Thursday, 1 February 2007

How much should driving lessons cost?


First lesson free, first 2 lessons for £20, 5 for £99, £16/hour, £20/hour, £25/hour?

What the hell....?

My kids get riding lessons (yeah yeah, don't start), and for each kid it costs me twice my hourly rate. One of my kids gets guitar lessons, and this costs my hourly rate, for which I have to take them over and pick them up, and I guess there are very few running costs (insurance I hope, and a bit of equipment). So am I in the right job?

Believe me, my hourly rate is already towards the top end of the list at the start of this piece, and I don't muck about with ongoing discounts, they pay up front, and they usually have to pay if they cancel late. I did a lot of training for this job, and I still pay about £600 a year for extra training (roll on CPD - I'm already ahead of you guys). I don't give discounts to anyone, other than people paying in advance, and then it's no more than a couple of quid an hour.

So why do I earn less than my kids guitar teacher? Who has the more demanding job? Who has the most (relevant) qualifications?

As always, market forces are at work.

I don't have a problem with the discount brigade, but I do feel sorry for them. They will always be trying to undercut each other. They will always be getting the customers who look at the cash they hand over, and not the training they get back. They will always get the raw deal, and they will never be able to get out of this situation until they change their attitude to their business model.

I don't like teaching fools, and fools don't have any money, so I price myself out of their market. The market I enjoy teaching expect the best training they can get - so I improve the training I recieve, and keep it up. The market I enjoy teaching expect to pay a reasonable price and get value for money - so I give them their full lesson (no turning up late or finishing early). The people willing to pay these prices expect reliability - so I run a new car, and I don't cram lessons together and wind up cancelling if stuck in traffic.

Think about how you want to work. Don't be ashamed of asking for a reasonable amount of money for what you do. And NEVER get caught in the price wars.

Given the changes to our business, these prices will soon be going up, as the pink-factories and the part timers find it harder and harder to keep up with things, or get legislated out of the game.

People will get what they want, but will have to pay for it.

How much is being able to drive worth?

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