The Path To Your Next 150 Students | ITF Taekwon-Do

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Every year in early December I sit down to look at my goals for the upcoming year.  I take a look at what worked and what didn’t over the past year, define what I want for the next year and get to work planning it out.

For example, say I want to net $200,000 this year.  Based on the tuition I charge, my current retention rates, and my existing student base, I’m going to have to sign up 154 students over the course of next year.

Armed with that information I can now get to work finding out where those new members will be coming from.

The first thing I do is get my yearly schedule for the next year and look at what events I have scheduled and just put a number down next to each one representing how many new students I expect to enroll from that event.

You’ll see there’s the monthly Kid’s Nights where students bring a buddy, Women’s Self-Defense Courses which always bring in 2-3 new families, our summer camps, sleepovers, seminars, and promotions for just about every holiday.  And then you’ll notice the “Misc” category. That is for walk-ins and people that found us on their own.

ITF Taekwon-Do Marketing Plan
You can also see that there’s something going on every month.  Based on tracking past events, I have a sense of what these events will produce as far as new students are concerned.

Also, if you can read it, and did the math, I’m still 4 new members short. I plan on making that up with the birthday parties that we’ll be hitting hard this year.

Like I said, it’s not rocket science.  You just have to take the time to do the thinking required.

“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.”
           -Sun Tzu

Your job is to sit down and take the time to look at what you have planned this year and what you can expect it to produce.  Most instructors are like the defeated warrior mentioned above, just flying by the seat of their pants and have no idea why things are going the way they are.

Even when business is good, they aren’t exactly sure why.

By doing this quick exercise you’ll know what is probable for your business performance.  You may find out that you have many opportunities to hit your goals, or you may find out you’re screwed!

But that’s the good news!  Even if you’re screwed, at least now you know it and can take the actions necessary to do something about it. Otherwise you would just keep floating along, frustrated and surviving another year…  wondering if it’s all worth it.

Finally, when you look at your yearly calendar, if you do not see opportunities all over the place to for events that can introduce people to Taekwon-Do, then you should take a hard look at what you are spending your time doing and why you are doing it.

Most of your events that you host should make you money, bring in new members, or better yet, both!  I don’t say this because I think you should be greedy and want money, but because Taekwon-Do makes an enormous difference in people’s lives and because you earned it.  You put a great deal of time and energy into preparing for these events and you should be compensated for it.  You should also always have a special offer for any non members who attend your events to continue driving traffic into your school.

Now go get started!


About the Author:

John Headshot
John Karstadt

Senior Instructor – Karstadt Taekwon-Do

Mr. Karstadt 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 and leadership skills of Taekwon-Do to Phoenix families since 1998 at Karstadt Taekwon-Do.  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


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