My next tip is to always interview potential new students. Every student that calls you for lessons may not be a perfect fit for you. In the interview read your policy letter word for word. Trust me parents take these home and never read them. Discuss with parents their expectations of their student. Have them play for you. Then decide if the student will work well in your studio. If not, refer them to other teachers in the area..
Finally, be firm. If you write something in your policy letter enforce it from the beginning
Make a big deal of recitals. Send invitations, provide refreshments, award certificates, etc. (I love organizing recitals!) It will encourage your students to prepare more if they know it is not just a performance but an “event.”
Make a big deal of your students! Attend their school plays, dance recitals, etc. I have a 6-year-old student who made me a “friendship pin” for Christmas, and I’ve worn it for all her lessons since. Her mother thinks that is the greatest gesture in the world, and it is such an easy thing to do!
Be forgiving. I had a student miss several lessons in a row, but I still kept in my studio. I later learned that her parents were in the middle of a divorce. When things settled down, she came back to lessons and recently received Student of the Month!
As best you can, keep your “studio” separate from your “home.” My music room is actually a bedroom. That way the goings on of our living room, etc., aren’t totally disrupted because a lesson is going on.
Tell your local music store you’re a teacher, and they will usually give a discount!”
2. Read on the Etsy forums. The forums are a wonderful way to connect with other sellers and learn things you didn’t even know to ask.
3. Scope out your competition – but don’t copy! It’s great to check out price points and styles, but copycats rarely find success. Find your own unique look, and you’ll stand out in the crowd.
4. Work on taking great photos. Pictures sell your product more than anything else. Make sure yours are topnotch.
5. Don’t get discouraged. Success on Etsy (or off!) rarely comes overnight. Be prepared to work hard and be patient.
6. Don’t wait for the buyers to find you – go find them! A great way to do this is through twitter, blogs and other social networking. If you build relationships with your target market, the sales will come.”
“To run a pre-school you have to have a lot of “stuff.” And the cost of that stuff is expensive so I never paid full price for anything.
-Go to garage sells through-out the summer and the DI to find a lot of toys/manipulatives. You will need a lot of these and the price adds up, so go cheap!
-I bought all my furniture (tables, stools, rug) at IKEA. It was cheap but really cute.
-Dollar Tree has a whole section of teacher stuff.
-I did visit Kid 2 Kid a lot too. They always have good stuff.
To Advertise for the preschool I started in May. Most parents who are looking for preschools start around this time and even earlier.
Much of my advertising was word of mouth, but I also visited the…I visited the people in my neighborhood and told them i was starting one and to spread the word. I also delivered fliers around areas with lots of kids. I also listed myself on KSL. I also called the other preschools in my area and gave them my number to give to those people that were on their waiting lists or if they got any new people call after they were full. The first year is hardest to get students, but after that you can start building a waiting list with siblings or neighbors.”
– get a hostess that is organized or who you can guide as much as possible to be organized. The class will run so smooth if she knows what’s what.
– everyone must be on time. If they come late you can always tell them that they are welcome to come to another class, but they will be unable to finish the project in the time allotted. There are exceptions, but I tell the hostess this upfront.
– Everyone must prepay. If you don’t pay then you could just not come and I would be wasting my time and energy and money to front supplies. This helps with organization too.
– Limit your instructions. Ladies like to talk so be brief and know you are going to have to repeat yourself to almost everyone.
– Dealing with the non-crafty. There are TONS of people out there who don’t know how to craft and aren’t all that capable. Be specific with instructions, but also tell them that they can’t mess it up. Lots of people get hung up on making theirs perfect where it is all preference. I try to bring out the creativity in everyone by having them make it their own.
– Set a time limit for the class. Like I said, ladies like to talk, so if they know they only have 2 hours to finish a project you can just remind them of the time and get them to hurry up. Starting to clean up helps too.”