Opening up your home for the sake of your business...would you do it?
Well, it took a while to get here. Mrs BC's Saturday Tutor Room, happening not from YOUR place but from mine. I always knew it would happen, wanted it to happen, it was just a question of when. But as one of the world's worst procrastinators, there always seemed to be a reason for it to NOT happen. Would tutees mind sharing a dining room table with a bit of bean juice I'd missed from dinner? Probably not. Was there a room or a space we could utilise? How feasible would it be to convert the space under the stairs into a work area? Could we section of an area in the porch? Not unless everyone's happy with tutoring on a 1:12 dolls' house scale with miniature everything. Would we even feel comfortable with non-family sharing our living space? Again, perhaps not. It's not that we don't WANT people around, it's more that we all prefer to change into bathrobes at the soonest opportunity. Professionalism tends to go out of the window when someone's seen in their bathrobe hogging a hot water bottle. So no, having a tutor room in the house was not going to happen.
What we did have, however, was a shed. We call it a 'shed' but that always did it a disservice. It's definitely a cabin which, in a previous life, was a gym. Since the business started there was less and less time for exercise, with the treadmill developing a whole lot of cobwebs and quite a nasty case of rust as time went on. The shed had all the gym equipment in it. The shed didn't have heating. The shed only had one light. I became aware that every single reason I gave for not being able to open up the cabin for business was because I didn't want to take the final step. The only thing really holding me back was my own mindset. And the treadmill.
I shed not a tear when the treadmill found a new home, off to live it's best life in someone else's space. It was easy after that. I got the desk. I moved in things I needed. I set up a coffee area. I made sure the tutoring area was purposeful yet comfortable and inviting, made sure the seating area for the accompanying adult (should they wish to stay) was cosy and homely and made sure there was coffee and water available. I wrote a completely separate set of Terms and Conditions, went through a Health and Safety risk assessment with a fine-tooth comb, set up insurance, made sure the WiFi reached, sorted out heating for the winter and high-powered fans for the summer... and then stalled when I realised it was all done and there was nothing else to do but advertise.
All I had to do was advertise. What if no-one responded? What if no-one was interested in this new Saturday service? What if the local competition was too much? What if... What if it was all taken out of my hands anyway and I had my first two Saturday clients booked in before I even started advertising?
It's all turned out rather well, really.
And I'm rather pleased with the Saturday Tutor Room section of the website too :)