Set Goals Now for a Happy New Year: Avoid the Pitfalls that can Derail Your Success!

Dec 17, 2020

By Mike Metzger 

If you want to maximize the odds that you’ll be successful — in anything — you need to set goals. No matter what you do in life, you should have a clear destination in mind, and when you think about it, a goal is a destination.

The martial arts business is like all other businesses in that success revolves around three universal goals for financial growth:

• More customers

• More transactions per customer

• More money per transaction

Too often, school owners set goals based solely on student count. That happens because they don’t understand the second and third points.

Another thing you must keep in mind is that five profit centers pertain to school growth. They are:

• New students

• Special events

• Upgrades

• Retail

• Retention


Anything you do to make your school more successful should fit into one of these five categories. When setting goals for the year, try to address all five of them. The more specific you can be when creating goals, the better chance you have of accomplishing them. With that in mind, I will offer a blueprint you might wish to follow.


Know Your Numbers

 To set realistic goals, you first must know your numbers. How else can you avoid establishing a goal that’s based on fantasy? It’s important to challenge yourself, but that challenge should be an attainable one. Similarly, you don’t want to set the bar low just so you can feel good about yourself when you clear it. Knowing your numbers starts with answering some basic questions:

 • How much is the average customer worth to your business?

• How many new enrollments do you get each month?

• What percentage of those enrollments comes from each of your marketing efforts?

• On average, how long do students stay?

• On average, at what rank do students leave?

• On average, at what age do students quit?


The answers allow you to ascertain which areas of your business are suffering and then focus on improving them. You cannot maximize your chance of hitting the goals you establish if you don’t know where the problems are. Numbers don’t lie.


Set Your Goals

 Once you know your numbers, set goals for your business. Set an overall goal for the year, then break it down into quarterly and monthly goals. Weekly goals and daily goals, even better.


Know the “Why"

Stay focused on the reason you established it and why it’s important. You’ll need more than just the satisfaction of reaching a certain number to keep you moving forward, especially when things get tough. Having a vision of what you’ll be able to do for yourself and others once you succeed can provide that motivation.


Be Willing to Change the Way You Think

 To attain your goals, you may have to change your way of thinking about how you do business, possibly even how you teach. Remember that while making a minor change might yield a minor improvement, you may have to make a major change to reach your goal.


Create a Roadmap

Once you’ve determined what needs to be changed, you have to make a plan to do so. Whether your goal entails making a certain amount of money or getting a certain number of new students, you need to ascertain the best way to accomplish that. You must create a roadmap that will get you where you want to go.


Remember That Making Money is Ok.

Some people in our industry — and this may be the only business in the world that has professionals who think this way — believe that if you make money, you’re a sellout or a “belt factory.”

 In any business, making money is important. Otherwise, the business folds.


Don't Let Fear Stop You

My final bit of advice is this: Don’t let fear get in your way. Don’t fall victim to the human tendency to make excuses that let you off the hook when it comes to making necessary changes.

A school owner says, “I make plenty of money. I’m happy. To make more money, I will need to have more than 100 students, and that will cause the quality of instruction to go down.”

Such statements are nothing but excuses. Nobody buys them except the person saying them. Successful school owners avoid thinking in ways that limit what they can accomplish.

The solution, of course, is to have the discipline to set goals and hold yourself accountable. As you work toward your ultimate goal, you’ll be tempted to make excuses about why you took certain actions. You occasionally might find yourself thinking, “The people are different here.” Or the economy isn’t doing well. Or your business is in a very small town. The statements might be valid, but they’re not valid reasons for not achieving your goals.

 Stay the course. Make a decision to sacrifice today for the rewards of tomorrow. Be willing to do what others in this business aren’t willing to do.


Read the full article in the January/February 2021 edition of MASuccess, or online on the MASuccess blog.

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