I just got back from a vacation in Southern California and was able to decompress, relax and enjoy time with my wife Marcy.
Vacations are great because they allow you to get out your routine and think about things differently – free from distraction.
In my state of relaxation, I got to thinking about how I can afford to take more vacations.
In order to do this, I need to create more profit from my martial arts school.
Now before you lose it and tell me profit is the devil and I should be break even as a martial arts school owner, we will have to agree to disagree.
If the fact that I want to make money – let alone PROFIT – as a martial arts school owner, teaching the art I love to teach, offends you and your beliefs, then please stop reading this post. Not only that, please stop reading this blog.
Everything on this site is about ethically and responsibly earning more profit. Take it or leave it. If you feel that is selling out, then this isn’t the place for you.
Here is a list of things that can help you become even more profitable in your business so you too can work towards more time off, spend more time with your family and lead the kind of lifestyle you want.
50 ways to build a more profitable martial arts school
- Create multiple revenue streams.
You can’t make it just by teaching lessons. You need to have multiple income streams to help add revenue. Hold seminars, workshops, private lessons, after school programs, summer camps, sell merchandise, gift certificates, and more.
- Use EFT.
This stands for electronic funds transfer. Become the teacher (good guy) and stop being a bill collector (bad guy). This one idea allows you to sell your services once instead of every month. It also frees your time up because you’re not chasing down the money.
- Accept credit and debit cards.
I use my debit card for about 99% of my purchases. Yes this costs you some money each month, but you’re making it easier for people to give you money. Not only that, but more money.
- Create a killer website.
Aside from referrals, I get the rest of my students from my website. Don’t build a static website. Build a lead generation machine that kills it in the search engines.
- Learn how to dominate Google.
Learn everything you can about search engine optimization (SEO) like keyword selection, title tags, creating back links and SEO friendly copywriting. I’m absolutely crushing it on Google and get tons of traffic and leads from it every day. plus, when you crush it on Google, you tend to do the same on Yahoo and MSN/Live.
- Build a list and treat it with the utmost care and respect.
Get set up with aweber.com email autoresponder service and start capturing people’s names and emails in exchange for a free e-guide or report. This will start to form your crowd of followers who will later become your students.
- Start a blog.
I write on my blog just about every week and helps keep in touch with prospects, instructors and students. It helps me polish my writing skills, I’m more efficient communicating important information, and keeps me top of mind with everyone. Not only that, but it has tremendous SEO benefit as well.
- Start a monthly newsletter.
Another great way to keep in touch with your prospects, students and instructors. I send my email newsletter out once a month and helps people get to know, like and trust me. I include email only articles, announcements, offers, and more. I get new students everytime I send a newsletter. I’m thinking about sending it every two weeks because of this.
- Study copywriting.
Be a student and practitioner of effective copywriting. Practice it often. I highly recommend reading sites like CopyBlogger.com for great copywriting ideas.
- Keep reading this blog.
Shameless, I know…
- Delegate everything.
You don’t have to do everything yourself. I certainly don’t. My wife, instructors and assistant instructors help me out tremendously in this regard. However, it doesn’t stop there and I hire temporary support depending on what I need done. Yes, I still teach and am on the mat. However, there are many behind the scenes things that I have others do for me that make it so I have more free time.
- Leverage others talents.
It’s funny how many talented students I have who end up being in professions that can help my business grow. Learn to leverage their talents to help get projects done. Believe me, these people want nothing more than to help you.
- Create a rabid following.
By building a list, cultivating it, and always giving to it freely relevant and useful information, I am building tremendous equity which in turn builds a rabid following. This following, in turn, makes it easier.
- Create urgency.
If anyone and everyone can buy your services at anytime, why should they buy now?
- Create scarcity.
If anyone and everyone can have your services, why would they want something that doesn’t seem special?
- Always upsell.
SEARS is famous for having a “Good. Better. Best.” product offering. How can you tap into this idea?
- Always cross sell.
What else can you provide that your students would be willing to pay for?
- Charge what you’re worth.
I can’t tell you how many martial arts school owners charge what they “THINK” people are willing to pay. I’m not saying gouge people, but certainly don’t give things away. You are worth more and you know it. And, having a higher price also connotes “better” in the mind of your prospects.
- Take action.
Stop being a day dreamer and start taking action. Now.
- Be a giver.
You build a lot of trust when you give freely without expectation of anything in return. This could be information, ideas, time, money … whatever.
- Always build value.
People expect more for their money so you have to build value into everything you do. It becomes an incredible sales and marketing tool that helps you get more students and overcome objections.
- Discover your competitive advantages.
How are you different from the other martial arts schools? Why should anyone pick you over your competitors?
- Determine your USP.
This refers to your unique selling proposition. What valuable statement can you make that helps simply and easily communicate your differentiator so you can properly position your martial arts school?
- Terminate crappy students.
You know who I’m talking about. These people drain you and you cringe when they walk into your studio. You have a right to teach whomever you want. Keep your sanity and get rid of these life force suckers. I got rid of one student one time and the outpouring from the other students was amazing. I know I was able to keep 3 students from making this one decision.
- Work on the most important things first.
Are you investing 50% of your time on things that make a 1% impact? What if you spent that 50% on something that would make a 10% impact? Pull your head out, find those things, and work on them first!
- Take huge bites.
Sharks don’t nibble. They take huge bites. How can you take big bites out of everything you do?
- Guarantee your services.
This builds not only credibility but trust as well. The longer the guarantee, the better.
- Read a book every month.
You constantly have to be educating yourself. Don’t want to read a book? Find a good blog or website to read. Focus on online marketing, business management, teaching, selling, whatever. Just start educating yourself and start applying it to your business. Today.
- Find a mentor.
Is there someone who can give you sound advice about your business and help you grow it? They don’t even have to be martial arts school owners… just good at marketing, selling, and running a profitable business.
- Become a student of direct response marketing.
This will transform your business. I was fortunate to work and be trained in many advertising and direct response agencies. However, this information is readily available from many sources both online and offline, including this website.
- Learn to become more persuasive.
I’m not saying become manipulative. I’m talking about framing what you do around people want to buy. If someone wants to learn self defense… how can you specifically help them? If someone wants to become more confident…how can you specifically help them? If someone wants to lose weight … how can you help them? Sometimes we talk about what we think is most important instead of framing around what the prospect is looking for.
- Learn to listen.
I know you’ve heard that a million times but it’s true. You have to hear what your prospects wants so you can help them make the informed decision on choosing your martial arts school.
Network with your students… with visitors on this website by interacting and leaving comments and forum posts… with related area businesses … other martial arts school owners… etc. Never stop networking.
- Ask for referrals.
Stop waiting for them. Create a referral system and make this a fundamental part of the operations and marketing of your martial arts school.
- Learn to sell.
You can be the greatest marketer in the world but if you don’t know how to sell when a prospect comes through the door, it’s all for not.
- Ask for the sale.
Know when and how to close a sale. Being a good talker doesn’t mean you know how to close. Study this. Now.
- Master the follow up.
Once students become active, the selling isn’t over. If they didn’t upgrade initially, build a plan for selling it later. It’s not a one time proposition. Neither is cross selling. If someone hasn’t signed up yet. How are you following up with them to make sure they don’t forget about you?
- Love what you do.
- Don’t wait for perfect.
I know people who become the antithesis of analysis by paralysis on every project. Are you one of those people? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written a post, published it, then went back and updated it later. I would rather get 70% of it out there then come back and refine it later. It gets you further, faster.
- Create a system for everything.
This way you do things once, and others can learn and repeat it later. Read Michael Gerbers “The E-Myth” for more explanation. This book is a must!
- Become the entrepreneur who is on top of your business.
Not the technician or manager who is in the trenches everyday who never can find the time to lead and grow the business. Also explained in the E-Myth.
- Live like there is no tomorrow.
Time IS running out for all of us. You. Me. Everyone. If you don’t get aggressive now, when will you?
- Share your knowledge.
This is where you come in…
Help me get to 50 ideas! I really want to hear your ideas are for creating a more profitable martial arts school and promise to read every one. It will also help others get inspired and also encourage them to share their knowledge. The more people who participate, the more we all can become more profitable.
So what would YOU add to this list?