When I started teaching I had some pens and stickers in a little plastic box I’d carry around with me, but soon I needed a large tackle box to carry around everything. I’m lucky that I don’t have to travel anymore, (I’d need a set of rolling luggage to accommodate all my “necessary” supplies these days!) When you start teaching or have a small studio, the last thing your budget can handle is office supplies eating up your profits! If you are starting a studio I suggest spending most of your budget on advertising.
My suggestion is a STUDIO LAUNCH/WARMING/STARTING PARTY!
Here is some example wording, feel free to copy and paste!
Set up an e-vite and print out a few invitations for those offline with the following:
Dear Friends, Family and Students,
I’ve started my own business, a Private Studio for Violin & Piano lessons, and I’m so excited! I have 5 students currently, and am using most of my income for marketing right now, so I’m asking for your help getting started with some basic office supplies that will help me succeed. I’m having a a studio warming party on January 15th at 3 p.m. . I’ve created an Amazon wish list which you can find here (insert link.) I’ll give a mini concert, tell you all about the plans for my studio, and treat you to my best cookie recipes afterwards! If you can’t contribute, I completely understand and hope you can come and bring some words of advice/encouragement for me!
People who love you and love your music will LOVE to help you get started in life, so don’t feel greedy in the least about setting yourself up for success. Be prepared to answer questions about your studio, (having a website or blog to show off is GREAT and doesn’t take long to set up) and have copies of your policy letter to show as well as business cards (without your home address…intersection or part of town is ideal!) and brochures to give to attendees, and certainly don’t forget a hand written thank you note!
Also, what you put on your wish list is completely up to you, and if many of those attending are offline, it might make sense to ask for small amounts on giftcards to the local office supply store, or ask people to actually bring pens, post-it’s ect. to your party. I wouldn’t go overboard and put any computers or ipads on your list, but if anyone is a teacher on your invite list, you will probably receive something a teacher understands the value of, like a good laminator! Try to have your party where you teach (if not in your home) or the church you attend will usually be very accommodating!
The party will help you out financially, you’ll be swimming in sharpies and paperclips for awhile, but the real strategy in this party is the marketing in itself! When you “sell” yourself and the service you provide in a fun atmosphere, all those attending will understand that you are serious about teaching, and that it isn’t just a hobby. When you send promotional materials and business cards home with them, you’ll be gaining more free marketing too (and sending a follow up thank you/don’t forget to give my materials to friends with children email doesn’t hurt either.)
TO DO LIST FOR STUDIO WARMING PARTY
- set a date, create guest list and send invitations
- pick a few of your favorite pieces to perform and practice
- make a few dozen cookies or pick up some nicer treats from a bakery
- make sure you have a “presentation” prepared about what you hope to achieve
- enjoy your party
- write thank you notes and follow up a few weeks later with an email thanking/asking to distribute brochures to families with children!
When you DO have your studio party, be sure to take some pics and please let me know how it went!