If Ignorance Is Bliss, What Does Confusion Do For You?
Have you ever considered what your top priorities are as a new or aspiring martial arts school owner?
This is a topic that I’ve written about before, and I’m sure I’ll return to it again… probably because it’s something that new business owners confuse so often, and that confusion inevitably leads to disastrous consequences.
“And The Number One Priority For New Business Owners Is…”
Increasing revenues. Period. No two ways about it.
The hard cold facts of reality dictate that if you can’t pay your rent and your salary, you aren’t going to have your doors open for very long.
And, this is why I get so frustrated with school owners who think they can get by without spending money on marketing their schools.
Of course to me, it’s just counter-intuitive to think you can get new students and increase your enrollment without marketing.
But then again, over the last 15 years or so I’ve learned a thing or two. If I squint real hard and cross my eyes, I can actually remember a time when I thought just the act of starting a martial arts program was enough to attract students.
You know, like there was some sort of new-student-attraction-chi-energy that instructors possess that negates the need for having a good solid marketing plan in place. (And please, don’t contact me to tell me you have a chi kung exercise for that.)
Well, I quickly found out otherwise… and I’ve been learning how to market effectively ever since.
Having A High-Foot Traffic Location Isn’t What It Used To Be
The days of opening schools in high-foot-traffic areas (like shopping malls) and expecting that to be enough to fill your classes are long gone. Even if you can afford that sort of location (and if you can, why aren’t you just living off your trust fund like a good little trust fund baby?) there are too many activities to compete with these days to rely on foot traffic alone to fill your school.
You need more than just a big sign on the front of your building to capture the attention of your market… more than ever, you need multiple contacts with potential buyers to ensure that they pick up the phone or go online and contact you first when they are ready to enroll.
Sure, if you’re located next to the local grocery store, they’re going to see your school every time they need a gallon of milk or a carton of eggs… but what are the chances they’ll remember your name and phone number when they finally make the decision to enroll their kid in classes?
So, they are going to have to look you up online… BINGO!
That’s where your marketing still has to come into play, because if they find your competitor’s contact information online FIRST – guess which school gets the call?
Everything Else Is Just An Excuse For Having Crummy Marketing
While you may think your number one priority is teaching great classes, or making you sure you get that shiny new certification, or affiliating with the most reputable high-ranking instructors and organizations, or joining the latest “inner-secret-social-knitting-circle-and-business-mentorship group” – you’re dead wrong.
Sure, any of the above can make you a better instructor, help you pad your resume so you appear to be better qualified as an instructor, and shore up your ego… but they don’t count for much in the way of real, concrete actions that will help keep your doors open and grow your school.
In short, only revenue-building activities have any weight on the scales of your success or failure in business.
These revenue-building activities include:
- Getting the phone to ring
- Getting your email inbox overflowing with new leads
- Getting new prospective students to walk through your front door
- Converting a high percentage of your leads to memberships
- Keeping a high percentage of the students you have enrolled
Now, students are always going to come and go – that’s a fact of life. No matter how dedicated they are, they move, get married, have kids, their job responsibilities change, etc.
So, you need to make getting a constant flow of new students through your front door your #1 priority.
Such A Simple Concept… So Why Do People Keep Getting It Confused?
I know, it seems so simple. So, why people keep getting it confused is anyone’s guess.
Of course, it wouldn’t have anything to do with the monthly mash-up of random martial arts management ideas that’s delivered to the front door of every school owner on the planet every month… would it?
Nah, it couldn’t be that. :)
For a simple-to-follow, easy-to-implement, just-what-you-need-to-succeed martial arts business coaching program, click here.