

Smartphone

You will also need a smartphone, which you can use to take pictures and videos of your classes and performances. This way, you can share these moments with your students through social media posts. You can also check email, receive phone calls, and text messages. If you are stuck somewhere while having to travel last minute for your dance business, then you will be able to call a ride service or find your way to your studio or venue.

Cell Phone Plan

You may want to consider getting an unlimited data plan and international calling for your phone in case you travel outside the US. Make sure that you get an insurance plan in case you drop your phone and break it. If you are using the phone for business, some plans allow you to have a separate business line while keeping your personal line on the same device.

Dance Pop Production Classes, if you are doing the music yourself

You may want to consider taking some music production classes if you are doing the music yourself. It takes time to learn the software and recording devices, which is why we recommend this option. Usually you can find an instructor on a website like meetup.com or through a school. We have heard from customers in the past that it costs anywhere from $75 - $125 per hour for these lessons, so you will have to decide whether or not it’s worth it for you to take dance pop production classes.

Office Supplies such as paper, envelopes, stamps and a computer printer

You’re going to need office supplies such as paper and envelopes, stamps, and a printer. You will also need a computer with Microsoft Word or equivalent. These supplies are the foundation of your business.

If you are printing out letters, you will need a computer printer. If you are mailing out letters, you will need postage stamps. If you are mailing out letters, you will also need paper (for the letter) and an envelope to put the letter in!

This is very important because without these items, how do you get started?

Which is why I offer this basic checklist of things you should know before starting any business venture:

  • Read up on Business Start Up Checklist from Small Business Association
  • Get an idea of where your sales will come from
  • Learn about various other aspects of your competition: for example, yes there really is such thing as "the best moves" (although calling something "the best moves" can be misleading), including competitive websites - think instructional videos.

9. Obtain business insurance for dance competition, if required.

Securing the right business insurance is crucial for protecting your dance competition enterprise against unforeseen events. Different types of insurance will cover various aspects of your business, from liability for injuries to coverage for event cancellations. Below are the steps to ensure you have the appropriate insurance for your dance competition:

  • Assess the Risks: Consider all potential risks involved in hosting dance competitions, including injury to participants, property damage, and event cancellation.
  • Research Insurance Providers: Look for insurance companies that specialize in event insurance or have experience with entertainment-related policies.
  • Choose the Right Policy: Decide on the types of insurance you need, such as general liability, professional liability, property insurance, or a comprehensive event insurance package.
  • Get Quotes: Contact multiple insurers to get quotes and compare coverage options and premiums.
  • Review Policy Details: Carefully read the terms and conditions of each policy to understand what is covered and what is not.
  • Consult with a Professional: Speak with an insurance broker or legal advisor to help you choose the best policy for your specific needs.
  • Purchase the Policy: Once you've selected the right insurance, complete the purchase well in advance of your first event to ensure you're covered from the start.
>> MORE:

10. Begin marketing your dance competition services.

Marketing your dance competition services is a critical step in attracting participants and establishing your presence in the dance community. A strategic approach will help you reach potential competitors, dance studios, and sponsors while building your brand. Here are some key strategies to kick-start your marketing efforts:

  • Develop a Strong Brand Identity: Create a memorable logo, slogan, and consistent visual theme for all your marketing materials to increase brand recognition.
  • Build an Online Presence: Launch a professional website and engage on social media platforms where dancers and dance enthusiasts are active, such as Instagram and TikTok.
  • Email Marketing: Collect emails through your website to keep your audience informed with newsletters about event dates, registration deadlines, and special offers.
  • Network with Dance Studios: Partner with local dance studios to promote your competition and offer incentives for them to encourage their dancers to participate.
  • Utilize Paid Advertising: Consider using targeted ads on social media and Google to reach a wider audience interested in dance competitions.
  • Word of Mouth: Encourage word-of-mouth marketing by providing an exceptional experience to participants and asking them to spread the word.
  • Offer Early Bird Discounts: Attract early registrants with discounted rates, helping to secure initial participants and generate buzz.

Dance Studio Management Software

Dance studio management software is the next item on your list of new dance competition business supplies. This software makes running a dance competition business so much easier by helping you manage your schedule, financials, customer contact and more. Walk into any dance studio, and you’ll likely see computers in use behind the counter as employees use this software to check students in for classes and workshops or process payments.

There are many options out there for dance studio management software. Jackrabbit Dance is popular because it’s easy to learn and use, provides mobile apps that allow parents to easily check their student’s class schedules on their smartphones and offers online registration pages for events. Studio Director and Dance Studio Pro are other options that can work well with your new competition business.

Payment Processing Service

Your dance competition business will need a way to accept payments for entries and merchandise, so you'll need a payment processing service provider. A payment processor is an online company that charges a fee for allowing merchants like your dance business to accept credit card payments from customers.

A payment processor that can meet your needs depends on the type of services your dance competition business offers. For example, if you want to offer gift certificates or pre-paid packages, you’ll need a service that specializes in selling these types of products. If you accept credit cards in person at the competition venue or through your website, consider using a payment processing service that also provides merchant account services.

Laptop Computer

If you want to start a dance competition business—and if you can't get the cash together now, get a laptop. You don't need much to get started, but it should be a decent machine that lasts and can handle video editing and music production. Also, make sure the laptop has an optical drive so you can burn the videos that are going to be competing for your attention!

Video Camera

You need a digital video camera with the following minimum specifications:

  • Resolution: 720p
  • Frames per second: 30
  • Zoom ability: digital 2x and optical 10x
  • Battery life: 2 hours of continuous recording time
  • Storage capacity: at least 60 GB of memory (i.e., approximately 24 hours of recording time)
  • Audio quality: at least two built-in microphones for stereo sound effects during playback
  • Weight: under 1 pound

Smartphone

You will also need a smartphone, which you can use to take pictures and videos of your classes and performances. This way, you can share these moments with your students through social media posts. You can also check email, receive phone calls, and text messages. If you are stuck somewhere while having to travel last minute for your dance business, then you will be able to call a ride service or find your way to your studio or venue.

Cell Phone Plan

You may want to consider getting an unlimited data plan and international calling for your phone in case you travel outside the US. Make sure that you get an insurance plan in case you drop your phone and break it. If you are using the phone for business, some plans allow you to have a separate business line while keeping your personal line on the same device.

Dance Pop Production Classes, if you are doing the music yourself

You may want to consider taking some music production classes if you are doing the music yourself. It takes time to learn the software and recording devices, which is why we recommend this option. Usually you can find an instructor on a website like meetup.com or through a school. We have heard from customers in the past that it costs anywhere from $75 - $125 per hour for these lessons, so you will have to decide whether or not it’s worth it for you to take dance pop production classes.

Office Supplies such as paper, envelopes, stamps and a computer printer

You’re going to need office supplies such as paper and envelopes, stamps, and a printer. You will also need a computer with Microsoft Word or equivalent. These supplies are the foundation of your business.

If you are printing out letters, you will need a computer printer. If you are mailing out letters, you will need postage stamps. If you are mailing out letters, you will also need paper (for the letter) and an envelope to put the letter in!

This is very important because without these items, how do you get started?

Which is why I offer this basic checklist of things you should know before starting any business venture:

  • Read up on Business Start Up Checklist from Small Business Association
  • Get an idea of where your sales will come from
  • Learn about various other aspects of your competition: for example, yes there really is such thing as "the best moves" (although calling something "the best moves" can be misleading), including competitive websites - think instructional videos.

11. Expand your dance competition business.

Expanding your dance competition business requires strategic planning and a deep understanding of your market. Here are some key steps to consider as you aim to grow your business and reach a wider audience.

  • Explore Partnerships: Connect with dance studios, schools, and corporate sponsors to build relationships and expand your network.
  • Enhance Marketing Efforts: Utilize social media, email campaigns, and targeted ads to increase visibility and attract more participants and spectators.
  • Invest in Technology: Upgrade your registration and scoring systems for efficiency, and consider live streaming events to reach a global audience.
  • Diversify Offerings: Introduce new competition categories, workshops, and master classes to appeal to a broader demographic.
  • Expand Geographically: Host competitions in new cities or countries to tap into new markets and dance communities.
  • Quality Control: Ensure the quality of your events remains high as you expand; this will help maintain your reputation and encourage repeat business.
  • Feedback Loop: Regularly solicit feedback from participants and attendees to continuously improve and innovate your competitions.