Starting your own successful business teaching guitar is easier than you think. You can actually get started for very little money and see great results if you follow these five simple steps.

1) Design Your Business Around the Lifestyle You Want To Live

Do you want to work from home? Do you want to have certain days off? Do you want to live in a certain area? Write down all the lifestyle factors that are important to you, and design your teaching business around them. Creating your own business teaching guitar will let you live almost any way you want to. Decide these things first, and then organize your business around them so you’ll be the most happy and effective.

2) Decide Who You Want Your Customers To Be

Do you want to teach younger kids, teens, adults, or a mixture of them all? Do you want to teach beginners, intermediate or advanced players…or all of the above? What styles of music do you want to teach? Write up a short paragraph that describes your ideal customer so you can focus your marketing efforts on that specific group. You will use this information when you get to step 4. You don’t want just anyone paying you for lessons; some students are more trouble than they’re worth. Choose who you want to work with, and go after those people.

3) Get Organized

In this step, you will do the basic items required to actually create your business. Come up with a name for your teaching business. Decide on a business entity (LLC, S-Corporation or Sole Proprietorship) and file the papers to create it with the Secretary of State’s office in the state of your choice (ask an attorney to help, if need be). Apply for an Employer ID Number from the IRS (unless you choose a Sole Proprietorship, in which case you can use your own Social Security number). Open a checking account dedicated to your business. Set up some way of keeping your accounting books (I recommend using QuickBooks…an accountant can help you with this). Set up a free phone number for your business using Google Voice, and finally, print some free business cards using VistaPrint.com.

4) Start Marketing

Now the fun begins! It’s time to find some students. Open a cheap web hosting account, and build a basic website for your business using WordPress. Hire someone on eLance to do this for you, if need be. Put up some ads on Craigslist with a link back to your website. Email all your friends and family, letting them know about your new business and ask them for referrals. Start an opt-in email list on your website to start collecting potential students that you can market to later. You could also put up some flyers in your local music stores. Where ever your “ideal customers” from step 2 are, have some kind of presence there and you will start to get inquiries.

5) Keep Your New Students Happy

Once you get some students, you need to keep them from dropping out. Make sure you set goals with your students and make your lessons about reaching those goals. Make sure your students keep making progress, don’t get overwhelmed with too much information and don’t get too frustrated. Find creative ways to help them understand things and succeed. Set up some easy “wins” for them so they feel good about what they’re learning. And most of all, do whatever you can to keep things fun! They will be much less likely to quit, and you will be more successful in your business.

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