3 Steps to Starting an After School Karate Martial Arts Program
As a dojo owner, you’re always looking for ways to get more students and increase your monthly revenue. That’s a simple truth of running any fitness business. If you break down your current membership numbers, there’s a good chance that you already have a large number of young karate students. That said, have you ever thought about increasing this number 5X or more? If so, you might want to think about starting an after school karate program. It’s a great way to connect with more potential members (students), give kids something productive to do after school, spread the gospel about the benefits of martial arts for kids, and increase your business’s revenue at the same time. Below you’ll find four simple steps to starting your after school martial arts program.
1. Develop a Curriculum for Students
First things first. Make sure you’re investing in good quality karate uniforms for your kids. Instead of having your parents buy the uniform online, buy yourself karate uniforms in bulk and resell them to parents. One of the first things you’re going to need to do is develop a special curriculum for your after school students. Why a special instructional course for these students? Simple, they’re coming in on a steady basis and they’re not coming in outside of those course hours. You need to make sure that they learn everything necessary in these courses, since they won’t be coming in by themselves on Sundays to catch up. Since you’re going to be working with a progressive course style (instead of starting anew every day), you’ll want to lay out your lessons so that they gradually build on one another. That way, you’ll start with a group of “fresh” students, and by the end of the 6-8 week course, they’ll be ready to enter into your business’s regular class schedule.
2. Talk with Local Schools to Give Free Demonstrations
Once you’ve developed your after school martial arts curriculum, you’ll need to start finding those students to fill out your first class. One of the easiest ways to get started is by asking the local schools if you can give a demonstration during their recreation classes. Offer to provide a 30 minute instructional class to any students that are interested. After your instructional class, let the students know that you’re starting an after school program and give them some literature to bring to their parents. Make sure you have some decent handouts that talk about the benefits of martial arts and can actively help convince their parents to sign up their kids.
3. Investigate Possibility of Having a PickUpService
Once you’ve got your student roster filled out, it’s time to start thinking about HOW the students are going to get to your business. The benefits of an after school program is that parents don’t need to pick up their kids at 3pm when classes let out. Most parents are working until 5pm anyways. That said, you should look into hiring a pickup driver for your classes. Contract with a local taxi service to have a large 10-person van pick up the students every day after school. It might cost a little bit of money, but you’ll be able to blend that cost into your cost of doing business. Parents will be happy that their kids are getting to your business safely, and you’ll be able to focus on providing great karate instruction to your after school students.