Owning and running a martial arts school or MMA training center can be a great business. Not just because they can become extremely profitable but because it is a fun and fulfilling dream for many martial arts fans. However far too many martial arts business owners all too often find themselves with an empty and never used martial arts mats and end up panicking as to how they are going to fill it or end up going out of business before they even get going as the bills just aren’t being covered fast enough by new sign ups.
This stems from a crucial mistake – investing in a business and just hoping to see students and profits coming in the door. No matter how great your plans are or how great an instructor or martial artist you are, that does not directly equate to revenues. Sad but true. Thorough planning and conducting market research before charging ahead is a must and can help a lot. However even those friends, students or martial arts classmates from another dojo who say they are going to follow you may not.
So how do you guarantee a profitable start? Get students to sign up before you open or even furnish your premises! If you can get sign ups and get students to actually write checks and make the commitment before you spend valuable resources you can be sure that you already have real students and that money is flowing in from day one. Some of you may think this will be hard to do without a physical premises already equipped and set up for people to visit. However it is easier than you think and well worth the effort. After all, would you rather just take a gamble with treasured life savings and risk losing it all along with your lifelong dream or spend a couple extra weeks ahead of time actually starting to bring in cold hard cash?
The easiest way to do this is to start by approaching other martial arts students, gym members and those that frequent your local nutrition stores. Additionally, businesses provide access to dozens of potential members at one time. Businesses are realizing that healthy employees (and those that can defend themselves) will be around for longer, saving the company recruiting and training costs so for them it should be a ‘no brainer’ to pay or perhaps pick up part of the membership for employees as an extra perk.
At the very least the direct contact you make should want to join and also let you leave your marketing materials in the office for others. Also consider putting on seminars or one day events that can be used to raise awareness about your martial arts style and get people excited about joining. These can be held by renting public buildings for a day or even be hosted at public parks where you can attract a larger crowd from those passing by.
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