Writing the Perfect Art Studio Handbook
Oh, the Art Studio handbooks. It’s one of those tasks that has been on your to-do list for a long time and just keeps getting pushed back into the ‘too-hard’ basket. But you need one to run your Art Studio smoothly.
So what exactly is a handbook?
Essentially, it is the “Bible” of how things are run in your studio. Your policies and procedures, and a ‘go-to’ reference for any art parent who isn’t quite sure of something in your studio.
What to include?
– Code of conduct –
– Enrollment –
– Studio Communication –
– Picking up / dropping off students –
– Payment instructions –
– Cancellation policy –
– Social Media policy –
– Important dates –
How to write it?
Be personal and engaging
Writing out your rules, policies and procedures does not need to be a big fat boring list of what people can and can’t do in your Art Studio. Inject your personality into your handbooks, and look at the language you are using. Keep positivity and engagement at the front of your mind so that you are choosing words and phrases like “We love seeing our students……” or “At ABC class, we encourage………..” or “We are passionate about……..”.
Add graphics and images
You know that it’s hard work to read pages and pages of words with no break. If you want parents to read it, they’ll need to take some breaks which you can provide by including images, photos, quotes, links and videos (think of not just print but digital distribution).
Make it scannable
The point of the studio handbook is not to be read cover-to-cover and studied closely. Your art parents don’t have time for that – what they DO have time and appreciation for is a one-stop place where they know they can refer to at any time and find the answers to their questions. Make this easy for them with a clear table of contents, and a format that makes sense. Keep things simple and clear so they can refer to the handbook regularly and know that they can find the information they need readily.
Have one for Staff and one for Students/Parents
One handbook is great, but ideally there are 2 separate handbooks that every Art Studio should prepare.
1. Students and Parents
This will ensure that the right people are getting the information they need.
Print just a few copies
Your Art Studio handbook may end up being 30+ pages once you have included everything, so don’t waste resources printing a copy for every family in your studio. Sure, have a handful of copies at reception for people to look at, but for the most part, you are best to send your handbook via email as an attachment, in a closed portal on your website, or in your closed Facebook group for quick and easy reference.
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