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thbeach
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Hi Claire,

Firstly it is great that you did something to promote your business. But yes, you now need to deliver on that. You will get through it and you will get lots of business experience in taking this risk to get out there. Most people are too frightened.

First things first: All businesses need a product, to be able to sell it, and finally deliver it profitably. You did well on the first two. You’ve got to deliver now.

Some really large businesses fold at this stage as they cannot afford to deliver on large contracts they get. Luckily you are a smaller one. You just have to get through this and plan to do things differently.

Make sure you get testimonials and Facebook comments from the new ones. Take their pics and ask permission to post their comments, then get them to go onto your FB page and like it so it shows up to their friends. That may be a benefit to you. By the way Facebook advertising can be highly targetted to sex, age, postcode, interests so a good cheap way of getting your message out.

Planning and coping. I think you should keep the planning simple.

Again every business has five things they all do:

1. They make sales = revenue
2. They make or buy their product ( hire staff including you, rent on dance studio, music, equipment, updating your training etc )
3. They have a cost of selling ( marketing, promotion and selling to bring in revenue )
4. They have a cost to run the business ( admin – finances, insurances etc )
5. They need to make a profit

For any business you need recurring income – in your case you need to sell say 10 week classes x 4 times a year. That way you have the money up front and don’t need to watch who comes through the door or not. If they don’t turn up, bad luck. They can do makeups, but only that term.

You can sell these at a discount – have an early bird discount ( 10 weeks in advance is money in your bank account, so ok to discount )

Or maybe if they pay quarterly on a recurring basis for a year, they can have a larger discount. Talk to your bank about how to do this.

Consider master classes at a higher rate – hire the top talent to do this and go halves ( spend your half on promotion etc )

Now, the reason you could burn out is that you are doing this all yourself and wondering where to bring in help. You are doing most of the work – taking some of the classes ( because you are the cheapest person to employ ), selling and making the bookings, running the admin side of the business plus you have another job to go to full time.

I think you are pretty amazing Claire! And you must be incredibly fit.

Outsourcing overseas – it can be a good thing if you know what you are doing. However, I’m not sure you are ready to handle that learning curve with what’s on your plate. It can be very frustrating. And you may waste money in the short term.
How about finding someone or a couple of people to help in return for personal training or free classes.

Keep your bookkeeping in Australia and have some one local. They will charge $40+ per hour, but it provides relief and peace of mind. Be careful how much you spend on accountants too, they vary in price.

Your business plan should be a simple one:

Number of classes per week x participants x revenue
less expenses ( make or buy cost, cost of selling, cost of admin ) = profit

Your cost of selling is what brings in the revenue = you must market your business to get customers.

Can you plan it to the stage where you can get enough income to quit your job?

Say 20 classes per week x 10 people x 40 weeks = $pw

By the way, the ideal model is 50% – 50% to make or buy ( ie deliver your services to your customers – staff, studio music etc ), then use the remainder for selling, admin and profit.

I hope this helps a bit.

cheers
nigel