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#218960 - 12/31/05 11:31 PM Trends 2006: consultant services.
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
Taking a look at the year in front of us, one of the trends I see picking up speed is training gym consultant services.

I personally don't agree with MA franchise becoming so large, they need to look for consultant services to operate. but setting aside my personal preferences, I would think large dojo/chain owners would need 3rd party assistance in running the business/marketing/legal aspects of running their gym. Like any outside/consultant services, there is going to be good, bad and mediocre.

This trend of dojo management services is apparent by the recent surge of books, software, and manuals popping up on the subject telling you which services are good, bad and mediocre.
here is just a small sample:

It's no mystery why there is a growing market for such services. (another indicator that average mainstream dojos are getting larger? perhaps?) That could be a separate topic in itself.

While I don't have a personal interest in looking for a consultant management service, I do find MA trends in general interesting.

This thread can take a few directions if you want:
* about the trend itself.
* how 'big' do you think, would a dojo have to get to start considering outside management consultants?
* personal experience with these services.
* Would the consultants ever tell an owner that he/she MUST change to a contract system or start itemizing everything or even change to a 20-belt color system? In other words, do you think a consulting service would persuade the owner to function with signs we identify as a mcdojo?

#218961 - 01/01/06 06:18 PM Re: Trends 2006: consultant services. [Re: Ed_Morris]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
I also see another aspect of that trend. That is teachers forgoing the cost of their own space by by teaching as gyms like Golds or 24Hour Fitness. I know one 5th dan Ryubo kai instructor that has his students in many gym locations. Their facilities are beautiful. I know that not exactly what you are talking about but maybe part of the picture.

#218962 - 01/01/06 08:12 PM Re: Trends 2006: consultant services. [Re: oldman]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
good point. come to think of it, I have seen places advertise for both MA and Pilates or Yoga, etc. maybe another reason why gyms are getting harder to manage is because of the diversity in programs offered?

hadn't thought of that before, thanks.

#218963 - 01/03/06 10:38 PM Re: Trends 2006: consultant services. [Re: Ed_Morris]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
This trend began several years ago & it can be a good idea. I've seen good schools struggle while mediocre ones increasing enrollment exponentially. In fact, I was a victim of a school going belly-up because the instructors knew nothing about the business end.

The problem is that using the business model, several of the "creative" ideas will lead you down the rosey path toward McDojo-ville. If you discarded all the ideas you disagree w/, you're left w/ not-much. so why fork out the bucks? Of course, some of the ideas will be good & you may find yourself changing w/ the times (traditional doesn't mean perfect).

Management services can be beneficial in collecting tuition & this makes Sensei look less like a greedy slum lord (no matter how dedicated his instruction is).

If I ever get the opportunity to open my own dojo, I'll certainly look into whatever's out there.

#218964 - 01/04/06 09:27 AM Re: Trends 2006: consultant services. [Re: hedkikr]
JohnL Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA

Management services can be beneficial in collecting tuition & this makes Sensei look less like a greedy slum lord (no matter how dedicated his instruction is).

In management and MA's I'm a firm believer in KISS. It applies to both.

Collecting money from students is not difficult providing you set the ground rules.

1. Tell students (Or the parents of minors) that they pay monthly and that payments are due before the begining of the month for that months training.

2. Advise them that paying late is not acceptable and a 10% late charge should be added to their payment. (Once Only)

3. If they're late a second time, tell them they may not train that month.

It's amazing, but if you make it that clear and that simple, the checks come in on time. It's then a matter of simple book keeping and that you can do yourself.

In this one regard (Payments) I admit that I'm wholly against an outside agency. I want to pay the guy who's teaching me. Having a debt collector do it means charging me too much as he has to cover the cost of his collection agency.

John L

#218965 - 01/08/06 12:58 PM Re: Trends 2006: consultant services. [Re: JohnL]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
I agree but from another perspective (& it may never appliy to me) is that in a highly competitive "market" some instructors are afraid of losing students to competitors. Some are just good MA'ists but poor bookkeepers.

My take is that if a student is a dead-beat, go somewhere else & be some other instructor's problem. As long as I provide the best instruction, I'll have a stable "core" of students & not some revolving door.


#218966 - 01/08/06 01:53 PM Re: Trends 2006: consultant services. [Re: Ed_Morris]
rich Offline

Registered: 01/08/06
Posts: 2
I think as the industry continues to keep growing obvisouly the more need there will be for these kind of services, as most martial arts instructors tend to be thrust into business more through their passion for their art and teaching, than their business skills. The great thing is there is more choice in terms of services and products available. I use a great site which has lots of useful resources for running a succcessful school


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