How to Open a Successful Martial Arts school

Opening a martial arts school is easier said than done but it can be a natural progression, for someone whose martial art practice encompasses their whole life. There are many things to think about and there are many needed resources to pull it off. That being said, this can be one of the most rewarding experiences for a martial arts entrepreneur. Here are some of our tips to help you open a successful martial arts school.


Turn your Passion into your Profession

Not many successful martial arts school owners do it for random reasons. Most school owners are in it not only to make a profit but more to explore their passion in martial arts, while having a business that is all about their ideals. When someone turns their passion into their profession, there are many things you have to be mindful of. First, you want to make sure the gruelling lifestyle of entrepreneurship doesn’t damper your passion for martial arts.


Write a Business Plan

Perhaps the most important part of opening a successful martial arts school is writing a solid martial arts business plan. It’s important to create a roadmap of success but it also helps in really uncovering things - such as what your intentions are - and whether your business is feasible to start and to float. Check out this blog post on the key to writing a successful martial arts business plan.


Don’t Forget the Marketing Plan 

While most people write a business plan, not everyone writes a marketing plan. This is a big mistake! A martial arts marketing plan will make clear who your prospective students are, how you will get them to join, and how to keep them coming back. It’s not something you make and then forget about: it’s something that you refer to every month or so, to make sure you’re on track, as well as adjusting as needed. Check out our 8 tips to improve your martial arts marketing plan, to get a great head start.


Manage Expectations

Although a martial arts school needs to make money to survive, many businesses don’t see a real return in the first few years. With all of the costs required to start a gym, it may take a while before you get to pay those off. One of the most common mistakes a first-time business owner makes is underestimating how much it will cost to get their business off the ground, as well as keeping it afloat in the beginning. If you want to open a successful martial arts school, make sure you plan for all of the costs, or else things can get hairy very quickly.


While they can be easily forgotten in your planning, remember things like insurance costs, utilities (and how they seasonally fluctuate), staff training costs and time, marketing budgets and emergency funds. If you’re opening with a line of credit, try to find a lender that offers a low interest rate, so you’ll accrue a smaller overall cost for borrowing.


Build Community

The most effective way to get a buzz going when you’re opening a successful martial arts school is to build community before your school opens. Create some events and invite people to come. Also remember to provide a great time and maybe a demonstration or two. Cross-promote with other complimentary businesses, to have better access to their clientele, while also forming stronger relationships with other entrepreneurs and business owners in your area. For more information on how you can start engaging with people in your city, check out PerfectMind’s blog post on building a community.


Create Structure

Structure and fluid operations are an essential part of a successful martial arts school. Hiring a great set of senior instructors and/or operations managers can really help. Additionally, a martial arts school management software solution can aid in streamlining and optimizing your workflow, sign-in, retention, accounting and many other aspects of the business. From automated billing and email automation, to staff, belt and rank management, our software can help guide you along the process.


Do you own a martial arts school? What’s the one piece of advice you would give to someone starting their first school? Let us know on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Google+ to stay up to date with all of your ChampionsWay news.