As a full-time business owner, your schedule from week to week is probably in flux. Whether you’re teaching classes in-person, offering private lessons online, spending hours on administrative tasks, or nurturing relationships with customers — time is of the utmost importance. And when you teach children’s activities, the foundation of your business is your schedule of activities.
When the end of a semester rolls around, you may find yourself wondering how to make the perfect online schedule. Perfect has a thousand definitions, but in general, your online schedule should make it easy for your customers to see your offerings and book. As the seasons change, we’re here to help you make sure your next schedule is optimized for success!
If you ever need help workshopping a schedule — or want to move your schedule to an activity management software, reach out to the Sawyer team.
Focus on popular activities and finding the right timing
When building your online schedule of activities, make sure to include a mix of your most popular seasonal classes and new offerings you’d like to test. Focus on timing to see when you should schedule your offerings. While you know your activities and audience the best, you should still carefully analyze your successful classes (activities that have been fully booked) to get an even better indication of when and where to schedule offerings.
To get started building your schedule, consider the following:
- Analyze. What activities are your best performers? Which ones could use some attention?
- Add. Include more of your best performing activities, especially if they reach capacity quickly.
- Send. Survey your customers to see what activities and class times they would love to see.
- Test. Experiment with new activities and times at the beginning of the semester.
- Offer. Free trials during off-peak times will increase class enrollment.
- Keep track. Take notes and don’t repeat things that aren’t working.
Strike a balance between teaching and running a business
As a business owner, you know that you’ll have to wear many hats. That’s often part of the fun of being an entrepreneur! Striking a balance between working and planning is important in any job, but it is especially the case when your time is divided between a million tasks.
When you’re building a schedule, make sure to account for the time you and your team will need to plan lessons, market offerings, perform administrative tasks, and take breaks. Yes, breaks might be last in this short list, but they are equally important. For some business owners, striking a balance means hiring more staff to teach. For others, it may look like keeping a few time blocks open throughout the day for work that isn’t in the classroom.
If you find yourself working too hard on administrative tasks like scheduling classes, chasing payments, and tracking coupons in spreadsheets, it might be worth looking into a registration software that can help you manage your schedule, activities, and more. At Sawyer, educators find that they save nearly 30 hours of work per month by using our tools!
Set goals for enrollment
At the end of the day, you build a schedule to get bookings and in turn, generate revenue for your business. That is why we recommend that you set goals and benchmarks for your business when you create your schedule. Whether your goal is to sell out every class or simply reach 25% of your available capacity, working towards something will help you make your vision a reality.
When setting goals, you can use past data to inform performance. Take note of what you can expect based on historical enrollment data to set future goals. Then, write down the actions you’ll take to accomplish your goals. Whether you meet your benchmarks or have to modify your ambitions, setting goals can help set you up for success in the long-term.
“Sawyer makes planning and maintaining classes a breeze!” — The Art Child LLC
First time building a schedule for your children’s activity business? Here are some frequently asked questions to help you get started!
How do I plan a schedule?
Set aside a day or week for planning — you might need longer if you’re planning out details for a semester. Write down all of the classes you want to offer and your most popular class times. Then start to schedule accordingly. If you’re visual, you can write this down or use a spreadsheet. If you’re starting with Sawyer Tools, a member of our team can help you get started by building or recreating your schedule for you.
What does a schedule look like?
A weekly schedule will have the days of the week and a list of times. Using Sawyer Tools, you can simply build your schedule without spreadsheets or graphic design.
Why do I need a schedule?
Your business needs a schedule to stay organized and encourage families to book activities in just a few clicks.
How should I lay out my schedule?
Leave room for work, break, and teaching! In general, a one-hour class will take up about 2-3 hours of your time if you count lesson planning, prep, and clean-up! Make sure to account for any extra time you’ll need and schedule activities for when they are most likely to be booked.
Want to see what your schedule would look like on Sawyer? Reach out to the team today to start a conversation and schedule a demo.