The Martial Arts Business Basics

management start-up Sep 22, 2022

Do you have your martial arts business basics down?

You know – those top priority concepts, skills, and tasks that are essential to running a successful martial art school?

Maybe you haven’t given much thought to what those are… but if you’ve read Small Dojo Big Profits, you know about the 80/20 rule (Pareto’s Principle).

Pareto believed that eighty percent of your results come from just twenty percent of your efforts, and I’ve found this to be true in my own businesses.

That’s why it’s so important to know what those “20% activities” are. Once you do, you can focus in on those activities, and cut out most of the extraneous stuff. By doing so, not only will you become more productive, but you’ll also have more time away from your school.

So, let’s examine the “basic foundation” of running a successful martial arts school, and then we can look at which daily tasks and goals we need to focus on to leverage our workday and maximize our effectiveness.
 

First, Let’s Look At The Basics…

So, what are the basics of running a successful martial art school?

Here they are, in no particular order of priority:

  1. Marketing: You have to have a SYSTEM for attracting a consistent stream of new students.
  2. Sales: You have to have a SYSTEM in place for consistently enrolling new students (converting leads to enrollments).
  3. Curriculum: You have to have teaching SYSTEM in place that encompasses a solid curriculum. This curriculum should follow a logical progression, one that prevents “new student overwhelm” while keeping intermediate and advanced students both challenged and satisfied with their progress.
  4. Billing and Collections: You have to have a SYSTEM for collecting your tuition reliably, inexpensively, easily, and on time.
  5. Retention: You have to have a SYSTEM for retaining students; one that addresses customer satisfaction issues, the renewal process, and frequent interaction and communication between staff and students.
  6. Management: And, you have to have a system for taking care of all the administrative duties within the school during non-class hours; one that either relies on duplicating your own efforts via staff hiring and training, or that allows you to manage your own time consistently so you are able to track and accomplish these tasks on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

Of course, that’s the broad eagle’s eye view of what goes into running a successful school. Now, let’s take a look at the daily little things that need to happen consistently to ensure your school’s success.

Success Is Built On Consistency – The Devil Is In The Details

Here’s a short list of “must-do” things that have to happen daily to ensure your school’s success:

  • Cleaning – The school must be kept neat, clean, and all equipment and the facilities must be kept in proper working order –
  • Answering the phones – The phones must be answered professionally, in a friendly manner, during normal business hours, and by someone who is properly trained on the process of setting solid appointments –
  • Follow-up on leads – All voice mail leads and internet leads must be followed up immediately upon receipt; this should be the first order of business each day –
  • Live by the clock – Classes must start and end on time…
  • Teach exciting classes – …and be taught by outgoing, qualified instructors who know how to run exciting classes…
  • Create meaningful interactions with clients – …and how to interact with students and family members in a friendly yet professional manner –
  • Process paperwork immediately – All billing and enrollment paperwork must be processed promptly, and all billing information must be entered into the billing system immediately upon receipt –
  • Treat cash like checks, and checks like gold – All monies received (cash, checks) must be tracked at the point of sale, securely stored during business hours, and all monies received (minus operating cash) must be deposited into the school bank account nightly –
  • Track attendance – Attendance must be tracked daily in all classes, and students who miss class must be contacted the following day –
  • Communicate – All important news, events, schedules, etc. must be communicated to students daily via multiple channels (class announcements, email newsletter, text updates, Twitter account, and school blog) –
  • Track your numbers – All leads must be tracked by source, and all appointments, enrollments, renewals, equipment sales, and other pertinent data must be entered and tracked in a central location and communicated to all key staff –
  • Manage by data, not by instinct – Finally, all leads, appointments, enrollments, renewals, attrition, and other data must be tracked, monitored, and evaluated daily by the owner to ensure goals are met or exceeded on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis –

Sounds like a lot to do each day, doesn’t it? Yet, that’s essentially what has to happen in a professional school to keep things running smoothly, each and every day.

Do what it takes to stay on top of the above list of daily tasks; use a checklist, software, a daily planner, a notebook… whatever works for you to keep you organized and on top of things in your school.

By focusing on these tasks and areas, you’ll increase your productivity by cutting out all the stuff that distracts from your core activities. Implement it and watch as your enrollment numbers rise steadily while your workday becomes shorter and less stressful as well!

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