Biggest Issue When You Started A School

OP
M

martialartsnerd

Orange Belt
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
80
Reaction score
18
Most instructors I know would love to do better attracting adults.

That's exactly what I'm out to solve, especially when you get to the more obscure styles (in the US, anyway). I still need to take a look into the martial arts scene in other countries and figure out how popular some styles are versus others. But if I'm to start here, in the US, I wanna focus down on the instructors who want to make a living by teaching legitimate martial arts and/or self-defense instead of running the risk of becoming a McDojo.
 

pdg

Senior Master
Joined
Feb 19, 2018
Messages
3,568
Reaction score
1,034
For me, definitely not. A business coach is one of the newest and biggest rip-offs out there. Just a new phrase to try and spin.

Depends on how you define it really.

To me, a business coach would be someone who can assist with stuff like finding out what regulatory compliance is required (if any), how to manage accounts or whether an accountant would be better, what to spend money on without being wasteful, insurance requirements, advertising - that sort of thing.

Loads of people have great ideas that could be transformed into good businesses, but don't know where or how to start so never do anything with it.

Equally, loads of people have good ideas and make an attempt to start a business, but end up bankrupt within a year because they don't know how to manage the business side of things.

Why is it such a ripoff?
 

dvcochran

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
7,047
Reaction score
2,296
Location
Southeast U.S.
Depends on how you define it really.

To me, a business coach would be someone who can assist with stuff like finding out what regulatory compliance is required (if any), how to manage accounts or whether an accountant would be better, what to spend money on without being wasteful, insurance requirements, advertising - that sort of thing.

Loads of people have great ideas that could be transformed into good businesses, but don't know where or how to start so never do anything with it.

Equally, loads of people have good ideas and make an attempt to start a business, but end up bankrupt within a year because they don't know how to manage the business side of things.
I
Why is it such a ripoff?

What is a business coach?
It helps you make better use of your time. The definition of coaching, in a business context, has the two following aspects: Coaching is an approach to management how one carries out the role of being a manager. Coaching is a set of skills for managing employee performance to deliver results.

So a "business coach" is a manager, ala, leading other skilled employees. The fledgling Dojo/Dojang will usually have one employee. I get these queries all the time asking if I think a coach would be helpful, and the answer is always no. It is nothing more that a buzz word used In marketing to lull people into something they do not need or already have.
In the new school scenario, who can afford to pay for this? These needs have to be covered in the initial business plan (where a lot of the eventual failure comes from). Of course the plan will be adjusted as things change.
 

Gerry Seymour

MT Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
28,849
Reaction score
9,731
Location
Hendersonville, NC
That's exactly what I'm out to solve, especially when you get to the more obscure styles (in the US, anyway). I still need to take a look into the martial arts scene in other countries and figure out how popular some styles are versus others. But if I'm to start here, in the US, I wanna focus down on the instructors who want to make a living by teaching legitimate martial arts and/or self-defense instead of running the risk of becoming a McDojo.
I'd be happy to have a discussion (phone would be quickest) to share what I've experienced and seen with others, if that helps.
 

Gerry Seymour

MT Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
28,849
Reaction score
9,731
Location
Hendersonville, NC
What is a business coach?
It helps you make better use of your time. The definition of coaching, in a business context, has the two following aspects: Coaching is an approach to management how one carries out the role of being a manager. Coaching is a set of skills for managing employee performance to deliver results.

So a "business coach" is a manager, ala, leading other skilled employees. The fledgling Dojo/Dojang will usually have one employee. I get these queries all the time asking if I think a coach would be helpful, and the answer is always no. It is nothing more that a buzz word used In marketing to lull people into something they do not need or already have.
In the new school scenario, who can afford to pay for this? These needs have to be covered in the initial business plan (where a lot of the eventual failure comes from). Of course the plan will be adjusted as things change.
That's not at all the common definition of "business coach". Coaching is more than a method of management - it's also a method of consulting (less "doing with" than consulting, usually). I've done what most would consider "business coaching" to help people get through the start-up phase on a business, and all of those were one-person businesses. I wasn't teaching them how to manage and coach a team, but helping them sort out what they needed to cover and take care of to get their business started.
 

hoshin1600

Senior Master
Joined
May 16, 2014
Messages
3,095
Reaction score
1,605
@dvcochran ..thats not what i see a business coach as doing in the entrepreneurial world (maybe in the corporate world).
maybe it is a new concept like a "life coach" that many do not really need but i would say the majority of karate school owners would not even know where to begin on a business plan. to be honest it took me years to even understand how one would be beneficial to me.
i would want a business coach more that a marketing director or outside company... sorry OP :(
i find in my area a marketing company costs $1000. just as a starting consulting fee. the last company i talked to charged $10 thousand dollars to create a web sight.
i wanted them to create a logo and company image, ok so its $1000. for the initial consult....but what if the logo they create sucks and looks like a disney character?? they charge 10k for a web sight? their own web sight is not that great , why would i want them to create mine?

if the OP wants to solve a problem, try starting with create a product that people will pay for (without the snooty attitude of how great they are as marketers) and only charge them if the consumer wants the product.

sorry going off on a little rant there...
 

pdg

Senior Master
Joined
Feb 19, 2018
Messages
3,568
Reaction score
1,034
Yeah, as said - that's completely not what a business coach does @dvcochran

What they can do though is assist with getting your business plan sorted out for finance applications - that sort of thing.

I've never heard of a business coach being an employee, they come and consult, then leave.
 

WaterGal

Master of Arts
Joined
Jul 16, 2012
Messages
1,789
Reaction score
620
For what it's worth, I worked with a martial arts business coaching program for a while to help with our school. I went to a weekend seminar that taught me about how to teach a better intro class, to sell memberships, to train up students to become staff members, and things like that. I got templates for management handbooks, lead tracking procedures and other business processes, as well as some promotional material, and instructions on how to run certain events to attract new students. That was a big help, and I wish we'd had something like that from the beginning.
 

GojuTommy

Black Belt
Joined
Jun 18, 2018
Messages
509
Reaction score
189
Little ironic...it seems like your soliciting for clients with this Webb sight thread. Not a very effective method to do that. It's not a very productive way to market yourself....thus we will assume your marketing of a school probably won't be that great.
You generally seem like a negative person
 

GojuTommy

Black Belt
Joined
Jun 18, 2018
Messages
509
Reaction score
189
For me a bit of back story.

When i started training the head instructor had a good tech job hed been at for a while and made plenty of money off of long hours, so he could afford hand people their money back for the month if they or their parent werent up to his standards.

He lost that job and had to take a new lower paying job and couldnt afford to run things as he used to, and thats when things started going down hill. Kids always made up 60%+ or more of the students, but he used to push them, now over bearing and over protective parents get mad when instructors do that, so to keep the meat and potatoes of the student base he gives in and doesnt push as much, its gotten worse and worse each year making it harder for older kids and adults to take the school and instructors seriously so they dont stick around long....so basically in my experience if youre teaching kids a LOT of parents want little more than a glorified day care...which isnt conducive to attracting older students and a lot parents will pull their kids out if you are to stern with their kids.
 
Last edited:

dvcochran

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
7,047
Reaction score
2,296
Location
Southeast U.S.
Yeah, as said - that's completely not what a business coach does @dvcochran

What they can do though is assist with getting your business plan sorted out for finance applications - that sort of thing.

I've never heard of a business coach being an employee, they come and consult, then leave.
Yes, they "train" the manager to manage. Yada, yada, yada.
 

pdg

Senior Master
Joined
Feb 19, 2018
Messages
3,568
Reaction score
1,034
Yes, they "train" the manager to manage. Yada, yada, yada.

No, that's not what they do at all, at least not here.

What you're describing is a management consultant - or a managerial skills course.

A business coach, as I've previously said, is there to help someone start a business or improve a small company.

Get the term "manager" and "management" completely out of the equation - it has no place here. In fact, while you're there eject the notion of staff completely - then we might get somewhere.

I really don't know how to convey the concept any better while you're so closed to the idea that your impression is woefully wrong.
 

dvcochran

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
7,047
Reaction score
2,296
Location
Southeast U.S.
@dvcochran ..thats not what i see a business coach as doing in the entrepreneurial world (maybe in the corporate world).
maybe it is a new concept like a "life coach" that many do not really need but i would say the majority of karate school owners would not even know where to begin on a business plan. to be honest it took me years to even understand how one would be beneficial to me.
i would want a business coach more that a marketing director or outside company... sorry OP :(
i find in my area a marketing company costs $1000. just as a starting consulting fee. the last company i talked to charged $10 thousand dollars to create a web sight.
i wanted them to create a logo and company image, ok so its $1000. for the initial consult....but what if the logo they create sucks and looks like a disney character?? they charge 10k for a web sight? their own web sight is not that great , swould i want them to create mine?

if the OP wants to solve a problem, try starting with create a product that people will pay for (without the snooty attitude of how great they are as marketers) and only charge them if the consumer wants the product.

sorry going off on a little rant there...

It behooves any potential owner to research everything. It is the age of information (and misinformation) so standard models for just about anything can be established. Aside, I hope you have other options because those are insane prices. If someone has the unction to say "hey I am opening a Dojo because I am really good at MA" , that has to be just the first step of the thought process. Any thinking person who lives on a budget should understand the basic elements and build from there. The resources are out there. They just have to be smart about their time and its effectiveness.
 

dvcochran

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
7,047
Reaction score
2,296
Location
Southeast U.S.
No, that's not what they do at all, at least not here.

What you're describing is a management consultant - or a managerial skills course.

A business coach, as I've previously said, is there to help someone start a business or improve a small company.

Get the term "manager" and "management" completely out of the equation - it has no place here. In fact, while you're there eject the notion of staff completely - then we might get somewhere.

I really don't know how to convey the concept any better while you're so closed to the idea that your impression is woefully wrong.
I have seen a few business coaches in the work process and have had do deal with a few in meetings they no business in but had convinced a manager they needed to be there. They were quickly asked to leave because they were unable to add any value to the topic of the meeting. The strict definition of a business coach pertains to managers.
Ok, I will get away from what a business coach is. I do not mean to be closed minded. My quandary is, of coarse a school will fail if the owner doesn't even have basic budget skills.
 

dvcochran

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
7,047
Reaction score
2,296
Location
Southeast U.S.
That's not at all the common definition of "business coach". Coaching is more than a method of management - it's also a method of consulting (less "doing with" than consulting, usually). I've done what most would consider "business coaching" to help people get through the start-up phase on a business, and all of those were one-person businesses. I wasn't teaching them how to manage and coach a team, but helping them sort out what they needed to cover and take care of to get their business started.

Then why not call a spade a spade. They are consultants. The Coaching term is just the same thing with a new coat of paint.
 

pdg

Senior Master
Joined
Feb 19, 2018
Messages
3,568
Reaction score
1,034
It behooves any potential owner to research everything. It is the age of information (and misinformation) so standard models for just about anything can be established. Aside, I hope you have other options because those are insane prices. If someone has the unction to say "hey I am opening a Dojo because I am really good at MA" , that has to be just the first step of the thought process. Any thinking person who lives on a budget should understand the basic elements and build from there. The resources are out there. They just have to be smart about their time and its effectiveness.

So what's wrong with a reliable short cut in the process?

As you said, there is information and misinformation abound - instead of spending weeks or months sifting through to find what's good and what isn't (and potentially wasting resources and/or destroying your idea on something that isn't good) is it not sometimes better to invest in someone else's knowledge?

People do it all the time when they bring in specialised consultants (or even full time staff) - they pay someone to do things they are unable/unwilling/unjustified to do themselves.

It could be said that enlisting the services of a business coach is being smart with time and resources and getting the maximum effectiveness out of investment.
 

pdg

Senior Master
Joined
Feb 19, 2018
Messages
3,568
Reaction score
1,034
I have seen a few business coaches in the work process and have had do deal with a few in meetings they no business in but had convinced a manager they needed to be there. They were quickly asked to leave because they were unable to add any value to the topic of the meeting. The strict definition of a business coach pertains to managers.
Ok, I will get away from what a business coach is.

Right, ok - I see now we have another English vs English semantics issue...

In English English, that is not at all what a business coach does or would generally do.

That's what a management development consultant would do.
 

dvcochran

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
7,047
Reaction score
2,296
Location
Southeast U.S.
So what's wrong with a reliable short cut in the process?

As you said, there is information and misinformation abound - instead of spending weeks or months sifting through to find what's good and what isn't (and potentially wasting resources and/or destroying your idea on something that isn't good) is it not sometimes better to invest in someone else's knowledge?

People do it all the time when they bring in specialised consultants (or even full time staff) - they pay someone to do things they are unable/unwilling/unjustified to do themselves.

It could be said that enlisting the services of a business coach is being smart with time and resources and getting the maximum effectiveness out of investment.
Now you are delving into a larger business environment which is just not the way a fledging Dojo is. The value in doing the research is because the fledging Dojo doesn't have the funds to do it any other way. There are many human resources out there that cost little or no money, i.e., your local Chamber of Commerce, the BBB, etc... Sure, when you have more than the broad brush strokes of a solid plan in place recruit the elements to make it happen.
You hit the nail on the head. Coach in just a new buzzword for a Consultant. A new marketing ploy.
 

pdg

Senior Master
Joined
Feb 19, 2018
Messages
3,568
Reaction score
1,034
There are many human resources out there that cost little or no money, i.e., your local Chamber of Commerce, the BBB

We have equivalents here - they offer 'coaching' services for start-ups...
 
Top