Sewing Class Schedule Guru

One thing that never goes away when you have your own sewing school is the need to add more sewing classes to your class schedule. 

Put simply - Sewing classes are the product you sell. And without new classes coming up on your schedule, you're not making any money.

As days go by, classes come and go. As long as you're still in business, you're going to need to add more classes to your schedule. But since this is only a tiny slice of that you've got on your to-do list, this task cannot take forever. 

Over the years as I've gotten more experienced, I've tried to make this as efficient as possible. One of the things I do is narrow down the times I actually sit down and do the scheduling. I don't make it an ongoing project. I mean, I guess I do a little because things change and you've got to adjust. But I've learned to keep the actual time spent figuring out the scheduling to a minimum.

This saves time and allows me to have more classes on the schedule for longer periods of time. This in turns gets a better sign up rate.  If people can see classes up to 6 months from now, they're more likely to say YES! I'm going to sign up for that sewing class in January and then they also have something to look forward to, right?

For my studio, the big scheduling pushes happen quarterly. And I look at my yearly class calendar similar to how a school schedules their classes throughout the year. 

My first big scheduling usually happens in mid July.

This tends to be a good time for me to do it because our summer camps are usually well underway and my time has freed up to spend part of my work week to get it done.

After I print out blank calendar pages for each month of the year, The first thing I'll do at this time is determine my kids classes for the entire school year. 

My blank calendar pages allow me to go old school and write things down. I always use a pencil so things can written erased and re+arranged. The printed calendar also allows me to visualize the year as a whole in a way that I can't quite do working with online calendars. 

I mark all the major holidays of the year so I can schedule around them. I will also usually consult the school year calendar provided by our local school district. 

By checking the local school calendar I can get a good idea of when to offer our school break camps throughout the school year. No school for the kids means business opportunity for kids sewing camps.

Then I'll usually check in with my sewing class schedule around the first of November.

This is the time I start to think about classes in the new year! At this time, I'll usually get my handy dandy calendar out again and come up with the class schedule for January through April.

Around mid December is when I'll nail down the Kids Summer Camp Schedule.

This is a separate scheduling and website updating period only for the camps. I aim to have the schedule for camp out and live on our website for the first of the year. Seems early to be thinking of summer camp at this time of year, but some parents are already starting to think about it! 

Usually around Mid February is when I'll finish out the year for adult classes.

This is the time I'll add all the classes through till the end of August. Then I don't have to think about it again (except for small tweaks) until the summer. 

I have really found the key to efficiency in scheduling classes is not making it an ongoing project. Kind of like how time management advice always tells you to look at your email for a set period of time once or twice a day, not all day long. It's easy to get sucked into making small changes all the time, scheduling for only short periods of time or adding more classes but not giving enough time for people to sign up for them.

Do yourself a favor and be very intentional with your sewing class planning. It really does make a difference. 

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