Okay, we need a plan.
You have been talking about opening this school for years. You’ve been studying the market, admiring those who took the plunge, brainstorming possible names and logos, even subscribing to Martial Arts Professional and EFC Online. What on Earth are you waiting for??? An invitation?
Perhaps you were hoping you would one day get a knock on the door and be notified that some forgotten old Uncle left you a million dollars. Waiting for retirement? What? And pursure your life’s dream when you’re too old to enjoy it? Hoping that your boss would just fire you so that you could get on with your fantasy of owning a martial arts school?
Or maybe you have a school already, but you don’t want to leave the comfort of your job because you’re not sure if you would make it alone. You are working 9 to 5, then 6 to 9… until enrollment gets to 50 students or something.
It’s never going to happen.
See, you will have to be the kinda guy (or gal) that is going to MAKE stuff happen. And this is how:
- You need to increase enrollment. Take the next 8 weekends, and commit to distributing 500 flyers each weekend. You will get up at 5 a.m. on Saturday, and either by yourself or with students, you will print then distribute 500 flyers until they are all gone. If you hustle and move fast, you can have it done by 10 a.m. Just in time for class if you have a school; just in time for “Super Friends” on Nickelodeon if you don’t. Either way, your flyers will announce that you have a special rate for new students (if you have a school) or classes coming soon (if you don’t)–free uniform if you register now. By the way, did I mention that you will be teaching in 90 days? Yep! So you’d better find a place; even if it’s in your garage, local park, church, subleasing at a nearby health club… but my friend I am not going to allow you to put this off any longer! Tell the world you’re coming, and it’ll be too late to procrastinate any longer!
- Pay for display ads for the next three months. Budget for no more than $300 a month. Yes, it might hurt the pocket a little, but it’ll be worth it. You NEED to get the word out, might as well start now. I recommend finding 3 publications that will run your ads for less than $100 a month. And if that sales guy tries to sell you the 1/8 page for 100 bucks more, tell him to sit on it… this is what I have to spend, take it or leave it.
- Get 20 corrogated plastic signs with these simple words: KARATE/555-1212 (your phone number, use a cell). Your local sign guy should do it for around 150 bucks. Put these signs at major intersections on the side of the road. I recommend locating near Real Estate Open House signs. People usually won’t mess with them. Get them out as soon as possible.
- Go to Craigslist and find your city, then place 3 ads: two in “Events/Classes” and one in “Lessons/Tutoring”. Your choice, but I say you need one advertising Kids classes, one for Adult classes, and one for fitness classes. Keep reposting every two weeks for the rest of your life.
- Send a text blast to everyone you know in your phone’s contact list. Then go into your email, and send another one to everyone you know. Ask them to spread the word.
- Get some T shirts made for your school and wear them everywhere you go. Give them to friends and family, and ask them to do the same.
- Remember the corrogated plastic signs? Get the same message cut into vinyl and affixed to your car’s back windshield. Everyone who sees your car, will see your message.
- Every time you collect your tuition from new students, don’t spend the money. Bank it until the end of the month, and then you will be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Keep a list of the progress you’re making. Set yourself a goal, and then when you meet that goal, make the plunge.
Take two doses of this post and call me in the morning. Stop planning and start carrying your plan out. My brothers and sisters, the truth is that you can do it. Hundreds of people do it every year and succeed. Nothing is guaranteed except this: 100% of the people sitting on their hands will have no martial arts school one year from today, and will be no closer to their goal of having a business than they were last year. Get up, make things happen.
Thanks for reading my blog. I know you’ll do it!
By the way, go to the Offerings page and order my book. called “Making a Living with Your Backyard/Garage/Community Center Dojo”. You don’t have to start big, and if you’re small and struggling, this will certainly help you. Hope you like it!