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Creative business: how to make money in the art studio

In not so distant times in our country there were a large number of various leisure institutions for children and adults, classes in which were free. And then it was difficult for us to imagine that it was possible to earn money on this. Of course, over the past two decades, the situation in the educational services market has changed dramatically. Some people who are passionate about some business want their hobby to bring good profit, others find the time and money to learn something new. However, in general, the educational services market remains relatively narrow.

According to experts, it is most profitable to open language schools and leisure facilities (clubs, early development centers, courses) for preschool children. Does this mean that any other non-linguistic schools and studios designed for an adult audience are obviously unprofitable enterprises? In fact, it all depends on the degree of your passion for your hobby and involvement in your business.

The main factors for the success of your institution: the right direction, a high level of teaching, the convenience of location and the right time for classes, competent promotion and … the ability to work at a loss for some time (at least the first six months). The choice of direction depends on your interests. As a rule, such schools “grow” out of a hobby of one person who is so passionate about it that he decides to turn it into his work and into the main source of income. Such a hobby can be exotic (such as making sugar flowers, rag dolls, or decorating cakes) or quite ordinary, but requiring a certain educational background. The latter is drawing.

Fine art studios exist in every city. But many are not even aware of their existence. Some of these schools miraculously survived and barely make ends meet, working on the basis of municipal institutions. Some of the studios soon after their opening significantly expanded their “specialization” and relied on the children’s audience. However, as the experience of a few successful entrepreneurs who own art studios shows, the idea of ​​such a business is quite viable in itself. But you should not start with drawing up a business plan, finding premises and registering a company. First of all, it is necessary to develop a training program and test it on a “test group”. The program in this case is of fundamental importance.

Of course, there are a large number of ready-made programs for the course of design drawing, pastel drawing, the basics of composition, landscape, animalistics, graphics, watercolor, general painting lessons, pencil drawing, etc. And they are all built according to the same scheme. But if possible, it is better to expand the proposed choice. For example, you can teach children, teenagers and adults the basics of animation drawing, etc. The only difficulty is to find artist-educators who can teach such classes.

Experts advise to focus not on long courses, but on short-term classes. For example, in Moscow art studios, one course may consist of five lessons of an hour or two each. Moreover, the cost of one such lesson in the capital is 1000-1500 rubles. For those who want to study drawing in more depth, courses are offered for a month, six months and a year (but the latter options are rare). All these disciplines are studied both in a group according to a pre-compiled schedule, and individually. In the first case, the schedule is drawn up in such a way as to take all the time from morning to evening. In the morning, preschool children are usually engaged, in the afternoon – schoolchildren, and in the evening after work – adults.

Well, if you have an art education, you can draw yourself and like to teach others. In this case, you can create teaching programs yourself and test them on your students. If not, then you will have to look for someone who can do all this. Obviously, the costs in the second case will be much higher. In addition, there is always a risk that your teacher will quit at any time and open his own studio.

How to evaluate the quality of an educational program? First of all, theory and practice should alternate in the classroom (it is impossible to draw well without knowing the theory, just as it is impossible to learn how to draw by studying theory alone), all theoretical points should be explained as simply and accessible as possible. If your course involves about 5-10 lessons, then after the first 2-3 lessons, certain successes of your students should be noticeable. Which ones – it is better to determine in advance and announce them to your customers. Drawing courses should be built in such a way that, on the one hand, your students who have spent some time in your studio can continue their education, improving their technique, and on the other hand, so that anyone, regardless of skills and training, can join classes in studios.

Train people in different areas. Try to ensure that your program includes not only drawing, graphics and painting, but also applied art. For example, you can teach modeling, metal work, appliqué, patchwork, etc. Not every direction will necessarily turn into a whole course. Many of them can be limited to master classes and workshops. Focus on the creative side. Many art studios organize art therapy classes together with psychological centers, and they are very popular.

The choice of location is of course very important. But if you plan to make a profit from the work of your art studio as soon as possible, then you will have to choose areas for classes based on the cost of rent and your income. Groups consist of 3 to 10 people. But the average number of adult students in one lesson is 5-6. The cost of a two-hour lesson for adults is, depending on the region and program, from 250 to 1500 rubles. The cost of a subscription for several classes at once is 20-25% less than paying for each lesson separately. A certain part of this amount (up to 50%) is received by the teacher. Thus, if you work independently, then your profit will be at least 750 rubles per hour of classes (in the regions).

Most likely, you will be able to spend only three hours of classes per day (an hour in the morning, afternoon and evening). Moreover, you should not count on a full load and a five-day working week from the very beginning of work. Thus, the area rented for an art studio must meet the following requirements (in order of priority): low cost of rent, availability of conditions for conducting classes (without the need to make repairs at one’s own expense and, ideally, buy additional educational equipment), convenient location – close to transport interchanges.

Since even to accommodate five people with easels, an area of ​​\u200b\u200bat least 30 square meters is required. meters, and repairing a large area and / or re-equipping it will be very expensive, the best option is to rent a room at a school, leisure center, etc. Recently, “coworking” centers are gaining popularity, when several people (usually tutors, teachers, and even doctors, etc.) collectively rent a suitable room and take turns conducting classes there. For example, classes with a speech therapist are held in this room from 9 to 10 in the morning, drawing lessons are held from 10.30 to 11.30, foreign language courses are held from 12.00 to 13.00, etc. This form is still new and unusual for our country (especially for the regions ), but it has already been tested and has proven itself well in large cities. True, for the art studio this option is the least convenient, since the teacher will have to move furniture before and after each lesson, arrange easels, prepare props. But it will allow you to significantly save on rent and quickly reach the level of self-sufficiency.

What you definitely won’t be able to save on is easels, paper, brushes, paints, pencils, etc. Even if your students are supposed to come to class with their own materials, you need to have a “strategic reserve” for forgetfuls and beginners. Many studios open mini-shops, where a large selection of goods for drawing in particular and creativity in general is presented.

It is best to register your business as an individual entrepreneur. Of course, if you plan to engage in vocational education and issue diplomas to graduates, you will have to register as an NOU and obtain a license for educational activities. But drawing in studios, as a rule, is done as a hobby, so the most optimal organizational and legal form in this case is an individual entrepreneur.

In addition to standard advertising (flyers, ads in newspapers, local websites and forums, information in catalogs and bulletin boards), it is necessary to actively use various PR methods. Organize exhibitions (of your own and independent artists), invite journalists to various events, hold open lessons, arrange and take part in competitions. If you have time and opportunity, make your own website or at least start a blog where you will post photos from classes, schedules, tips and tricks for emerging artists.

In the future, when your income allows you to invest more money in advertising, you can offer gift cards for a certain course for sale, order souvenirs with the logo of your studio (for example, one Moscow art studio distributes branded pencils as souvenirs).

The main part of the visitors to art studios are children of preschool and primary school age, as well as women aged 35 and older. Despite the fact that the studios are open all year round, most of the potential students come in early autumn. In winter, many leave or interrupt classes, especially if the studio is quite far from them and the road takes a lot of time. In the summer, you should not expect a large influx either: children and adults leave for holidays and vacations. Thus, most of the students are in the period from September to December and from February to May.

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