Have you ever taught a class, had the best of intentions to mention all the items on your to-do list for the class, and then realized later that it completely slipped your mind? I’ve been teaching Martial Arts classes for over 35 years and it’s happened to me hundreds of times. So I developed the “Instructor Action Step Clipboard System”.
Client Question: I want to get more referrals into my business. Can you provide an outline of the system that works for you?
Our referral system has been replicated by hundreds of Martial Arts schools across the country and has yielded thousands of students. What I have found interesting, and I can almost bet, is that you are going to take parts of this and customize it to some extent to make it your own.
You may be saying “So what’s wrong with that? I am my own person.” This I understand. And I also understand the human nature of Martial Artists. We want to put our stamp on everything we touch. To this I only ask that you try your best to keep the program as close as you possibly can because the proof is in the results of my program.
Our entire approach is to give back to the client by saying thank you! Our saying is, “the best way to flatter your instructor “Sensei” is to tell someone about our school.” For those that spread the word, we want to say thanks by sharing at many different levels.
I’ve been running a successful Summer Adventure Camp for over 15 years now. And because of that, I’m often asked what I’ve learned along the way.
Here I’ll share some basic, yet crucial, success tips from my report, A Blueprint for Planning & Promoting Successful Summer Camps.
In every small business, there are common mistakes that can hold us back from the success that we imagine for ourselves. Often times these are a direct effect of a lack of foresight or experience, or perhaps a by-product of moving too quickly into decisions. Regardless the reason, there are common pitfalls that most Martial Arts school owners have experienced and have gained wisdom from.
Here are some essential dos and don’ts that Martial Arts school owners should consider while on their path to success:
With the inevitable attrition of members, we need to always and forever be on a path of discovery – meaning we need to be looking for and finding new students, and securing and retaining our existing students. One of the easiest and most effective ways to strengthen retention is by making an effort to educate your members.
A member who is uneducated in what you do is a lost member or a soon-to-be-lost member of your school. I will use Member Solutions as a prime example of how to do it right.
When I began teaching Martial Arts in the early 80’s, the very thought of having yearly contracts was taboo. The talk among owners was much different back then. If you had binding agreements as did health spas and clubs you were “selling out” as a commercial school. This mentality amazes me to this day! The truth of the matter is that if you charge a single penny for your services, you are, in fact, commercial. So, why not be professional about it? However, the question still arises in a school’s business planning: “Contract or no Contract?”
Millions of people communicate on a daily basis through social media sites such as Facebook … some even multiple times throughout the day.
So shouldn’t you and your business be where your members are at?
Just recently during my Member Solutions Goal Setting and Time Management workshop, I spoke about what it takes to become a black belt in time management and goal setting. Throughout the seminar I stressed a few reasons why I think people fail at effectively managing their time and reaching their goals.
If you know me I try to always be positive, never talking about negative things such as failure. But in the case of time management and goal setting, I think failure is vital to developing the skill. To become an effective time manager and goal setter, you need to make mistakes. Those mistakes will help move you forward. When you fail to reach a goal or mismanage your time, don’t get discouraged. Take a step back, look at where you went wrong and learn from it.
Have you ever considered what your time is worth to your Martial Arts business? Each time you do a task that someone who gets paid $15 an hour could do, it is not saving you the $15.
You are actually losing according to your pay scale … plus the time is costing you in lost opportunity because your time could be better spent on strategic business goals.
One common time management mistake I often see among business owners is taking on too much. We think we can do everything from A to Z to run our business, but in the end, we get the exact opposite of what we want: poor performance, lots of stress, low morale, and no time for business growth.
Sharpening your time management skills is crucial to creating balance in your life. And it’s a key that will ultimately get you closer to working on your business – and away from working in it.
For a quick reality check, look at the chart to the right. It’ll give you a whole new perspective on the value of your time. This chart shows you what your time is worth by the hour and by the minute based on244 eight-hour working days per year (assuming a five-day work week with vacation and holidays.)
Pretty eye-opening…or even
Effective time management is just as important as anything. It has kept me focused on what I want and given me back the time to accomplish what I set out to do.
Now that you know what your time is literally worth, take the next step to incorporate effective time management techniques into your work days.
Join me on Wed. August 17th at 1 pm EST in a FREE live webinar with Member Solutions, Time Management, Goal Setting & Time Slicing for Martial Arts School Owners.
CLICK HERE for a quick video message about the webinar.
During the session, I’ll share specific tips and tools you can use as soon as the seminar ends – techniques that will keep you focused on accomplishing your goals and focused on what matters most to grow
your business and organize your life for maximum effectiveness.
Imagine – what Martial Art instructors would have thought 20 years ago that a “Panda” would sweep its way into the hearts of millions worldwide?
The big release of Kung Fu Panda 2 comes out in theatres Thursday, May 26 … in the U.S.
Just like any Martial Arts-related film, the release is a great opportunity to re-energize your business and drive new students to your school. I know many schools that are running special promotions to tie in with the movie.
Here is my “Top 10 Things to do list” – ways to benefit from the release. Keep in mind you should be promoting and branding yourself all the time through community events – not relying on one movie to keep your business activity and momentum going. For purposes of this one marketing venue, here is my list:
1) At the very minimum, ask the theatres in your town if you can lend your services for free. This is essential because we should make sure that we are the go-to school for any type of promotion in marketplace. So get on the phone today and offer your services. Give raffle tickets to all Kung Fu Panda 2movie-goers (or movie-goers at any other popular movie) and award the winning raffle holder a free membership. Don’t forget to collect contact info for each raffle participant so that you can follow-up with them afterwards.
2) Put your postcards or flyers on every car at every theatre showing the Kung Fu Panda 2 movie or any other popular movie. Be careful not to get yourself in any trouble. I have found it is better to ask for permission first. If that doesn’t work out, weigh out your options.
3) Run a Kung Fu Panda coloring contest. Advertise the contest at local businesses and in your school. Ask students and non-students to send the colored page to your school to win a free month, or a grand prize of your choice. Of course all non-students that are non-winners get a free membership of some type, too.
4) Rent the first Kung Fu Panda movie and run a themed movie night at your school. Ask students to bring their buddies to generate leads. This can be an excellent income generator and powerful event within your school.
5) Rent the Kung Fu Panda 2 movie at your local theatre for a private showing. Then give away all the tickets to non-training members of your school. Put on a demo and then give away a free pass or do a mass enrollment at the end of the movie when viewers are at the peak of their excitement. At minimum, get a booth and ask the students to help you pass out flyers or postcards for your school.
6) Ask your parents to film their kids doing a scene from the movie with their friends, then host a “Kung Fu Panda” star search at your school. The winner receives a free trial membership.
7) Get involved in your community. This means you should use every day of the week to search for the next BIG opportunity. So much goes on around us that we are unaware of. Read your local papers, search the Internet and check the “community events” sections for what’s going on, then call the promoters and offer your services. Everyone loves free donations, free demos, etc. Be a part of it all.
8) Develop relationships with the local businesses in your town. Ask them to help promote your school.
9) Don’t look at the Kung Fu Panda 2 as the big opportunity, but rather as an additional cog in the wheel. Remember, cool movies happen all the time. (By the way … according to The Internet Movie Database… there’s a Karate Kid 2 in the making for 2013.) Heck, who cares if the movie is Martial-Arts-related … why not get a booth at the local movies when any popular movie is playing and sit there and sell? You’re bound to get leads. Many people at one point or anotherhave wanted to do Martial Arts or know others who do. You just need to be in the right place at the right time.
10) Take your entire school to the release of the movie and build a community of people having fun at the event. Build excitement and energy. This doesn’t have to be on the dime of the school. You may want to ask the theatre ahead of time if they will give you a group discount. Then just all meet wearing your school shirts and have a blast. Remember the more you do as a team, the better it is for your entire culture.
As I have said, every one of these ideas will work with any movie. If you really think about it, you can do this type of tie-in with any kind of event or premiere. Remember, the goal is, and always will be, to market anywhere and everywhere. The important question is what are you doing today to market your business? What about tomorrow?
If you want more marketing tips, please go to www.takingittothenextlevel.com and click on the Ninja Marketing Tactics for 200+ tips. Become a member today and receive my DVD or book free.