The Scheduling Question We Forget to Ask
So, you've opened up a Google sheet or you've pulled out a legal pad, and you've jotted down days and times. I'm guessing two or three days a week, in half hour increments (or something like that). You've got it figured out what days are going to be your "piano lesson days" and you've also outlined the lesson time slots.
Good to go? Not quite yet.
You see, we often forget, as piano teachers, that there is a super important scheduling question we absolutely MUST ask ourselves. In the middle of student lists, and juggling timeframes for your lessons, here's the question you should ask:
What about the business?
That's right, dear piano teacher. What about the business? And, no I don't mean lessons. The piano lessons you give and the business you run need two separate types of attention.
When do you do your social media marketing? When do you update your website? When do you do your billing? When do you clean your house (if the students are coming to you)? When do you gas up the car (if you are driving to them)? When do you clean the studio, or pay the rent on the practice room, or whatever it is you need to do to run your business well?
So often, we focus so much on the client time - the actual piano lessons -- that we forget about the "managing - the - business" time.
You are a piano teacher and I'm sure you are a great one! But, you are also a business owner. And that needs time. And, during certain seasons, it might even need a lot of your time.
So, here's the second part of that tough question: WHEN is it scheduled in your week?
(cue uncomfortable squirming)
I know, I know, you don't have it scheduled yet. You'll get to it, right?
(cue more uncomfortable squirming)
Piano Teacher friend, open up your calendar right now. Look at your weekly agenda. Figure out when, exactly, you will work on your business each week. The piano lessons are working IN your business, but you need to do some work ON it, my friend.
I work on my business every Sunday afternoon. As I was intentionally looking at my schedule to figure out when I could work on the business, that turned out to be the best time for me. Everything is lazy around the house on that afternoon, my kids don't have any activities that I need to rush them to, and I can just curl up on the couch with my laptop and binder and get some things done.
And, let me tell you, if things get kinda crazy and I don't get that Sunday afternoon time???? Yeah, it feels like things unravel a bit for me in the business. So, guess what? If I know ahead of time that I won't be able to do this at my given time, I reschedule it and find another deliberate time slot to work on my business that week.
Here are some ideas for finding that "work on the business" time:
1. Look at your piano lesson schedule Can you deliberately keep a slot or two unfilled, and use that time?
2. Is there a morning some time during the week so that you can get up 45 minutes to an hour earlier than normal and work then?
3. Can you attach your business time to something else? Like each week, right after your last Tuesday lesson or every Saturday morning right after you eat breakfast? Attaching this time to something else that ALWAYS happens is a great way to ensure that you get to it.
I know this isn't the fun part, necessarily, of giving piano lessons. But, in many ways, it is crucial to your piano lessons succeeding. Piano lessons must be supported by great business practices behind the scenes. It's not enough to just be a great piano teacher; you need to be a great business owner too.
So, find that time, piano teacher. Make a commitment that you will work on your business each week. You've got the piano teaching skills; now dedicate yourself to developing your skills as a business owner.
Trust me, you'll be glad you did.
A great piano lesson business starts with clear, effective, and client-friendly piano lesson policies. For a step-by-step guide to writing (or revamping) your piano studio policies, check out: Crafting Your Studio Policies.