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The Martial Arts Industry Association exists to help grow martial arts participation by helping school owners succeed. Many school owners are never exposed to the foundational business concepts necessary to run and grow a successful business. At MAIA, we can help fill that need, as we are made up of school owners who have walked in your shoes, know your struggles, and can help with strategies to elevate you from novice to a "blackbelt in business".

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Unicorns, Bigfoot and the Standard Contract: Three Things That Don’t Exist in the Real World!

employee matters Jun 07, 2019

By Philip E. Goss, Jr., Esq.

 

Ah, the standard contract! How many of you reading this column have used that term many times in the past, or believe that such a document exists? Frequently, clients call me seeking my review of a vendor contract or other written obligations, which is described by the client as a “standard contract.” Urban legend holds that there exists a document known as the “standard contract” that abides by with some form of legal standard consistent worldwide.

We can all agree that 12 inches equals one U.S. foot and that 2.2 pounds equals one international kilogram. But there is no document with terms and conditions that coalesce into a “standard contract.” While many contracts set forth similar language, none are ever the same.

Neither contracts nor written obligations need be complicated. But, to be enforceable, each must set forth the “parties” to the agreement, the “subject matter” of the...

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Security Double-Take

By Beth A. Block

 

I’ve talked to many studio owners about security cameras. When we begin, the owner sees all the positives. I see the positives, too. I also see the negatives.

            One of the first positives is the security. One of my clients was robbed. The robber wasn’t the brightest criminal. He looked straight into the camera before shooting it. The local police caught him within hours.

            In another case, the studio owner found the cameras were a great training tool. She could not understand why new students were leaving so her school quickly. A review of 30 days of film showed she had an instructor using old-school discipline on her students.

            She spent a couple of weeks working closely with this instructor to improve his methods. Now, he gets more positive feedback on...

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“K” is for Knowledge

By Nguyen “Tom” Griggs

 

 

In this column, I continue using an acronym that spells out BLACK BELT, using words that relate to teams and leadership. This month I’ll address “K,” which stands for knowledge.

Let’s frame knowledge as it relates to 1) yourself; 2) your team; and 3) your environment.

Knowledge of yourself: The temple of Apollo in Delphi, Greece, is famous for numerous inscriptions. One of the more famous aphorisms which emanated from this temple was “Know Thyself.” This saying is very profound in its depth and simplicity.

We are all familiar with our personalities and intellects, but we forget the importance of understanding our limits. When discussing limits, we also need to remember this applies to our physical abilities, too.

Recently, I did not run in the Houston half-marathon, even though I had participated in it the previous year. I allowed professional and personal issues to interfere with properly training....

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It’s Okay to Let an Employee Go

By Kathy Olevsky

 

In every small business, lessons come to us when we least expect them. I have been one of the many schools who have carried a burden for too long. As a matter of fact, I have a list of situations that I prolonged.

 

For example, I have had employees who were not the best, but they were what I had at hand and I was afraid to be without them. I also have had family working for me. And because they were family, I hung onto them when I should have let them go, to save my business. I have had students who were toxic to the atmosphere in the dojo, too.

 

If you haven’t heard it before, let me say it now: Let them go and you will grow. If they have said they are going to leave, then they most likely will do that in the near future. Kudos to you for trying to save them. But there is so much energy spent on trying to save one employee who is unhappy. Or, for that matter, one student who complains about something different every day.

 

If you have...

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The 5 Mindsets of Martial Arts School Success, Part 2

Last month, we discussed the first three mindsets of a successful martial arts school.

 

They were:

 

  1. We are the friendliest place in town.

 

  1. We are the cleanest place in town.

 

  1. We only teach great classes, never just good ones.

 

This month, we’ll address mindsets four and five.

 

  1. We are excellent at student/parent communication. It has been great to see how the level of professionalism has improved in our industry over the last 40 years. Clearly, we have learned a lot about running a friendly, clean school with great classes.

 

With that said, if there’s one area that we are still weak in as an industry, it is student/parent communication.

What I’m referring to here is the importance of giving consistent, quality feedback to all of our students and their parents on their progress. We do this by sharing with them what they are doing well and how they can become better. As simple as this may sound, it’s extremely...

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Want to Improve Your Retention? Do This in the Next 30 Days!

By Christopher Rappold

 

With 2018 behind us, it’s a good time to take a pause and assess how the year went.

I have always enjoyed taking half a day away from the office and looking at the cumulative results from that particular year. Though I look every day, week and month at how our schools are doing, there is something about looking at the total of 12 months of results that gives a different picture and perspective.

 

I start with my team. I take a look at their martial arts, fitness, personal and professional development from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.

 

Did they make the kind of progress that both of us were working toward? Are their goals and the goals of the school intersecting in a way that creates a win-win, long-term relationship? Are there any tweaks that need to be made? What are things we did together that had the most impact, and what are the things that missed the target and need improvement?

 

Having excellent student...

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You Messed Up! Now What? - July 2018

by Kathy Olevsky

I ‘ve been operating a martial arts school full time for 39 years. I think I may have made every mistake that can be made in this business. The reason I’m still in business, I believe, is because I asked for help. I learned quickly that others before me had already found solutions. In this reality-based column, I’ll point out key mistakes I made in my business career, which are common errors among school owners, both large and small, throughout our industry. Then I’ll share the solutions I applied to overcome them.

 

I was reminded recently that our business is ever-changing and I have to remember to respond to the changes. We have worked very hard on our marketing for the past six months and our influx of new students has been steady. In addition to that steady influx, we just added a project that brought in even more new business.

...

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