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".
By Cris Rodriguez
The 6 Key Stages
If you’re struggling to get more students, if you’re confused with all of this social media mumbo-jumbo, if you’re frustrated by not being able to communicate to your leads why they should join your school – then this article was made for you.
Sound like it’s too good to be true? Well, it’s not.
Let me give you some context before we jump in.
Every decision we make in our academy is based around the framework of our “Customer’s Journey.” There are 6 Key Stages that every martial arts student will go through on his/her customer journey in our schools:
By Herb Borkland
Richardson was born in Charlotte and took his first martial arts training there at age 13. But, as is true of every aspect of his highly successful school, he says he opened LMA only after a great deal of study, planning and research.
Location Is Everything!
Charlotte is the most populous city in North Carolina, boasting around 860,000 diverse citizens — 45.1% white, 35.0% black, 13.1% Hispanic and 5.0% Asian. It’s the third-fastest-growing major city in the United States and the nation’s second-largest banking center, housing the corporate headquarters of Bank of America and the east coast operations of Wells Fargo. The NFL’s Carolina Panthers, the Charlotte Hornets of the NBA, and a strong NASCAR All-Star Racing presence are among the local major sports attractions.
Why is all of this so important to a martial arts school owner? Because location is everything.
“I began with demographic research on 64 markets in the...
By MAIA Consultant Shane Tassoul
Has this ever happened to you? You book a booth at carnival, festival or some other event and, when you get there, you have a great time. But then at the end of the day, you realize you haven’t collected any leads. Or, what about this? You collect a bunch of leads and then can’t get them to come back to your school.
Then, perhaps understandably, after doing several events like this with no results, you believe that booth events don’t work. Well, maybe you just need to know how to make them work for you!
Below, I’ll show you four surefire ways to maximize your leads at these events and have more people show up at your school than ever before.
What is the purpose of a booth or demo? The answer is simply to get us in front of our market. If you’re performing a demo, you should be using it to attract the attention of your target market, and then move into your presentation. You are presenting the leads/prospects with...
Fitness icon Eric Fleishman (a.k.a. “Eric the Trainer”) has earned celebrity status among his pumping-iron peers and Hollywood’s elite with his unique training programs. Also a high-ranking black belt, Fleishman has combined his two biggest passions to create “Sleek Ninja,” a fitness program designed especially for martial artists and school owners.
By Terry L. Wilson
CREATING NEW CLIENTS WITH SLEEK NINJA
After earning black belt status in multiple disciplines, Los Angeles’ Eric Fleishman (pronounced, fleesh’man) saw a way for schools of any style or system to upgrade their fitness program and make a profit in the process.
“My martial arts background spans nearly 40 years,” says Fleishman. “Combine that with my being a Hollywood physique expert, creating Sleek Ninja was a natural fit.
“When I heard that martial arts dojos across America were starting to feel a financial crunch because of the...
I've been operating a martial arts school full-time for 40 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.
In our early years in running a dojo as black belt instructors, we came to work, taught classes and tried hard to manage a business that was our sole source of income. As instructors and owners, we made student progress the priority in the school. While that’s a respectable and sensible idea, it left out a very important pillar of our growth.
I think, in those early years, we were missing a huge opportunity. We basically never showed...
Every year, many school owners ask, “How do I get more students?” To properly answer this question, you have to keep in mind this maxim: “To be terrific, we must be more specific.” So, let’s do a couple of things in this column to be more specific with the student base that you want. As your consultant and someone who teaches the Law of Attraction, I would ask you, among other key questions:
“Do you want students who pay late or more students who don’t pay at all? Do you want more children, teens or adults? Younger or older children? Children with learning challenges? Students who are always late for classes? Parents who leave their children at your school well after their class is over? Students with bad hygiene?”
With these answers, you are building a Clarity List, using contrast (people, places, events you don’t like) to get a clear vision of the students you want to manifest. Remember, contrast creates clarity,...
“Who’s the Master?” No, that isn’t just a callback to the famous line in The Last Dragon. That’s the question new students and their families have when they walk into your dojo. Our job as teachers and school owners is to show them a professional level of service in teaching the martial arts. Here are the three tips to do exactly that.
By Justin L. Ford
Your school’s revenue comes from. . .
What? I’m waiting.
Meditate on this.
You could trace your school’s revenue to the tuition payments that get made, and the activities and events you host, the merchandisesales and testing fees, etc. But while there are plenty of different streams your money can flow in from, it all boils down to one source:
It’s important to remember that your school is driven by your students. And while big classes don’t automatically equate to big bucks for your school, having lots of students is definitely a step in the right...
After the murder of both of his parents in childhood, Fred DePalma turned tragedy into triumph when he discovered the martial arts. Today, he and his wife, Robin, own eight thriving schools in Arizona. Through his desire to help his employees become successful school owners, he cultivated a mastery of staff development.
By Terry L. Wilson
Taking Care of Staff
From the beginning of Fred DePalma’s multi-school martial arts career, his primary goal was to take care of his staff. Even at the young age of 18, when he opened his first location, the fledging school owner realized the importance of taking care of the people who would take care of him.
“From the minute I opened my first school, I was all about developing and training the staff,” DePalma says. “And in return, they take care of the students. All too often, a school owner will take care of the students first, without giving much thought to the needs of their staff.”
by Adam Parman
It is said that to succeed at anything you must have a specific intent, clear vision, a plan of action and have the ability to maintain flawless execution. So, start now — don’t wait! — to prepare for summer success and take your martial arts business to a whole new level. Here are a few of the programs we implement to make our summer into some of the most profitable months of the year.
Getting students to attend classes consistently during the summer can be challenging for most school owners and staff. To encourage our students to attend regularly during the summer and boost retention, we’ve created an Attendance Challenge.
We issue points to each student when he or she participates in a special event, attends a class, notifies us of their vacation schedule, sends us a postcard from their vacation destination, and returns...
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...
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