How to open a school for under $10.00

Discussion in 'School Management' started by Rob Broad, Sep 26, 2004.

  1. Rob Broad

    Rob Broad Master of Arts

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    It may seem ludicrous but you can actualy start your own martial arts school for under $10.00. Here is exactly how I did it.

    Step #1
    Talk to local instructors, and fitness centers and see if any of them have any dead time.

    Step #2
    If you find any place thathas dead time, ask about doing a profit sharing program with them. Profit sharing is where you pay half of your monthly dues up to a agreed upon amount to the person you are getting your teaching space from. This is great for a local martial arts school that has a nigh or two of dead time. because any money coming in on nights that they were closed is extra money for the school.

    Step #3
    Print up your waiver/contract/registration agreement, whatever you like to use. Then go to the cheapest place you can get photo copies made at, and get your self 25 - 50 copies. This shout eat up about $4.00 of your $10.00.

    Step #4
    Design your flyers. Once you have a good master copy of your flyer, make sure you make pull tabs at the bottom so people can take your busness name and phone number with them when they see the flyer. Get yourself a dozen or two copies of the flyer and put them in laundry mats, grocery stores, video stores, college campuses, and anywhere peopl gather.

    Step #5
    Make some coupons for 1 free week of classes. You are only paying for money you recieve so free students don't cost you any money, and gets you exposure. make your coupons about business card size. You can get 10 per page that way, and get yourself about 25 copies, that is 250 coupons. Give them out to anyone you meet. Make sure the coupon has you business name, teh 1 free week of lessons, the adress, phone number, class times, and your webpage if you have one.

    Step #6
    Make sure yo have an very good introductory package. i personally like 2 months and uniform for $99.00. This is enough time for the person to get their first belt, and become hooked with their training. Use a sheet of Bristol Board to put your special on and have it up everytime you have a class running so people passing by can see it.

    Step #7
    Be patient, eventually you will get a student or two, when people passing by see people training it will help generate some interest. Give your students you coupons so they can bring in friends.

    Step #8
    Use an incentive program, everytime a student brings in a new member reward the student. Give a private lessons to people who bring new people that join up. You will see people actively doing the recruiting for you, which gives you more time to concentrate on what is important... teaching classes.

    This system works, I am using it right now, and it with in 1 month I now have 4 students. We are getting calls a few times a week inquiring about classes now, and have had about 20 people come in with the one week coupons. My total costs were $9.38.

    I now have students, and while there isn't many of them word is spreading very rapidly, and the school I am renting space from is now getting money for a night they were normally closed.
     
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  2. bignick

    bignick Senior Master

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    interesting...thanks for sharing....

    i really like this...what did you do with the left over 62 cents?

    or are you saving that up for your first branch school?
     
  3. Rob Broad

    Rob Broad Master of Arts

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    Actually as I sign up a new student, and purchase their uniform I also buy their first belt, and crests, this way I have the belt in stock for testing which doesn't mean I scrounging then, and most students want the kenpo crest and teh flag crest, so that in turn makes me a couple of extra bucks. I also take $3.00 from each new sign up and put into more flyers and coupons. The goal is 50 students s by the end of 1 year. I am not starting kids classes til January, so one they start things should really pick up.



    As for the extra 62 cents I put them in the cash drawer to be used for when I need to make change for something.
     
  4. shesulsa

    shesulsa Columbia Martial Arts Academy

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    Rob, you stole my plan. It's amazing how little it can cost to start up a school. Sounds like you've got a nice little start! I'd like to know how if you meet your goal by the end of the year.
     
  5. Flatlander

    Flatlander Grandmaster

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    Yeah, congratulations on your new school Rob. Great idea - I sincerely hope that you're able to grow and prosper with it. Best wishes from the prairies.


    Dan
     
  6. Bammx2

    Bammx2 2nd Black Belt

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    outstanding!

    I am following a similar plan myself in the UK..
    and with your permission[​IMG]
    I am going to use 1 or 2 of your ideas!
     
  7. Rob Broad

    Rob Broad Master of Arts

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    I post this stuff to share with others. Use anything and everything you need.

    Now I am negotiating with the newspaper and radio stations about pay for performance advertising. This where the people doing the advertising only get paid for the people you sign up. So they have to really do good work to get people in your door. If you only get one or 2 people tey don't make much, but if you get 10 or more people they make more than they would for a normal ad priced ad. I also have had a P.S.A. written up that will be broadcast on the 3 local radio stations this wednesday and and next monday saying that we are accepting registrations for adult classes. P.S.A.'s are usually free littl eblurbs taht can really help your business.
     
  8. lvwhitebir

    lvwhitebir Guest

    Although I like what you've done to get started, you might have forgotten a few important and expensive pieces:

    1) A business structure, such as an LLC, so that you are not personally responsible for any damages. Without this, one quick trip to court can wipe you out.
    2) A business license; you take money, you're considered a business or an employee. Without this, the state/city/federal government can take you to court and beat you up pretty good for tax evasion. You also need this to buy equipment for resale.
    3) A lawyer to look over your business structure and make sure it's sound. Regulations differ area to area and only a lawyer will know what holds in your locale.
    4) A lawyer to look over your safety sheet to make sure it's sound. Again, only a lawyer can tell you if it's adequate and legal.
    5) A lawyer to draft or look over any student contractual agreements. Some may not be legal depending on your area.
    6) Insurance

    Some of this can be removed if you're considered an employee of the location owner, but then he'll have a much larger hassle that he probably won't agree with. He'll probably require you to be a "contractor" so that all legal issues are yours.

    When I subcontracted instructors like this, I required them to take the money and pay me rent. That meant they had to claim the income and be responsible as a business entity not as my employee. They were required to have insurance and to claim me on it as an "also ensured" so one accident they caused wouldn't ruin my business.

    WhiteBirch
     
  9. Enson

    Enson 3rd Black Belt

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    i think the right word usage is "additional insured".

    peace
     
  10. Rob Broad

    Rob Broad Master of Arts

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    Luckily here in Canada we are not litigation happy, and do not lawyers for everything we do in a martial arts school. I am under the existing school's insurance. And I don't need to register as a business unless we are going to make 30K this year which is very, very unlikely. I have had a very strong registration agreement for the last several years, and have shared with many instructors. I have been teaching for either for myself or others for the last 18yrs and have never had an accident in teh school, I push safety firts and foremost and if someone acts in an unsafe manner they are instructed not to do so, if they persist they leave and do not return.
     
  11. gixxershane

    gixxershane Green Belt

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    hows the school doing now? how much have you grown in the past couple of years?
     
  12. CTKempo Todd

    CTKempo Todd Green Belt

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    He didn't have insurance, Someone got hurt at the school and sued him...He is now out of business with huge award that he is currently paying out on a monthly basis....(Only kidding..I HOPE)

    Seriously though....I really hope he did get insurance (and its alot more than 10 bucks!!) Just because everybody is not 'litigation happy" it only takes one. Me for one would not be willing to take that risk...
     
  13. Rob Broad

    Rob Broad Master of Arts

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    In all actuality I did not need insurance because the school I was using already had insurance. In Canada a waiver is a much stronger document than it is in the US, probably because we have free health care.

    This past summer I moved to Southern Ontario, and gave the school to my top student up there, unfortunately he coould not sustain it because of his schedule in university.123
     

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