Notes on your CP business
Cuddle Party business principles
1. Cuddle party is a service business. You provide a service.
The service you provide is to create a place for people to learn and explore.
- not a dating service
- not a guarantee of someone to cuddle with
- etc – from the training manual
That means you need to:
- provide the public with enough information to find you.
- get something back
2. You have to get back more than it costs you – or you’ll quit.
What do you get back?
- money, satisfaction of providing community, supports your other business in some way, cuddles for you, fun, etc
What does it cost you?
- time, effort, carrying stuff, marketing, money, clean up, etc
Look at both sides of the equation.
If you put out a lot and get back only a little – won’t want to do it over the long run.
3. In order for people to buy your service – they have to:
- find out about it
- recognize it’s for them
- have information from you on how to get it
- have a way to register
So the question is:
How much of what do you need to get back in order to continue to feel generous?
You can either lower what it costs you or increase what you get back (or both).
Now you have some decisions
- how many participants do you want?
- what space will you hold it in?
- what space is easiest to hold it in?
- if it’s not easy, who can help?
- how to charge
For people to find you – you need:
1. A home base - a place where they can find you
- that’s always there
- that answers their questions
- that leaves them feeling invited and comfortable
—> This is your HOME PAGE
- we set this up on the CP site – example: www.cuddleparty.com/seattle
2. Mailing list
- extremely easy to do
- people join (automate this – see later)
- you write and send every time you have a party
- you’re done
3. Easy way for people to tell their friends
- if it’s too hard (too many clicks) they won’t do it
- email – can be forwarded
- Facebook (this is what FB is good at)
4. Other ways to be find-able
- other people’s lists
- main CP website
5. Highly recommended – Easy registration procedure
1) fairly automated
- not necessary, but takes the load off you so it costs you less effort
2) OR – someone to do all that for you
- problem – if they quit, then what?
- where is all the data and who can take over?
6. Highly recommended – contact with other facilitators
- support and encouragement
- new ideas, compare notes, keep current
- FB facilitators group
- monthly facilitator calls
More – making yourself findable
1. Mailing list
Gmail (or other web-based email)
- you can get a @cuddleparty.org address (just ask)
- recommend – your location, not your name – Seattle@cuddleparty.org
- that way, if you ever move, the next local person can have the list
- and other facilitators in your area can all use it together
- you can add a link on your page so that they sign up and it’s automatic
- you can write the emails and then set it up to send another day
- you can duplicate so you don’t start from scratch each time
- you can make them real pretty if you want
2. Meet-up - very successful for getting new people
- not everyone wants to be on it – somewhere else they have to sign in
- not everyone wants to be seen as being on the list
- therefor not a good place for the main registration
- has it’s own registration – can be confusing since you also need another one
- they can join or leave any time, no bother to you
- from there you can send them to the real registration
- these are people who actually like to meet people
3. Facebook group – local group
Post events there
- easy for people to tell their friends
- NOT useful for registration
- very little actual return – not many people actually show up
- useful for same reason as advertising – people get used to seeing it and it becomes normal – that’s about it
These have been very successful in some places
- takes some initial work
- smaller towns
- or communities like co-ops etc
- keep some and hand out to everyone that you tell about it
- easy to print out quarter page hand-outs at home
*** The best – get their email – then go add it to the list
- then you are in charge of it – don’t have to hope they remember
Registration – different ways
1. At the door, whoever shows
- cash, donation
- can be great, super easy
- have to be very flexible with how much you get
- end of the night – may get very little
2. Email for RSVP
- pay at the door
- keep a hand-written list
- or list on email account’s contact list, as a group
- 10 – 20 % will no-show – count on it!
Meet-up not recommended
- too many people are not on it
Facebook – forget it – 90% no-show
Eventbrite – recommended
1 – event gets listed on CP site automatically
2 – automated – the list is there, confirmations, directions sent out etc
3 – pay ahead – everybody shows
4 – you can have different kinds of tickets at different prices if you want
5 – you can also list as free or donation
- some don’t want to use internet payment
- or can’t afford it
- option to pay at the door if they email you
- then you handle it however you like
- you can still add them to the list and they get the automated emails
* The facilitator making the highest amount per party and over all
- uses Eventbrite exclusively
More than one facilitator in your area – yay!
Same principles – you provide a service
- public deserves to have it accessible
- and easy for them to find and get the information they need
Don’t confuse them with too many lists and groups
- they won’t know which one they are on
- or that there is more than one
Make it easier on yourself:
1. Local web page on CP site
2. Combined email list
3. Combined Meet-up page
4. Combined FB group
1. The larger the group – the more interesting it is to people looking for it
- 5 in this group, 20 in that, etc
- 200 in the combined group – they see something is happening
2. They can forward it to friends in another part of town
3. Service – you are providing a service
- if you take a few months off, or move away
- your participants can still find a CP to go to
For your local webpage:
People don’t read paragraphs online
- bullet points
- extremely short
- impossible to miss
We have 3 facilitators in the bay area. We have Suzie Q who has been facilitating for years and is blah blah blah. We also have Randy who is this and that other thing. And finally we have Betty who has been around since the dark ages.
We have 3 facilitators:
- Suzie Q, a massage therapist
- Randy, and new facilitator
- Betty, a grandmother
Principle of competition
*** no such thing
The more they see it, the more normal it starts to look
- looks like everyone is doing it, so it must be the thing
—->> so the more participants you all get
Public does not want to see you competing
- they want to see they have choices
- and what the choices are
- all in one place
Remember – easy to find ===> more participants
*** They don’t want to feel like each of you are grabbing
– they want to feel that all of you are offering your service
Talk about dates
- different ways to do that
- schedule 1 or 2 ahead, check in by phone, text, etc
- set regular dates for each
- plan several months ahead
- whatever you like – but communicate!
- as you like
- some areas agree on same price
- other don’t
What if you have a list for your other events?
Make a separate one for CP
Send out an email:
I have added you to my separate list just for Cuddle Parties. Please unsubscribe if you don’t want to be on it.
- The list includes Cuddle Parties only,
- and it includes Cuddle Parties by others than myself,
- and I will still list my Cuddle Parties on my main list.
Now you have even more opportunity for great events. Please bring your friends!
1. Pick up the phone
Nothing can substitute for personal contact
- no amount of online presence will substitute
Call friends and associates – invite – ask for help
- I’m going to a training, I need your help . . .
Everyone seems to want to use Facebook
- easy because it feels less risky
- it is – because you don’t have to hear a no!
Pick up the phone!
2. Everything else is secondary
Also fine to set up Eventbrite
- depends on how formal or more personal you want to be
- either way is fine
1. Set up Eventbrite
Set up event
- then use the COPY function for next event
- don’t use ‘recurring event’
- why: they can’t see the date until they open the registration
- they need to see the date before they register
- so they know if they want to register!
2. Webpages, etc – the whole thing