One of the top trends ahead is hosting workshops or providing customers with in-store experiences again. Especially after the past couple years!

If you’re a store owner and/or maker, this is a great opportunity to not only earn additional income, but it’s also an opportunity to get your business out in front of a new market and potential customers. I want to help you be prepared for what you need to know before you teach a workshop.

Whether you’re a hand-lettering artist, felt flower artist, painter, sewer, knitting expert, or any other artist in between, you can use your expertise to teach people how to make something!

HERE ARE 10 THINGS TO THINK ABOUT BEFORE YOU TEACH A WORKSHOP:

#1: PROTOTYPE

First, what are you going to teach and what is the finished product a workshop attendee will take home with them? It’s important to know exactly what you will offer, including dimensions, quantity, weight, etc. Workshop descriptions should be detailed so the registrant knows exactly what they are making.

#2: TIMING

Determine how long it would take for a newbie to make your product. You’ll find a variety of skill sets among workshop registrants. Some are craftier than others, so you want to allow for some extra time for those who may not catch on as quickly.  

#3: SUPPLIES & TOOLS

Not only will you need the supplies for each person to make their own item, but you might have to supply all of the tools too. Are you prepared to host a variety of workshops? Tools to consider: multiple glue guns, scissors, pencils, rulers, etc. to provide those attending the class.

#4: PREPARATION

Are you fully prepared to teach or host the workshop? Do you have the space in your store, do you have tables, chairs, a beverage station, a functioning restroom, etc.

If you’re the maker, do you have what you need to offer a great experience to the attendee?

For example, years ago, Maureen of All Spelled Out taught felt flower workshops at our store, The Salvaged Boutique.  She arrived to teach a workshop with all of the petals precut for each person attending the workshop, organized neatly in a tray and she provided all the tools needed for attendees to make their felt flower project.

Amanda of The Sister Project Co. taught cookie decorating workshops. She arrived with a laminated guide, premade cookies, colored icing in bottles with tips and she had this all prepped for each person attending the workshop. Don’t underestimate the amount of time it might take you to prep for a class of 9 or more!

#5: PRICING

Be prepared to know how much you’ll need to reimburse yourself for not only the supplies and tools, but you will want to get paid for your TIME. Here are some things to consider:  

  • Supplies- How much time will it take you to purchase and gather all the supplies and tools needed for your workshop?
  • Prep- How much time will it take you to prep items for each person attending the workshop?
  • Travel- How much travel is involved?
  • Teaching- How long will it take you to teach the workshop?
  • Are there other expenses or things to consider?

#6: DELIVERY/TRANSPORTATION

If you’re reading this and you aren’t a store owner, but you plan on being an instructor at someone’s store, you’ll want to consider this. Depending on the size of your project, will you need a van or a larger vehicle to transport supplies and tools for your workshop or will a few plastic totes suffice?

#7: AVAILABILITY

Boundaries are important when you run a business. This applies to both store owners and Independent Contractors. You should have an idea of what your availability is for workshops. Can you host or teach on weekday evenings and weekend days, or are weekends better for you? Have an idea of what works best for you and your schedule.  

#8: BUY WHOLESALE

One way to help you save on expenses is to purchase items, tools and supplies at wholesale prices. Whether you’re buying tools or craft supplies, do your best to purchase them at wholesale prices. This will save you money AND as a result put more money in YOUR pocket!

#9: PERSONAL TOUCH

This isn’t a requirement but making a great first impression counts! Leaving a small gift, personalized name card or your own business card, maybe with a promotional offer, at each person’s station is a nice touch that people will remember.  

#10: TERMS, POLICIES, AGREEMENT

No one likes to deal with the “legal” stuff, but it’s good to protect yourself, this includes the money you invest in teaching workshops and the time you invest in teaching or hosting workshop. Determine your policies for refunds, exchanges, payment, etc. in ADVANCE. If you plan on teaching workshops at somoene’s store, you might even want to have a written agreement in place.

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2020-2022 were challenging years for getting people to connect in person! I have really enjoyed seeing store owners and creatives offering workshops again. The smiling faces and joy that workshops bring to attendees is special!

As a business owner, I want you to be prepared to teach and host workshops. I also want this to be profitable for your business.

Do you teach or host workshops and have more tips to share? Please comment below and share!

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