MA Business Success 35: The Life of a Multiple-School Owner

https://soundcloud.com/tima-38/tima-podcasts-episode-35

Alex: They can talk to me today about a day in the life of being a multiple school owner. It sounds absolutely terrifying. Graham, what's the answer, how on earth do you? Graham: Goodness, you know, just looking across at Phil now, there's one word that you say multiple times, manage, manage, manage. You've got to manage people, that's something that as you grow in schools, you don't necessarily get as much time to teach frontline, you're more in human resources and managing people and putting out spot fires or inspiring others so they can take that material down to their subordinates, to their staff. Because really when you look at it, you're increasing your staff base, they need to make sure there's a consistent message across however many locations that you may have, so you've got that brand integrity, so you really do need to make sure that you're there to assess if everything is smooth sailing. You're the captain on the...

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MA Business Success 34: Creating a Business Plan

https://soundcloud.com/tima-38/tima-podcasts-episode-34

Alex: Today we're talking about setting up a business plan for your organization. So Phil, first up, why's the business plan so important? Phil: Well, if you didn't have a plan or a map of where you wanted to go you wouldn't get anywhere. Alex: And that goes across the board with any business really, doesn't it? Phil: It goes across the board with starting a business, it goes across the board when you're traveling. Where you want to go, anywhere in life you've got to know where you're going, you have a plan. Because if something goes wrong, you gotta be able to know where to get back on track or we all get lost in the busy world, it's noisy out there and we get weighed down with all the goings on. So a plan is a way to get back on track. First thing you've got to do is, like always, and maybe I'm the king of quotes lately is, "Begin with the end in mind," Stephen Covey. Which we've all probably heard before as martial artists....

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MA Business Success 33: Great Class Ideas

https://soundcloud.com/tima-38/tima-podcasts-episode-33

Alex: Now today we're going to be looking into martial arts class ideas. Graham, easier said than done, I guess. I mean, because you're juggling lots of different ages and stages, and so where do you start? Graham: You know, Alex, it really is a challenge when you put everybody all in the same group, so to give you an idea, to have beginners in with advanced students is a real challenge. So identifying quickly what you're dealing with, and then being able to structure the class around that is key. But some fine ideas is to have that great blend between that serious aspect, that self-defense, obviously making sure the students are progressing and learning correctly, and you've got to have that fun in there as well. So otherwise, you know, you got to have those two or three die-hard students that love their seriousness, but you've also with plenty of others. Alex: Sure, absolutely. So it is finding that mix and also...

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MA Business Success 32: Successful Co-Ownership

Alex: Today, particularly if you're a co-owner. How to run a business not being the sole owner. How do you work with others, how do you make that relationship work, etc., etc., etc. Big topic. So Phil, kick us off here. What does it take for a successful co-ownership, knowing that your co-owner is in the building? Phil: Hm, what can I say here? No look, in all seriousness, it's one of those things that, a business partnership, people warn about. And I have been in bad business partnerships before. And there are things that you both have to do. You just have to do it. And we put it down into eight points. So for the viewers out there and the listeners, what I suggest you do if you get a chance...if you're driving, don't do this...but if you get a chance, write the word "powerful" down vertically. P, and then under that, O, powerful down there, because we're going to have a point on each one of those which we believe have been the crucial success of our co-partnership. Alex: Okay....

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MA Business Success 31: Do You Need a Website?

Alex: So today's issue that we're dealing with is whether or not to take the plunge and get yourself a website up and running. Now, Graham, it's gotta be a must doesn't it? Graham: It is definitely a must if...for the listeners out there that have just neglected to take a website, create one, or they've got one from the, I don't wanna say the stone ages because they never existed, the early days, you really do need to put some time and effort. No, in this industry, in this modern era, your website is your shop front. It's where people will browse and knowing personally ourselves the way that people buy, their buying habits nowadays, there's a lot of people that are very interested in doing a lot of research about you well before they ever call you or engage in your services. So having a great website is a good way that they can compare you to what else is out there. And you have...honestly, you've got less than 10 seconds to make a good impression. So if you've got too much text or...

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MA Business Success 30: Cancelling & Quitting

Alex: Now today, we're talking about the topic of cancelling or quitting. So Graham, just explain a little bit more about quitting. Graham: It's a heartbreaking process for any business owner, losing a client. For us, it's a process that years ago used to be quite an awkward one and now we've realized what we want to do is we want to try and celebrate as much as we can this process with the students. There are going to be some factors where you leave on sketchy terms. And just a while ago, some people uproot. But how we try and do is, we try and make the process as joyful as we can, as much as internally it's the worst thing in the world. Alexa: It's joyful you're quitting. Graham: Yes, we've got to explain. Like any relationship, a good relationship where it comes to an end, it's a hard thing if you leave on bad terms, that then poisons that relationship and they then may just spread the word. If you leave with the door always open and that welcome feeling, it may simply be the...

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MA Business Success 15: Martial Arts Pricing Strategies

Alex: Today we're going to be discussing pricing your martial arts service, which, I guess, is...well, where do you start with that one, Graham? Graham: Look, it's...you know, having traveled the world and speaking to lots of different business owners, they get nervous about putting their fees up, or charging, you know, a premium for what was traditionally considered like a hobby. But, it's important now in this sort of new economy, in this new age, to look around at what other parents are spending on other activities. For example, how much would it cost for gymnastics? How much would it cost for dancing? What about another sport like football, or a private training guitar lesson? And just get a general understanding of what other sports and activities are charging in your area. You may be actually quite surprised at what the dance studio is charging versus what you as a martial artist are charging. And you ask any martial artist, the service we provide isn't just kicks and...

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Word of Mouth Marketing in Martial Arts Business

Does your martial arts school prioritise word of mouth marketing? It’s one of the most convincing and cost-effective marketing techniques available to businesses, yet it’s often overlooked when you’re first starting out. Word of mouth marketing (referred to as WOMM by many businesses) is a successful martial arts marketing tool for schools all over the world. Following his experience in his own school, WAIMA, co-founder Graham McDonnell believes: Word of mouth is by far the best way to get your brand out there without it being a major cost.” 

What is word of mouth marketing?

Has someone else’s experience with a business ever been so good you decided to try it yourself? Perhaps you were told about it in conversation after you expressed your desire for a similar service. Perhaps you were told because your connection felt compelled to tell you simply to share the good news. If you’ve had conversations like this, then you have participated...

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MA Business Success 14: Handling Helicopter Parents

https://soundcloud.com/tima-38/martial-arts-business-success-14-handling-helicopter-parents

Alex: Today we're going to be talking about a difficult one. We're talking about helicopter parents and how on earth you handle them. So, Phil, kick us off. What are your tips for handling difficult parents hovering around? Phil: Yeah, I suppose if you're in any business or you're around any sporting activity, you should know what helicopter parents are. Alex: Yes. Okay, first off, define them. Phil: For those of us who aren't too sure, they're the parent who hovers around offering, well, I wouldn't even say advice. They're bantering. They're yelling at their child. They might be negatively pointing out other children, that they're not meeting standard and all that sort of stuff. So they're that splinter in your foot while you're trying to teach class, and they're yelling out on the sidelines. In particular in martial arts, we have you know...the bigger your school, the more you're going to...

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When the Martial Arts Student Becomes the Master

Are you finding it difficult to draw the line between employer and employee at your dojo? At most martial art schools it is common for former students to become instructors. It is important to remember the chain of command. Here are tips for ensuring positive relationships with your employees while still showing who’s boss.  Stay Structured with Regular Team Meetings It is important to have a constant flow of communication throughout the dojo, especially between the owners, managers and instructors. This means regularly touching base with each other and ensuring everyone is on the same page. Staff meetings are a great way for martial arts owners to communicate with their employees as they allow for questions to be answered and brainstorming about the future and now.  TIMA co-founder Phil Britten says he and business partner Graham McDonnell have penciled various meetings into the work calendar, including a management meeting once a week, a team meeting once a month...

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