Found in: About Business
Kylie S., Australia
I’m keen to hear how the employing situation works.
I live near two major regional centers (Newcastle and the Central Coast) and I don’t believe there are any SM teachers in either area at this point in time. So I’ve been wondering about the possibility of growing in these areas.
I am initially wondering why someone would choose to be an employee rather than running their own business, as I presume they’d have the potential to make a much better income if they are self-employed.
Would love to hear from teachers who employ other teachers, and how it works, and WHY it works.
Carrie L., Michigan
I would share the experience that I personally had. I was in college and started teaching at a traditional studio as a contractor. I had a full schedule and worked myself through college. I didn’t have to worry about marketing or a space or anything like that. It was simple, easy and I got a check every 2 weeks and didn’t have to worry about the collection of money.
After a bit I got tired of working for someone else and moved into teaching at the church I worked at then to my house.
From the house we moved into a commercial space 2.5 years ago and now have 3 and soon 4 provisional teachers at the studio as well as me teaching.
I can’t speak for our provisional teachers but my understanding of what they like is that I do all the marketing, all the enrolling, all the FIS’s, all the scheduling. We have office staff to handle complaints, issues or anything of the like.. or I handle it as ‘the owner’ and they show up and teach and get a check every week. As employees they don’t have to deal with taxes either…
While provisional teachers don’t make as much as teaching on their own they also don’t have the responsibility and time commitments it takes to do the business side of the studio. That part of it can take a large amount of time if done well.
I would venture too that some have a desire to be an employee and some have a desire to be an entrepreneur.
Kathleen C., Australia
Thanks for asking the question Kylie & thanks for sharing your experience Carrie.
So how did you go about finding these employee teachers? Are they your students who decided to teach? Or did you advertise for the position? Or did they approach you?
How did you manage the initial teacher training? Are they already trained before you employ them or do you get them trained afterwards? I am interested to know as this is different to teaching the traditional way where no specific teacher training is required.
I had a potential teacher contacted me a while ago but once I mentioned he needs to complete Simply Music teacher training I did not hear from him any more.
I would love to explore the possibility of employing teachers so any advice/experience sharing is appreciated. Thank you.
I have to admit that I am a strange owner in that my goal is not to make large profits for myself, but instead build a team of the best people I can find and work within our strengths and interests to make as much money for all of us as possible and more importantly, give the best quality education to as many people as possible.
I know that first year, the costs of acquiring students, paying for training, paying for overhead, setting up a website, etc was almost crippling. I was transferring people from privates and was hesitant to even go to 2 people at a time (which is my current standard for the first 3 levels due to technique). It you look in terms of time cost, it is MUCH more efficient to work as a team then it is to own your own business.
Of course, this could mean two things, high profits for the owners, or in my case, shared profits to the team based upon their work. I believe that I will grow if I pay my provisional teachers as much as I can afford to pay them and we all win in the shared efficiency. I am of course saving some profits to grow the business, but great teachers who are well trained are going to spread SM very fast and that is my primary goal.
I look at the financial struggles of the hundreds of local businesses near me and realize that for 90% of people, owning a local business is both very difficult and not financially rewarding. It takes a special personality to be successful owning your own business and most people would prefer the stability. I consider myself quite bright, but it has been two years and this is the first time I have felt like I am starting to succeed at SM.
My new employee will start out salaried in a few months here (going hourly during the training time). After a while, she will start owning part of the company based upon her productivity. My goal for her is to help her earn MORE than she would if she did it on her own by sharing my experience with her and working with her. And as a partial owner, my hope is that she will work with me to build the business so we can hire new people every few months and even more students can have success. And longterm, if I help my teachers succeed, I will have plenty of ownership to be able to retire comfortably.
Carrie L., Michigan
I would agree about the synergy of having a ‘group’ of teachers at a studio. It also helps with student retention because if they don’t mesh well with one teacher’s personality they mesh with another teacher and we don’t lose the student. It also allows for more flexible scheduling and shifting as needed at times.
I would say that as a business owner there is very little ‘profit’ made either.. for several years. My pay is very similar to our provisional teacher’s pay…but because we have expanded and moved past me teaching in my home by myself we have created part time jobs for several people who would either have not been employed or not doing something they loved. We also have created a space that really has a beautiful feel, look and tone for students. This is not something we could have done alone or without our team of teachers.
At our studio.. 2 teachers were students of mine. One was an office staff assistant that took lessons as part of their training and she was a natural! The other was a walk in application that is a college student music major.
You can do training however you’d like. Provisional teacher training is a discounted rate and they get trained before being hired.
3 of our teachers I asked personally to teach for us and they were excited and went for it, the 4th was someone that contacted us for a teaching position and went through training after contacting us.