So you’ve spotted a dance teacher CPD workshop or course you’d love to attend. You know it would be great for your business and for your own ongoing development. Trouble is, it feels out of your budget right now.
And it’s not just about the price of the ticket; you may also need to factor in the cost of travel, childcare, accommodation and food (not to mention the time taken out of your business).
If this sounds like you, the first thing you need to do is change your mindset. Instead of saying ‘I can’t afford it’ ask yourself ‘what could I do to make it affordable?’
Here’s eight money-saving ideas to help you make it happen:
1.Book your place early
It can be expensive to develop a syllabus, create music, write the materials, or create and host any sort of dance course, which is why places on courses are often upwards of £200. However, many course and workshop organisers offer earlybird prices and/or the option to pay in instalments. Just ask the organisers!
Get in early and you can then plan travel, childcare and accommodation (if relevant) well in advance.
2.Offer to HOST a course or workshop at your studio
Some course organisers offer you a reward for colleague referrals (we offer £25 cashback per teacher that books the Groove Child course via recommendation from our hosts. Recommend the event to friends/colleagues and you could shave a significant amount off the cost of your own place!
3.Offset the cost of attending the course with an event or offering of your own
How about organising a half term workshop for your students? Or a special weekend event that doesn’t cost you much to put on and use the takings from this towards your course place. Other ways you might make a little extra money to add to the pot might be selling healthy snacks on your busiest evenings/days in the waiting room. Or sell special one-off merchandise pieces with your school’s logo on? Perhaps you could deliver one or two ‘bonus’ dance workshop classes for your students around a really POPULAR theme, that ends with a little mini presentation for parents? Or, have a guess the teddy bear’s name competition set up in the waiting room (get a willing parent to man it for you) £1 a guess. It all adds up, before you know it. I’m sure you could come up with more imaginative ideas of what might work at your school!
4.Recruit more students!
Hehe! Yes I know that sounds a little cheeky. But what I mean is, tot up the total amount of money you need to attend (including expenses), work out how many new students you need to attract – or t-shirts, drinks bottles, hoodies, leggings you need to sell – to cover the cost. Then ‘reverse engineer’ the process i.e. work out how you’re going to making it happen. If you already have lots of classes and students, this can be as simple as sending a BRING A FRIEND WEEK message to your existing students/parents. Or, you could just focus on ONE or TWO specific classes you want to build up and go all out promoting these to gain new students. You could offer a free taster at local schools or a community event that might also help you attract new students.
5.Get someone else to pay for your course place!
Do you have a partner or family member that wouldn’t mind lending you the money, if you were able to pay it back within an agreed time? It may not even need to be the full amount, perhaps you only need to borrow half of the course fee? It’s always worth a shot, particularly if they know this will have a POSITIVE impact on your business by allowing you set up NEW classes and increase your studio income.
6.Cut something out
Not that we want you to deprive yourself of life’s little pleasures, but as an example, I’m terribly bad at always buying coffee out, and one month I challenged myself to cut out doing this to see how much I saved…and it was an unbelievable £84!!! I was in shock. But £84 richer, which went towards some really expensive dancewear I’d been drooling over! Your thing may not be coffee, it may be new clothes, shoes, it may be takeaways or restaurants, it may be a trip to the hairdressers every month – my point is, see if there is something you could cut out, just for a month or so. It may just cover the cost of that course you’re desperate to get to.
7.Car share or book your train early
The earlier you book your course, the cheaper it is likely to be. If you’re travelling by train, consider buying singles on trainline as this can work out a lot cheaper. If you know other people who are travelling to the course, you might also consider car sharing so you can split the petrol costs.
8. Look for money ‘behind the sofa’
- Are you paying direct debits for services you no longer use?
- Do you have any tech/equipment (or anything at all in fact) you’ve been meaning to sell on Ebay or GumTree?
- Is there a dress or bag sitting in your wardrobe you meant to return but didn’t get round to?
- Do you have money sitting in a bank/building society account you no longer use?
- Is there any unnecessary expenditure you could cut right now?
Devote an hour to looking at your ‘money leaks’ and you might be pleasantly surprised how much cash you can gather together (I recently realised I was still paying Audible £7.99 a month for a service I hadn’t used in 6 months).
Over to you
If you’re reading this post, you’re an entrepreneurial sort, for sure! So if you really want to attend a course or CPD workshop, just know that you’ve got what it takes to figure out how to get yourself there.
However, if you’ve looked into all these ideas, and still can’t find a solution, it might be best to starting saving for next year instead. Start putting aside a small amount of money each month and get yourself on the waitlist with the course organiser so you’re the first to hear about any earlybird discounts.