Growing your Dojang or Club..
"Instructor Jon, I'm currently the instructor for a class that's 5 students. I'm looking to expand to about 7-10 students to try and ensure that the monthly rental fee is always covered. It's a monthly tuition and with 5 students it's just enough to make the monthly. However, when that changes I have to cover the cost. What have you found is the best method that you have found to expand a class enrollment?"
You want to increase revenue to meet potential rising overhead. You have three options really; increase the number of students, or increase the amount you are charging each student. Increase revenue from non-student sources.
You also have an excellent fourth option that you did not mention, lowering overhead.
Step one, Increase Revenue:
Increase revenue! The first thing you need to do is to diversify, don't just rely on student fees for income. For example have you considered seeking sponsors? Have you considered putting advertising on your website? Do you even have a website? I find it's best to bring in as many revenue sources as I can WITHOUT leaning on my students. You will have a better chance of
attracting more if you keep your fees competitive to the other schools in your
Attracting new students can be handled in so many ways. You need to become your own salesman. Give demonstrations at local attractions, schools, churches, etc. These don’t cost anything and can really get your school out there. Otherwise it pays to advertise.
Again, do you have a website? Are you listed on Dojolocator.com?
Believe it or not good old fashioned fliers are still a great way to
bring interest. Print ten fliers per student and write their name in tiny letters in the corner. Give them incentive to hang the fliers and tell them if you find one of their fliers out and about town you will give them a prize.
If you have a martial arts supply store in town especially make sure you
have a flier posted there.
If you don't have a martial arts supply store in town then you have a golden opportunity to become that supplier. Simply get a wholesale account and sell retail. Let all the local schools know that you have stuff and can get just about anything within a couple of days. If you keep good relations with your neighbor schools they will actually use you as a supplier. I find in the end it's best to stay on good terms with the competition, heck I've even
recommended people to my competition when they were a better fit than I
was. You know what, they started referring people to me too!
Step two, Reduce Overhead:
I have been blessed. I actually have a space at the local gym that I can use free of cost. No light bill, no water bill, no insurance bill, NO RENT.
We made an arrangement and it generally works in my favor because often I
get business from the gym itself. I've also taught in churches, on military bases, and in community centers. The gym benefits because
they can list me as a regular offering to attract new members.
I am currently saving a grubstake to build my very own Dojang in a barn on our property. It will be climate controlled and the best part, I will own it free and clear, so no rent.
If you find a better location that will save you money be cautious. Every time you move it's likely one or more students will find the change inconvenient and stop attending. We've had this bad experience again and again.
Otherwise just use common sense. If you are paying for power try to reduce the power you use. Fluorescent light's, storm windows, put things on timers so they only run when you need them. If your insurance is high try to find a better deal.
I could go on and on but this is a great start!
My Fellow Hapkidoin,
One year ago I began building Hapkido Online, while we have come a long way in that year obviously work continues. We've passed many milestones.
Approval and support of the Tactical Hapkido Alliance, first students,
and first international students. We've also seen the rise of the very first Hapkido Online clubs.
In the past year we've added scores of video and text training. We've had to
occasionally go back and re-shoot training video's to ensure the very best
training. We've added lesson's about the history of Hapkido and tons of
I owe thanks first and foremost to God, my wife, kids, and our family. Who have believed in this project from the beginning.
Important people have helped us along the way, most notably,
Grand Master Rodemaker, Senior Master Ziots, and Master Feathers and his
family. Grand Master Rodemaker has been so passionate in his support, where would we be without his energy?
The Feathers family is made up of warriors and they have put in
interminable hours towards the learning and propagation of Tactical
Hapkido. I would also like to send a respectful bow to my brothers, Braxton and Clayton and a big hug to my sister Denise.
I would also like to say a very warmhearted thank you to the uke's who have allowed me to torture them on camera first and foremost among them, Mr. Matthew. You may have noticed him, the tall fellow that is often my uke. In many ways Hapkido Online has grown with Matthew, our belt level content has grown as he has grown as a Hapkidoin. For you beginning students you are in many ways following Matthew's path as my local student.
I would also like to share my thanks to our students and friends at Pro Form TKD. Mr. David Henry and Mr. John Straka were some of our very first distance learners and at the time took quite a leap of faith. Additionally Mr. Henry has been a contributor to Hapkido Online's content occasionally.
In the last year Hapkido Online has welcomed over
70,000 visitors. It has gained critical recognition on other websites and gained notice with advertisers. Most importantly it has a small but
loyal student base that make it all possible. It is YOU the students that allow me to build it so that others may learn and grow.
Hapkido Online has brought Chon Sul Kwan to the hearts of many new people and has made the first steps for a real and lasting international presence for the THA. I would like to express my gratitude to everybody at THA. So many have contacted me to express support for our work here. It really helps.
The 7th of February will mark Hapkido Online's
birthday for that is the date that I purchased the domain.
The domain has been renewed and I look forward to another great
Thank You all so much for your participation, support, and
With Great Respect,
Teacher and Hapkido Online Developer.