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mrhnau

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One thing I've seen with alot of martial arts stores/locations is that alot of the time there are no classes going on during the day. Some of the sites I've seen only have classes starting at 5 or 6 in the evening. If you are a propriater, do you attempt to do something in the down time? Or, if this is your full time job, how do you keep classes going all day long, or are you making enough to where there is no need to do so?

I guess I just see so much floor space sitting there unused for so many hours a day, and I've been wondering how groups deal with it...
 

Rick Wade

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Easy bring in a yoga instructor or a arobics instructor and let them rent out floor space. during the day you should be hitting the groups up like rotary and the dirent lodges as well as boy scouts and girl scouts to do a quick 1 hour seminar/speaking engaement.

When you can't teach because people are working let some one rent your space. While they are renting your space work on getting new business.

You can run a class during lunch time though.

V/R

Rick
 

Old Fat Kenpoka

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I suggest turning part of your school into a cafe. That way, hungry passersby can watch and become interested in martial arts training. And, exhausted and thirsty students can spend money refreshing themselves after class. You could even have a frequent diner card and offer a free lesson after 10 latte's.
 

Zoran

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I wrote a short article about this.

Many school owners only use about 10-25% of their facility's time slots. To increase revenue, many owners have opted to change their system to accommodate more people. Such as making their system more friendly and easier to gain rank, such as black belt. They then wonder why some martial artists are calling their school a McDojo.

How a McDojo is Born
First, let’s look at why this happens. When you open a martial arts school, you are only attracting a very small percentage of the local population. Let’s face it, not many people wish to be in the martial arts for various reasons. Even with those that wish to try a martial art, many will not wish to apply themselves to the necessary discipline and physical/mental hardships that most martial arts system require. So what happens is the school owner will change their system to allow more people to join and stay interested. After a time, a McDojo is born.

The Alternative
First, you are a business, so you should have a business plan (if you don’t know what that is, go to a business consultant). If your business is not successful, your dream of owning a school goes down the tubes. Ideally, you want a successful, money making school without compromising your system and principles.

As I stated in the first paragraph. most schools only use about 10-25% of their facility’s time slots. They will have classes from 6pm to 9pm and maybe a couple of noon classes. Ideally, you want to have something going on from 7am to 10pm. Look at some of the successful health clubs out there. They are constantly running some sort of program from open to close. You want to increase the percentage of the local population that you will attract. Being open 7am to 10pm does not mean you should be teaching the martial art of your choice in all those time slots. You want to offer a variety of programs that will attract a diverse group of people.

Programs to Choose from
First, you can not do it all yourself. For the many programs out there, you should find a qualified trainer or instructor to run these programs. You can pay them according to the number of students that sign up, or you can sublease a time slot to them. So how do you find these qualified people? Try posting an ad in the local paper, or just look around and see if there is anyone you know to be already teaching/training people in your area and propose a business relationship.

Anyways, here some ideas for programs to add and fill up your time slots.

Tai Chi for Health - Tai Chi has been proven to improve health. This can be a big draw for senior citizens. Especially if you live in an area where there are a lot of retired people, this can be a big hit. Florida comes to my mind right away. Morning and afternoon classes may be best here. But don’t rule out nights either.

Aerobics - Being you are a martial arts school, you should go with a martial arts theme. Tae Bo™, Kickbox Aerobics, or Karatecize. Doesn’t matter which one, just choose one. You may wish to do this one first thing in the morning, for those that want to work out before work. But as usual, play it by ear. This can also be a big draw for other time slots.

Yoga - This can make you a big hit at a twister parties. Yoga can be a good filler for late mornings and early afternoons. You may want to target stay at home moms. This can also be a draw to some of your martial arts students. Especially those that are having problems with flexibility.

Women’s Self Defense and Rape Awareness - You would do these maybe 2-3 times a year for a certain period of time. If you plan to do this yourself, make sure you do your homework.

After School Programs - This can be from regular martial arts classes to child safety classes. A friend of mine once said to me, "There be gold in them diapers". I know there are many instructors out there that don’t want to teach children. Then don’t, find someone who will.

Masseuse or Chiropractic - Not a program, but I once had a Chiropractor that subleased a small room in a health club. If you have the room in your facility, you can build a small room for them. They pay you monthly to use it. Think about it, all these people exerting themselves with sore muscles and minor injuries. You get the idea.

The Conclusion
The above are just some ideas. As many business people understand, you need to spend money to make money. If you don’t do the proper marketing or demographics studies, the above programs will fizzle. But if you are able to utilize 80% or more of the available time slots, you will not have to compromise your system to make money. Also, don’t close your school on certain days! Your school should be open 7 days a week.
 

TigerWoman

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I teach a 8AM TKD class for women. There is a M-W-F noon class--mostly black belts and upper rank now. Then at 2:30 is the 4-5 yr. olds, then two more kids classes. Then there is a women's kickboxing class at 5:30PM T-Th. then a regular TKD family class every night of the week, and on Fridays, a BB class late 8PM. So the only time is in the mornings and an hour in the early afternoon. If you have daycare you can fill those classes, but otherwise not. TW
 

stickarts

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We haven't gotten many calls from people interested in day classes over the years and in our situation we couldn't easily cover them either. It is a shame to have the down time for space that we are paying for. It has been difficult to find someone to sublet to that would also be a good fit for what we do here.
To fill the space during the down time would be a great way to help pay the bills and bring more traffic through the school.
 

Zoran

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Old Fat Kenpoka said:
What? No Latte's?
How about a martial arts bookstore/cofee shop. Where you can watch a martial arts class as you sip your coffee and read your favorite MA book or magazine. ;)
 

bushidomartialarts

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when i'm rich and famous, i'll have a coffe shop/bookshop next door to my dojo. the shop will have several comfy couches and closed-circuit tv monitors showing what's going on in class on the other side.

provides a good service, a comfy waiting space, extra income and a way to keep the parents off the sidelines.
 

Old Fat Kenpoka

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Zoran said:
How about a martial arts bookstore/cofee shop. Where you can watch a martial arts class as you sip your coffee and read your favorite MA book or magazine. ;)

Good idea...but... then Barnes & Noble and Borders will take over... And we will all be in big trouble when they open a Tae Kwon Do section between their coffee shop and the kids books...
 
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