Ep. 51: Holiday Slumps and How to Avoid Them In Your Dojo

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In this episode of The Martial Arts Business Podcast, Mike reveals how to avoid suffering from those dreaded holiday slumps in your dojo. And, in The Tip of the Week, he explains how you can wow your prospective clients and ensure they choose your school over your competitors.

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Episode Transcript:

Ep 51

ANNOUNCER

0:00

You’re listening to the Martial Arts Business podcast with your host, Small Dojo Big Profits author Mike Massie. Remember to go to Martial Arts Business Daily dot com slash podcast for show notes, transcripts, links to martial arts business resources, and more. Now here’s your host, Mike Massie.

MIKE MASSIE

0:20

Hey folks, Mike Massie here. And I’m back with another edition of the Martial Arts Business Podcast. And for this week, our topic for this week is going to be Holiday Slumps and how to avoid Them. But first I would like to talk about the app that I’ve created, the app.

Now you guys know that I’ve had martial arts business here. I’ve been running that for years, as am I. More recently, before that, it was martial arts business. You know I run those websites as coaching websites for martial arts school owners instructors. And so I’m going to talk about my coaching group a little bit later, because I think it’s going to be important that you hear about that in this week’s episode based on the topic that we’re covering.

I also know that some people, you know, they they kind of, you know, they want some coaching. Not a lot of coaching. Maybe people are on a tight budget. Maybe they’re just getting started. You know, maybe they just want to get their feet wet and kind of decide whether or not my coaching style is right for them, etc.

So I created the app to make it easy, number one, for my coaching clients to be able to access all of my content, because all my content, all my courses are going to be uploaded to that app right now. I think we have 3 or 4 courses. We have all of my reading library is available in the app and so forth.  But also, I wanted to provide people who, you know, really didn’t want to spend a few hundred dollars a month in coaching with me, even group coaching, which really isn’t that expensive. But understand, if you’re on a budget, you’re on a budget.

I’m wanting to make it easier for people to be able to access some of my courses, some of my materials to have access to me on a limited basis, to be able to ask me questions and so forth. Oftentimes people reach out to me on Facebook on, you know, direct messaging and so forth, and they want to ask me questions.

And, you know, I just don’t have the time to answer questions for people for free all day long. You know, I quit doing that years ago. But 1s if somebody is a client, I tend to, you know, provide a little bit more leeway in the amount of time that I’ll give them, even if they haven’t purchased coaching services from me.

So that’s kind of what the app is about. The app gives you access to some of my basic courses. It gives you access to the simplified Dojo marketing course, which is an excellent course in my opinion. Of course I’m pretty biased, but it gives you just the 8020 stuff that you need to know to market your studio. The stuff that’s working right now.

And if you don’t have consistent leads, a consistent lead flow coming into your studio each and every month, if you’re not consistently getting at least 50 leads a month in this environment, at least 50 leads a month, then you’re probably not going to grow your studio. Your studio is probably actually contracting rather than expanding.

So the simplified Dojo marketing course that is only available in the app is going to show you exactly what you need to do to expand your school, to be able to get those leads and get new people into your studio and grow your studio. And it’s only 30 bucks a month. I mean, it’s relatively inexpensive, in my opinion, very inexpensive for the amount of information that I provided.

As a matter of fact, people that have joined the app already, one of them asked me is like, is this is this right? You know, I’m it says here that I’m going to subscribe for 29.99 and I get all this stuff. And I was like, yeah, you get all that stuff for 29.99.

So there’s a channel within the app, there’s a chat channel where you can go and you can post questions and stuff, and I can’t promise that I’ll answer everybody’s questions immediately. You know, it’s not like a direct messaging thing, but it is a place where you can go and post questions and I’ll respond to those questions within the app. So it does give you some limited access to me as well, which is which is kind of nice.

Now, if you want further access, like greater access to me, then there are ways that you can do that. And I’ll talk about that later on and today’s podcast episode. So let’s get on to the main discussion. Our main topic for this week’s podcast, which is holiday slumps and how to avoid them, hopefully entirely.

On Avoiding Holiday Slumps In Your Dojo

Okay, so holiday slumps, let’s first talk about this. What are holiday slumps? Well. Typically you hear these kind of apocryphal, kind of mythical stories from martial arts instructors that are shared often in business groups on Facebook.

In martial arts forums instructors will get together and they’ll kind of whine and moan about how, you know, things are really slow because, you know, it’s Christmas holidays and, you know, nobody buys anything.

You know, once the holiday shopping season starts, which is coming up on us, and we’re actually in the middle of it right now since we just had Black Friday and Cyber Monday or how, you know, it’s summertime and, you know, everybody’s dropping out of their studio and people are going on a vacation and, you know, nobody’s coming in to enroll and so forth.

And, you know, these kind of misses perpetuated in the martial arts industry such that it’s almost become accepted among martial arts studio owners and instructors did during certain times of the year, typically during the Christmas holidays, the fall holidays and Christmas holidays, and then also during summer school break that they’re going to have dips in their enrollment and also slower periods of new enrollments during that time.

In other words, they’re going to get fewer inquiries, fewer leads, and fewer new students coming into their studio. So that’s what the slumps are that I’m talking about these holiday slumps. But I’m here to tell you that those stories that you hear, they are apocryphal. They are mythical. They are pretty much based on anecdotal evidence and the type of people.

I’m just going to tell you this right now, when you go in these groups, these free groups on Facebook, and you’re going into these free groups on Facebook, and you’re discussing things with other instructors and, you know, talking and asking questions, you know, it’s kind of like.

Going to, you know, the middle of, you know, say, you know, a crowded subway station or something like that, or a crowded street corner in New York City and just asking questions of random people on the street. You have no idea what that person is going to tell you, whether they’re an expert in the topic, that you’re needing information on, whether they’re not crazy, insane. You don’t know anything about these people.

So if you just go out on the street corner and start asking questions of people randomly, you’re going to get some pretty random answers. And the same thing. You’ll find the same thing in most martial arts discussion groups, business discussion groups online.

Most of the people who are answering questions in those groups, what you’ll find when you start to dig a little bit deeper is the people that are most vocal and most eager to share information in those groups are usually people that are broke, and the people who are in there that are vociferously complaining about how things are so slow and they can’t get everybody in their studio and nothing’s working and marketing is not working, and this and that and the other and things are so bad.

Those people typically are the last people that you want to go to for advice on how to start, grow, run and, you know, profit in a martial arts studio. And I kind of learned this the hard way because early on, of course, you know, when I first started off, you know, 30 something years ago, you know, we didn’t have the internet. The internet wasn’t really a thing. I built my first martial arts school website in 1999 for my studio. I think I was probably one of the first martial arts instructors I knew who built a website for their studio.

And, you know, back then, the internet just wasn’t a thing. We didn’t have martial arts, you know, discussion groups and forums online. But, you know, soon enough, those, you know, those groups came to pass. I think it was one of the first people that started a pay group, actually, to coach people. That was in probably 2005, I think, is when I started that group.

But, you know, when you start participating these groups, you start to figure out pretty quick that, you know, people that you know are in there. A lot of them, they’re they’re just not the people you want to be taking advice from, you know? And after you listen these people for a certain amount of time, I just don’t even go in those groups anymore because it’s just a waste of my time. I don’t go in there to offer my advice. I don’t have time to offer free advice to people except for my podcast and blog and so forth and whatnot. But, you know, I just don’t have time to deal with those people either, because, you know, most of the time anyway.

You know, to, you know, to be a little blunt, but giving advice to people you know, for free on the internet, unsolicited advice would be pissing in the wind, you know, because, I mean, you’re going to get essentially the same results, right?

You know, you’re not going to get anything for your efforts, and you know, you’re going to get peed on for, of course, your efforts pretty much. Okay. Nothing, nothing good will come of those efforts. And taking advice from those people, I’m going to tell you, it’s the same thing. You take advice from those people, you’re going to get pretty much the same results. So the thing is, what do we do? How do we avoid these slumps in our studio?

And I can tell you from experience and working with clients over the course of 20 years, and also my own studios, once I figured out that these stories about summer slumps and, you know, holiday slow times, you know, we’re apocryphal, we’re mythical, we’re anecdotal. Once I figured that out and I realized that I didn’t have to, you know, live by that as a truth or as a rule. In my studio, I started learning how to avoid experiencing those slumps in my business.

And I developed strategies and tactics and different ways, you know, different approaches, tips, tricks and so forth that I would use systems in my school to make sure that when that holiday shopping season rolled around every year, that my business didn’t slow down at all. As a matter of fact, sometimes it would even increase. And during the summer time, again, you know, I worked out strategies, tactics, you know, approaches to doing business and marketing and so forth that allowed me to see increases in income in the summer months instead of decreases in income.

And when I tell people this many times, they look at me like I’m crazy or they like, you know, they roll their eyes and they’re like, yeah, you’re exaggerating. You know, you’re just saying this because, you know, you teach people how to run martial arts schools for a living or whatever. And, you know, the thing is, is that I’ve always been honest about what I do in my business and what I’ve done my business. You know, I’ll tell anybody.

You know, I can’t teach you how to run a 400, 500, and 600 student school. But I can’t teach you how to run a small footprint, highly profitable studio where eventually, once you get it off the ground, you can enjoy a six figure in your six figure income in your career. Long term, running a studio that you won’t have to work in less than 40 hours a week, you know, and that’s something that seems to be a pipe dream for a lot of instructors out there.

But I’ve done it myself, a ton of other people how to do it. And then, of course, for those people who do want to run larger studios, 405 hundred and 600 students or what have you, you know, I’ve had students that have come, you know, clients that have come through my programs, that have come through my coaching programs that have started with me, built their studios up to 150, 200, 250 students and then gone on and opened multiple locations, or they’ve expanded their studios or whatever, and they’ve gone on to have studios of, you know, 600 students or whatever, they’ve gone off and they’ve opened multiple locations and developed, you know, much larger businesses, but, you know, they learned how to walk, or I guess you could say, to learn at a jog through my programs before they learned how to sprint. So basically what I usually tell people is, is you gotta learn how to run A5K before you can run a marathon, right?

So, you know, I’m the guy out there that’s coaching people how to run A5K and be happy with that. But obviously, in order to avoid these slumps, we have to have some tactics, principles to follow in order to avoid experiencing these faults in our studio. So. So what are they? So the first thing is you need to be proactive instead of reactive. That’s the most important thing you need. Be proactive instead of reactive.

And this is a foundational principle in running any small business and in running martial arts studios, because too often I see martial arts instructors who wait until things are bad in their school before they do anything about it. And that is no different than being the type of person in a sparring ring who is always defensive, who’s, you know, who’s always, you know, waiting for the other person to attack. And what that does is it always puts you on the back foot. It means you’re always behind the eight ball. You know, you know, I’ve done kendo through seminars and private instruction so forth by myself or for many, many years I’ve been interested in Jeet Kune Do as an art since before I even started formal martial arts lessons.

A friend of mine, you know, knew that I was interested in martial arts when I was old. Gosh. And I was about 14 years old, and he had a copy of the Tao and Bruce Lee’s Fighting Method books, the whole series that he just gave to me, he was just like, oh, take this man. You know, I’m not into this stuff. And, you know, that started my fascination with Bruce Lee.

I actually started earlier from watching Black Belt Theater. But anyway, 1s we know in Bruce Lee’s, ah, you know, Bruce Lee taught and, you know, his proponents still teach that intersection beats reception any day of the week. In other words, intersection beats reaction. If you can intercept an attack or intercept an attacker by attacking them first and catching them when they’re moving in before they can attack you, well, that’s much better than waiting for them to attack and then blocking and only hoping that, you know, you can foil their attack.

With your block and then hopefully score on a counterattack. If you can hit somebody first, you know, and hit them on the way in when they’re attacking you, that’s much, much better. This is the same thing. It’s the same principle. Being proactive in your business means that you anticipate when you’re going to have slow times in your business, and then you devise strategies, tactics, you know, actions that you can take in your studio processes and so forth that will allow you to avoid having those slumps. In other words, that allows you to increase your business during those times.

Normally business would be slow, so we need to be proactive instead of reactive. Now advertising after you need students. And this is what I see people do a lot school learners I see this so much where you know, they’ll wait until their floor is empty and their monthly tuition collections check or, you know, monthly tuition collections that are going into their bank account being direct deposit in their account has dropped considerably. And they’ll wait till then until they start advertising for students. And that’s the wrong way to go about things.

You need to be advertising all the time. Advertising is not as some of the time thing. It’s an all the time thing, and you need to make sure that your advertising effectively. So, you know, we want to anticipate seasonal changes in business and we want to prepare in advance for those. And we want to make sure that when we do so that we’re doing things that are going to work for us, okay. And that’s more important because, you know, we don’t want to just be going out there and marketing helter skelter, because if you just go out and just throw a bunch of stuff at the wall and just market helter skelter, excuse me. 1s If you just market helter skelter, you don’t know what kind of results you’re going to get.

So, you know, the thing is, we need to find out what’s working for other school owners, okay? In order to find out what to do, we need to find out what’s working for other school owners. Then we need to learn how they’re doing, what they’re doing. And then we need to implement those tactics, strategies, those actions that they’re taking. You know, and we need to test, test, test what we’re doing, measure what we’re doing so we can know what’s working and what’s not. Now here’s the thing. The idea is to repeat only what works.

The catch is that when you’re first starting off in marketing your studio, when you’re a newbie at marketing, or maybe you’re more experienced at marketing, but you’re not as good as you think you are when you do certain things, when you try new things, chances are good they’re not going to work at first. And that is the catch.

And it is no different than being a beginner in martial arts practice. For example, if everybody in your school or the school that you came up in could score with a particular fighting combination, you know, maybe, you know, a jab cross, you know, fake low roundhouse and high roundhouse to the head or something like that. Just as an example. Or if everybody in your school was really good at catching people with a certain submission or setup to a submission. And yet when you first started off as a white belt or as a lower ranked belt. 1s You weren’t able to score with that particular combo or that particular submission or set up. Didn’t mean that the setup or the combo sucked.

What it meant was, is that your skills simply weren’t up to snuff yet. You simply weren’t good enough yet to use that particular combination, that particular technique or tactic, in order to score on an opponent, in order to score a submission or score points or, you know, get a knockout or what have you. So the problem wasn’t with the technique or the tactic or the approach. The problem was with your skill level. And it is no different in marketing.

When you first start doing something new in marketing, chances are good you’re going to suck at it and you have to keep at it. Because if you know that it’s working for other instructors out there, for the majority of other instructors out there, an example is Facebook ads. I still hear from martial arts school owners and instructors that come to me and say, I tried Facebook ads and they didn’t work, so I stopped wasting my money on them and I’m just like, oh my gosh, you know, I just want to pull what little hair I have left out of my head when I hear these things.

Because Facebook ads work for people right now, Facebook ads are tried and true. Facebook ads are probably one of the easiest. And also, when done right, one of the most economical ways that you can market your studio. And good golly, I wish I had had Facebook ads when I was starting off, you know, 30 years ago. So. 1s When I hear instructors say these things, you know, I have to correct them and say, hey, look, you know, maybe, you know, just consider that it wasn’t the Facebook ads that were wrong that were failing you, but you were failing the technique or the method. You were failing in implementing it.

And, you know, oftentimes with a little bit of coaching and some direction and some instruction, these instructors learn how to use something like Facebook ads, you know, a technique or a tactic or a, you know, an approach like that, you know, a marketing method. And then they start to learn how to use it effectively and they start to see results. And then all of a sudden they’re like, oh my gosh, you know, I wish I had learned this, you know, six months or a year or two years ago. And, you know, then they start seeing their schools turn around just for and for, you know, people who ignore my advice, you know, oftentimes they fail for lack of a little bit of knowledge and, you know, a little bit of humility in my opinion, too.

Okay. So when you first start learning what’s working for other studio owners, remember you need to set your ego aside. Remember that if you’re a newbie at marketing or if you’re experienced in marketing, but you haven’t been getting the results that you want, you got to, you know, kind of be honest with yourself and say, well, maybe I’m not as good as this as I thought I was, and you got to keep trying. You got to keep, you know, investing money in. And I’m not saying throw good money after bad. What I’m saying is, is you need to be testing what you’re doing, testing, testing, testing, find out what works, you know, repeat what works, and then stop doing what doesn’t work.

That’s how we’re going to learn how to make these things work for us. So find out what was working for other school learners first so you don’t quit before you experience a breakthrough in your business. That’s my main point in this particular section of the podcast is find out what’s working for other school learners.

First, look at what it’s working for the majority of other school learners. First, you can repeat what they’re doing. Make sure it’s not a fad because there are fads that come through the martial arts industry all the time. And the reason why these fads come through is because people that make their money off of teaching martial arts school learners, you know how to market, how to run their studios, how to do this and that. You know, management basically consultants, you know, and I know I’m one of them, but they tend to have to come up with new ideas and new processes and new concepts and new things to teach in order to continue to get money from their clients year after year after year. And I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, one of the old tricks and consulting.

And one of the greatest secrets in consulting is that if you can take a simple answer to either a simple or complicated problem for that matter, and you can complicate that answer, the more complex that you make the answer for your client, the longer they’re going to have to give you money to learn how to do it, and the more dependent they’re going to be on you for that. Okay. So be aware. If you fall for some of these fads, some of these marketing fads and tactics and so forth, these shiny new objects, you might just be wasting your money on those things, you know, try to go with things that are tried and true first. You don’t have to be on the cutting edge of everything in order to be successful in your studio. Okay?

And I know that’s going to fly in the face of some of the stuff that people are telling you right now. But I’m telling you it’s true. You don’t have to be on the cutting edge to be successful in your studio. You just have to be on the leading edge, okay? You don’t have to be an early adopter for everything. You just have to be, you know, on the front side of that bell curve. Okay. That adoption bell curve. All right.

So. Where can you get more information about? What are the things that you can do in order to market your school effectively and in order to avoid these summer slobs, these holiday slumps and so forth?

Well, this is something that I deal with my clients every year when these seasons come around, we go back to basics. And I talked to my clients, and I coach people, and I give them the proper tools, the techniques, the tactics, the advice and so forth. You have a marketing strategies and plans in order to avoid having the summer slumps. That’s something we’re working on right now in my private coaching group at Dojo Success Coach dot com.

Now, what we do in my preparation group is we have a private coaching group where I am in their everyday coaching people, and I post stuff every week, virtually every day I’m posting information in there. Most of the information is geared toward what instructors need to be doing right now for that time of the year, in order to be successful. Right now, we’re focusing on strategies for the holidays to make sure that my clients not just survive the holidays financially, but that they thrive through the holidays.

So if you want more information on these things and you want specific information, specific techniques and tactics and so forth, just go to DojoSuccessCoach.com, and go to the top of the site, click on “Group Coaching.” There’s a navigation bar up there. Click on Group coaching on the navigation tab, and just scroll down and click the join button and join.

And for a couple hundred bucks a month, what you’re going to get is you’re going to get daily involvement. For me and the coaching group, I’m in there answering questions every single day or almost every day, usually not on the weekends, but sometimes. And you’re going to get ads, you’re going to get graphics, you’re going to get marketing tools, you’re going to get social things to share on social media. To be able to market your studio.

You’re going to get marketing ideas, you’re going to get marketing strategies, you’re going to get marketing plans. You’re also going to get articles on management and, you know, growing your school, retaining students and so forth. I post these things on my group constantly every single week. And again, I’m in there answering questions all the time. It’s the cheapest way.

Honestly. It’s the most inexpensive way for you to get coaching for me directly without actually becoming a coaching client. And, you know, paying hundreds of dollars an hour for my services. Okay, so again, dojo success coach, go to the top of the site, click on group coaching. You’ll find the information you need there.

And of course if you have any questions, you can always direct message me to ask me questions about my services through Facebook and just go to my Martial Arts Business Daily group on Facebook. So facebook.com slash martial arts business daily and you can direct message me there and I’ll usually answer within 24 hours okay.

All right. So enough about that. Now let’s move on. And let’s talk about the tip of the week.

The Tip of the Week: Putting Your Best Foot Forward

ANNOUNCER

23:33

The tip of the week. It’s time for our featured martial arts business tip of the week. For more great tips, be sure to visit Martial Arts Business Daily to subscribe to our newsletter. And while you’re there, click on the Business Resources tab for links to all Mike’s martial arts business books and courses. Now here’s your martial arts business tip of the week.

MIKE MASSIE

23:54

So the tip of the week this week we’re going to be looking at we’re going to be talking about looking at your studio with fresh eyes. So what do I mean by looking at your studio with fresh eyes? Well, what I mean is finding ways to look at our studio in order to see how it presents to the public. The tip of the week topic this week is look at your school of fresh eyes. So one of the things we want to do when we’re running a martial arts studio is we want to make sure that we are presenting ourselves to the public and the most professional manner possible. Unfortunately, sometimes we become used to the way that our school looks.

And the problem with martial arts studios is, is they take a lot of wear and tear, especially when you’re teaching children, or if you’re teaching, you know, like rugged combat arts, you know, say you’re teaching MMA, you’re teaching Brazilian jiu jitsu, you’re teaching a style that, you know, there’s a lot of rough and tumble sparring and so forth. You know, schools can take a lot of wear and tear and they can take it very, very quickly in a short period of time. And unfortunately, it happens incrementally. And then sometimes we don’t even notice the fact that our school’s getting run down.

So just like everything else in running a martial arts studio and just like everything else in the Small Dojo Big Profits systems of running a studio, you need to have systems in place. You have mechanisms in place, processes in place that help prevent that from happening. Because the last thing you want is for somebody to show up to your studio after they’ve seen, you know, all the slick marketing that you’ve put out and you’ve talked to him on the phone or you’ve been texting them and everything’s going great, and they walk in your studio and the first thing that hits them is this, this wafting odor of, of, you know, like bare feet, you know, and then they look around and there’s like dust bunnies in the corner and there’s, you know, stuff crunching under their feet when they walk in the, you know, in the foyer.

And, you know, they, they look over and the front counter is just full of crap everywhere. And there’s just clutter everywhere. And then you take them to the office and your desk is just covered in, you know, stacks of paperwork and, you know, flyers and just all kinds of crazy stuff. And, you know, your school is just a mess. The person’s going to thank, especially if there’s somebody that’s a high value client. They’re going to think, you know, this is probably not the place I want to train at because this place is just chaotic. It’s a mess.

And this person, you know, doesn’t seem like they take their business very seriously. Anybody who takes their business seriously and you’re going to find this when you’re dealing with clients that are high value clients, executives, physicians, attorneys and people that are that are independently wealthy, what you’re going to find is, is that they’re going to appreciate it, and they’re going to want to do business with people who take their business seriously.

And presenting yourself professionally by presenting a professional looking studio. Professional smelling studio is one of the ways that you send the message that you convey the message, sometimes even subconsciously, that you take your business seriously and your professional who services are worth what you’re asking to be paid.

Okay, this is so important. If you want to be paid what you’re worth, you have to look like to people that you are worth what you’re asking for. And I know you know, we’ve been told all our lives, don’t judge a book by its cover, but everybody does. So you just got to deal with it. You got to make sure that your cover is sharp, your stuff is squared away. Okay.

So how are we going to do this? Well, it’s real simple. You know, there’s just simple things you need to do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis and on a seasonal basis in order to make sure that you present professionally in your studio. So the first thing is, is I want you to declutter your front counter. Once you declutter your desk and your office and any other front facing areas.

The worst thing that can happen when somebody walks in your studio as they walk in, they look over at the front counter and it’s just covered in crap. There’s, you know, brochures. You got people from other businesses in the area that have left their business cards and crap, you know, that they they want to promote their businesses and so forth. You know, that’s the worst thing you can do if you want to offer other businesses the area, a place for them to present their, you know, marketing materials, business card or whatever to people, just put up a, you know, a bulletin board or something in the front area of your studio and just let community businesses put a sign at the top that says, you know, community bulletin board.

And, you know, people can leave stuff there, okay. And that way it keeps it uncluttered and out of the way in your front desk, your front counter, or whatever. Your reception counter looks nice and neat. The second thing is, you should deep clean your school at the end of each week. And by deep cleaning I mean going through the school, moving furniture, cleaning corners, you know, getting rid of cobwebs, you know, making sure that the school is just spic and span, cleaning glass, doing all the things that you don’t normally do on a daily basis because you don’t have time. This should be done once a week.

If you don’t have time for it, you can always hire cleaning service to do it. You know, it’s not that hard to find cleaning services that will come in and do professional cleaning for businesses. So, you know, make sure you’re doing that at least once a week.

Now I know sometimes you can’t afford that. So what you might want to do is, is you might want to hire somebody, you know, a teenager or something. You know, somebody who is, or maybe a mom who needs some extra work to do this for you once a week. Maybe they’ll do it for a little bit less and refresh your cleaning service. But just make sure that it gets done once a week. Clean your studio also at the end of each.

At the end of each workday, after classes are done every night before you go home, you and your staff should be cleaning your studio. And by cleaning your studio, I mean you should be vacuuming. Sweeping. You should be mopping. You should be taking out the trash. You should be doing all the things that you would do in your own home if you were cleaning your own home, you know, for yourself, okay?

And if you’re a slob in your house, well, you can’t be a slob in your school, so you better learn how to clean. Okay? This means scrubbing toilets. It means doing all the things that need to be done. And trust me, you can do this quickly once you develop a system for it. And if you have another employee there who’s helping you, if that’s part of their job at night and it should be, you know, you should be making your employees do that on their own. You should be helping them with it and doing it with them. You should be able to clean your entire school in 20 to 30 minutes, top to bottom. And you should have a system for it.

And you should have a way to do this. And it should be something that is part of your closing procedures in your studio. You also want to make sure that you’re putting away gear, straighten things out not just at the end of the night, but also between classes. Also, disinfect your mats every night. After you vacuum your mats and, you know, if you’re if you have puzzle mats and so forth, you need to use a vacuum for those mats that doesn’t have a brush on it, because the brushes burn puzzle mats that burned formats.

And even if you do have mats that have a vinyl top, many times the brushes cause excessive wear and tear in your mats. So, you know, try to get a vacuum that doesn’t have that. That’s just, you know, just has suction and doesn’t have a harsh brush that’s working in your mats. But after you get all the dirt up off your mat, so the dirt and grime and so forth, then you want to mop and disinfect your mats.

I’m not going to give you any advice on what to use for disinfecting your mats, although I will say that in the past, I guess this is a recommendation. I’ve used bio cleaner in the past, which is it’s not really a disinfectant. They can’t advertise it as that because it’s an organic thing, but you can use something organic to disinfect your mat, something that smells nice as a citrus smell. So and it’s pretty mild. So that’s it’s pretty something mild to use. It’s not doesn’t have chemicals that are going to, you know, mess up your mats or something like that.

But just make sure you’re doing that. You’re disinfecting your mats every single night. It’s going to help people. It’s gonna help you avoid people getting ringworm and and, you know, MRSA and impetigo and all those nasty things that, you know, that will keep people from training your school also. As I said, straighten up between classes. If you have a break between classes, like between your early classes and your later classes.

For example, if you have a bunch of kids classes early and then you have a break in between before your later classes, like the so-called adult classes start, you might want to clean your mats at least vacuum. And before the adults come in, there’s nothing that’s that’s grosser to me than going into training a martial arts studio, especially if it’s a school where I’m going to do some grappling and getting down on the mats and rolling around, and there’s like, you know, hair and there’s nasty stuff all over the mats. There’s dead skin, you know, because kids are gross, man.

Kids are sitting there, you know, while you are doing mat chats, and they’re like picking at their toes and doing all kinds of stuff, rubbing, you know, boogers on the mats and things like that. It’s just disgusting.

So make sure that you’re cleaning up after your children before your adults come in. Okay? If you want to have adults that you know, a good, solid adult program, it starts with making sure that you’re adults, that your school is a place where adults want to train. So make sure you’re cleaning up after your children. Children’s classes also use an air ionizer overnight in your studio in order to get rid of barefoot smells and things of that nature.

Those kind of lingering smells that just cleaning on a daily basis won’t get rid of. So an air ionizer is just something that what it does is it just creates nice particles in the air. And what that does is, is it kind of helps eliminate odors. And I can’t tell you the scientific, the science behind it, but you can find them everywhere. There are products on Amazon that you can get that, that are air cleaning products that have helped by filters.

Some of them have carbon filters, which also help filter out, you know, different odors. And then the ionization is something that you want to look for in one of those products. And also look at the square footage that the product will treat. Make sure that it’s a product that’s designed to cover enough square footage to where it’s working. Throughout your whole studio, you might find you have to get a couple of them, put one in the front, one in the back in order for it to cover your whole studio. I don’t recommend that you run an ionization product, you know, during classes, because sometimes they have a smell that’s kind of offputting to people, you know?

You know, it’s supposed to smell like you know, you know, like that smell that you smell after a thunderstorm, you know, because that ionization is part of the smell that you get after a nice rainstorm. But the products that do it artificially never smell like that. Sometimes it smells almost like chemicals and people don’t like it. So I recommend that you only run them at night. Um.

Also have your tile floors and your carpet steam clean at least once a month. So once a month you have somebody come in and if you have carpet in any areas, make sure this carpets are stained clean and have your tile floors steam cleaned in your studio. Okay. Now if you have a different type of flooring in the front of your studio, you might be able to get away with just, you know, deep scrubbing it or mopping it or something like that.

But, you know, just make sure that you’re doing that once a month, because those areas, especially with bare feet on carpet, carpet, absorbs oils from people’s skin. And you know, that bare feet smell. I just recommend you don’t have carpet in your studio, period. You know, have a different surface in your studio besides carpet, you know, tile or, you know, wood flooring or some type of wood type flooring, pergau or something like that in the front, and then having mats covering your entire area in the back. And that’s what you want.

You also want to make sure that you’re teaching your students not to go into your bathroom barefoot. And you know, this is just an extra tip. Most BJJ instructors know this, and grappling school instructors know this may school instructors, because if people are walking in their bathrooms and your bathrooms barefoot, they are picking up things on their feet that you don’t want on your mats. It can be, you know, things that are, you know, is, you know, harmless but gross as ringworm or as nasty as, you know, impetigo and MRSA. So you don’t want that stuff on your mats.

So make sure that you’re teaching students that if they have to go to the bathroom, that they carry their their shoes with them over to the bathroom door, and they put their shoes on before they go in the bathroom and they take their shoes off when they leave the bathroom, it makes sure that you’re also teaching them to wash their hands.

Okay, touch up your paint your studio. Twice a year you can get your students to help out with this. You can make it kind of like a school support event, you know, have a pizza party and have people, you know, touching up paint for an afternoon and so forth. You know, just make sure that you put down, you know, you’re putting down like plastic everywhere, you know, and don’t like kids help. Okay. Maybe maybe teenagers, maybe the adults.

I wouldn’t let any kids come to your school and help with paint. You know you’ll have paint everywhere. It’ll be worse than when you started. But getting some kids to help out, or I should say, some adults to help out. You know, making it a deal can make it not so hard on you to do. So. Another thing that I would do is, you know, I they have this product that’s like it’s basically like a little plastic, kind of like a squeeze bottle. And it has a roller like a foam roller on the top, and it has a cap over it to keep the paint fresh. And you fill it up with paint, you can get paint that matches your walls. You can keep those around. And then whenever you see like a scuff mark or something like that, you know, while you’re cleaning up at night, you can just real quickly roll over it and cover it up. So that way, you know you don’t have a whole lot to touch up at the end of the, you know, you know, at the end of the season or whatever.

Also replace worn out gear at the first signs of wear and tear. Don’t wait till it looks like, you know, like he’s been through hell. Okay. As soon as you start to see, you know, like corner spray on vinyl pads, you start to notice the stitching staring a little bit on your focus meds, so on and so forth. You know, once you start seeing wear and tear on your equipment, replace it immediately.

What you do is, is you order new equipment at wholesale, and then you take the equipment that you’re that very gently used, and you put that out for sale in your pro shop is used equipment at 50% off. Students will snatch that gear up. You clean it up, you know, clean it disinfected, put it out there in your pro shop at 50% off at whatever it’s going to cost you. Replace that gear. Students will snatch that gear up, trust me. And they will use it at home to train. And it will also help you retention as well, because students that train at home tend to keep coming to class.

Set policies that prohibit people eating snacks, especially children. This drives me nuts when I walk in martial arts studios and I see kids munching on chips and, you know, like crackers and goldfish and crap like that, and they’re just leaving their crumbs all over the place, and they’re just nasty and, you know, wiping their orange fingers on their uniform and stuff. It’s just disgusting. Don’t let your children do that, okay? Don’t let them come in your studio.

Just because you think that, you know, parents are going to complain or they’re going to be upset because you tell them that they can’t snack their kids in your school, they can snack their kids in their car, okay. They can eat snacks on the way to the studio. They don’t have to eat their snacks at your school. Your place, you know, is not you know, it’s not a daycare, okay? Even if you offer an after school and summer camp, it’s still not a daycare. It’s a martial arts studio. So have people treat it as such.

Make sure that your students are trained to respect your studio sugary drinks as well. If you want to have ants and bugs in your studio, let people drink sugary drinks in your studio. You shouldn’t be promoting that stuff anyway, okay? You can sell water in your studio, you can have a waterfall, but you just tell people the only drinks we allow in here, water and non sugary drinks and leave it at that. Okay. You have a coffee station for the adults. That’s fine.

You know, just make sure that you keep it clean, okay? Teach students to clean up after themselves and keep the dojo neat and tidy. This is important. You have to create this environment in your studio, where the students want to take care of the studio where they take. Right in their studio, where they have somewhat of an investment in it, a personal investment themselves. Once you get students invest in your studio, they’re going to help take care of it. And they’re also going to help guide the newer students coming in and keep them from trashing your studio.

So make sure that you’re teaching, especially the advanced students, the assistant instructors and instructors, to teach and pass on. You know, those types of, you know, of behaviors to new students coming in. And then also finally, consider using essential oils in your studio before class and after class in order to make your studio kind of smell a little bit fresher, a little bit cleaner and so forth, and possibly cover up some of those lingering smells that, you know, the cleaning and the ionization didn’t cover up. I suggest you stick with essential oils that you stick with citrus scents.

It’s kind of helped wake the brain up. They smell a little bit cleaner. They’re kind of universally liked. You know, you don’t run into a lot of people that are allergic to citrus scents that recommend also that you stay away from products like Febreeze, Glade spray plugins, you know, things of that nature, because those products are typically full of chemicals, and those chemicals can often trigger asthma attacks and students that have asthma or history of asthma. Okay. So I recommend that you stay away from those besides the fact they’re not good for you breathing that stuff and breathing in those chemicals while you’re working out hard.

It’s just not healthy for you, just not healthy for your lungs. So so I recommend you stay away from that. You know, essential oils and a diffuser. That’s pretty much all you need. You know, run know a drop or two in some distilled water.

Use distilled water in your diffusers too, because you may not know this, but when you use tap water in a diffuser, you’re actually micro rising metal particles like heavy metals and chemicals and stuff during the water, and you’re breathing that in and that is very bad for you, extremely bad for you. If you’re using, like, you know, a humidifier during the winter months or if you’re using diffusers in your school, always use distilled water because you don’t want to be breathing those chemicals in that are in your water, because your local water supplies, not as clean as you think it is. Okay, but just running it for 15 minutes before classes is usually enough to make it smell nice and clean and fresh.

Okay, now doing all these things, they’re going to ensure that you make a powerful impression on people when they come into your studio. What you want is, is especially when people are shopping around, when they visit a couple of studios in the area and they come into your studio, you want to come in and just be amazed at how clean and neat your studio is.

My first studio, my first successful studio. It was not a nice facility. I couldn’t afford to fix it up. We did the best we could with the money we had at the time, but I couldn’t afford to fix it up the way I would have liked. But we kept it clean and I would have instructors come in for seminars and so forth. I once had a female instructor come in, which is really funny because she went to use her restroom. She came out and she was just like, man, that is the cleanest martial arts school bathroom I’ve ever seen in my life.

And my wife impressed upon me early on because she was taking kickboxing classes from me early on, you know, of course, and she started helping out in the school early on that women especially are having clean bathrooms is. Extremely important to them, and that having a clean bathroom is one of the things that will help you retain female clients in your studio. So if you’re not aware of that, guys, you know, make sure you keep your bathrooms neat and clean.

And if you have separate bathrooms, you know, have a, you know, a male or female bathroom, I know in some areas, you know, it’s it’s become in vogue to have, you know, bathrooms that are for both genders, you know, and, you know, however you do it in your studio, just make sure that your bathrooms are neat and clean because trust me, your female clients are going to they’re going to respect you and they’re going to appreciate that.

Okay. That’s it for this week’s podcast episode. Okay. Those are all the tips that I have for you this week. You know, again, if you want more information on strategies for how to not just survive, but thrive during the holiday season and during the so-called summer slump, you know, go to the success coach, look up at the top, clip on, click on group coaching on the navigation bar, and you’ll be able to find out more about my group coaching program.

Just go ahead and join. Try it for a month if you don’t like it. You know there’s no contract. Okay, I almost guarantee you though, if you get in there and you do things that I tell you to do, you get involved. You use the tools, you do the work, you’re going to love it because you’re going to get results because that’s what my clients see.

And then check out the app at MAbizU.com. Download it. It’s only 30 bucks a month to subscribe to it. And I think you’re going to you’re going to like what you get for your money.

Again that’s it for this week. Let’s go out there and have a profitable holiday season. And I’ll see you in next week’s episode okay. So thanks for joining me this week and have a good week.

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