The Importance of Monitoring Your Stats…

Today I want to share with you THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR to creating and then making a full time school a success…

But first, let’s take a trip down memory lane…

At this time of the year I like to give myself a report card, just like at school. And yes I still get butterflies in my stomach waiting for the results. For a moment I imagine myself sitting on my bed waiting for my parents to get home from parent/teacher night… ready to “have a little talk” with me.

Jump ahead 20 years and the folks aren’t there anymore to kick my butt when it needs to be kicked. Nobody is there to tell me that I better make some changes or real soon I’ll be flipping burgers at McDonalds, if I’m lucky.

Nope, as a business owner something you need to do constantly is to assess how you and your dojo are doing. It’s important to monitor certain factors, at minimum each quarter and preferably on a monthly basis, and then also do a 12 month comparison.

These are the stats I use to monitor the “health” of my school each month.

  • # active students, total, and by age group
  • $ total gross revenue
  • $ product sales
  • $ expenses
  • student attendance frequency
  • # new enrollments
  • # drop outs
  • % conversion from trial class to full student

Then every 12 months I ask:

  • Did we achieve the goals set for this year?
  • What improvements did we make for students, instructors and families?
  • Are my students still enjoying class?
  • Am I still enjoying teaching full time?

These key indicators help you keep your finger on the pulse and allow you to make corrections and improvements at the first sign of any negative trends. Without knowing your stats it’s impossible to know for sure what needs improving, and you can spend a long time chasing your tail or make changes to things that don’t require it.

The biggest thing I’ve learned from running my own business for the last 7 years is that EMOTIONS can tell you lies, but STATISTICS always tell the truth. So it’s critical to monitor those figures.

If you want to teach full time and open your own school, start treating it like a business from now on, and a hobby no longer. Get serious, invest your time (and maybe a little money), know your stats, continually make improvements and before you know it you’ll be sailing to the promised land…

To your success!

– Jason

P.S. I monitor the stats I talked about above using the KarateTools Dojo Organizer. You can learn more here.

50 Kids Karate Games

You know as well as I do that if there’s one thing kids love more than anything else, it’s games.

There’s no denying it.

If part of your teaching program involves teaching kids, then I’m gonna be your new best friend because your life is about to get so much easier…

We’ve just compiled over 50 kids karate games for teaching martial arts skills. They’re not time fillers, they’re kids games and activities that will help you disguise repetition and allow you to teach basics, kata, footwork, agility, focus, self defense and more…

Plan classes easily, reduce boredom and increase your student retention…

Visit the link below to get the full story:

https://www.karateteaching.com/kidskarategames

Enjoy…

– Jason

Two Magic Words…

Have you ever been in the middle of giving an explanation while teaching basics and a hand shoots up with a totally random and unrelated question, like…

“Sensei, can we play [insert favorite karate game here] ?”

If you’ve ever taught teens or kids I’m sure you’ll know what I’m talking about…

For years every time I was interrupted like this it would cause my train of thought to derail and slam into the side of my head into a fiery burning wreck. And as I would pull my thoughts from the mental wreckage I would feel several different emotions.

I would be ANNOYED I was interrupted with an unrelated question. I would be CONFUSED as why this student asked that question at that time. And I would be FRUSTRATED because the momentum I had gained in my explanation had come to a sudden halt.

There were times when I’d answer with “Please focus on what we’re learning right now. It’s not time for games, it’s time for karate.”

And other times I’d say, “Do we give black belts for being good at games or good at karate? Ok, so please focus right now.”

And sometimes I probably even answered with a simple and stern, “NO!”

All of these negative-based answers quash your students request and send a pessimistic response to your class. And when that happens the energy of your class takes a turn for the worse.

However,after literally teaching thousands of classes I learned how to handle these interruptions. Now I simply say 2 magic words.

These 2 magic words neither commit you to the request, nor do they deny your students hope.

These 2 words have the power to create anticipation, generate curiosity and bring out the best in your students because they know there MIGHT be a chance for a reward later, if they TRY NOW.

The two words are…

“We’ll see.”

It’s very simple really, but don’t underestimate the power of these 2 words when used in the right way.

Because you’re not saying “NO” you won’t destroy your kids’ HOPE they might play a game later. But if you flat out say “NO”, all hope is lost. Then there’s a good chance that student WON’T work hard without reward, and possibly the rest of the class will follow suit.

However, “We’ll see” allows you to keep your options open. If you have time at the end of class, sure you can go ahead and play the game as a reward. If there’s not enough time, then there’ll be no repercussions from your kids because you haven’t told a lie.

Next time you get interrupted with a random request for an unrelated game or activity try this for yourself…

Will it work for you?

We’ll see…

– Jason

Bring a Parent Class

So last night we had a “bring a parent” class…

And no, I’m talking about any of my adults bringing their parents – THAT would be interesting. =)

For one of my junior classes we asked students to bring either their mum or dad along to do karate with them. Of the 12 kids in the class, half completely forgot about it (as would be expected with kids), but for most their parents were at the club so they joined in anyway…

And it was great!

For this type of class to be a success, I knew it had to be interactive. So with that in mind this is what we did…

We started with a general warm-up, loosening up, etc. Immediately after the warm-up I had parents partner up with their kids for some high-5 pushups, followed by some linked-legs sit-ups. These kinds of exercises are great because they get students working together (in this case student and parent), which builds bonds and also helps students push each other further.

Next I had the class run through some basic punches and kicks from yoi dachi (ready stance), with the kids in the front row and parents behind, so they could copy their kids if they became lost. Since some hadn’t played any sport for some time (and none had any martial arts experience), I expected the parents to be more awkward than a new born foal, but surprisingly they did quite well…

Following this we ran through 2 basic combinations as a group. Then with the thought of making the class more interactive I had the kids teach their parents the 2 combinations we just ran through. They had to explain, demonstrate and make sure their folks did it correctly.  It was interesting to see how parents took instruction from their kids. Then they switched roles and repeated the exercise.

Right after this I had the kids come up and demonstrate the combos as a group while the parents watched. Then the parents came up and performed the combinations they’d just learned without the kids.

Finally we finished with a team ball game, parents vs kids. And to the surprise of the kids, their folks kicked their butts.

This class was a huge success for the following reasons:

  1. It was a break from the usual, so kids were excited to perform well.
  2. It got parents involved with their kids on a whole new level. It created memories that kids and parents will have forever. I can imagine in 20 years time, one of my students saying “Dad, you remember when you took that karate class with me? That was so funny!
  3. It gave parents a new appreciation for what their kids do, and how challenging karate can be.
  4. Kids and parents had a blast. So many parents commented after class, “That was so much fun!

Whether or not any of the parents decide to join karate themselves or not, the experience really was something “remarkable”. That is, it will be something parents will talk about socially with their friends, family, etc. This is a great way to get the word out about your school.

Now obviously for long term success of students I highly recommend you don’t have adults and kids in the same class as each group has different reasons for doing martial arts, size/weight differences, etc, so it’s not practical most of the time. But hosting a class like this every now and again is a great way to market you school on a social level.

Try it for yourself and see…

Until next time…

– Jason

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