A Fall Enrollment Season Like No Other?
It looks like consumer confidence may be picking up, based on what I’ve been hearing from school owners around the country.
After a relatively flat October, enrollments increased sharply in November and the upswing is continuing into December… all factors that point to this being a highly unusual fall season for many schools around the nation.
However, it also could indicate that consumers are feeling more confident about the economy and are becoming more willing to spend money on luxury services again, in spite of the holiday season.
And, although the consumer confidence index has only seen a slight uptick since September (although it has increased dramatically after it hit near record lows earlier this year), it bears mentioning that at least in our industry there are plenty of schools that are going great guns despite the recession.
(Note: My take on this is that people are looking for something to take their minds off everything going on in the world, and activities like martial arts and fitness classes are a great way for them to do so. So, make sure your ads are focused on how fun and enjoyable your programs are – many people are more than willing to pay for escapism during difficult times. – MM)
If You’ve Tightened Your Belt A Notch Or Two, Don’t Start Loosening It Yet…
What this all means to those who have survived this recession is that you’ve developed some really good business habits in order to keep your martial arts businesses going.
That means you’ve been…
- Creating and following a marketing plan each month that includes multiple marketing methods, instead of cutting back on marketing to save money (this is so backwards, I can’t believe it when people tell me they’re planning to cut back on marketing to save money – that’s like saying you’re going to quit your job to cut back on your fuel bill)…
- Doing online marketing on a daily basis (blogging, articles, press releases, etc.)…
- Keeping your overhead costs as low as possible without sacrificing customer service or comfort…
- And, working your hardest to keep the students you have through showing them that they are valued members of your school!
Good Business Practices Should Be Adhered To In Every Economy
The fact is, the economy goes through regular cycles of highs and lows. Remember when the dot-com bubble burst back in 2000? How about the unusually harsh recession in the early eighties?
Knowing this, it only makes sense to stick to sound financial practices in your school during both strong financial times and lean.
So once this recession blows over, don’t do what most school owners will do and start to coast… or worse yet, to bog your business down with excess spending and overhead bloat. Instead, stick to those good habits so they become second nature… and then sock that extra money you make during the “good times” away so you are ready for the next low period.
By doing so, you’ll be protecting your business against any future economic dips… and at the same time you’ll be maximizing your profits while decreasing your liabilities.
Sounds like the smart way to go to me.
Until next time,
Product Reviews: http://martialartsbooksreviews.com/
Adult Curriculum: http://selfdefenseblackbelt.com/
Social Network for Martial Arts Instructors: http://www.masainetwork.com/
Business Manual: http://www.small-dojo-big-profits.com/
Summer Camp Manual: http://startingasummerdaycamp.com/