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Kovar Systems
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5 Best Practices for School Owners

By Dave Chamberlain

The martial arts industry is full of different styles and schools, but one thing is for sure... We all want to run a business that is successful in shaping the world through martial arts. However, in order to run a successful business, we need to have good business practices to ensure our school’s longevity.

Here are five great practices that we have gathered over our 40 years in the industry...

1. Select the Most Valuable Statistics & Track Them

Stats are important; they help us understand the health of our business. In addition to knowing your profit and loss, consider tracking and adding the following stats to your dashboard:

  • New Students & Net Students New
  • Student Quits & Student Quits by Belt Rank
  • Inquiries or Leads and Number of Conversions to Students
  • Your Wage Line & Your Student Value
  • Where Your Leads Came From (Online, referrals, walk-ins, etc.)
  • Average Revenue per Student (Total Revenue ÷ Student Count)
  • Cost per Student (Direct Costs + Total Operations Expense ÷ Student Count)
  • Net Profit per Student (Average Revenue per Student - Average Cost per Student)
  • And finally, Your Quit Rate (The # of monthly quits / # of student count at the start of the month)

For more on how to track these stats reliably and what to do with the info, contact us here. (link to an appointment form)

2. Drive Effective Communications with Parents, Students & Your Team

It is important to have good communication and rapport with everyone within your school. Instructors, Program Directors, School Operators, Students, and Parents too! Put into place the following systems and procedures to ensure success with your communication.

Rapport with Parents & Students

  When, How & How Often to Communicate with Your Team:

  • Monthly Business Reviews
  • 1-on-1 with Team Members
  • Team Meeting once to twice a week (Review Class Plans, Student Attendance, etc.)
  • Head Instructor and Program Director should meet every day with action plan for any issues
3. The Value of a Full-time Program Director

We all know that running the mat is definitely a full-time job. By hiring and training a Program Director for our schools in areas of growth, retention, sales, and communication we learned that this allows instructors to really focus on teaching martial arts.

And just to prove our point, here is a list of Kovar's locations active student count before and after hiring a strong Program Director:

Locations Before Active Count After Active Count
Waterman 210 407
Madison 160 350
Laguna 270 470
Natomas 175 440
Lead Hill 260 340

For more information on the Program Director role and our newly released courses, just click here to make an appointment to talk with our representatives.

4. Embed a Strong Culture into Your School

We are in a unique industry where the culture of our schools can be a huge draw for new clients and employees alike. Something to seriously consider is how you develop and build on the culture that exists within your business among students, parents, and your team. As yourself the following questions:

  • What Is The Culture You Have?
  • What Is The Culture You Want?
  • How Can You Implement It?

The Elements That Make a Great Company Culture:

  • One where we trust our leaders
  • One where we take pride in what we do
  • One where we enjoy working with our teammates
5. Implement a Vibrant Teachers-In-Training (TNT) Program

We all want a team of instructors that are equally as passionate and excited as we are about teaching and training in martial arts. One way to ensure a strong future for our instructors is to have a teachers-in-training program for our students to encourage them to take leadership roles at our schools.

Here are some ideas on starting your program:

  • The way you select your TNT members is key, consider a more intricate process of picking who is on your team.
  • Set up reward system – red pants, red coat, certification, special instruction and training parties
  • Have Quarterly training sessions to go over curriculum and teaching tactics
  • Have them help in class & focus on improving their teaching skills
  • TNT members should be included in everything and considered part of the team


Martial Arts School Owners!

Enroll More Students • Improve Your Retention • Increase Your Profit

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by Dave Chamberlain