Whether you want to admit it or not…
Most martial arts schools owners are like Dilbert when it comes to the numbers of their business.
As I’ve said countless times before, when it comes to the art and teaching the art, most instructors have that down. But when it comes to business skills and practices… well, you’re Dilbert.
When I ask instructors how many students they signed up last month they come up with a number after a dramatic pause. When I ask them how much they grossed the previous month they use the word “about” before they give me a number. When I ask them how they are doing this month they start with “I think we’re…”.
Numbers are everything when you are running a business because they give you the most accurate picture of the reality of what’s going on in your school. It’s the scoreboard that tells you how you’re doing.
Most instructors aren’t even present to the game, let alone the scoreboard. The tragedy of this is that they are making critical decisions about their business, about what they charge, about their marketing and scheduling based on – well, who knows what it’s based on.
They could be making changes because they have one obnoxious complaining parent, because they feel like they need to do something different, or just because they think or feel like something is a great idea.
Then they are HOPING it works.
Nothing could be more dangerous to your business.
You might have one person complaining about something, but are you going to make changes when 99% of your members are already happy? No, you just take a few extra moments to take care of that one member.
You shouldn’t be making any changes unless you have hard evidence to support “why” you are doing it. Where does that evidence come from?
It all comes from tracking the numbers of your business.
How many students did you sign up last month?
How much money did you gross last month?
What is your gross income goal for this month?
What is your gross income for this month so far?
Are you ahead of reaching your goal or behind?
If ahead, what’s working? If behind, how are you making it up?
The last three questions are the critical ones that will simplify your life. It tells you exactly where you are in relationship to your goals and should dictate what actions you are taking.
Without having answers to these three questions you’re like a ship lost in the Atlantic with no compass hoping to find Hawaii. Yes I said “Atlantic” on purpose.
You are taking actions, keeping busy, dealing with what’s right in front of you and hoping that something works out.
If you’re going to be busy, be busy doing things that are going to make a difference for you and your school and take you in a direction closer to your goals.
At a minimum, start tracking those questions I asked above. You’ll get an immediate look at the health of your business and have the ability to start making decisions and taking actions that will take you closer to where you want to be.
At all times, as the school owner, you should have answers to these questions.
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