Here are the four things we’re going to talk about in this video:
1. Your customers pay first, then learn. No exceptions.
2. Determine your cancelation policies and set them in stone.
3. Almost Never issue monetary refunds on any classes not taken.
4. Determine your low enrollment policy and set it in stone.
=This might seem obvious to some of you, but I want to start off by stating, you MUST collect payment before you allow anyone to attend any of your sewing classes! Always do this. No exceptions, and you’ll never be sorry!
I see this all the time Sewing teachers endlessly ranting about the parent that keeps avoiding their emails and calls about their balance with you. Their child has been happily attending your sewing classes for the last 6 weeks but they owe you $200. This is unacceptable. And this can be easily avoided by making sure that each and every student pays first, then they learn.
I honestly don’t even think that people who you have to chase down for money, do it intentionally. More than likely they have just become very busy (as we all do) and they forget that they haven’t paid you. They go on their merry way, without a clue that they’re keeping you up at night because they owe you money.
Do yourself, your business and your customer a favor and don’t let this negative energy even enter into your being or your studio.
Okay moving along, the next thing you must do is protect yourself from people canceling on you and your classes at the last minute.
Since you teach sewing, it’s not possible to cram hundreds of people into your classes, nor would you want to. The reason that people are going to love your kids summer camp classes is because of your personal attention. For these reasons, you will always have limited spaces available for any classes you teach.
Picture this situation. Someone signs up months before your camp starts. Then your camp subsequently fills up to capacity, a few weeks before it starts. Then, two days before your camp starts the student that signed up three months ago tries to cancel. Well, this is completely not fair to anyone. You’re not only losing out on that person coming, but you’ve probably turned away countless other people who couldn’t sign up because all your spots for that class were filled for months.
This is where a firmly stated cancelation policy is going to protect you, my friend!
Never issue monetary refunds on any classes not taken. You might have just heard me say that one above. It’s my first rule and I stick to it. I don’t have time to refund peoples class fees because they change their mind. Especially since the credit card processors have already taken their fees.
If schedule conflicts arise after you sign up and you give us ample notice AND if we’re offering the class they are taking again, I’m more than happy to switch them to a future session.
Lastly, I highly recommend you decide on the minimum number of students you’ll need to enroll in order to run a class. Make sure it’s a number that you won’t end up losing money if you run it.
Let’s say you’re running a bag workshop that is three hours long. The registration fee to sign up for the class is $65 and all the supplies are included in the price.
Now consider your expenses. If Your space cost breaks out to roughly $10/hour. And if you’re paying yourself or someone else $20/hour to teach this class. And then the project costs $10 to make in supplies, you are LOSING money to teach this class for only one person. Please do not run the class.
Yes it will be disappointing to the one person who signed up, but they’ll get over it. Or you can offer them some creative alternatives. Usually if this happens, I’ll offer the customer a credit to transfer their enrollment to the next session.
Never forget, if you were the one scheduled to teach the class, three hours of your precious time will be used much more wisely promoting OTHER classes or taking care of your other duties, vs. teaching a class for one person and losing money to do it.
Then be sure to add a policy to your website. State that it’s up to your discretion to cancel a class if you do not get sufficient sign ups.
Some classes will be home runs and some will not be as popular. This happens to EVERYONE and there’s nothing wrong with having a class every so often that you can't get enough people.
In conclusion I would like to say that you must make your Cancellation Policies extremely visible on your website.
Personally in my business, we also include them in all confirmation emails when someone signs up for a class on my website. That way people know what they are getting into the minute they start looking around on my website and there are no questions about it.