by Kurt Klingenmeyer,
MAIA Elite Consultant
Teaching martial arts is an honor. We instill confidence, focus and self-discipline in kids of all ages. Furthermore, we help adults learn how to protect themselves and, in the process, foster a sense of empowerment that will aid them in all areas of life.
But as fulfilling as making a positive impact is, a martial arts school is still a business. You need to guarantee your revenue stream, and, ideally grow it. Perhaps the most efficient way to do that is to focus on the hours of the day when you’re not teaching your regular classes.
Is there any reason not to use your school to make money during that time? No! In fact, it can be a win-win for everyone. Listed below are five ways you can cultivate additional revenue streams for your school using this methodology.
1. FITNESS PROGRAMS
Americans today are more interested than ever in losing weight and getting in shape — which explains why the fitness industry is growing so rapidly.
Start with what you’re already an expert in. If you’re a stand-up martial artist (karate, taekwondo, etc.), make cardio kickboxing the base of your fitness class. If you run a judo, jiu-jitsu or MMA school, formulate a ground-based fitness workout. If you’d rather adopt a pre-packaged program that offers lesson plans, advertising campaigns and so on, consider Cage Fitness.
Make sure you have enough training stations in your workout room to accommodate everyone who enrolls. That might entail acquiring more WaveMasters and BOBs for your cardio kickboxing class. A fringe benefit is that you’ll be able to use the extra gear in your regular martial arts classes, as well.
2. PRESCHOOL PROGRAMS
Most martial arts schools don’t consider teaching students until they’re at least 5 years old. However, many parents need activities for their children before they reach that age.
A program aimed at the very young will look significantly different from your regular classes. Sure, there will be a martial arts component, but equally important are games, songs, storytelling, social-skill development and similar activities that make the class developmentally appropriate. If you’re not sure where to start, check out KinderKicks. It’s a great program with daily lesson plans, advertising materials and everything else you’ll need to get going.
3. AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAMS
If you own a sufficiently large facility — or your regular classes begin later in the evening — consider starting an afterschool martial arts program. These can be lucrative. At a previous Martial Arts SuperShow, I remember a speaker saying, “Why would you teach regular martial arts classes and charge $125 a month when you could teach an afterschool martial arts program and charge $125 a week?”
I recommend setting up workstations in the afternoon so kids can do school assignments, practice martial arts and engage in related sports. Make sure the parents pick them up before 5 p.m. so you can shift gears for your regular classes.
While such a program can generate revenue for your school, it does incur costs and responsibilities you normally wouldn’t have. You’ll need to engage the services of a transportation company to pick up kids from school unless you have vans and staff members to provide the service yourself. Also, you might need additional insurance coverage and a state-issued license that allows you to offer an afterschool program.
4. HOMESCHOOL PROGRAMS
Offering virtual martial arts classes to kids who are homeschooling can be a great way to add students to your roster and revenue to your school.
Make people in your community aware of your homeschooling program by posting on parenting groups on Facebook, as well as homeschool co-op groups and other community-oriented social media pages. If you’re able to add two classes a week for homeschoolers and each class has 10 students who are paying $100 a month, you’ll generate $2,000 a month with no additional expenses.
In many cities, workshops that focus on Stranger Danger, Bully Buster and the ABC’s of Success have become weekend staples for kids. Meanwhile, seminars that cover basic self-defense, carjacking prevention and active-shooter response address the needs of adults.
Start by scheduling a free 45-minute Stranger Danger workshop. At the end of the seminar, offer an enrollment special for the kids who attended. If you had 10 children participate and five of them enroll at $100 a month, you’ll generate an additional $6,000 over the next 12 months.
For any families of children who didn’t enroll, you need to follow up. Offer a low-cost starter program. Invite the parents to a martial arts workshop, perhaps on women’s self-defense or pepper-spray use. And don’t forget about the families that enrolled their kids in your original workshop, along with the families that are currently enrolled — invite those parents, too!
Read the full article in the January/February 2021 edition of MASuccess, or online on the MASuccess blog.
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