The first stage of running a new martial arts school is an exciting time. Welcoming the first students, helping someone get that much desired black belt, and encouraging someone to go from beginner classes to reaching their personal goals.
But it's important not to let your martial arts business get to a certain level and then remain static. For a business to survive, it has to thrive. And that's where growing your martial arts school comes in.
Growth doesn't have to be an arduous process, but it does take commitment. With certain tools and ideas to help you along the way, you can implement a process that can keep working to bring new students to your martial arts business, as well as help to retain those invaluable members that already come for martial arts training.
In this guide, we share ten ideas to help you encourage growth in your martial arts business, and to keep those loyal students coming back for more week after week.
1. Revisit your business plan
One of the many reasons you wrote a martial arts business plan was to create a roadmap for yourself. This document should guide all of your decisions as you grow your business. If you find that you’re veering off course, take a look at your business plan and see where you need to make changes.
Think back to when you were first starting your martial arts school. What goals did you have for your business? Are you still on track to achieve those goals? If not, it may be time to revisit your business plan and make some adjustments.
2. Offer a variety of martial arts programs
Another way to grow your martial arts school is to offer different programs. By expanding your offerings you'll widen the net of martial art students you can target with your marketing. You don't have to go all out and offer all the martial arts but by offering different programs for various levels and interests you'll be able to attract more interest. Some programs you could offer include:
- Beginner classes for younger students.
- A beginners program aimed at
- A self-defense program.
- A martial arts fitness program.
It's also worth keeping an eye on trends and tracking which disciplines are currently popular martial arts. Whether it be mixed martial arts, judo, or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, keep up with what's hot and what's not to bring in other students to your martial arts school.
3. Create a marketing plan
A well-executed marketing plan is key to growing any business and your martial arts school is no different. You need to identify your target market and then craft messaging that resonates with them. Once you have your target market and messaging nailed down, you need to determine the best channels to reach them.
Ensure you're on Google Business
This does mean making sure your website is up to date. Adding your business to Google Business will give you more local visibility when people Google terms such as martial arts schools near me. Your Google Business listing is one of the first things potential customers will see when they search for you online so it's important to make a good impression with a properly built website with your offerings clearly laid out.
Use your social media to draw in new members
Your social media accounts are a great place to engage with your current members and students, but they're also a great resource to advertise your martial arts school and the services you offer. Your photos and videos give potential new members an opportunity to get some insight into your classes, style, and those of your staff members.
Create engaging social media posts with pertinent hashtags so that anyone searching for a term such best martial arts schools or martial arts schools have the possibility of finding your content. Add any promotions you're running to your Facebook page and your Instagram stories, and even consider paying for Facebook ads. That way you can specify your target market.
Promote your school in the local area
Social media is a good place to reel some new students, but don't neglect marketing in your local area. There are plenty of places to drum up new business. Reach out to local physios, health shops, and sporting goods stores to see if they'd be interested in collaborating to increase business for you both.
Contact local schools and ask if you can give a presentation to parents and the students to push your classes for younger students. You can even set up stalls at a local event such as a fair, a fete, or a local fun run.
4. Don't forget to focus on your current martial art students
Helping your business grow means more than just bringing in new students. If you focus all your energy on new members and neglect your long-term students, you'll have a revolving door policy. So it's important to maintain your relationships so that you retain members as well.
Make sure you keep up engagement with people who are already patrons of your martial arts school with small gestures such as milestone emails, targeted newsletters, and even birthday messages, all of which can be automated in TeamUp.
You want to ensure your members feel a sense of community so that new people coming in aren't seen as replacing them but as joining them. Coming up with some ideas to retain members will help you to reinforce that idea, and improve your overall growth strategy.
5. Focus on customer service
Another important aspect of growing your martial arts school is to focus on customer service. You need to make sure that your clients are happy and that they feel like they're getting what they paid for. If you have unhappy customers, not only are they less likely to continue using your services, but they're also more likely to leave negative reviews online which could further damage your business.
Make sure you're regularly checking in with your students and members to see how they're progressing and if they have any concerns. Encourage feedback and use it to improve the service you offer. Also, be sure to follow up with any new members to ensure they're enjoying their experience and that they're getting what they want out of their membership.
6. Hire the right martial arts instructors
Your team of instructors are the face of your martial arts school and a play a huge part in your member retention and overall customer service. They're who your clients spend the bulk of their time with when they come to your martial arts business, and it's vital that you're hiring the right people.
Hiring instructors with the correct martial arts qualifications is an important starting point when you look to hire instructors and grow your team. You want to be sure they've gone through the various belts and had some experience of teaching or at least some training to lead martial arts classes.
However, it's equally, if not more, important that you're hiring a staff member who's the right fit. It's someone who's friendly, outgoing and has a personality that will gel with your current students. But more than that, you want potential employees to share your vision and your philosophy of how to run a martial arts school.
7. Create a referral scheme
A martial arts referral scheme is a great way to encourage your existing students to bring in new students. You can offer them a discount on their next month's membership or a free gift for bringing their friends and family to your martial arts school. You can create a good referral scheme in three simple steps:
1. Start by creating a referral program that offers discounts to your current students when they bring in new members. This will encourage them to spread the word about your school and bring in new students.
2. Make sure your referral program is easy to understand and promote it actively on your website and social media profiles.
3. Keep your existing students engaged and active by offering regular promotions and incentives. This will help keep them interested in your school and encourage them to bring in new members.
8. Use your martial arts software
Your martial arts software can be used to help growth in your martial arts school. With martial arts software such as TeamUp's martial arts software, you can manage your classes, track payments, and communicate with your students. It will also help you organize and automate your marketing efforts for your martial arts school.
Put your marketing integrations to work
With a martial arts software solution such as TeamUp, you'll have access to a number of great marketing integrations. These are useful for your retention strategy and great for finding and converting leads.
Connect TeamUp with Zapier and you'll be able to use over 3,000 different apps designed to automate more time-consuming and repetitive tasks than you can probably think of off the top of your head.
You can use Zapier to automate marketing emails. For example, if a potential martial arts student shows an interest in your business on Facebook, you can create an automation on Zapier that will then know to send your marketing email designed to bring in new clients.
Take it a step further and create an automation that sends a free gift to anyone who purchases a class pack or new membership. Something as simple as a branded t-shirt or water bottle is a nice way to welcome them to your martial arts school.
Show your added value with on-demand content
Use your martial arts software to show your added value, what sets you apart from your competitors. Create on-demand content including tutorials and demonstrations so that your students can carry on their martial arts training in their own time.
On-demand also gives members who were unable to make it to your martial arts school for a class to catch up in their own time. This is a great way to ensure your students feel like they're still part of the community and helps to retain them as members.
9. Offer affordable rates
One of the best ways to grow your martial arts school is to offer affordable rates. This will attract more students, as they will not have to spend a lot of money on classes. You can offer discounts for multiple students or for those who sign up for longer periods of time.
With TeamUp, you can create any price plan you want within memberships. To encourage people who may need to stagger membership payments, you can organise instalments, offer individual members discounted memberships, and so much more besides.
Sometimes a one size fits all payment plan isn't viable, but with a flexible membership management system, you can adjust your payment plans as and when you need to.
If you need assistance to alter memberships, TeamUp’s customer support is always happy to help you. Simply schedule a call or send an email to get the help you need.
10. Keep your school clean and organized
Another important tip for growing your business is to keep your martial arts school clean and organized. It's a simple but important point. If your school is cluttered and messy, it will turn students off and they will not want to come back.
The last thing you want is for a potential new student to walk through the doors and then never come back because they were put off by your martial arts school. By properly delegating to your staff members, you can have procedures in place to make sure everyone chips in and helps to keep everything ship shape and above board.
Make sure that you have a place for everything and that everything is in its proper place. As the owner and head instructor, you'll need to set the standards and make sure all the other staff members are pulling their weight. This will give your school a more professional appearance and make it more inviting for students.
To sum up
There are many things that you can do to grow your martial arts school. By following these tips, you will be well on your way to attracting new students and retaining your existing ones. And with a great martial arts software solution such as TeamUp in your corner, you'll have all the tools you need to succeed.
Thanks for reading!