You are starting your own music business part-time or full time. Here are the few things you should consider before getting started: -
Choose your Business Name
Business name is the first thing your customers will link you with so choose one that represents you positively. You should come up with many names just in case your first choice is already taken. You should check with registration office locally, state or Trademark office just to avoid issues down the road. With your business name you should also decide on your website URL. Do not worry if .com domain name is taken, its common to have other domain names. Just make sure it’s not taken by a similar business. If you are a known performer than it is good to go by your name. But if you are thinking opening the school down the road don’t go by location name if you plan to expand.
Open a business bank account
A dedicated checking account for your music lessons business keeps your finances organized and seprate from your personal account. Come tax season this is going to make your life easier.
Choose your Location
Your home - If you have a clean, organized and well-equipped studio at home then that is great and affordable option to get started.
Rent space - You can also rent space at a music store nearby. This will add additional expense but you will look more professional.
Students home – If you are travelling to student’s home then you will spend time travelling between locations that you could have spent teaching another student at same location. Also, there is additional expenses of gas and your car’s wear and tear. You should add additional charge for these lessons to cover up the expense.
Online Lessons – Many teachers are using video conferences to teach students all over the world. If you are good with it then this can bring additional income while working at home.
Choose your rates
To get started on this, study the market around you. See what other music teachers charge and what is their experience? This will also help you understand what people are willing to pay.
When deciding on your rate, you need to consider your years of playing experience, years of teaching experience and your music education. You can always adjust your rates as your experience and popularity increases.
Define your policies
Every business need policy. As a business owner these are your guidelines to ensure consistency of your service and to help your clients to learn about your business and understand, what is expected out of them. You should consider setting up your cancellations and make up policy. Payment Policy – How frequently will the client be invoiced? When is the payment due? Will the late fee be charged? Any specific days of the year you won’t be taking lessons like Christmas and New Year.
As you start doing your business you will learn and will need to keep updating your policy according.
Prepare for your lesson plans and schedule
Be prepared with what books you will be using and have extra copy available in case your student forgets them. If you are using online material, make sure you have copies already made. This will help you stay organized and you will be able to run your lessons better. Decide on what time and days you will be teaching. One suggestion is to book lessons back to back even if you have few students. This shows you are well respected teacher and create more demand.
Professional looking website
You can setup your website yourself with lot of free available tools like Wix and Weebly. You can mention about yourself, the services you offer and how to get in touch with you.
Promote and Advertise
Finding your first few students is always a challenge but then things become easier as they spread the words. You can use free resources like Craigslist or paid like google ad word. You can spread the word through friends and family on Facebook. Also, it is good to connect with local school teachers and instrument rental services. You can also print out flyers and post it up in music stores, coffee shops, venues, and schools can help your visibility in the community.
Business management software
Look for software that can help you manage your schedule, invoices and student information at one place. DoTimely provides you easy to manage and affordable system to run your business.