Choosing Your First Training Classroom
You Just Need to Start Somewhere… Literally.
As a new NRA Certified Instructor, you may struggle with where to teach your first class. Personally, I taught my firearm safety classes right out of the spare bedroom of my home. I converted the entire spare bedroom into a permanent classroom.
At the time, I could only fit 12 students in each class. I quickly outgrew this room because I was giving three classes per week – all completely full. As my classes grew, from both word of mouth and by my unique student acquisition process, I realized that a bigger classroom meant bigger classes – and more revenue!
Do the math with me:
- $65 per student
- 12 students per class
- 3 classes per week
- That’s $2340 per week!
Eventually, I sold my Harley Davidson for a fraction of what it was worth so I could move my firearm training business to the next level. I moved into a 2500 square foot facility, just 5 miles from where I was giving classes already. Rent started at $1450 per month.
The most important concept I want you to grasp here is this: Your first classroom will not be the classroom you will be stuck with for the rest of your life. It’s more important to get started than it is to find the perfect situation.
Here are the easiest 7 locations new firearm instructors can train their students without spending too much money.
Easy Classroom Location #1: Converted Garage
Garages have a lot to offer. They are dry, cooler than being outside in the hot sun, and they won’t cost you a single penny to use every month.
Converting can be as simple as cleaning it up, setting up some tables and chairs, and adding a TV or projector. Adding a quick air conditioning unit in a side window can transform your classroom into a comfortable and relaxing learning environment.
No AC or window?
Leave the garage door open for added comfort.
Easy Classroom Location #2: Living Room
If you want to provide an education from the comfort of your couch, just a TV is all you really need. The great thing about using the living room is that it isn’t costly, as you can just grab a TV from your local electronics store.
First, in order to make this space work for you, be sure that the couch is situated with plenty of room around it so that everyone has plenty of legroom and doesn’t feel cramped. To get started, set up extra chairs (folding chairs work great for easy storage) as arrange the seats in an organized manner.
If there’s not enough space around, a projector can be used to project onto a blank wall or screen in another part of the room so that people have an HD view on their screens regardless of where they sit.
This can be a short term option and a very affordable way to get started.
Easy Classroom Location #3: Spare Bedroom
For over a year, I used my own spare bedroom for training. This was extremely convenient – but I was gaining so much momentum that I eventually needed to rent retail space to grow my business.
For this option, you’ll need to have some extra furniture for the class. You may want to buy a couple of folding tables/chairs from Walmart or Craigslist in order to make your classroom feel more like an office space than just someone’s bedroom.
Easy Classroom Location #4: House Parties!
A ton of my instructors use the “house party” idea – bringing their concealed carry classes directly to the homes of “hosts” that are willing to invite friends and family to attend your class in the comfort of their own homes.
But, in order to make it work, you’ll need an “invitation” system and a lot of promotion! You’ll want to have a dedicated email list that will allow your hosts to send out invites for the class…and then follow up with those people on social media or by phone if they don’t RSVP.
Easy Classroom Location #5: Rent Retail Space
So, you’ve got the idea of bringing your classes to people. But what about just getting a retail space?
You get the added advantages of drive-by traffic, advanced promotion, and increased credibility. This should be the goal of every instructor who wants to grow their business and set up a nice nest egg for themselves.
The other best part about a retail space?
Having a retail showroom!
Easy Classroom Location #6: Churches, VFWs, Real Estate Offices
The next easiest location for a class are churches, VFWs, and real estate offices. Churches usually have space available on their grounds that you can rent for your classes. You’ll be able to reserve the space ahead of time if it’s available. You should also check with local veterans groups or other organizations in town about renting spaces in their buildings.
The other benefit of these types of facilities is the increase in business you’ll receive from their existing memberships.
Easy Classroom Location #7: Hotel Conference Rooms
The next best place to teach a class are in hotel conference rooms. You’ll have access to the space for an entire day, so you can create your own agenda and prepare all of the materials ahead of time.
This is also a great way to save money on renting space because they often charge per hour instead of by room size or type.
The added benefit of a hotel is advertising. When your classes are mobile, you can market a sense of urgency by advertising that you’ll be in that location for one weekend only.