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Kovar Systems
Business Tips

8 New Habits to Gain Better Business

By Dave Kovar

The beginning of the year is a great time to make positive changes to your business. Carry out the following 8 habits throughout the year to improve the performance of your martial arts school.

1. Set personal goals that enrich and improve your life

Focus on healthy eating habits, daily exercise, and your rest time. Make sure to keep your personal interactions positive and your relationships strong as this can subconsciously translate into how you treat your students and your business.

If you’re not meeting your personal development goals, make a plan to change and improve. The first step to better business practices is bettering your personal practices.

2. Set smart business goals for the coming year

Was your marketing consistent and effective? How could you improve it?
Is your school growing or shrinking?
Are you giving your team positive feedback when they perform well?
Are you giving them constructive feedback as to how they can improve?

Set goals in these areas that will put you in an even better position this time next year.

3. Tighten up on  your time management skills

The most successful schools in the country make great use of prep-time. A brief sample of prep-time activities include: cleaning and repairing the school, confirming appointments, checking inventory, setting up and handling renewal conferences, writing notes to students (both active and inactive), training staff, and most importantly recruiting new students. Maximizing your prep-time allows you to make better use of your overall time.

4. Take a fresh look at your facility.

Have a few friends take a tour your school and list their first impressions.

Take notes where improvement can be made. You may not like what you hear, but you want to hear everything. Each one of the items you address will increase the likelihood that a prospect will enroll, and will decrease the likelihood that a student will quit, so you'll want to be aggressive in addressing as many items as you can.

5. Be clear on who your market is: every school has an identity.

Every school has a natural primary market. Some schools specialize in kids under 12, while others focus more on adults. No matter what your identity and its corresponding primary market, revisit the demographics of the population surrounding your school. Be sure your school serves the customers you can attract. If the demographics of your neighborhood shift, and if you are committed to what you currently teach, then you might need to consider moving your school to get closer to the students you want to attract.

6. Plan physical curriculum for the whole year (or at least the 1st quarter).

You don't need to plan out every second of every class, but break the year into cycles and establish a theme for each cycle and for each class group. The more detailed the better, but at a minimum, know the general concepts you'll be teaching for each cycle. You can always adjust your plan as the year goes on, but it's best to have a curriculum strategy in place well ahead of time.

7. Reduce costs

In most cases, your biggest opportunities for cost savings are on the personnel side. Look closely at the schedule for your paid staff. Are there times when you have too many people there? Can you get more mileage from your volunteer team?

You should also look closely at services. Are you using a janitorial service? Can you reduce phone and internet costs? What about energy costs? Look at every line item and you'll be surprised how much you can increase your profit by looking for opportunities to reduce costs.

8. Cultivate the belief that your best years of business are still in front of you and that you WILL make 2018 a great year. 

Do not underestimate the value of this step. Without it, the rest of the steps have little value.

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by Dave Kovar