Entrepreneur

Your Mom Will Approve Of This M'sian Startup That Wants You To Spend Your Weekends Learning

All of us have our own little ways of spending the weekend. Some of us brighten the nightlife by painting the town red, some try to catch up on long-ignored chores, and others are working hard towards a brighter future. Some may not even want to do anything at all and just soak in the weekend relaxed on the couch with snacks just within their reach.

There’s no one right way to spend those precious two days. But for a lot of us working (and studying) folk, the weekend grants us with the gift of time to try and accomplish any goals left to the side on a normal day. And for some, My Weekend Plan is the place they go to learn.

My Weekend Plan is an online marketplace that serves up bite-sized classes that can all be completed within a weekend. It’s something that I would call e-commerce for the soul, as what you’re getting out of it is rarely physical (unless you take up something like baking or knitting, of course).

More Than Just Baking

An upcoming class includes Bloom Box Workshop, on the 28th of May (Image Credit: My Weekend Plan’s Facebook)

Even though they started out as a platform to teach baking, My Weekend Plan eventually expanded to include 12 different types of classes. They range from cooking, makeup, artsy classes like flower arrangement and knitting, to even self-improvement classes like public speaking.

Right now, the prices range from RM150–Rm480 and can be something as simple as how to bake macarons to more involved classes, like the hand bouquet arrangement course (5 classes for RM1,800).

The great thing that we noticed about these classes is that many of them teach the types of skills that can benefit you in the long-term. Makeup and photography classes can lead to what can be fruitful side businesses, and even classes like public speaking, if not directly applicable, might help someone make a push in their careers.

We asked the team about the possibility of hosting classes on weekdays as well, like on nights or public holidays. To this, the team said that they would definitely consider it in the future but for now these are the classes and times that they want to focus on.

Image Credit: My Weekend Plans

The course marketplace launched in 2014, inspired after one of the founders’ sisters. Bryan’s sister wanted to level up her baking skills, but at the time, the best way to find classes was to search online forums, which as you can imagine isn’t efficient.

So the team decided to launch a website that puts all of the baking classes in one place. This makes it more convenient for users to shop for the types of baking classes that they like and discontinued classes can be taken down easier too.

As someone who has once suffered through internet-searching to look for sewing classes, I definitely relate to the frustration over outdated class posts. And it’s not always obvious too. I’ve seen 5-year-old class notices on forums that are still up-and-running, and another post only 6-months-old that has been discontinued.

I eventually found a sewing class a little drive away from home and finished it, only to learn that there was a cheaper class almost literally at my backdoor.

Many of these classes market through word of mouth, and the problem with that is if I’m someone looking for beginner classes, then chances are that I don’t have any connections to anyone in the field. It’s not a big issue if I’m looking for something that’s in vogue, like brush lettering or baking. Instagram hashtags can probably lead me to the right people.

Sites like LokaLocal do also incorporate one-off classes into their mix, but it’s nice to have a dedicated site for classes, nicely categorised so that I can just jump straight into what I’m looking for.

A brush-lettering class (Image Credit: My Weekend Plan)

Scoping Out The Teachers

A baking class in session (Image Credit: My Weekend Plan)

According to Bryan of My Weekend Plan, they pay a lot of attention into the quality of the classes rather than quantity.

“Our best practice is to discuss with lesson providers their course outline and locations they can teach in. And because we don’t want any lesson-crashers, it’s also first come, first serve.  Our long-term plan is that we only allow each location to have one lesson provider.”

“If the teacher is capable of teaching for different location, like Klang, and KL, they can inform inform us. However, if we receive any poor feedback from students, we will review the specific class and decide whether to continue or not.”

They’ve started having Amigurumi classes (Image Credit: My Weekend Plan’s Facebook)

When we asked about the possibility of adding more classes, Bryan seemed a little stumped. To him, it was a bit of a chicken or egg situation. Should he introduce more classes to bring in demand? Or should he wait for there to be more demand before he added more classes? Either way, they thought it was more important to make sure that students didn’t leave a class with a poor learning experience.

It seems like the team is more focused on the latter for now, but they do have other plans in the pipework to make up for it.

Their short-term goal is to build a community centre to connect teachers and students. Eventually though, My Weekend Plan wants to launch a lesson exhibition, where they gather all of the teachers into a huge event hall. To get there, the team acknowledges that they’ll be needing some funds to get that going.

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