How many are successful in starting a Martial Arts School?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by DennisBreene, Jul 17, 2012.

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How financially successful is/was your MA school?

  1. It is self supporting and provides enough income to support the owner.

  2. It is self supporting but does not provide enough income to support the owner.

  3. It financially viable but occasionally requires the owner to subsidize it.

  4. It is not financially successful/bankrupt or similarly financially insolvent.

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  1. DennisBreene

    DennisBreene 3rd Black Belt

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    For those who have run their own schools. I'm curious to know how financially successful the effort was. Any insights for other practitioners about running your own school would be appreciated also.
    Thanks.
     
  2. Gentle Fist

    Gentle Fist Master Black Belt

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    I teach at a Judo club and don't get paid a dime...


    You have any spare change I could have? :)
     
  3. Blindside

    Blindside Senior Master

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    Not very, but the model wasn't designed to be. It was designed to build me some training partners so I can get better at my art. If I am lucky it will pay for the travel and training costs for my own training over the course of the year.
     
  4. kitkatninja

    kitkatninja Blue Belt

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    For me, I had my own club when I got my 1st degree black belt, as this used as part of my 2nd Dan assessment.

    The model I used was not to generate income/replace my main job but for training. One of my students (who was also my best friend) had the space that we used for training and the only thing that the students had to pay for was the insurance, the grading fees with the parent association and the uniform (I didn't earn anything out of it, well financially anyway).

    In the end I had to fold the club due to work and personal commitments, the students had the option to attend another club within the same organisation, another club with a different organisation, change arts or stop training.

    Personally, I found out that while I enjoyed training, teaching the MA (while it was ok) was not at the same level.
     
  5. ppko

    ppko Master Black Belt

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    I think in order to be successful money wise as with any business you need to know what exactly you are marketing and how to market that and yourself. If you are a street oriented instructor don't try to market yourself or your program as any other way make your potential customers realize what your main focus is. Marketing yourself is more than just knowing what you teach it is knowing how to teach a variety of people and also how to talk with you potential clients and the people you already have as students.
     
  6. Christian Soldier

    Christian Soldier Orange Belt

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    I do not own the school but my family has been there pretty much from the very begining and we make up about half the active instructors. We were a break off from another school and we knew the head instructor of the new school very well so we made a decision and joined with her. To be honest, the first year or so was pretty rough, it was often just our family and the instructors family and a few others it picked up during some parts and slowed down in others. We gradually picked up people in the second year and grew to around 15 people per class (adults and kids), and now after a little over 4 years we have a totatally different set of people and about 10 in baby class (that's what my family calls the 3-6 year olds) 25 in kids class and 20 in adult class, average. We probably have about 2-3 times that many people taking regularly (some only take once a week). And unlike before, even in mid summer we keep up those numbers.

    In addition to this, last year we made a partnership with an mma school so now they get the school every other day and pay half the rent (It's a pretty big space). So it took a bit to start but now It's one of the most successfull martial arts schools I've ever seen. :) We are truly blessed.
     
  7. Instructor

    Instructor Master Black Belt

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    My brick and mortar students learn for free. Distance learning site is run at cost.
     
  8. survivalist

    survivalist White Belt

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    My external perception is that to make a success of a school, you need volume (many students). I'm referring to the classic standalone brick-and-mortar school where instructors teach classes. When you add up the cost of the rent, insurance, utilities, marketing, and compensation for your time, you need a significant number of students.

    Many schools achieve that by offering after-school classes for kids. One owner told me that without the kids, the school would close.

    There is a book I have read which goes over a lot of basics...I can't recommend it, really, because about 90% of it would apply to any business, but it might be worth a look if you can get it via inter-library loan: http://www.amazon.com/Starting-Running-Your-Martial-School/dp/B007MXBZFC/ref=pd_sim_sbs_b_1
    There are probably other books on the subject.123
     

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