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Martial Arts Studio Business Plan & Marketing Template

Congratulations on deciding to start your own martial arts studio. There’s a good chance you’re a successful practitioner of a certain type of martial arts. Now it’s time that you want to start teaching people what you have learned and, let’s be honest, make a money little money as a result. You’re well on your way to being a successful business owner. However, now it’s time to get down to business. Where to start you ask? That’s simple, you need a martial arts business plan template. Where can you find such a thing??? You’re in luck, that’s exactly what we have for you below.

The business plan template below was designed in part for karate dojos, but if you’re looking for a MMA gym business plan, it should work just fine. The businesses and training are a bit different, but the pre-business preparations are roughly the same. Take a page out of Apple’s book and figure out how you want to structure your business model.

Download the free 4-page martial arts school business plan PDF below to help you navigate the process of starting your own martial arts, MMA gym or karate studio. It’s going to be a long journey, but the end results can be quite rewarding. Make sure you have your mind right when you go into this endeavor. As we say above, it’s going to take a long time to see results, maybe a year or more. However, if you put in the effort and make it a point to have improvements every day at your business, you’ll see results.

Make sure to answer all the questions in the free MMA gym business plan business template below. Don’t lie to yourself. If there’s a question that makes you second-guess yourself starting a MMA studio or karate studio, maybe you need to heed the warning. The martial arts business plan takes at least 3 hours to fill out, so take your time.

Below is a 4-page free PDF martial arts business plan template that we put together. If you’re starting a studio, it will help guide you as you move through the businesses phases. Once you figure out the business plan, you’ll need to set yourself to work on the marketing plan. This can be a bit more fun than the business plan, but it’s also just as serious. You need to figure out a way to get more karate students into your business. Without students, you’re going out of business. There are plenty of ways to advertise for free on Google too.

On a side note, if you’re looking for a way to increase your business’s membership, check out the FitnessTexter video below. FitnessTexter is guaranteed to get you more fitness members.

What Is FitnessTexter?

FitnessTexter turns your business name into a custom texting code that you can put on anything; website, Facebook page, Instagram pictures, business cards, marketing flyers, email signatures, anything!

When someone texts your code to 95577, the person receives a “Free Week Pass” coupon to your gym, and you(the gym owner) get an email with that person’s contact info. Coupon is customizable: “Free Week Pass”, “Free Intro Session”, etc.

Here’s a Gym Using their Custom Texting Code on Facebook

Magness Using FitnessTexter

A Testimonial from Magness BJJ (The Above Picture)

Michael Magness
Michael Magness Owner: Magness BJJ | Location: Duncanville, TX

FitnessTexter has increased our leads dramatically! It’s extremely easy for customers to send a quick text and get a free week pass! I’m so glad we we found FitnessTexter! Thanks Patrick!

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The business plan template is 100% free to download, no strings attached. As we see it, the more martial arts studio that exist, the more potential clients we have. So, get out there and start a business! That said, all we ask is that you keep FitnessTexter in mind when you start advertising and marketing your bootcamp.


Here’s a link to the martial arts studio financial spreadsheet that we talk about so much.

Was the business plan helpful? If so, please leave a comment below. It will just take a few seconds and having Facebook comments will help boost this page’s search ranking. Thanks!


Download (PDF, 137KB)

Martial Arts Studio Business Plan Template

Martial Arts Studio Name:


Proposed Start Month:

Months until Break Even Point:

Use Martial Arts Studio Financial Spreadsheet for this.

First Month of Profit:


General Manager:


Financial Investment Needed:

Use Martial Arts Studio Financial Spreadsheet for this.

Executive Summary

In all honesty, this section of a business plan really isn’t that necessary. It’s designed to be read by investors and upper management. With a Martial Arts studio, you’re most likely the lead investor AND the upper management. That said, the executive summary is simply a reiteration of all the sections below. If you choose to use an executive summary, just hit on the key takeaways from each of the below sections.

Business Description & Motivations

What to Put Here:

This is a section from your heart. Talk about why you want to open a Martial Arts studio. Figure out the underlying motivation that is making you pursue this career path. Use this section to paint the ideal picture of your future Martial Arts studio. What’s the end result of all your hard working going to look like? When will you feel like you’ve succeeded?

Questions to Ask Yourself:

Why do you want to start a Martial Arts studio?
Are you in it for the profit or the passion? There are many other business endeavors with higher success rates than opening a Martial Arts studio. If you’re not in it for your passion of fitness and community, you might want to bow out of the race.
Where do you see the business in 1 year? What about in 5 years? Will you expand? Sell?
Future projections are a great way to figure out the longevity of your business concept.
We’ll work on the inner details of the business further down the worksheet. For now, describe your ideal version of your Martial Arts studio. How many members do you want? What’re your profit goals, etc?
Have you ever started a business before?
Everyone like to think of themselves as an entrepreneur, but it takes a LOT of hard work to get a business off the ground. Are you (and your family) prepared for the long hours and stress involved?

Marketing & Advertising Strategies

What to Put Here:
Now that you’ve decided to open a Martial Arts studio, do you know who you’re going to be working with? Martial Arts studio training is an all ages exercise, but you can’t plan on filling every single niche. Use this section to figure out who you will market your Martial Arts studio to and how you will go about doing this. Sounds like a perfect use for FitnessTexter. 😉

Questions to Ask Yourself:

What demographic is your target market? Men, women, old, young, kids, etc?
How do you plan on attracting/advertising to this target market?
How much are you willing to spend on advertising per month?
Will you do in-house advertising and design work, or will you use a consulting firm?
Do you plan on having a website? (You better!) How much will it cost?

Competitive Landscape Analysis

What to Put Here:
First things first, take a minute to realize you aren’t the only Martial Arts studio in your area. Competition isn’t a bad thing though. It’ll actually make you a better business person by forcing you to constantly stay on your toes. Getting stagnant makes you an easy target for someone looking to push you out of business.

In this section, lay out and analyze the competition that you’re going up against. Is it a wise choice to open in an area that’s already saturated? Really dig into how you’re going to deal with these issues. What if a neighboring Martial Arts studio poaches your best coach and that coach brings 10 students to her new employer’s Martial Arts studio? How do you handle that? Figure out your achilles heel and make sure you’re prepared to mitigate the risks from competition.

Questions to Ask Yourself:

How many other Martial Arts studios are in your geographic region?
Do you currently have a relationship with any of these Martial Arts studios?
What will make your Martial Arts studio more successful than your competition?
There has to be something about your Martial Arts studio that will attract people to yours and not someone elses. Better community? Newer equipment? Better coaches?
How will you keep your best employees from getting poached by other Martial Arts studios?
Do you have an friendly relationships with other Martial Arts studio owners?
If not, will they inhibit your entry into the market?
What are your biggest weaknesses? How will you fix them? Be truthful with yourself.
No business is invincible. Figure out your weaknesses and your mitigation strategy.

Brand Development & Positioning Plan

What to Put Here:
You need to consider your Martial Arts studio like it’s a tangible brand. You don’t want to just be known as another so-so Martial Arts studio that has 50 members, you want people to talk about your Martial Arts studio by name.

Questions to Ask Yourself:

Does my Martial Arts studio name lend itself to good marketing and advertising?
Some Martial Arts studio names sound great on paper, but don’t turn out well in the flesh. Names that are hard to pronounce or difficult to spell don’t help your brand. Purposely misspelling words can make it difficult for people to find you on the internet.
Are you going to be visible to the public or hidden away in an industrial park?
This is a 2-part question. 1, if you’ve got a good storefront location, you want good signage. If your signs are eye-catching, you’ll increase the window traffic at your Martial Arts studio and boost membership. 2, are you going to be active in your community? Giving free public demonstrations and a free weekly Martial Arts studio is a great way to get the word out about your facility.
How are you going to build community at your Martial Arts studio?
Word of mouth advertising is the best way to increase your membership. If your current members are in love with your Martial Arts studio, they’ll happily encourage their friends to come join. Think about ways you can make your Martial Arts studio and brand stand out amongst the crowd.

Operations & Management Plan

What to Put Here:
Now we’re getting down to the nitty gritty aspects of owning a Martial Arts studio. The little details that might be overlooked when you’re imagining running your own business and making profit hand-over-fist.

Here is where you describe the inner details of your business. Lay out every aspect of how the business will operate, who’s in charge of what, etc.

Questions to Ask Yourself:

Does each employee have a written job description detailing their responsibilities?
Who is in charge of hiring, firing, legal disputes, etc?
Do you have a location/facility chosen for your Martial Arts studio?
Do you need to build out the facility?
How much will build-out and equipment cost?
Who has keys to the facility?
Who runs the facility on a day-to-day basis and what are their hours?
Do you make employees sign contracts?
How will you schedule classes?
What’s the daily cost of doing business?
How many days can you be in business before running out of liquid capital?
Have you registered the business yet?
How long is the registration and inspection process going to take?

Financial Factors

What to Put Here:
Running a Martial Arts studio can be a very profitable endeavor. However, you need to be prepared to endure some losses before you start turning a profit.

In this section, lay you the details of your financial plan. Figure out every expense that you’ll have. Don’t tie in personal expenses, those are separate from the business. Visualizing the financial outlay of opening a Martial Arts studio will be help you better understand the (educated)risk you are taking.

Questions to Ask Yourself:

How do you plan on making a profit?
Class fees? Personal training? Supplement sales? Certification classes?
What is your monthly financial goal?
How many months can you sustain business before you’ll need to turn a profit?
Use the Martial Arts Studio Financial Excel Spreadsheet for this one.
How much money are you willing to spend on starting your Martial Arts studio?
Will you be providing all financial capital or will you be seeking outside investors?
If using personal money, are you putting yourself/family in financial danger?
If you decide on investors, what interest rate are you willing to pay them?
What’s the maximum you are willing to LOSE in this venture?
Not all businesses succeed. Be prepared to cut your losses if your business fails.