Unethical dance mom?

It ridiculous to even ask the question. It’s incredibly disrespectful for her to use your premises to market competitive product to your on site clients.

She needs to be booted from the premises and she and her daughter need to be told to find another dance studio. You asking her politely will not stop her going after your clients, she will just do it off premises. I guarantee this, she will have no compunction about going after your customers if she can get to them.

Allowing her to stay will cost you more business than you can imagine. You need to cut the cord.

I think one talking to with warning is a good place to start. You must be all business and very firm about it. If she ignores the warning, then boot her and kid(s) from the business for good. And warn other studios in the area of her shenanigans.

And just to address what someone else mentioned, your premises include the parking lot. She doesn’t get to move 10 feet off the sidewalk and do the same thing.

I wouldn’t put up a sign for a few reasons. Mainly because it’s passive aggressive and if you’re doing it because you’re not confrontational, that’ll just backfire since if she’s ballsy enough to pull this she’s just going to march up you you and ask you why the f you put the sign up. Second, if you have a problem with one single person about one single problem, I don’t like sings that effectively ‘punish’ everyone or ‘call attention to the problem’ for everyone. As on confrontational as I am, it’ll be much better in the long wrong to just suck it up an deal with it 1 on 1. Besides, if you put up a sign, other parents will know to find out her contact information before she’s gone, if she’s just gone one day (and she might leave after you talk to her), they’ll (hopefully) just come right back to you.

For the record, I’m just not a big fan of signs. I HATE seeing signs that say “CLEAN UP YOUR DISHES, YOUR MOM DOESN’T WORK HERE” or “PLEASE FILL THE COFFEE POT IF YOU TOOK THE LAST OF THE COFFEE” when I’m in other peoples offices. Especially if it appears to be aimed at specific people, it seems tacking and catty.

No, a person can’t set up a store on someone else’s property. The shoe peddler might try setting up something on the sidewalk but the city no doubt has proper laws about that sort of thing.

As for the “friends” thing - this is not a social club, it’s a business. If I were a customer of this business, I would not appreciate being pressured by a fellow customer to buy things under the table. I would be relieved if the business owner kicked out the shoe peddler. She’s putting your other customers in an awkward place whether they buy the shoes or decline them.

“No solicitations” signs are so common at businesses here that I’d be surprised if the studio doesn’t even already have one. At any rate, I think they’re unexceptionable.

Small business owner checks in. A couple questions.
#1 if retail sales is 10% of your gross, how much is she really costing you vs. What she pays in lesson fees.
#2 is it cost practical to have a “shoe sale” and undercut her. You as a business can most likely afford to undercut her and still make a few bucks a pair. By doing this you saturate the customer base so she cant move product and does not require confronting/alienating an otherwise lucrative lesson customer.
#3 would it be possible to clasp the proverbial viper to your bosom? Let her sell if she buys from you…leave enough room for her to make a few $ moving your product.

What she is doing is shady, the trick is turning her into an asset…use her to make money, offer her a referral incentive if she brings in a new lesson client. Use her ambition and apparent ability to sell to get what you want.

I’d bet $100 this mom will assume that such a sign referred to "outsiders’ coming in and not to her. She’s not “soliciting”, she’s just talking to her friends.

This exactly. Anyone who knowingly does what she’s doing will not be deterred by a sign.

I’m with the pitch-forked mob on this one. Kick her out. This isn’t cool.

Unethical dance mom is the worst superhero ever.

I think you have to kick the kid out if the mom doesn’t stop - if she keeps coming to the studio, so does her mom and her shady shenanigans.

Yeah, but her moves! Her costume!

But her moves are not regulation moves!

No way do you just kick them out without first asking her to stop. Just tell her that it’s unacceptable for her to solicit on your property. If she wants to do it by calling up other mothers from home I say let her, though it’s not my bottom line that it’s affecting.

Several years ago, I was in a local pawn shop and watched a scene play out in which a guy was trying to sell a guitar – he wanted $800; the pawnbroker was offering $650 and would not budge. A guy in line behind the guitar seller spoke up and said HE needed a guitar and would pay the guitar owner the $800.

The pawnbroker immediately rounded on the offerer and told him he couldn’t use the pawn store to conduct business – that the only buying and selling to be done in that store was his own.

At the time, I thought the pawnbroker was overreacting.

In the case mentioned in the OP, my sympathy at first blush goes to the dance studio. I may need to rethink my reaction to the pawn shop incident.

My wife runs a very successful martial arts business that is part of province wide organization. She runs into this occasionally. The offender gets taken aside a gets a friendly talking to. If that does not work they will get a letter and then are kicked out of the school and banned from the whole organization. The even worse scenario was the instructor who broke off from one of the other dojos in the organization to start his own school taking a bunch of clientèle, in violation of a signed contract. He was sued and his school shut down.

She has worked very hard to build a business and a market. It is her market and no one else’s. If a person wants to compete, then they do it with their own resources.

Seriously, you don’t think the two of them were in cahoots? If they weren’t other dude would have offered him $700.

It would seem to me a conversation with this person telling telling them that you would love to keep them as a student but if they wish to sell their shoes it must be outside of your property is the way to go.

Depending on her lease, the owner could bar the other women from the parking area, or ask the building management to do so.

Original poster here. Appreciate all the responses, think the two sentences above sum it up perfectly. A plain concise, very clear conversation with her has taken place. We never punish the kids for the actions of their parents. All appears to be under control now, fully expect more trouble from this woman however, she can’t seem to help herself.

The difference is the pawnbroker was making a big deal out of a one-time event. It’s not as though the dude was going to come back and sell more guitars. The OP’s problem is that the offender is undertaking an ongoing business venture on his premises.

If they were in cahoots, and the pawnbroker thought so, he would have no reason to object. “There – I can’t give you the $800, but you can take this random stranger’s offer!”

Depends on how much the guitar was worth. If it’s a $1600 guitar the guy is still getting it for 1/2 price and he might think that’s a great deal. He also has to offer enough more that the seller is swayed away from an easy deal with the pawn shop to a slightly more risky deal with a stranger.