Many people turned to crafting and traditional handiwork to pass the time during the pandemic. These newcomers need instruction and direction to keep growing in their new hobbies. You can help them and share your love of crafting by offering online instruction. The following tips can help you get started
Establish Your Business
Now that you have a plan, you must make it official. The steps you take will vary depending on the legal structure you choose. For example, if you opt for a sole proprietorship, you might only need to fill out a form to register your business name. However, if you decide to form a corporation or Limited Liability Company, you must complete detailed applications and create organizing documents. Check with the Secretary of State where you live for more details about requirements.
You should also apply to the IRS for an Employee Identification Number. You’ll need the EIN to open a business checking account. It is also a valuable tool for keeping business and personal assets separate.
In most cases, sales tax isn’t collected on instruction services. However, if you plan to sell your finished crafts alongside instruction, you must take a few additional steps. First, you should register with your state to collect sales tax. Then research sewing store POS systems to automatically calculate sales tax on online purchases. It should also help manage inventory, process sales, and collect customer information. Finding the right one will prove invaluable as your online business grows.
Have a Plan
It is often a good idea to create a formal business plan. This serves as a blueprint for building your business and as a guide as you continue to operate it. Plenty of templates are available online; most have the same basic components. You can customize a business plan based on what you plan to do with your business.
A basic business plan should include the following:
- Executive summary: Provide an overview of your company and its purpose.
- Finances: Detail how you will cover start-up and operating costs.
- Staff: If you plan to hire employees or operate on your own. Include contractors and professionals you hire for services such as accounting or legal matters.
- Market research: Explain who your target market is, their shopping habits, and how you plan to reach them.
Choose Between Live or Recorded Classes
This is a big decision that should be addressed during the planning stages. Take time to consider the pros and cons of each type of class and how they fit into your vision for your business.
Recorded classes are produced once and then used over and over. They allow you to expand your reach to an almost endless number of students. In most cases, they will be priced significantly lower than live classes, and the content should be periodically refreshed to keep them relevant.
Live classes will restrict the number of people you reach. However, each student will get personal instruction and real-time interaction with you. That personalized experience will command a higher price than recorded lessons.
Explore Online Teaching Platforms
As anyone who had to interact or learn through the pandemic can attest, not all online platforms are equal. You must find one that is simple for you and your students while offering all the features you need to build a successful class.
Since you teach a very hands-on subject, you need a platform that offers great visuals. The ability to upload videos or high-resolution photos is an absolute must. You might also like options for printable instruction sheets, discussion forums, and student uploads so they can share finished projects.
Affordability is another aspect you should check out when shopping for a platform. Prices can range from free to hundreds of dollars, affecting how much you charge and make in this digital pursuit.
Finally, decide where to build and release your classes. It is often simplest to use an established marketplace such as Udemy, where you simply customize the course’s look and upload content. They handle the marketing and provide you with an existing customer base for a percentage of course sales.
There is a waiting audience for online creative courses. Reach them with your skills, knowledge, and passion through online courses by developing a business plan, taking steps to register your business, and choosing the right business software.