What We Wish We’d Known 6 Years Ago
Do you ever wonder what you would tell your younger self if you could go back in time?
We’ve all seen the classic “Back To The Future” ;)
So, what would you share with the younger you, or what do you wish you’d known back then?
Well, 6 years ago, I was 38, I had a 6 and a 4 year old, was married, working as a Marketing Director and was desperate for some “me” time. Time to get active, get away from the phone, have fun and take time out. I wanted to go to dance classes but was quite specific about what I wanted.
I wanted to learn dance routines to pop music from the 80s, 90s and 00s and be in a class with likeminded people, I didn’t want to feel the odd one out in a room full of younger people and I wanted it to be quite casual, no pressure, no problem if you got it wrong.
So working with amazing dance teachers, Popdance was born! Since then, I gave up my job as a Marketing Director, my kids are now 12 and 10, I am still married to the love of my life and I still go to that very first Popdance class (every Tuesday night – love it)!
And, Popdance now run classes, parties and events for adults, teens, kids, toddlers, over 50’s, special needs, in schools, workshops, community centres, leisure centres, hotels, everywhere across the UK and overseas!
So what do we wish we’d known back in 2009? Well, let us share that with you – here’s our top one and I’m sure we will share others over the next few weeks – however, this one is absolutely vital!
• Start a database from day one!
Data is the key to success. Contact details of enquiries, customers and businesses you work with are soooooo important. And, capturing those details in the right way will make a ton of difference to your business.
In the early days, much of data capture was done on paper – customers filled in a form when they attended class and this was either lost in transport ;), or had to be manually typed in to wherever we were storing it all.
Much has changed since then, the Data Protection Act also needs to be taken into consideration, so we soon started working with Mailchimp – a great free tool to help capture and manage data.
Setting up lists was interesting as we grew as a company, we wanted to establish what brands our customers were interested in hearing about, adults classes, kids, parties etc. So whilst Mailchimp did us very proud for many years, we have recently invested in a new data management system which allows us to do so much more with this valuable data.
We don’t just communicate more regularly with our Popdancers, but we now interact with tons more dance teachers, businesses, leisure centres, schools, the list goes on. And, we can see, at the touch of a button, our relationship with that person/business, what that customer has purchased from us and what they may be interested in purchasing in the future.
I’m not saying rush out and invest in a top data management system, but what I would say to my 38 year old self is:
“Sue, things don’t happen overnight! If it was easy, everyone would be doing it! Treat customer data as if it were golddust. Don’t try to tell everyone about everything that you do, but get to know your customers, what they want, and then give them what they want – ooh, and you are gonna love the ‘Let’s Get Ready to Rhumble” routine!” ;)