8 Ways to Increase Your Martial Arts School’s Gross Income
When running a martial arts school, you do not want to depend solely on the revenue you earn from your core program. Instead, you want to create multiple streams of revenue, just as most other successful businesses do.
First, when you create multiple income streams, your school will be much stronger and more stable. You’ll be in a far better position to weather bad economic conditions, shifts in the market, seasonal fluctuations and competitors’ challenges. If your only source of revenue is your main martial arts program then you’ll really feel the pinch if that martial arts program suddenly declines, for some reason.
Second, when your school begins to derive income from a variety of sources, rather than just one or two, your bottom line will grow dramatically. I’ve experienced this phenomenon personally, and I’ve seen it happen in the schools of countless instructors. Creating multiple revenue streams is one of the fastest, easiest and smartest ways to rocket your income and profitability to a whole new level.
Third, most martial arts instructors I know did not open their schools to become rich. They did it to perpetuate their art, to do what they love to do and to change the lives of their students through the benefits of martial arts training. Creating multiple income streams will not only increase your gross income, it will also allow your school to appeal to a much wider range of students. So your student-count will increase, enabling you to influence entirely different sectors of the market with your valuable teachings. In the eyes of most school owners, that’s a beautiful thing and allows you to share the martial arts with more people.
The top eight income streams that create an immediate impact on a martial arts school’s bottom line are:
1. Core Service Tuition
The initial investments and residual tuition dollars you receive from your core service will rep¬resent the biggest chunk of your school’s income. Every school has this one from day one.
2. Upgrade Program Tuition
At the bare minimum, your school should have some kind of an upgrade program like a Black Belt Club (BBC). Imagine how much more income you could generate if you offered additional pro¬grams, such as a BBC, a Masters Club, a Leadership Course or a Certified Instructor Training (CIT) program.
3. Private Lessons
Many instructors make a substantial amount of additional income teaching private lessons. I was one of them. This is a no-brainer income stream that I encourage you to pursue.
4. Product Sales
If your school doesn’t already have a pro shop, then I highly recommend you develop and open one as soon as possible. Students will purchase everything from gis and gear to nutritional supplements and beverages. An extra two-, three-, four- or five-thousand dollars a month will really boost your bottom line at the end of the year.
5. Special Events
If your school is not hosting at least one special event a month, then you’re overlooking another healthy income stream. Consider summer camps, buddy days, lock-ins, birthday par¬ties, movie and parent nights, special guest seminars, interschool tournaments, and other similar events that will attract more attention to your school. Take the time to determine which of these events best fits your customs, traditions, personality and situation. The key is to do them consistently and work on growing the amount of participants.
6. Multiple Schools and Satellite Locations
More and more school owners operate several schools, or they run satellite programs in gyms, health clubs, YMCAs, churches, recreational facilities, academic schools, junior col¬leges, etc.
7. After-School Martial Arts
Transporting kids to your school for several hours a day for an after-school martial arts pro¬gram can become a new business within your business. Since the parents of these students pay approximately $300 – $400 a month, it has been a highly profitable venture for the many school owners who have been able to integrate such a program and often makes more than your traditional program.
8. Additional Programs and Services
Additional programs and courses are the most common and successful extra-revenue streams for most of the school owners with whom I speak. I know of some schools that dou¬bled their incomes simply by adding a preschool program. Other examples of alternate profit centers include summer camps (one of the best), Tai Chi, Yoga, weapons classes, MMA, massage therapy, an early morning martial arts program for people with unusual schedules, weight training, street combat self-defense, women’s personal safety seminars and lessons in virtually any other style of martial arts than those of your core program.
Creating multiple sources of income can dramatically increase your gross and help insulate your school from most adverse market conditions. Think of it this way: You usually don’t spar with just one weapon. You shouldn’t try to run your school that way either.