It's a Business (or is it?)
The piano themed pencils are so stinkin' cute. How about the treble-clef embroidered canvas bags? And, yes, those little composer statuettes - Love them!
The truth is, there are so many things out there that I could buy for my business. Every single month, I could buy a doodad here, and a doodad there, all in an effort to make my business "better."
But, I have to remind myself something very, very important:
This is a business, and so the bottom line matters.
Here's the deal. I would love to be independently wealthy and give piano lessons for fun, but I'm just not there yet. Are you? Probably not.
So, every lesson we give means money toward our electric bill or a new pair of karate pants for our kids, or maybe even a box of ice cream sandwiches in our freezer. Regardless of what it pays for, the point is that we are operating a piano lesson business for income.
And, I know this isn't rocket science, but sometimes I need to remind myself: Every time I spend money, I am making less money on the lesson. For instance, if I charge $10 for the lesson (which, hello, you better be charging more than that!), but I give my student a $1 piano themed pencil because its super cute, well, I actually only made $9 for that lesson. And if I do that over and over again, with item after item, extrapolated across the entire student list, well then, sometimes I may not be making more than a couple of dollars per lesson!
Now, don't get me wrong. Yes, there are times when you need to spend money on your students or studio and it is worth it. But those times need to be carefully considered, well thought out, and accurately budgeted.
Let me give you a quick example: I do quarterly Piano Circles - like a piano party - for my students -- one for my adult students and one for my younger students. I budget $30 for these events. Expenditure, right? Or is it an investment?
You see, I tell my students they can bring a friend, which some do, because its a fun event (hello, free advertising). Then, I post on social media about it in the weeks leading up to it (hello, looking good online). Finally, I post pictures afterward (more free advertising and more looking good online). It is great exposure -- both in potential students who are invited by a friend and on social media and in my community.
Plus, I have added value to the clients I already have -- these piano circles are free, meaning they are included with my student's monthly tuition. So, they feel like they are getting more bang for their buck (which they are) and I am demonstrating that I really want to serve my clients and provide additional resources for them outside of the lesson.
The investment of the $30 is a win - win. Advertising, exposure, new potential clients in my home, and spreading goodwill with my current clients. The return on investment (ROI) is worth every dime.
So, when you are about to spend money on your studio or your clients, always ask yourself: do I really need this to make my studio better? Will this give me a return on investment (ROI) that will make this expense worth it?
Remember, dear friend, you ARE indeed running a business, and that electric bill is due soon!