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Attention instructors - How do I get started?

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    Attention instructors - How do I get started?

    Ok so Im sick and tired of NOT living the life of a professional martial artist. I have no desire to fight professionally, but I love to train. I have been a assistant to my coach for years and now I have the opportunity to start up my own classes in our school because he is going to be teaching at another school that he just opened.

    Now my question to the pro's out there is - How would one structure the business aspect of it? How much of a cut should the person running the school get and how much should be kicked up to the head instructor/owner? What about advertising? I understand that the owner should handle all the business aspects it, but on the other hand my coach isnt the best when it comes to these things and if its my paycheck were talking about, then Im going to want to make it as profitable as I can.

    #2
    I would suggest take the model of the chief instructor. Get the exact ins and outs of what and how he gets/spends/lives. Take only the good aspects of it and mold the rest to your needs and personality. If you are not truly yourself in businees people will see through it. My former school is a small one. We payed all the bills first, then the rest was taken by the owner. I worked for free for 5 years. (what a mashugana) We all have other jobs which almost every other instructor/owner has unless you are part of a franchise. We have never done any advertising except the phone book, this has killed business. You must advertise I wanted to do a float in the 4th of July parade. 500 bucks is all it would cost but Soke said no. He had no good reason why. Please don't be as hard headed has him. Not advertising and (pigeon-holeing?) your school are death traps. This is happening to us. We have a cross big as life on our billboard, that turns off anyone who is not 100% Christian. My point is be what and who you are without forcing your students to become or believe in what you do. Everyone is so affraid of being called a mcdojo. I think you need to implement some of the tactics thy use in advertising. Not saying throw ninja birthday parties but public BBQ or flyers at the mall one of the magnetic stickers you put on the side of your car, or a larger window decal. Not every student that comes through the door needs to be a cage fighter or want to go pro don't turn away the fat 13 year old who makes Power Ranger noises when he spars. If your school ain't broke don't try to fix it. I stepped on the owners foot several times when I did not agree with his business and training practices. Now I have no home gym but still all these great ideas. By the way it takes guts to do what you are doing. I am by no means a business major or have any real schooling in business. I have been an instructor in several schools around the country and started a small now defunked school. I do however have an idea what works and does not work. So pleas keep us and me informed on how things are going. Maybe I can live viacriously through your adventures. Good Luck
    Mark

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      #3
      Didn't see when you got back, five, welcome.
      Tough is not how you act, tough is how you train.

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        #4
        I recommend making everyone sign 5 year contracts with a black belt guarentee, that should get plenty of students. Also, give out black belts to anyone and everyone, no matter the age or skill, but make them pay extreme amounts of money for it and for testing and graduation ceremonies and stuff. Oh, and forget about teaching anything useful, just have them do kata every day. Tell them it takes decades to become good at fighting, which should insure you a steady cash flow.

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          #5
          Originally posted by Mark Su Kow
          I would suggest take the model of the chief instructor. Get the exact ins and outs of what and how he gets/spends/lives. Take only the good aspects of it and mold the rest to your needs and personality. If you are not truly yourself in businees people will see through it. My former school is a small one. We payed all the bills first, then the rest was taken by the owner. I worked for free for 5 years. (what a mashugana) We all have other jobs which almost every other instructor/owner has unless you are part of a franchise. We have never done any advertising except the phone book, this has killed business. You must advertise I wanted to do a float in the 4th of July parade. 500 bucks is all it would cost but Soke said no. He had no good reason why. Please don't be as hard headed has him. Not advertising and (pigeon-holeing?) your school are death traps. This is happening to us. We have a cross big as life on our billboard, that turns off anyone who is not 100% Christian. My point is be what and who you are without forcing your students to become or believe in what you do. Everyone is so affraid of being called a mcdojo. I think you need to implement some of the tactics thy use in advertising. Not saying throw ninja birthday parties but public BBQ or flyers at the mall one of the magnetic stickers you put on the side of your car, or a larger window decal. Not every student that comes through the door needs to be a cage fighter or want to go pro don't turn away the fat 13 year old who makes Power Ranger noises when he spars. If your school ain't broke don't try to fix it. I stepped on the owners foot several times when I did not agree with his business and training practices. Now I have no home gym but still all these great ideas. By the way it takes guts to do what you are doing. I am by no means a business major or have any real schooling in business. I have been an instructor in several schools around the country and started a small now defunked school. I do however have an idea what works and does not work. So pleas keep us and me informed on how things are going. Maybe I can live viacriously through your adventures. Good Luck
          Mark
          Thanks for the input. We are going to have someone else come in and do the kids classes because neither my coach or myself have the patience for that crap. I was thinking about doing women self defense coarses as well. You know - let them sign up for a 2-3 day a week class for like 8 weeks or so. The idea of a cardio kickboxing class has been kicked around - and even though its a guaranteed money maker I might have to kick my own ass if I had to be the one to teach it.



          Feedback: Thanks, its VERY nice to be back!

          Comment


            #6
            Welcome back.

            Find a few students, start teaching them privately. Try to get on at a YMCA or Boys & Girls Club or other location. Build a customer base until you know that going solo will at least support itself.

            Be willing to be poor for a long time.
            "Quiet fool before I am kicking the butt!"
            -My three year old trash talking to me

            "Integrity can't be bought or sold---you either have it or you don't."
            -The Honky Tonk Man

            "If you can't be a shining example, at least be a dire warning."
            -My Father to me one day

            "No surprise. Until Aikido sheds its street-brawling, thuggish image, it'll never be mainstream."
            -Don Gwinn

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