What do you do when testing is next week, one of your main instructors go down for 6-8 weeks with a detached retina while you’re implementing a new teaching curriculum, one week later another main instructor goes down for at least 6-8 weeks with a torn rotator cuff, 75% of your classes don’t have an instructor, and then… your school is burglarized?
Welcome to my world. 🙂
Aside from the school actually burning down, you probably couldn’t get a worse set of circumstances all happening at the same time.
So the question I have for you is:
Are you ready for when disaster strikes? (Don’t worry, I’m not trying to sell you insurance!)
Most instructors are a one man (or woman) show. You run your school, you teach the classes, you collect the tuition, you do the marketing, you enroll new students, and on and on. The good news is that you doing all of that isn’t a problem. The problem is that little, if any, of the things you do are systematized. So the bad news is that if things aren’t systematized, everything there is to know about running your school is IN YOUR HEAD.
So if you’re gone, the school is gone.
I remember one of the mothers at our school, about 20 years ago, who was involved in everything would always say, “There’s a place for everything and put everything in its place.” That’s great when you’re dealing with the kids and cleaning up, but it got me thinking about the Taekwon-Do school and I started saying, “There’s a system for everything and that system needs to be in place!”
The beauty of running your school (or any business) with systems is that it allows you make tweaks and changes to your business that are based in reality. The system is either working or it’s not, and if it’s not then you can isolate the problem and make the necessary changes. Otherwise you fall into the trap of, “We need more students!” or “Kid’s are bored in class” and you make crazy business decisions that, in the end, make little to no difference and you are left with the same problem.
When there are systems in place you can pinpoint where the breakdowns are. For getting new students, is it not getting in front of enough people? Are they calling but not scheduling appointments? Are they coming in but not enrolling? With systems in place you can identify the problem and work smarter in the right areas. Most instructors just say, “our marketing isn’t working, let’s do something else” and never identify the real problem.
If kids are getting bored in class, is it because of the way the instructor is teaching? Is it because the curriculum is to easy for the student? Is the student even really bored or is that the excuse he’s giving his parents? Again, when there’s a system in place you can isolate the problem and take the right actions, instead of doing something crazy like re-arranging your curriculum for the wrong reasons or getting rid of an instructor.
The second great thing about having systems in place is that you can easily train someone else to do that job. How do you think 17 yr olds can manage a McDonald’s? Systems.
When they’re implemented in your school, you can literally replace yourself!
And in a situation like mine, you can quickly put people in place that can learn the system and keep things going without you there.
We’ve got systems in place for everything. Systems for our curriculum, for enrolling new members, for instructor training, for lining up for class, for bag drills, for answering the phone, etc. So I’ve spent the last week and a half making sure that those systems are all still functioning, identifying where they’re not, and doing something about it. All without having to do everything myself!
We have an amazing group of students and Black Belts that have stepped up and made sure that the school doesn’t skip a beat. But without those systems in place, everyone would just be wondering what to do and how to do it. Nobody can get into Master Karstadt’s head (except for the eye surgeon who reattached his retina) and find out what he hasn’t systematized.
Having these systems in place has allowed me to not have to freak out, to not get overwhelmed and to keep up the quality of the service Karstadt Taekwon-Do provides in the midst of all this craziness!
About the Author:
Mr. Karstadt is the founder of 1 TKD Consulting and owns the longest running ITF Taekwon-Do school in Arizona, Karstadt Taekwon-Do in Phoenix, AZ with his father Master David Karstadt. He has been training since 1984, earned his Black Belt at the age of 8 and is currently an internationally renown intstructor teaching the culture, discipline, leadership and business skills of Taekwon-Do in classes and seminars to Instructors around the world. He has been a member of eight U.S. Taekwon-Do Teams and has traveled to 14 different countries competing in Taekwon-Do. He has won numerous medals at the World Championships and in international competition, most notably winning the 2004 World Championships in South Korea with two gold medals and the Men’s Team All Around Trophy. Mr. Karstadt currently resides in uptown Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and three children. Mr. Karstadt can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org