In most major cities, businesses and residents are dealing with increases in rental prices. Rents are now topping the list of fastest-rising prices and many businesses are feeling the burn. With rents going up, business owners' tough decisions are becoming even more difficult. Smart decisions need to be made, in order to effectively offset the increase to your costs.
There are many options you can explore but not all of them will be viable for your space or business model. The best way to start is to go through all of the possible options and pick which ones make the most sense for you and your business.
Amp up the Pro Shop
Your pro-shop is a great way to add a revenue stream to your business but it has to be done right. Make sure you don't waste precious square footage with items that will take forever to sell - you can make those items special order, instead. First, determine the needs of your students. What are things they'll need when they first start their martial arts journey? Uniforms aren't replaced very often so holding a large stock of those may not be the wisest choice, while other things like training gear, protective equipment and belts might make sense to keep in constant stock. Refreshments and snacks are another thing many in-school shops have. It's an impulse buy for when they need it. That being said, your students are your paying members: be reasonable with your pricing or some members might get unhappy.
The best part about a martial arts pro-shop is how you can integrate it into your website design. ChampionsWay also has a great POS & online store function, meaning you can increase this revenue stream that much more.
Renting your Space Out
High rental prices affect everyone. This means more people will be looking for day rentals for events or gatherings. Urban schools will be able to drastically subsidize their cost of rent, with as little as a couple events each month. This can become a very profitable option for many martial arts schools. Because the price of the space rental is fairly arbitrary, you can adjust the price to make sure you don't lose out on any opportunities. It can also be great for your community, when you help out smaller non-profits, charities and other organizations, by reducing or eliminating your space rental fees.
Reducing your Ecological Footprint
Going green makes a lot of sense. While it can be hard to adjust to new habits, becoming more environmentally conscious as a business can help reduce your ecological footprint, as well as save you a lot of money. Replacing paper with PCW recycled paper and reducing your paper usage overall are great first steps. Paperless billing is an option to help you avoid paper and ink costs altogether. Changing your lighting to compact-fluorescent or LED lighting can last longer and use less energy. Finally, getting a professional to do an energy audit can save you a lot of money on heating and cooling bills.
Purchasing your Space
For many martial arts schools (especially those just starting out), this likely isn't an option. If your school does really well and you have the means to do it, buying out your space can be a profitable investment, depending on your real estate market and its future. If you decide to pursue this avenue, do some deep research first and find some experts who will let you know whether or not this is a good idea.
Relocation, if Possible
There are a few factors to consider when deciding whether relocating your school will be a good idea or not. First, the larger your customer base, the bigger the chance you'll be affected by current students not traveling to your new location. Second, relocating means there's cheaper rent elsewhere in your city. However, in many big cities, the options are few and far between for the right space. Moving to the suburbs might save you money but it can also mean losing your current customer base. Lastly, before you make the decision, calculate the cost of the move and any projected loss in business. Is the short-term loss of business worth the long-term decrease in rent? There are a ton of other factors to consider but they will be closely tied to each particular scenario.