Tuesday, 10 May 2011
Most people know that I run cake decorating courses . It's a hard market as Hobart is small - so the number of potential people is small. Marketing them is difficult (I put a $300 colour ad the The Mercury and got zero responses, I put an ad in the Sandy Bay Infants school newsletter and got zero responses. I put an ad in the Kingborough Times and got about 4 responses) - those that do seem to find me do it via google so they are the ones with a real interest I guess as they are out there searching for cake decorating lessons in the first place.
Anyway - these lessons have a huge preparation cost both in time and ingredients (I supply everything) - I've made a profit on about 3 of the 5 I've run and that's definitely not counting my time as I spend at least a day preparing for each.
This current block of lessons starting tomorrow actually had pretty good enrollments right off the bat - in fact I was really happy with the numbers - but as the time got closer I noticed hardly anyone had paid. So I reminded them. But still people don't pay - and by the time it is the day before I'm still chasing people only to find they can't make it for whatever reason. This is really really really frustrating. Especially as the enrollments are now so marginal that in this particular case I would have cancelled the course rather than make a loss after venue hire etc etc. aargh!
What frustrates me the most is that people don't bother to tell me they aren't planning to come - I have to contact them. Maybe they confuse me with an Adult Education teacher or school teacher who would get paid whether they show up or not. One of the clever things about the Adult Ed organisation is they have a system that makes it so you can't enroll unless you pay at the same time - but that's not something I can really do. When people enroll I process them in my accounting system and send them an invoice with the information sheet. For the course I've got at the end of the month I actually have a waiting list so I can be tougher on people - i.e. 'pay by the end of the week or you're out' - but that's only happened this once.
Anyway - that's my frustration. I really like actually being there and the teaching, but the preparation, the financial side of it and these situations when I feel like banging my head against the keyboard I can do without.