Well, I finally did something I have been wringing my hands over for a long time. I made a couple dramatic changes to my studio policies. For several months before making the decision, I kept finding myself frustrated and feeling like a push over. Why? Well, the main problem was my payment policy. I had a very forgiving one. Students pay at the beginning of the month, but if there is a cancelation within 24 hours notice, they get a refund next month. Do you know what that means? At the beginning of every month I would estimate my earnings according to the calendar, but would lose at least a quarter of income because of all the planned cancelations and excused absences. So this month, I put an end to cancellations and instilled the option of make up lessons within a 2 week period of the cancelation. I know I know. Most of you probably already do this. From what I researched, most self-respecting teachers do not give refunds. I should have listened to this a long time ago!
So how did it go over with everyone? Well, I sent a notice a month before and laid it out very clearly in an email. Everyone was amazingly supportive! Well, all except one or two people, but honestly, you don’t want to work with someone who feels they can’t commit to weekly study.
This first month feels great. Everyone has attended, and the small percentage who have had attendance issues have had make-ups. In just once month, I feel like everyone is improving at a greater speed, and it is so nice to be paid what I am actually worth! All businesses grow and evolve. Have you had to change policies? What was the experience like for you? Did it improve your business? What did it do for you personally?