Setting A Marketing Budget When You’re Just Starting Out…
So how much should you spend on martial art school advertising?
Early on (when I taught part-time), I spent all my profit on advertising. ALL of it.
I just figured if I wanted to be a full-time school owner, I had to act like one.
So, if I profited $500 or $800 in a month, I spent it on ads (and later, on equipment and saving to move into a full-time location).
Once I hit the point where I was getting enough students and leads, and I knew what it took to get those leads each month, I budgeted that amount.
No Hard And Fast Rule On What To Spend On Your Marketing Budget
There’s no hard and fast rule for what to allot to your marketing budget. The 10% figure I give in Small Dojo Big Profits is just a guideline. And, I actually had someone from another industry giving me a hard time about that figure at one point.
My response was this: If you don’t set a guideline, you’ll either overspend or underspend. Then again, 10% is a good figure once you’re up and running, but 10% of nothing, or 10% of a few hundred bucks is not enough to get your business off the ground and make it grow.
Just Make Sure You Spend It On What Works
Just remember, a lot of what you spend on advertising early on will be to find out what works and what doesn’t in your area. To save you some money, things that are working well for instructors right now are:
– signage (permanent/building, snipe signs, banners, vehicles)
– door-to-door fliers and door hangers
– direct mail (EDDM postcards are cheapest – but this takes a sharp marketer to do right)
– social media marketing
And remember, getting press coverage is free. Hire someone to write your press releases if writing isn’t your forte, or trade service for service.
Finally, remember my marketing rule of thumb; that is, your marketing should offer you an immediate return (in enrollment revenue) of 2x what you spend. That’s so you can turn that money back around on more marketing. And whatever you do – DON’T CUT BACK ON YOUR MARKETING IF YOU’RE BROKE – instead, learn how to be a better marketer!