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Next week I will finish my first round of Groupon-based jewelry making classes. As an instructor, my venture was quite positive but a little bit different from the experience that a restaurant, store or other small business might have with Groupon. I didn’t have to cook up enough entrees to accommodate a one-day onslaught, nor take a loss on my inventory. As with all Groupon promotions though, my class fees were deeply discounted. My earnings generated only a small boost in my personal finances, but in this economy every little bit counts.
My Groupon offering was 10 weeks of advanced wire jewelry making classes. I developed the techniques and have taught them for years, so they didn’t require a lot of preparation. The classes were actually fun and I got to know some talented women I wouldn’t have met otherwise. Some have scheduled future non-Groupon classes. Future business: that’s what Groupon is all about.
Setting Up My Groupon Class
Organizing a Groupon class was a gallery owner friend’s idea. My small business is an online enterprise, not a brick and mortar store like his. I sell jewelry online, at events and in his gallery. I also write online jewelry making tutorials. I had previously discussed teaching classes in his gallery, so when he scheduled a Groupon painting class, he gave me the sales rep’s information so I could set up a class as well. The Groupon guy was polite and professional. He made the process easy.
It’s All About the Numbers
The numbers had to be just right to get the most out of my deal. I wanted classes that were small enough for hands-on instructions, while Groupon wanted classes big enough to generate cash. I preferred to offer an advanced class to keep the numbers down. The rep thought I should teach beginners to get the numbers up.
After several emails and phone calls we settled on “The Rhythm of Wire,” an advanced wire work class. My final price was $30 for $80 worth of classes. My deal would run for three days. At least 15 people had to sign up and pay for the classes or the deal would be voided. We worked out the details in November 2010. Soon afterward Groupon emailed links to testimonials, an account page and informational videos on what to expect when your deal goes “live.”
Groupon Made it Fun
My deal went “live” the first week of January 2011. One morning I noticed an interesting jewelry class ad on Yahoo!. Only after clicking on it did I realize it was my class. The Groupon page had a fun and quirky class description. It explained my jewelry business name, “The Nice Lady,” and provided a link to my Facebook page. A digital clock ticked away the days, hours and minutes left until my deal expired. 37 people had already “bought the deal.”
And the Total is…
I sold 46 Groupon deals all together. The guy at Groupon said that was a good number for a class, but I understand restaurants, stores and other small businesses often sell hundreds or thousands. At $30 per student, my sales totaled $1,380.00. Groupon got half and sent my share in 3 installments.
If I don’t think about it too much, I don’t realize I made only $1.50 per student per 1-1/ 2 hour class. I also paid the gallery owner a small fee for using his studio space, so actually it was less than that. I’m not quite done, either. I’ve taught 11 students so far. The other 35 people have up to a year to schedule their classes.
More from this contributor:
Jewelry Making Classes and Clubs: 4 Ideas for Social Interaction and Creative Inspiration
Ideas to Help You Develop Your Unique Jewelry Making Style
Arts and Craft Shows Are Hard Work: 5 Things You Can Do to Make the Most of Your Efforts