So you want to start your own hooping business? Now what? I've had the pleasure of interviewing many successful hoopers from all parts of the world. Here's 11 helpful tips for you to get started on the right track:
"While designing the Helix LED hoop I kept the project a strict secret from all but my best friends. This allowed me to focus on creating the hoop with every pattern, feature, and ounce of quality that I envisioned. There were no compromises in any way because of some artificial schedule, popularity, or promises. It allowed me to treat the project not as a business, but as an amazing digital art project that I can now proudly share with others. Because the hoop is so "over-the-top", everyone that has used one can feel this artistic energy that lives within the Helix and it inspires them as well. Don't make hoops; make art. Be inspired. Inspire others. It will show and you will have something everyone can be proud of."
Craig Scheets of Proton Labs
"Never doubt yourself. Don't think yourself incapable of making things happen. I have seen others including myself become consumed in doubt and it can hold you back. I finally fought the doubt and here I am!"
Aurora Anaya of Elemental Hoops
"As a performer I have a MAJOR tip for hoop dancers just starting out - get to know the people you are working with/for - make sure your values and reputation are not going to be compromised and affected by those representing you - stand up for yourself when you need to and if you dont feel comfortable with something, SPEAK UP! There are so many opportunities for you to share your passion the way you want to, so walking away from something because you dont feel right, is more than likely going to benefit you then hurt you, and you will respect yourself for it and many others will respect you for it too :) follow YOUR dreams, not someone elses."
Megan LadyDub McGonigal of Lady Dub Dance
"The best tip I have is to know your customers/market. I put out a survey sheet at hoop jams and festivals where I'm vending hoops, asking people for their contact information and what times/days are best for them for classes. Then when I pick a day/time for a new class, I'm not shooting in the dark for a good time for folks. I would also suggest a regular free or low cost hoop jam to build up interest."
Amanda Walden of Spin Art
"You are the STAR of your Universe! It all revolves around you, and that is what attracts people to you. Just be yourself. Truly you, only you, full on YOU. Dance and be the inspiration. This way, it all starts to fall into place. The money comes, the students come, the inspiration comes, the business savvy comes, and the fruits of your labor all fall into you lap. Keep being you, don't sell yourself in anyway that discomforts you, and KEEP SHINING!"
Shelly of The Healthy Hooper
"Make a quality product. Make sure it’s perfect."
"Fellow hoopers & newbies business owners, to me, the most important TIP I could offer is having killer customer service. My boyfriend and I hand build our LED hoops with the best quality we can construct and guarantee our products to last forever, but we also provide free maintenance on our hoops for any mechanical issues. Not only are our hoops built to last, but we only charge $100 for each hoop, (which is cheaper than our competitors) But most importantly those who purchase from us weather it be a LED HULA HOOP, LED DOG COLLAR OR LED LEASHES, we stay extremely connected and personal with our buyers. A friend of mine order a hoop from ebay. Sadly her hoop broke and she had no contact information to the builder to try to replace or fix it. I feel it is very important to be extremely personal with those who are buying from you. Offer many ways to be contacted and follow through will repairs. By insuring each hooper is extremely happy and in love with their hoop, and making them feel that they are able to contact us freely with questions, concerns, and issues, is what I believe will help a business succeed."
Viola Lee Whoo of Viola Lee Hoops
"My best tip would be to not get discouraged - like many small business owners know, its feast or famine - things may start out great, but don't be surprised by the lulls...you also get out of it as much as you put into it - advertise in as many places and as many ways as possible!"
Jennifer Hoover Wickman of Wiki Hoops
"My best tip for business hooping newbies would be... KNOW YOUR STUFF. Have some sort of physiology back ground. Have a base of the body mechcanics. Have some dance back ground. Teach ONLY what you know. Dont try and be something your not. KNOW your product. If you sell hoops, know all the materials used to make hoops. Why people choose certain hoops. What is a begginer hoop? an adult hoop? a rhythmic hoop? what are twins? and so on.
What are all the styles of hooping? What are the benefits of hoops with plenty of flex and what are the benefits with hoops very little flex? Know your stuff! History of hooping, where does it come from? how did it start? who hoops? what are the physical health benefits of hooping? what are the menatl health benefits of hooping? ( Many studies have been done ) Why should you NEVER use a hoop over 3lbs? What are the injury risk factors? What injuries in recovery can benefit from hooping? Why hoop both directons? Do you know how to teach? Have you been taught to teach the wide varity of people and ages?
Once your ready to go out on your own and be your own business, DONT GIVE UP! There maybe a well paved road today for so many newbies teachers to jump in and say " I TEACH HOOP TOO" but doesnt mean making a living off your hoops and classes will be easy. You have to work hard, every single day. You have to represent your self, talk the talk and walk the walk. PRACTICE, TRAIN, perfrom, teach, demos demos and more demos. Be organised, and again , KNOW YOUR STUFF. People will ask you questions over and over and over and they are great questions much of the time, but you have to take the time to answer them over and over.
Ive have nurses, physiotherapist, school teachers and many more professional folk ask me many intense physical questions about hooping in class as well as other dance teachers taking my classes. Seems they all just wanna, double check, and make sure they are in good hands:) haha. Thank goodness, Ive done all my personal training , ACE and BCRPA courses. As well, I keep my self up dated and take many workshops for EVERYTHING. Im always FIRST a student. Then , I teach what I know.
Think about who you want to teach. Children? adults? grandparents? in schools? at rec centres? start a perfroming program? what do you want to do? And again, only teach what you know. Hooping is beautiful, fun, happy and healthy on SO
MANY LEVELS, but can also cause injury, and can be very stressful for some students who cannot " get a move" Health conditions you MUST concider in your class ie..
You must be careful if someone has heart problems, grossly over weight and is wanting to lose weight, has a spine disease, or has horrible arthritic hands. Somone may even show up in your class with a Docotrs note or maybe diabetic. I had students with these issues and MORE. I had one student that has problems with her blood sugar absorbtion and passes out easy, I had to really keep my eye on her and watch for " the look" then Id walk over quikly, sit her down and give her water and talk her through her dizzy spell.
Also pregnant students,if you know nothing about what pregnant people can and cannot do during their weeks then DONT teach them. These peoples well being are all in your hands. Make sure you have a first AID kit in your class at all tiimes and everyone knows where it is. Also, suggest everyone to bring water and show them where to get MORE WATER:)
And above all, take care of your self. Walk the walk and talk the talk. Your a health leader, teacher. Your helping others find happiness and health'n wellness inside the hoop. Set the example of a healthy life style which so many hoopers do and live. You be healthy, practice, teach and learn. know your stuff, be a leader, and help others at every opertunity you are given in your day to day life.
To me, this is how you be a Hula hoop dance teacher, this is how you will have a successful hoop career."
Jenny Hoopnosis of Hoopnosis
Last but not least, here's a juicy tip from me :)
"Differentiate yourself from the competition. I don't like loud music so hooping at clubs is out. But I make a lucrative living by hooping at children's parties and other kid-friendly events."
Sarah M. Jordan of Hooping by Sarah
Those of you who share and reblog this post will receive my undying gratitude forever.
Connect with me on facebook for more free resources for hoopers.