Today’s blog comes from long-time friend and ProMAC Ascend member, Master Richard Baciarini. Master Baciarini is the school owner of Inspire Martial Arts in Davis, California.
Travel. We’ve all done it. We’ve all left our staff in charge of our school while we went off to visit another. We’ve written the notes, taken photos, and recorded classes. Maybe we’ve even gone to conferences and conventions designed to bring our school to the next level. Then, once the trip is over, we head back to our school, notes in tow, and try to relay all we learned to our staff.
There’s a problem with this approach. It doesn’t work as well as you’d like. Your notes are incomplete. Or maybe they’re too detailed, and the important bits get lost in the noise. You’re only one person, so you couldn’t attend every break-out event. You missed something critical and don’t even know it. Your videos are out of focus, and you accidentally deleted your photos.
But even if none of that is true—even if you took the best notes possible—the simple fact is there is no substitute for actually being there. After all, one set of eyes is good, but what about two? Three? Four? Five? What’s better: listening to an MP3 or attending a concert? What if you were able to take your entire staff to an event, so that each team member could learn first-hand the things they need to succeed?
The biggest obstacle is, of course, expense. It costs a lot of money to bring your entire team to a convention or even just a one-day visit to a school in a nearby city. You have to pay for plane tickets, gas, hotel rooms, and food, just to name a few. Worse still, you’re also losing money by closing your school while you and your staff are out of town. The good news is these expenses aren’t insurmountable. In fact, a number of tools exist to help amortize the cost or eliminate it completely. That’s right: with proper fundraising, you can not only break even, but come out ahead. Here are just some example fundraiser ideas:
- Private Lesson Weekend
- Parents’ Night Out
- Special Seminars/Workshops
- Bake Sale at Belt Tests
- Special Parties
- Tie-Dye Events
Be sure to calculate your estimated costs before starting your fundraising campaign. Set yourself a minimum goal and aim to surpass it. Nothing is worse than unexpectedly coming up short in the middle of your trip!
In order for your fundraisers to be a success, there are two groups of people you must convince: your students and your staff. It’s important to be up-front with your students. Tell them why you’re doing these fundraisers. Sell them on the benefits you’ll be able to provide for them, in terms of better service and instruction, if you and your team go to a convention. If you do this, your students will be more than willing to help you with your goal.
Equally important is getting your staff on-board. If your instructors don’t care, they won’t put their all into the fundraising events, which translates to lower proceeds. Even worse, they won’t be as attentive at the convention, itself. So why should your staff care?
You need to sell them on the big picture. Don’t just tell them which speakers will be hosting the breakout sessions; tell them who they are and why these people matter. You need to show them what you’ve learned from past trips and how that has helped your own instruction. If necessary, remind them that better instruction means more students, which leads to higher pay. And beyond all that, staff retreats are just plain fun for everyone.
View the full video presentation of this topic from January's ProMAC West Conference below. Discover how to raise funds to get you and your team to ProMAC National Conference this April! Make sure to register ASAP--Early Bird Pricing ends February 24th at 3:30PM (PST).
This blog has been posted at an ideal time for anyone planning on attending the ProMAC National Conference this April 7-9. Trust us, you want to make sure you AND your team attend this great event! Learn cutting edge business systems, recruiting tips, retention tactics, and join martial artists from around the world for unparalleled on-the-mat training sessions with some of the industry’s best! Register now by clicking here and receive EARLY BIRD guest event ticket rates until February 20th.