Teach Bicycle Repair
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You can make a fine business of teaching bicycle repair. A typical course may run six to eight weeks, and sell for $40 to $80. People will pay the price, because many people do want to know how to fix their own bicycles. Knowing bicycle repair is more than a convenience. It is a bit of a fantasy for many people. You can make it a reality for them. Most only want to know enough to fix their own bikes, but when they learn the techniques, you will see a big, satisfied smile on their faces.
There are several ways to get paid for teaching.
Most towns have an adult education school. Courses such as dance, juggling, and pottery are offered. Bicycle repair is a natural! The school does all the advertising and handles enrollment, money and paperwork. You just teach. A typical school pays you forty percent of the enrollment fee.
You get established with such a school by simply coming to their office and offering your services as a teacher. Credentials are not necessary. Most of the teachers at these schools are not credentialed. When is the last time you heard of a guy with a Ph.D in pottery? Or a woman who is nationally recognized for teaching rollerblading?
You will usually be asked to help write the description which will appear in the school's catalog. This is important, because it is your sales pitch. If you do a good job of making your bicycle repair course sound fun and interesting, you'll get students - maybe lots of students.
As you hold more classes, your business will build, because former students will tell their friends about their experience in your course. Also, you'll gain more experience in writing your course description, and the school is likely to give you more support as they get to know you. Finally, people are procrastinators. They may have to see your course description for two years before they finally sign up.
So how do you combat that? How do you get enough students to start making money right away? There are two things that you can do. You can teach at several schools. (I know a woman in Colorado who teaches seventeen concurrent juggling courses.) The other thing is you can advertise beyond the catalog the school issues. Tell your friends to tell their friends. Get a newspaper reporter to write you up (send a press release as discussed in other chapters). Do all the usual publicity and advertising tricks to support your first sessions.
You can also set up your own course, or even your own school for that matter. If your home is large and accommodating, you may be able to do it right in your home. Or, you can rent spaces. Some community spaces are low cost or free for this sort of thing. Often the public library or museum has free space for community education courses.
What about tools? Certainly you don't want to invest in enough tools for twenty or more students. The trick is to tell all enrollees before their first class what they will need to purchase. This would typically be tire levers, adjustable wrenches, screwdrivers, allen wrenches, cone wrenches, spoke wrenches, and a freewheel remover for their brand of bicycle. You can supply the rest. You only need one or two tire pumps, for instance. Students can share these common tools.
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