The Truth About Martial Arts ConsultingI’d like to inform you of something I’ve discovered after 25 years in the martial arts… Namely, that I think martial arts consulting is a farce. Now, don’t get me wrong – I think it’s actually advisable that you seek good solid business information from reliable and proven sources if you’re going to start a martial arts school. And, you should continue to educate yourself and expand your business knowledge and acumen for as long as you are trying to grow your dojo… However, that doesn’t mean you need to hire some hotshot “consultant” to show you how it’s done. In fact, that can be a huge mistake on your part. Allow me to illustrate with a just a few real-life stories regarding close calls with that most dangerous of species, “martialis bidness know notus”, a.k.a., the “martial arts business consultant”.Exhibit “A” – One of our members at Starting-a-Martial-Arts-School.com recently related to us how he hired a big-time martial arts business consultant for advice on starting a school. The advice he received? “Finance your school on credit cards, and then come back and talk to me when you can afford my more expensive martial arts consulting package.” Seriously, that was the advice he was given.
Exhibit “B” – Some friends of mine got hooked up with a martial arts billing company that also offered consulting services (it was how they justified the “vig” of 10% on collecting your own money for you). They were advised to flat out lie to their customers by telling them their registration fee was for insurance, even though the only insurance they had was liability that protected the school, not the student. My friends, of course, never actually implemented the advice…Exhibit “C” – Back when I was availing myself of the services of a similar organization (how do you think I formed my opinions?) I was advised that a good way to find people to teach your classes was to hire high school coaches and personal trainers off the street… even if they had zero martial arts experience. Apparently, the idea was to give them a crash course on “coaching martial arts”, have them “coach” your students, and then the black belts would come in to test the students for rank and collect the cash. Needless to say, I never acted on this advice.Moronic Advice Isn’t The Only Reason You Don’t Need Expensive Martial Arts Consulting…Granted, some of the advice you may get from these consulting companies is solid advice – I don’t argue that point. As with any service business, you have some bad companies, and some good ones. I think that’s just common sense. However, the thing is you don’t need to pay $500 an hour for some person 1,000 miles away to tell you how to run your business. In fact, your best option is often to simply do your own research, and then follow what your research and your gut tell you to do. Nobody knows your business and market like you do. Sure, you need to learn and follow industry “best practices” in order to hedge your bets in your favor. But, you can get that information from inexpensive, reliable sources for much, much less than what an expensive “consultant” will charge you.
That’s Where Joining A Professional Association Comes In…And that’s how joining a professional association will help you grow your dojo – by providing you a place where you can get solid, reliable business information, education, training, and resources, and at a price that won’t break the bank. For example, while many martial arts consultants charge exorbitant fees, membership in The Martial Art School Alliance International is just $149 a year. Compare that to martial arts consulting programs that are in excess of $200 – $1,000 per month and I think you’ll see that with a membership in an industry association like M.A.S.A.I. you can’t beat the price. But, if you still decide to do business with “martialis bidness know notus”… don’t say I didn’t warn you.