Friday, May 28, 2010

How to make your business fail

We've been having some issues with the ballet school Paige attends.  Granted, I didn't do any research before starting, so bad Mommy.  But, well, the convenience factor won me over.  There is a teacher, I'll call her M, who started her own ballet studio.  She decided to increase business during the day, when most ballet studios are closed because parents are at work, she would go to local daycares and teach classes there.  I pay the same price as you would in the studio, but she comes to us.  Very convenient for Mommy and Daddy.  Paige begged to take ballet, and she really loves it.  I'm not so in love with the teacher.

I haven't had a lot of interaction with M as she teaches ballet to Paige at 2 on Friday afternoons.  I'm most definitely at work then.  I do understand that this is her first year with her own studio, but she's been working in other studios for years.  You would think she would know how they work.  Obviously not.  I was told in February that by the end of March I would have all the information for our recital, which would be at the end of May.  Wonderful.  I'm a planner in case you hadn't noticed.  March comes and goes.  Now we're into April.  I get asked by A, our daycare director, if I know of anywhere to have a ballet recital.  M hadn't bothered to book a place.  And, if you can imagine this, by mid April all the usual places were booked.  Of course they were!  There are tons of ballet studios and all of them hold recital at the end of May.  I suggested a few places, and A was off once again to try to book a place.  And no A does not work for M at all.  She was just being nice and helping out.

April ends, and we get into May.  Now I'm really getting nervous.  There are ballet pictures, costumes, everything.  Finally, I get a picture of the costume.  Completely adorable, and I love it.  It's pink and brown polka dots.  Wonderful.  Finally, just before Mothers Day we order them.  When is the recital you ask?  I'm glad you mentioned that.  It's now the first Friday in June.  Grandparents arrange work schedules and life is good.  Yesterday we get notified it's been changed to Saturday, pictures are now at 3 pm on Tuesday, and extra practice at the ballet studio on Wednesday.  Um, what was that?

Let's break that down.  We get an "Oops, sorry, I gave you the wrong date" on a new information sheet. Call grandparents to tell them of the changes.  OK, done.  Next on that list is pictures are Tuesday at 3 pm.  Well, since I work 8-5 I think we'll be missing those.  Done.  Extra practice Wednesday at 4.  Ronnie gets off work at 3, so he will be able to make it.  But where is the studio?  The address is given as "above such and such gymnastics studio".  Wonderful.  Would someone be so kind as to tell me where that is?  Please?    Finally we got costumes today, a week before recital.  I googled M's studio phone number.  Left a message as instructed, being rather sarcastic as I did.  You see, there was no greeting other than "leave a message".  I had no idea if I called a business, a personal cell phone, or Mir Space Station!

I did get a return call, so luckily it was the studio not Mir.  I asked a question about the headpiece that goes with the costume.  And then I asked where the studio is located.  I was once again referred to the name of the gymnastics studio.  I asked her to pretend I'm not from our city, that my husband is from New Orleans and I most recently lived in Miami before here.  I got an address after that.  Then when I mentioned the costume isn't like the picture we saw, it's in fact black with pearls, not pink and brown polka dots I was informed she ordered the wrong one.  When I mentioned I really liked the other costume, I got an "Oh well, I like this one better."

So, how to ruin a business in it's first year:

  1. Don't talk to parents.  Here's a hint, we write the check. Not the 4 year old.
  2. Have no communication skills.  
  3. Blame others.  Sorry that I refuse to believe it's my daycare directors fault about picture time.
  4. Be unorganized.  March should mean March, not May.
  5. Be rude to parents.  Refer to #1, I write the check.
I must say, her totally freaking out and having a hissy fit about Paige's hair cut made me not like her even more.  Sorry Paige's hair doesn't fit into your idea of what it should be.  Get over it.  I gave birth to her, I have more say than you do.  M has already been told Paige will not be attending her studio next year.  

1 comment:

C. Beth said...

Ugh, how annoying! We were going to enroll Chickie in swim lessons at The Engineer's gym. But I left 2 messages with the guy in charge, needing info about which class she should be in. I didn't hear back. We found a different place to do the lessons, and I sent the gym an email letting them know they'd lost my business (in this area.)