MA Business Success 39: Why Did You Go Into Business?

Watch the video podcast below Listen to the audio podcast below Phil: And really why are we in business, Graham? Why would you say we're in business? Graham: It's all about changing people's lives. Really, that's what we are driven to do, is to inspire people at a ground level. And again, the motivation behind starting TIMA is we got bombarded with questions over the times we traveled. "How are you guys doing this? What are you doing?", so on and so forth. So we figured, "Hey, if we're going to help business owners in their own areas, man, what an impact we have on this great community and this great state, country, globe, whatever you want to do, it's a beautiful thing." Phil: And if I throw it back at you guys, like why did you get in business? I bet you thought it would be smooth sailing. I bet you thought you'd have heaps of time to live the life that you want. I bet you thought that you'd have lots of cash so you could do what you want, when you want, with whoever you wanted. Phil: Well the fact of the matter is only a small percentage of businesses are actually like that. We've been lucky enough to build a business that literally gives us a lifestyle that we get to plan around and do extra activities. In our martial arts businesses we have three schools, a multi-million dollar organization. We have 50 full time staff and we're just rocking and rolling. And it also gives us the chance to do other things in our lives like other businesses and start fulfilling other dreams and passions as well. Graham: It's exciting, it really is a great space to be in. But I suppose let's dive in to why we've been able to be fortunate enough to continue to grow in some of what has been the hardest times over the last many, many years in both economy, people's spending habits, and whatnot. Because I know that's a big factor in talking to people, that pain of going well, people aren't investing back in luxury items. And traditionally sports, martial arts can be considered exactly that. They're not a need, but we've re-framed that slightly. But let's just dive in to what it is that is the one marketing strategy that works time and time and time again. What is it? Phil: Well, you ask, and if I asked you today, "What was the one thing that works time and time again? What is the one thing that brings the most people to your door?" It would be referrals, referral, referral, referral. And there are so many ways to do referrals and we're going to just freestyle it with you today and just give you some ideas and thoughts of what we do. And the good thing about this podcast is sometimes we actually even create new things that we're not doing and then we implement it at our school. And our staff, they're listening to our podcasts in our meetings going, "That's a great idea. Let's start implementing that." So if we're talking about referrals, Graham, have you got a couple one or two that stand out in your mind? Graham: Most definitely, so let's just go really, really, simple, low cost. And we do a lot about our buddy parties, bring a plate, bring a mate. And you think, "Okay, cool." There's no financial rewards to a friend, it's just an exciting day. So it's about an hour and half workshop that you do, 45 minutes. For those who run birthday parties, again teens, you may decide it's a gaming day, look I'll touch on that in a minute. But this is aimed for the little guys. Bring a plate, bring a mate, and the idea behind it is a 45 minute class of fun games, activities, a little bit of martial arts training there. And then what happens is the guys will come around and bring a plate of food. Now, we understand that we're trying to have some fun. The type of food that you bring is a little bit more sort of party food, we understand that. But what's great about it is you get to share the food, everyone's having a great time. As a cost to the school, it's quite minimal. A couple of bits of flyers and bits and pieces but the catch that gets you that referral is one: the friend that you invite, you need to give them an invitation, so Phil, I want you to come down to this great party I'm having at my school. I need your mum and dad to fill this out to give permission. Beautiful, boom. So you get that permission slip. Two, when you're wrapping up the event, have some prizes, have some things where that invitation goes in to a raffle, a draw. So you're bringing out things that could be free memberships, discounted memberships, it could be a free trial. It could be just some little knickknacks, whatever that may be. And there's one real sweetness that really worked in that situation for us, is all the non-member students got themselves a white belt. And man, that is powerful. Now for the couple of bucks that you spend getting a white belt, the student who's got a friend that comes along, it's great, they're pumped they get to help their friend with the white belt, get a photo. But my friend Phil who came down to the school goes home and it's just like, "Mom, Dad, I want to do this." They've got a little bag of information and I tell you what, for a low investment amount, the return on investment is a really, really great one. Plus a great retention tool for your students you've already got as well. That's one little gem that if you apply it guys for those listening, that will make you an absolute killing in student numbers but also making sure that your business is growing in the direction you want. Phil: Yeah. Look, something that comes to my mind that we've done before, we haven't done it for a while. And this is definitely one of those referral tools that you don't do all the time. You bring it out every now and then. But everything that we do has to be special, it has to have some significance and it has to be almost like that gold-class feeling. And that's what you have to do with this particular technique and it's the VIP cards. It's like the business card, so every now and then within your business, what you want to be able to do is get some really nice VIP cards done. Almost like business card size. And if you do it in a nice embossed gloss or gold or whatever it might be, and put nice words on it, and literally over a particular month you hand these cards out to each and every single one of your students. And you really got to pre-frame to your students why you're doing this. It's all about, how we pre-frame. It's all about giving the gift of martial arts. And we ask the students, "Has martial arts changed your life?" And everyone says yes. And would it be selfish of you not to share the gift of martial arts? And everyone agrees. And say, "Look, we have a very special thing where we give you this VIP card. It's a very special card and you only get one. Now this is a gift you get to give to your most special friend, the person that you think would deserve or need this the most." And that card would give them a specific amount of free training or a discount or whatever you choose for that card to resemble in your school. But you're really trying to make an emphasis on this being exclusive. It's a specific gift, it's like a special thing, it's like the Willy Wonka ticket. You know this little Willy Wonka ticket, this is the golden ticket that you just don't want to throw away. It's not something you put in your wallet. It's like you've got to be walking home with it like this, and give it to the person. And that's how you have to be out to do in your market. That's how you trade it, it's not just here's your cards, give it to your friends and see what happens. Make it more about the benefits, the results, the reasons behind martial arts and take the honors on these guys about sharing the gift of martial arts. So again, I think I've said it before, it's not what you do, it's how you do it. Anyone can give out a card, but how you give that card out will make the world a difference in your marketing or getting more referrals through your door. Graham: Hey Phil, I know there's probably quite a few guys that are listening to this and we've got that sort of referral campaign going, but I don't know if they understand. And some probably do, how vital the referral marketing sort of system really works. And I'll explain why. We have about 60% of our leads that come in through referral. Now if you look at it like, "Geez, I've got a student who's found us through the yellow pages." The yellow pages I don't think exists anymore, but through the paper. Whatever it is they know nothing about our system, our school. They're just cold calling and it's up to us to sell the benefits there. If Phil refers me though, to our business here, man, I tell you what, I guarantee me as the student, the person looking to maybe join has asked you, "What is it like? How much is it?" All the rest. So if they come in to your business they've actually decided to call you up and make an appointment, I guarantee they already know ahead of time how much you charge, what the sort of general order things go on, that fact that their friend who gave you that referral card, the VIP card, spread you in a way that you couldn't do. You've got a walking billboard, so don't just look at these referral programs as "Yeah, it's just another income stream, it's just another way to come on board." It is probably the most powerful way to get the best, I believe, the best conversion rate between any marketing system you have out there. Phil: Absolutely. I think just a couple of things and I'm going to group these all in together. You've got to be doing social events at your school. And don't just do social events just for your students. Every social event should be orientated around bringing a friend to your school, sharing the experience. And I think the statistic now is someone's got to see or touch your brand, what, 16 times? Graham: Sixteen times, mate. Phil: So a friend might come to a buddy day or they might come to an adult sun downer, or they might see your ad in the paper. Then they might see you on the TV, or at a fight, or at a fair. And it's only until they eventually go, you know what" They drove past the sign and they saw it again, it's like the sixteenth time, on average, whatever it might be. But you know, buddy days, pizza parties, social events, dodge ball nights, Nerf gun nights, you know all these things where your current students, they'll love it. It's a social thing and they get to also bring someone that's external into their environment. Graham: Hey guys, Phil just touched on a great range of skills and really fun things to bring in some of the junior students, things that we've just deployed just over the last 12 months was the gaming nights. And these are directed more towards those 10 to 12 year old students, maybe 10 to 14 year olds. So it's a game night where we're fortunate enough to have connections, where we're able to have a bunch of TV screens, different types of game systems. You've got your Xbox, you've got your Nintendo Wii, whatever that may be and it's set up so the kids are having some fun. Plus you've got some music section on the other side. So get in our school, it's quite a clear line down the middle. Quite a few of the boys down the one end playing the games, quite a few girls up the other end listening to music, being social and just having a really great time. We've found that works really, really well when you've got more towards those older students where the fun parties aren't as much. It's a different spin on things but it's still really, really effective. Phil: Yup, excellent, awesome stuff. And look, if you guys have any ideas of different things that you guys are bringing referrals into your school that work, send them through guys. We'd love to chat about it because you know martial arts business guys, we should all be sticking together. We should all be looking at raising the bar, lifting the standard of professional schools and giving all the students and all the people within our communities the best experience they can. So look, if you've got any great tips or tools or strategies that you're using in your school to bring in more referrals, send them through and we'd love to share them with you guys. I know we've got a great little new segment in our new version 2.0 of our podcast, Martial Arts Business Success. It's called Ask The Boys, and basically it is where you get to email us any questions, any thoughts, or any discoveries, or maybe you've actioned something we've talked about. It's like, "Hey, big shout out, I tried it and it worked." So anything that you'd like to talk about or ask to explain or have a little bit of a chit chat about, email us at [email protected]. That is [email protected]. And we'd love to hear from you guys so we can start really giving you guys exactly what you want. And you know what? I think we just covered a podcast about find out what they want, go get it, and give it to them. We want to know what you want so we can give it to you guys. So please, send us through those emails, [email protected]. And also for you other guys, make sure you're leaving reviews on iTunes for us, that means a lot. Also, check out our social media pages, we've got all the stuff out there. We do some little crazy things where we might post activities that we're doing during the day at our businesses, etc., etc. And last but not least, for podcasts listeners only, we have a special deal that's out that the moment which means sign up for our silver level at $99 and we're going to throw in gold, which is a value of $299 a month, for free. And we're also going to give you a coaching session with Graham and myself, which really, that's what it's all about. Getting sound advice from people who have been there and done that. The value, I think, Graham, is about $890 odd dollars, and you're going to get that, obviously, for $99 guys. So get on the website, that's and start getting in to the membership level there guys. And we'd love to hear from you guys. Graham: Just before I throw it out and we sign off, something I want you guys to remember. Success is only success when it's shared, and that's why, that's our motivation behind TIMA. We're not here to scrimp and try to riot our clients. We're here to share as much as we can so you guys can enjoy the same lifestyle we do. Phil: All right guys. Well, as we always say, as the TIMA slogan is all about, Believe in yourself. Begin the amazing journey and become the person and business of your dreams. Have a great week guys and I'll see you on another one.

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