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I used these 5 laws to open my school and reach a goal of 100 students

So, you’re running a part-time school and thinking of taking the leap to full time. I never ran a part-time school. But I applied 5 Laws of Success to launch a new school and build a sensible plan to grow to 100 students. Following these same laws can help you move forward into a professional career as a school owner.

If you’re running a part-time school today and pondering the jump to full-time ownership, you will want to pay strict attention to this article. I’m going to share with you what I call the “5 Laws of Success.” I faithfully applied these laws in 2012 to change careers and open a full-time martial arts school, Durham Modern Martial Arts in Whitby, Ontario, Canada. 

Further, those laws were part of my reasonable plan to reach 100 active students over a period of years. Today, in our sixth year of operation, we have exceeded my original goal of 100 students.

These laws worked for me, and I believe they can work for you, too. Admittedly, I did have one big advantage. I held a corporate-management job before I made the career transition to martial arts school ownership. Thus, I had a good grasp of business before I made the career change. 

The Importance of 100 Students

Answering the 100-student question was the key that kick-started the development of my school. Why 100?

The number 100 comes down to industry statistics. It’s a hard number to reach and an even harder number to surpass. At 100 students, you should be able to demonstrate consistent success in your activities. One-hundred students allows you to have a retrospective: a look at the past to help you determine what went well, what did not, and allow you to use your experiences to understand what you need to do to then break 120, 140, 160 and stream through 200.

Could I have reached my goal of 100 students faster than I did, you might ask? Yes, probably. But I chose the path of sure and steady growth over speed, in order to help build consistency in the systems and practices I implemented. I did this in a manner that promoted good stress over being in distress, and resulted in a school that I would love to be at each and every day.

Once I reached 100 students, I set a financial goal more than an active-student count. I like the metric of an active-student count, because it’s easy math to determine a monthly income, if nothing comes through in any other profit center. The big number I established was financial. I wanted $16,000 to $20,000 per month in income from one or more profit centers. I also established a reputation-based goal. I want us to be better known as a source of success for kids and adults in our community. 

Right now, we’re at 110 active students and have set in motion plans to break 120 to 140 by the end of this year. 

Law 1. Know the Why and the What

Law 2 Every Martial Art School Is a Business. So, Be a Businessperson!

Law 3 Finding and Keeping Great Students

Law 4 Teaching a Great Class

Law 5 Be a Master of Member Relations


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