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  1. #1
    Advanced BHUZzer TexasRuya's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    Gift Certificates

    I want to offer these starting in November, but trying to think of the best way to do it so people will still buy them, but I'm not wasting money by renting the studio waiting around for someone who may or may not show up to use/'cash in' their one lesson on a GC.

    I'm thinking of doing a 1 month/4 lesson gift certificate which may not be as scary to people as an 8wk session, but still give them a taste of bdance, and have it good for January only. Then maybe people would be more inclined to buy them as a holiday gift and the recipient come after the holidays for the exercise (everyone's NYE resolution - lose weight/exercise, etc.) and decide to stay with it.

    I'd need to sell at least 2 just to break even renting the studio alone, no profit in my pocket. And since I just had to cancel my 8wk Fall session because I didn't have enough registrants to even cover the studio rental for 8wks, I'm feeling a bit gun shy right now.

    Any alternative ideas or suggestions how I could do this without potentially being out of pocket on it?
    Last edited by TexasRuya; 10-03-2009 at 10:57 PM.


  2. #2
    Advanced BHUZzer maurazebra's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
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    Re: Gift Certificates

    I'd need to sell at least 2 just to break even renting the studio alone, no profit in my pocket. And since I just had to cancel my 8wk Fall session because I didn't have enough registrants to even cover the studio rental for 8wks, I'm feeling a bit gun shy right now.

    Any alternative ideas or suggestions how I could do this without potentially being out of pocket on it?
    It sounds like you are trying to duplicate a scenerio that already doesn't work, as in - getting folks to enroll for classes but this time using gift certificates. If you are going for a low-stress alternative, perhaps certificates for private lessons would work - the recipient would have to contact you to arrange the lesson so you'd know when you needed a studio. Or maybe you need more information about your current market and potential customers -- have you tried a dance party (hafla) or an open house with lots and lots of interaction with potential customers?

    I feel for you ... we have our own studio and times are tough! PS We do gift certificates as well:
    Gift Certificates at Ruric-Amari.com
    but never have found much of a market for them.


  3. #3
    Mega BHUZzer Lara L's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
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    Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
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    Re: Gift Certificates

    I'd put an expiration date on it & make sure to include a registration brochure with the GC- I haven't had any luck with selling GC's for Middle Eastern Dance, but I have for my prenatal classes- They have a 6 month expiration & half the time the folks don't even come to a class, or only come for part of the session, but they can't redeem it after it's expired, so I'm not left holding the bag for a year, wondering if they'll show up! It's just like someone paying for a session themselves & then not coming- I show up for the session regardless, if you don't get yourself there, I am not going to play mother and make sure you show. I will call once or twice to make sure you are not having some family crisis or medical emergency, just because I do worry sometimes, but I am not a babysitter! I do appreciate the money & don't feel bad if my 'services' sit next to the unused kitchen device gran gave you last Christmas... but then, that's not what I base my ability to pay rent on either! If I don't have enough warm bodies physically in class (or their cold hard cash in my pocket) to cover rent, advertising, insurance & gas for any particular class on the first day of the session, I need to look at changing that class! I do have to reserve space 3 months in advance to keep my spot, so I don't cancel classes that semester, generally, but I have had 2 semesters of low Saturday attendance, so I am dropping that one. Oh, for the parks & rec days when I could cancel a class instantly without penalty if it didn't work out!


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