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Twin Cities Carry Forum Archive • View topic - Inexpensive, minimalist class?
 
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 Inexpensive, minimalist class? 
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 9:51 pm 
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mrokern wrote:
What I will say, without digging into any of the sniping, is that most people have no idea how much it costs to be a decent instructor, so I have to call BS on your BS.

I was in the same boat. I've been assisting a certified instructor with his classes (and learning in the process), and am going through the NRA classes in a couple of weeks, and then onto the MADFI cert. I've been helping said instructor get his LLC up and running. There are costs that you haven't considered...I certainly hadn't considered them before this.

Equipment DOES cost money. Projectors have wear and tear, as do laptops (if you don't believe me, ask your employer's accounting department about maintenance charges on technology).

Venue rental is not a one-time fee. It's an EVERY-time fee.

Certification classes are expensive. It's hundreds of dollars to get started. Add to that the cost of on-going training, and you've got significant expense. Between NRA, MADFI, and a number of other courses I'm taking this year, I'll be in the thousands, not including ammo, travel, hotels, rental cars, etc. Do I need all these just to teach permit classes? Nope, but I'm determined to be as well-educated as I can be in order to provide the best instruction that I possibly can to my students. And for the record, I'm not going to be teaching only permit classes.

Liability insurance? $$$

Accountant to handle the books? $$$

Website hosting? $$$

Credit card processing? $$$

Business cards? $$$

Marketing? $$$

Does a good instructor need all this? Not necessarily...but if you intend to make it a true business, there are costs involved. Don't be quite so quick to negate the reality of it.

-Mark


Since you quoted me, above, I assume it's me you're speaking to. I don't have an employer, I own my own, successful, company. I have insurance, laptops, vehicles, employees, licenses (security company, so Minnesota electrical licensure applies), etc. All of the stuff you list is a cost of doing business. If you feel your fair price is X dollars, fine. This thread started with someone's question as to why the prices are where they are. The only trait I've seen, reading here, is most of the instructor-members of this forum are overly defensive about their pricing, and are overly-critical of other instructors, who they feel are too cheap. Any of you actually take 'Coconut Charlie's' course, to have an opinion? I agree, it looks questionable, but I've not taken his course to know. It's obvious his web development leaves something to be desired.

For a quick breakdown:

Venue fee is an every-time fee. However, there are MANY free locations. If you can't find a free location, many conference centers, or those with such a space, will likely offer a regular customer a reduced price.

Liability Insurance: ~$2000/year for General Libability with a $2,000,000 coverage
Accountant: ~FREE (Quickbooks, MYOB, etc)
Website Hosting: ~$5/month, or less.
Credit Card Processing: A static ~2-4% (depends on lots of things, generally not more than 4%, though)
Business Cards: $35/box of 250
Marketing: If you're using forums, etc, free, minus time. My guess is less than $2000/year.
Laptop: Brand-New for ~$600
Projector $300 to $1000 on BestBuy.com today or ~$400 on Craigslist
SoS business registration or filing for assumed name: $120 to $300

-so long as we're at it-
Toothpaste: $1.50
Toothbrush: $0.97
Fuel to drive to venue: ~$10
A day's worth of auto insurance, to drive to/from venue: $2.00
A day's worth of auto payment, to drive to/from venue: $10.00
Clothing on one's back: ~$50
Pens used to fill out paperwork: $2.99
Breakfast, picked up on the way to the class: $5.95
The thrill of charging for material reasonably necessary for a class: priceless ;)

I'm typing this on a 5-year old Apple Powerbook G4, which runs excellent to this day.

To instruct for a Minnesota carry permit, you only need to be certified to instruct by Minnesota. MADFI, NRA, etc, are all extra, and your choices.

Last, try not to take these posts as a direct attack on your pricing. It's your decision. Take this, instead, as feedback from your customer base, or prospective customer base. This thread has, however, shed light on the personalities of some board members.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 6:37 am 
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I hope the tone of this thread is still on the happy side...

In anyone's pricing, did they include the price of gas to get down to Burnsville? ;)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 8:57 am 
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Location: Ellsworth, WI
My .02 cents. I am not am instructor nor do I attempt to play one on tv, I am a auto mechanic who gets some of the same crap as Joel. I do side work on occasion and charge more than the hourly rate the shop I work at. Why because my time off is valuable and I am really good at what I do.
I spend on average 6 hours a month in classes of one sort or another keeping up with technology and spending another big chunk of time on a technician only website reading others solutions to problem cars and tech.
So when people who want me to fix their car for a case of root beer and 20 bucks get all hurt and pouty when I say no thanks. I don't spend anywhere near the time Joel has spent on you echrist, I just tell 'em to have Billyjoe Backyard bob fix their ABS/TCS or SRS system for them. If cheap is the driving factor I don't need the stress. I do professional quality work that reflects my education and skills or I go shoot in the backyard iinstead.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 9:04 am 
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ScottM wrote:
My .02 cents. I am not am instructor nor do I attempt to play one on tv, I am a auto mechanic who gets some of the same crap as Joel.
It's a common problem. I've been talking with some criminal defense lawyer friends -- not anybody from around here -- about some of this stuff, and they get it far worse than I do. There are lots of people, like ecrist, who think they're entitled to have others solve their problems for them.

As it turns out, that's exactly the wrong way to get stuff. If you're a regular customer of TAs -- 46th and Chicago -- and call with a question about buying a used car that you're considering, if, say, you've been bringing your cars to them for twenty years and paying their (entirely reasonable) fees without complaint (which I have, because their charges are reasonable and they give great service) the odds are, well, exactly 100% that you'll get some good, free advice. If you found their name on the Intertubes or some (perhaps perfectly good) shade tree mechanic sends you to them for some free advice, it probably isn't going to work that well.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 9:05 am 
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Joined: Sun May 14, 2006 12:03 pm
Posts: 173
Location: I'll get back to you on that
If there are any instructors here who charge more than I do ($250) would you please be so kind as to let me know, so I can up my fee? :lol:

Need something inexpensive AND minimal? Have you checked Gander, lately?

Need a B2C? I don't do that. Be happy to recommend someone who does.

Want to know my qualifications to do this? You can start with a copy of what I submitted to BCA way back when. Although, the last time I requested a copy, it damn near took an act of congress. (no, not THAT kind of congress).

And if all of this makes me a defensive, arrogant asshole, well, so be it. But, I'm not a CHEAP one! :roll:

BTW, did I mention I wasn't cursed with the need to be liked?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 9:18 am 
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boomingmetropolis wrote:

BTW, did I mention I wasn't cursed with the need to be liked?


It has been my experience that the curse abates over time. As a person creeps along life's time line, spending any precious time on "being liked" seems quite unimportant and unnecessary.

I know that for me, there may well have been that curse earlier in life, but it was exorcised some time ago.

I am who I am, is who I is, and someday will be was that I was.

My afterlife will be complete if people say..."He was an SOB at times, but damn....turns out he was usually right!"

Now, back to your regular programming.

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Contact us to schedule a class for you and your friends, and check our website for more information http://shootingsafely.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 9:37 am 
Gun-Toting Liberal

Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 4:14 pm
Posts: 181
Location: Ellsworth, WI
joelr wrote:
ScottM wrote:
My .02 cents. I am not am instructor nor do I attempt to play one on tv, I am a auto mechanic who gets some of the same crap as Joel.
It's a common problem. I've been talking with some criminal defense lawyer friends -- not anybody from around here -- about some of this stuff, and they get it far worse than I do. There are lots of people, like ecrist, who think they're entitled to have others solve their problems for them.

As it turns out, that's exactly the wrong way to get stuff. If you're a regular customer of TAs -- 46th and Chicago -- and call with a question about buying a used car that you're considering, if, say, you've been bringing your cars to them for twenty years and paying their (entirely reasonable) fees without complaint (which I have, because their charges are reasonable and they give great service) the odds are, well, exactly 100% that you'll get some good, free advice. If you found their name on the Intertubes or some (perhaps perfectly good) shade tree mechanic sends you to them for some free advice, it probably isn't going to work that well.


It is common I just don't have the patience or time to put up with it anymore.
I am willing to spend time discussing options and common issues with a particular car or truck with anyone. I am also happy to explain what's broken after testing and what I think is the most cost effective way to repair it, heck I'll even talk to Dad or the maintenance contract people but I expect to be paid for my knowledge, experience and time because that is what I have to sell.
I know I will give better long term value than the kid who just got out of Dunwoody or the 40 year guy who's solution to an ABS problem is to tape over the light. What I won't do is substandard work. It isn't cost effective long term, plus I would have a hard time sleeping.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 9:40 am 
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Yeah, Scott, but you're only saying that because you can't compete with Shade Tree Mechanics' prices. (Just kidding, honest. But I get real, real tired of having that sort of stuff pointed at me, and I figured to share it, just a little.)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 9:58 am 
Gun-Toting Liberal

Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 4:14 pm
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Location: Ellsworth, WI
Owww! Hey are you liking your new toy?

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"We are therefore persuaded that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment incorporates the Second Amendment and applies it against the states and local governments." Nordyke v. King 4/20/09


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 10:00 am 
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ScottM wrote:
Owww! Hey are you liking your new toy?
Loving it. Carries like a dream; shoots like a charm. Waiting for a pocket holster from Mika; I've got pants where it disappears in the right front pocket.

Much rather think about that than about the Coconut Charlie types.

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 Post subject: A Word from the Management
PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 9:26 am 
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Site owner hat on: I've asked that another moderator sort the various subjects in this thread into their own topics. If you find that something you were looking for here isn't here, it's been moved, not deleted.

If I don't get a volunteer to step up and do it (I hope I will), I'll do it myself.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 10:06 am 
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Everyone-

I'm going to be splitting this thread into a few component parts, so I'll be locking it for a few minutes whilst I do that.

Unlock and update posted upon completion!

Thanks for the patience,

-Mark

UPDATE: Ok, lots of spin-off threads sitting out there now. If any other mod sees more splits that need done, please feel free.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 11:01 am 
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As long as you mentioned it,

joelr wrote:
TAs -- 46th and Chicago


What's it called? Since moving here the old fourwheels hasn't needed anything I can't do myself, but it undoubtedly will
and probably very soon.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 11:02 am 
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Sietch wrote:
As long as you mentioned it,

joelr wrote:
TAs -- 46th and Chicago


What's it called? Since moving here the old fourwheels hasn't needed anything I can't do myself, but it undoubtedly will
and probably very soon.
It's called "TA's."

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 11:04 am 
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ecrist wrote:
Toothpaste: $1.50
Toothbrush: $0.97
Fuel to drive to venue: ~$10
A day's worth of auto insurance, to drive to/from venue: $2.00
A day's worth of auto payment, to drive to/from venue: $10.00
Clothing on one's back: ~$50
Pens used to fill out paperwork: $2.99
Breakfast, picked up on the way to the class: $5.95
The thrill of charging for material reasonably necessary for a class: priceless ;)


:lol:
I wonder if I could put that into poetry...

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