This is a rant post, so look away now if you don't want to leave with your ears burning, but you know, sometimes things need to be addressed.
I am quite good at letting things wash over me, but now and again something comes along that just boils my piddle and I have to get my side of the story out there.
Now, what is it that has rattled my cage you will be wondering. The good old, age old. devil's pit of pricing, that's what.
So, a friend of a friend told me that some people were discussing the prices of craft classes up at Hobbycraft, complaining that they were too expensive. Those people were unaware that one of them knew someone who knew someone and it got back to me. Actually they weren't complaining about me personally, but as I tutor a good percentage of the classes I feel I need to speak out on behalf of all of the artisans that hold workshops up there and, of course, in lots of other places too. Hobbycraft do not set the prices for the craft classes, the tutors do.
Let's get this into prospective.
For example, the price for a 2 hours beginners Crochet class at Hobbycraft is £10.00. This includes materials for the student to take home with them - approx £2.00 for a hook and two balls of yarn at £1.00 each, totalling £4.00 of materials. This leaves £6.00. Presumably everyone thinks that is just pure profit for myself, six shiny pounds to spend on what I wish? If only.
First of all each artisan that holds a class up at Hobbycraft needs Public Liability Insurance to work. This can range from £40 to £100+ a year, mine is £100+ as I work with hot glass too. I also have other business expenses to pay, such as petrol to get to the class and ink and paper for print outs and patterns. But for this example we will discard this.
So, £6.00. Out of that £6.00 I put away 25% for my end of the financial year tax bill - yep I pay my taxes, I am properly employed by myself, fill in my self-assessment every year and everything. Which leaves £4.50.
£4.50 for a two hour class equals £2.25 an hour. Not taking into account any set up or clear down times.
To earn minimum wage of £6.31 I need three students. (which will pay me £6.75)
Four students and I earn £9.00 an hour. The maximum I take is 8 students for any class.
Now for those who have been to my classes you will realise that 4 students doesn't often happen, usually it is two or three. Occasionally I have a full house, which is great, the times when more people attend makes up for the times that I go in for one single person and earn £2.25 an hour.
I have no issues with running a class for one, if people have been good enough to hand over their hard earned cash, then I am good enough to provide the service they have paid for. I even quite enjoy the one-to-one experience with a student.
What I don't take into account is the travel time, (ok, it's not much for Hobbycraft as it is close to home, but it can be for other places), the preparation time, which can run into hours if you need a lesson plan, the hours spent making samples for each class and the purchasing of materials for people that do not bother to turn up.
I hope that the people who had an opinion on my pricing will stumble across my blog and read this, then they can ask themselves that now I have explained the pricing does it sound so bad? Do they realise that some days I might not get any bookings at all even though I have put aside that time just in case? No bookings = no wages.
Everyone has a right to earn a living, and I am just trying to earn mine.