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 Perry William Kelly
As a society, we’re fascinated by people who can contort and maneuver their bodies in extreme ways. One example of this comes from the Olympic Games. Every four years, we’re enthralled by the gymnastics competition. Our fascination with this one sport has resulted in more than 5 million of our kids enrolling in gymnastics programs every year.
Another example comes from cinema. We flock to theaters to watch martial arts/action heroes like Daniel Craig (James Bond), Keanu Reeves (John Wick) and Tom Cruise (Ethan Hunt in the Mission: Impossible movies) leap from building to building and flip vehicles end over end while kicking butt and taking names.
Our last example — and the most important one for this story — comes from a television series called American Ninja Warrior. On average, 7 million of us tune in every week to watch competitors push their bodies to the limit on obstacle courses that challenge them in aerobic and anerobic...
by John Bussard
Whenever I meet aspiring multi-school owners and they find out that I have 14 schools, the questions start to fly: Where do you find the staff to run that many schools? How do you manage them? How much do you pay your instructors?
In most cases, they’re really asking me how to better scale up their own martial arts business for growth. The answer is to that question is, it’s not easy. However, there are certain strategies that can help you prepare for growth, sustain growth and continue growth if you’re so inclined.
Let’s begin with a few simple strategies that can help all school owners, regardless of whether they have one facility or many.
No. 1: Strive to teach great classes that are safe, exciting and impactful.
Obviously, accidents and injuries can and will happen occasionally. Your job as a full-time instructor should be to teach with a safety-first mentality during all training activities.
Make sure your classes are...
by Richard Blaine
It’s not easy to have a large, successful franchise of martial arts schools run entirely by your own students, doubly so if you’re having those schools maintain a fairly traditional curriculum. But Professional Karate Schools of America, or PKSA, has managed to buck the odds and do just that thanks largely to the vision of its founder, Richard Collins Jr.
Collins, along with his father, started training in the Korean art of tang soo do back in 1969. After several years, they began running their own class in the basement of their house. The “school” became a very well-attended, if not prosperous, enterprise for them. Although they never advertised, classes were always packed thanks to word of mouth. The younger Collins was still working a regular job as an aircraft mechanic when a Korean master named C.S. Kim suggested he try teaching martial arts full-time.
“I had a passion to teach, so I decided to take the leap,” Collins said....
Project Dojo is a nonprofit community outreach program in Pueblo, Colorado, that works with at-risk children. Through the power of martial arts, Project Dojo seeks to inspire and motivate kids within a safe environment, while continuing to teach the traditions of martial arts. This is the story of Project Dojo co-founder Michelle Hodnett’s experiences in her martial arts journey.
When you work with children, parents want to know you care about safety. Specifically with children in martial arts, there are three things parents look for when they first walk in:
by Richard Blaine
Many martial artists dream of earning a living doing what they love. But when that dream meets the harsh reality of running a business, it can feel like being woken with a bucket of ice water to the face. Declining enrollments, departing students, the never-ending search for quality staff members, and turning just enough of a profit to pay bills and eat, then repeating this process month after grueling month — these things can turn that dream into a nightmare.
Yet a few school owners are running businesses that not only survive but also succeed beyond all expectations. At the top of that list of success stories is Premier Martial Arts.
With more than 100 schools in the United States, as well as branches in Canada and Great Britain, PMA stands as one of the world’s largest and most successful chains of franchised martial arts schools. And in a market saturated with everything from cardio-kickboxing gyms to Brazilian jiu-jitsu academies, every PMA...
Want to enroll more new members? Learn how with this handy list of 20 ways today. And sign up for your first month of MAIA Edge for 50% off . Use Promo Code: EDGE50.
By: Mike Metzger, Lead MAIA Elite Consultant
The most common question I get asked when it comes to owning a martial arts school is how can I get more new students. I mean, it’s the most common question by far.
School owners of all sizes are looking for new members and it doesn’t matter what time of year it is — spring, summer, fall, winter — they’re always looking for new recruits.
And even though new students are not the end-all, be-all to growing your school, I recognize that they are the lifeblood of our business and necessary for growth.
So today, I thought it’d be handy to give you a list of 20 ideas to pick up 20 new students for your school.
Some of these ideas will be simple. Some of them a little complex. Some will cost you nothing. Others, maybe a little time...
By Kathy Olevsky
All martial arts schools go through phases of growth. Conversely, there are times when their numbers dwindle. The biggest lesson I have learned over the past 45 years in business is that you must properly analyze your numbers to find out why you are not growing and what you have done in the past that has promoted growth.
Prior to using my statistics, I simply went off what I thought was happening. This process of guesswork rarely helped me correct a curve in my business. However, as a small-business owner, I found it difficult to actually access the proper statistics.
Today, there are many software programs designed for martial arts schools. They can help guide business owners by providing all the necessary statistics to correct any depression in business. Before these programs became available, I kept track of our numbers using written charts, which I would periodically review to see what we might be overlooking or doing wrong. This might not be as...
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...
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