Cross-legged. Red geometric comforter. Brisk fall breeze. Warm sun. Relaxation station. Portland is turning out to be a passionate friend.
Last time we talked about the Get Booked Out! Workshop I was in Brooklyn typing late at night at a Mexican restaurant. I had cancelled it but was still hoping that the lovingly planned workshops in DC, PDX and SFO would pull thru.
I’m proud to say that I got to run the DC workshop and these two lovely ladies attended – Jennifer and Mallie. It was a day of laughs, great strategies and friendship. It was something that I’d love to do again. It’s such a nice change being able to see your clients face-to-face and feed them while you dish out business advice.
Unfortunately the SFO and PDX workshops got only 1 sign-up which meant I had to cancel them. I came to a point where I could have pushed more, written more posts, and tweeted my brains out but…
I was tired of hustling them.
Part of the reason I love my job so much is that online services are so easy to experiment with. (And I ran an impromptu Sales Page workshop and was one away from selling it out!)
No one signed up to your online program? You’re out 10 hours and $100.
No one signs up to your workshop? You’re out 50 hours and $850.
I’m lucky that I had this fantastic workshop specialist on my side to help me organize these and I’m really glad that I tried something new and daring for my business.
New experiments are crucial in business.
Try it. Try putting together a workshop (or hiring Lauren).
This is what happens IF you need to cancel it.
1. Call it before you invest more.
I cancelled the workshop venue stuff two weeks before it happened. I still needed to buy swag bag stuff, order food, and supplies. So for me it made sense to call it before I bought all those things.
2. Understand your legal responsibilities.
Most venues will have you put down a deposit and if you cancel before 30 days you lose it. (Depends on the business though.) Some venues will allow you to use it for another date. Keep that in mind when you’re weighing up whether to run it or not. This is why it’d be better to host it at a local fan’s house or an inexpensive public venue.
3. It all adds up.
Know the minimum amount of people you need to run the workshop. Supplies, food, venue – all of these things add up and that’s not even including your time. I wanted to run the DC workshop but it ended up costing me to do so. I’m happy about that because I knew that going into it.
4. Consider your clients.
If you’re canceling a workshop, think about your clients – have they bought plane tickets to your event? If so, think about how much notice they’d need to change their plans.
5. Refund, refund, refund.
Because in this case it’s the right thing to do. Your clients took a risk in buying this new product and if it doesn’t work then you need to take the hit not your clients/customers/fans.
6. Make sure to learn from it.
You’re paying for a real-life education. I realized that my audience reach isn’t big nor broad enough to make this work… THIS TIME. I’m not beaten but for right now, the only thing I can do is learn from this and take a nap.