So my 2nd 8 week session begins this coming weekend and so far I only have 2 actual registrations for the full 8 weeks and another 6-8 people planning on coming for drop ins..but sporadically.
This is the first hoop class in the area and my main purpose was to bring the love of hooping to this community and help it build. Word is getting around but only by word of mouth so far. Lots of interest but it's not showing during registration time.
My question is
1. Do I suck up the cost of the space in the hopes I'll even out over the 8 weeks? this will allow me to keep it open for drop ins and hopefully drum up more students for next round.
2. Do I delay the start of the class for another month so I have a chance to get some posters out around town and hopefully start off with better numbers. This option makes me feel a bit sad as it's been so much fun and the people that do want to come are really into it and I'd hate to see their interest die out because I take a break.
Any suggestions here would be greatly appreciated! I'm feeling stuck on making a decision...
Do you think people are not available on the day and time you are offering the class? Also, you said beginner class, so I assume this is the next level of the beginner class. Maybe you can fill it as a "mixed" level class. It is a bit harder to teach since everyone is at a different level, but I find I give everyone individual attention anyway, and people do progress at different rates. I don't rent my space so this is not an issue for me. I would charge a certain amount for the classes and collect it ahead of time so you know you have enough money to pay for the space. Other options would be a shorter duration of classes - say 6 weeks. People might be more willing to commit to a shorter time period. Good Luck to you!
This is a good point. I really should put it out as a mixed level class on my posters! The students I already have know that is pretty much what it is. I help people out individually where they are at and then everyone learns at their own pace.
I think Joan had a point with the weather here in Ottawa right now. It's a Saturday morning class which is ideal for most as I have a lot of moms in the class but it's such a busy time of year running around kids to their classes and storms don't help people's motivation to get out of the house :)
I may just suck it up for this session and hope it grows for the spring.
Thank you so much!!
I completely understand the frustration and worry. I have just begun my first 6 week beginners hoop dance workshop in a town where hooping is a rarity to say the least. I have created flyers, face book page, business cards, and a website but my class is still not bringing in the clientel that I would like. However, my philosophy is on happy thoughts... with every new person that comes in... that is one more person to advertise for you.... I think keeping the dates you have will be a good idea for the people that want to be regulars and want to drop in. I know for my busy schedule once I plan on something its hard for me to change it up. I would still get those flyers out even if the class already starts. You can write on the flyers that it is not necessary to go to all classes to feel compitent about skill level and exercises. That can give people more incentive and confidence to go to the classroom. Also I was reading that alot more people feel comfortable with the words hoop fitness then hoop dance because of their insecurties of not having rhythm or dancing capability. Also see if you can put an add in your local newspaper, craigslist, and if you have the magazing "natural awakenings" (holistic) that would be superb. I am going to keep on trucking with this class and stick it out. Afterwards I believe I am going to go to fitness gyms where I can have a hoop fitness class (pretty much hoop basics with more umph!) This is where I will not have to rent space and it will not matter how many people I get in the class because I am only getting paid per class. This will also help people understand that they have the ability to hoop and get them interested in the workshop. Once I create enough interest in the town I will probably host another workshop. Until them I am cutting my losses chucking it up to good experience and positive word of mouth (thats how most people get interested in things any way is word of mouth). I apologize if I was to long winded :) I wish you the best of luck and hope everything works for the best! happy thoughts to you
Thank you Cuban for your empathy. It helps to know I'm not alone in the struggle right now. I do feel it may be better to just stick to the time as people get to know about the class for consistency's sake. It would be awful if people thought they could drop in to show up and have no classes going.
Good luck to you too! I'm sure you can get a good hooping group going in Myrtle Beach, I used to live in Wilmington NC. i'm missing the warm weather down there right now! Would love to go hoop on the beach :)
Where do you live? I know our winter has been so bad in northeast it's had it's affect on everything. People just don't want to commit when they don't know if there's another storm coming.
If you're having a bad winter I would keep the class going for walk ins and work on them to spread the word. By the next session it will be spring.
It's hard starting up. I've had two sessions canceled at our local Y because people want to attend but don't want to commit with the crazy weather. The Y is charging extra for an 8 week session to their members. Participants lose a class if they don't show. I can't blame them for not wanting to commit to this with so many snow storms.
We're picking up again in the spring.
This is the challenging part but my concern is what if I lose the momentum of the class doing that? My instinct is telling me to keep it going and my brain is telling me to worry about the money.
Oh if only there were no money involved! hahaha
Although I am coming a bit late to the discussion here, why not hold off the semester until the weather is better, if that is the main issue, and run a couple of free (or by donation) hoop jams to keep the momentum going? You might even pick up some more students if you promote the hoop jams to new audiences.
For the jam, bring along music and some spare hoops, a few hoops to sell (if you make and sell hoops) and don't teach, but encourage dancing and free play and trick exchange among everyone who attends.
Don't forget to hand out flyers for the upcoming classes!