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Obby Teaching Guide Part 1 - Getting started: How to get into teaching


Setting up a business or new venture is never easy. Trust us, we know! We, like you, are entrepreneurs who are trying to make a living by doing what we love. We have put together this guide by talking to several of our teachers who have recently started a business teaching others.  

Find your niche - what do you want to teach?

If you are thinking about starting to teach, you will probably already have an idea of what sort of things you would like to share with the world. But it’s still worth going through a checklist to see what areas you would excel at!

1. What are you great at?

Maybe you are great at hands-on teaching, but less so on the theory side of things. This might be an opportunity to partner with someone you know, or someone from the Obby Community.    

2. What are you uniquely qualified in to teach?

Have you had specific training in a certain field, or maybe you are a lifelong practitioner? If so, this is your time to shine and definitely something you should be shouting from the rooftops! Students love learning from teachers with deep-rooted experience.    

3. Have you already taught in the past?

Beyond that being valuable experience, you can also reflect on what has worked well in the past and what hasn’t. We are all about Rethinking Learning, don’t be afraid to try new things!

Let’s talk about logistics


1. Class vs. course - how deep is your love?

Are you planning on teaching a series of one-off classes, or a more in-depth course? Or perhaps both?

Teaching some taster classes alongside in-depth, longer-term courses gives customers the opportunity to fall in love with your topic (and amazing teaching) before taking up a more significant time and cost investment.

In that case, we recommend drawing up a curriculum of what will be covered, and how long each topic is likely to take. You want to ensure that customers learn a suite of topics they are interested in, but not too many things so they don’t follow (set your students up to succeed!).

Protip: Workshop 305, a community centre and pottery studio in Wimbledon, run regular evening taster sessions to help customers figure out whether they would enjoy signing up to their 8-week long courses and have had great success with it.

2. Preparation - what do you need to get started?

Some teachers are lucky, they can teach their classes wherever, whenever, without much, if any, prep needed (photographers, we are looking at you!).

But for the rest of us, we need to plan. Materials or ingredients need to be sourced ahead of time. We understand that this is easier said than done! But it is worth figuring out ahead of time what you need, and where you can get them from so that you avoid finding yourself in a pickle shortly before a class.

Additionally, if you need something specific that is hard to source, why not try your luck asking the Obby Community? If you need assistance funding your business, we can also help. Just get in touch with us and we will help you out where we can!

Finally, we have prepared a handy little checklist for you to be prepared for all your upcoming classes. More on that in our article on Your first class: Creating the perfect in-class experience.

3. Venue spaces

Did you know that, on average, venue space rental costs are the single-highest teaching expense?

Some of you may already have a venue space, but for those who don’t we have a few solutions.

Obby teachers frequently post and share their venues in the Obby Community Notice Board for you to share their space.

Additionally, we have several partnerships with venue space providers across London that allow us to help you source a venue space at a fraction of the cost. You can find out more here.

4. Scheduling

Your availability and scheduling is one of the most important factors in successfully launching your teaching business.

We advise strongly against making the mistake of “trying things out” with one or two class dates.

The reasons for this is that customers want choice. In fact, over 90% of Obby bookings have more than 3 bookable dates. Just like you, customers lead busy lives. If they are looking at your class and want to take it, don’t give them an excuse to not book by not having enough options for them.

Protip: this is why we created our “Request a Date” feature - so that customers who do find and love your class, but can’t make the dates listed, are automatically sent an email when you do add new dates.

If scheduling multiple dates is difficult due to venue space requirements, check out some of Obby’s venue space options - we have super flexible cancellation policies with our venue space partnerships.

5. Pricing

Pricing is covered in more depth in our section on Your first class: Creating the perfect in-class experience. But to help you get started, we recommend starting with figuring out your costs on a “bottoms-up” basis.

So take a pen and paper, or an excel spreadsheet, and ask yourself what all your costs are!

Once you have figured those out, you can layer in how much you would like to earn and calculate the number of guests you need to cover your costs.

Protip: Try and keep your minimum number of guests required as low as possible, whilst still keeping prices competitive. Smaller class sizes get significantly better reviews, which in return leads to more bookings (and are therefore favoured by Obby’s search ranking).

Get free support

Whether you are an Obby teacher, or not (even if you have no intention of joining), we are here to help! We offer every prospective teacher a free 30-minute consulting call with one of our Partnership Managers. They can help you learn about how to get your business started, and answer any questions you might have. Just get in touch with us here - we would love to help!

Alternatively, if you want to join the Obby community and start teaching now, you can apply to become a Obby teacher here.

Next steps

If you are all ready to go, find out how to start marketing and managing your classes in Obby Teaching Guide Part 2 - Marketing 101: How to find and attract students to your classes.