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#334717 - 09/20/07 07:52 AM Re: Small Dojo, Big Profits Manual [Re: butterfly]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
ok, lets talk details if you like.

his foundations of thought can be summed up with these points:

- "Small studio size does not necessarily have to mean a small enrollment." "With efficient studio layout and class scheduling, you can easily accomidate 240+ students in a 1,500 sq ft studio"

- "I have to say that it is much better to have a studio with 150 students and a profit margin of 70% than a studio with 300 students and a profit margin of 30%."

- "You might even have to change the focus of what you offer..." "However if you want to be sucessful, such sacrifices are part and parcel of playing the game to win."

btw, he 'qualifies' this thought by referencing Stephen Oliver's material:

in a nutshell,
keep rent and expenses low by having a small studio, but stack the schedule in 45 minute blocks to accomidate as many students as you can get ('small' is redefined from 150 to 240+). The way to market is by offering what people want (as oppossed to the Art selling itself - which he explains does not work as efficiently and is unrealistic). He focuses on marketing to kids since children are 70% of the market he reports. The student price per month he uses is $99 in his examples.

picture it, in the example schedule he proposes: kids coming and going every 45 minutes from 3:30-7pm. then the adult classes are 1 block for an hour, 7:30-8:30.

does all that paint a familiar picture? now factor into that, having advanced students leading many of the children's classes and your (the owner's) time investment becomes minimized - thereby giving you more bang for your buck.

it's a cookie-cutter mcdojo model.

#334718 - 09/22/07 12:12 AM Re: Small Dojo, Big Profits Manual [Re: oldman]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas

A person would be hard pressed to find a dojo smaller than mine or less profitable.

..or more relaxing and friendly.
The2nd ammendment, it makes all the others possible. <///<

#334719 - 10/05/07 04:14 PM Re: Small Dojo, Big Profits Manual [Re: Ed_Morris]
hkphooey Offline

Registered: 02/21/04
Posts: 12
Loc: California

"So you have a person learning from you and you tell him up front..."Hey, you are going to pay me for this instruction, but just to be frank with you, I am gonna "water this down" a bit so I can get paid...not give you my full attention or really try my hardest so that you'll learn. Please come back for your "Bud Light" experience at my dojo, but don't forget to bring your check book. I also accept Pay-pal."

Yep, that's all I need to know"


I get what you mean. What I meant was, just because other people do that, I don't intend to and I don't think it affects what I do except that I need to educate my students about what sets me apart. The company I work for at my day job sets itself apart with great service and quality product. I take every opportunity I can to educate people why we do what we do and how that benefits them.

I did not mean to come off flippant, though that is how it reads to me when I re-read my post!

I find it so discouraging to read that so many people don't make any money teaching. I value what I teach, value my unique m.a. style and I truly value my time. I am not interested in teaching quickie classes. I have learned the hard way that if I don't value what I do, others won't either. I am interested in teaching students who want to learn quality m.a., but realize that the other kind help pay the bills. I guess that is why constant marketing is so important, from what I have read.

Dance classes, gymnastics, etc. make money. One of my students told me her parents paid ~$400 per month for her and her sister for gymnastics. YIKES! Meanwhile, they were paying me lots less.

Yeah, the problem is cost comparison when some guy down the street is charging very little.

Oh, well. I will do my best and see.

Thanks for all your points, Ed. I understand what you are saying, but whenever someone says something cannot be done, I do not accept it as MY truth, so I will continue to seek my own path and hope I can find my way to replacing my meager day job income with teaching!

Until next time ...


Edited by hkphooey (10/05/07 04:19 PM)

#334720 - 10/06/07 12:33 AM Re: Small Dojo, Big Profits Manual [Re: hkphooey]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772

I understand what you are saying, but whenever someone says something cannot be done, I do not accept it as MY truth, so I will continue to seek my own path and hope I can find my way to replacing my meager day job income with teaching!

I never said making profit in MA can't be done. I'm just questioning at what expense. Once you do get into a position to live off of your MA earnings and quit your day-job, then you are at the mercy of those earnings. You can make excellent justifications: "gotta put food on the table for my kids...gotta save for their college...gotta save for a house...retirement" etc. Any ONE of those would be a good justification to trim requirements here and there to tweek recruitment and retention numbers if need be.

it happens. it's a difficult position for anyone with a conscience. usually dealing with it seems to be taking the position: "well, I'm providing more service to more I'm doing better in the big picture."

thats an 'after the fact' justification view....since the only way to make more money from a dojo is increase the number of dues coming in, and/or increase the dues.

increacing the dues might prevent potential serious students who happen to be in lower income family brackets - thats not exactly doing well for greater good.

increasing the number of students means giving more of what more want. Thats when the comprimizes of standards, more often than not, seem to creep in.

another answer I've read on these boards and elsewhere are double-standard dojo's. basically the model is low commercial standards for the kids, providing whatever is marketable to get them signed up - that serves the base income. Meanwhile in the adult class or even in small private invitation only classes, providing something of a more serious/intense study.

interesting idea to keep the doors open while ensuring the top students leaving to open thier own dojo at least understand the finer points of the art you are transmitting.

can't advertise that double standard though. students who aren't invited, I imagine, would tend to cause a stink about it or buy/manuver their way in.

creative concept though: a mcdojo front for the masses in order to conceal and pay for the privite underground group's training. of course it could backfire if the private classes turn out to also be part of the mcdojo farse - changing the few who can afford it, extra for the 'secrets', etc.

#334721 - 10/06/07 01:34 PM Re: Small Dojo, Big Profits Manual [Re: Ed_Morris]
Bushi_no_ki Offline

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1669
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
The worst part is, you can make money if you are willing to work a day job AND spend 10 years building your dojo. I'd rather be the teacher that takes the money of those that can't keep the commitment, and build my dojo long term, than be the teacher that compromises standards to keep retention up.

#334722 - 10/06/07 01:51 PM Re: Small Dojo, Big Profits Manual [Re: hkphooey]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA
I also wish you well HK, but Ed said it best in the above post. You put yourself at the mercy of money and not instruction when you are solely dependent on the dojo for your living expenses.

The analogy I put forth is hiring a piano teacher for your child. If it is instruction that you are seeking to give your child, you risk the child not liking all the elements of what is being shown...but a well rounded education sometimes encompasses that which is not readily and happily accepted by the individual, but is necessary for learning more later. Hell, we all would rather keep on doing stuff that's easier for us and not work on the things that are harder.

However, if the teacher then takes away the harder elements so that the student stays happily under the teacher's tutelage so the parent has no reason to discontinue the instruction, and his payments, how full is the education?

What if the piano teacher needs some extra money and then starts to sell piano notebook covers with the teacher's logo and name on it at a few dollars profit? Pencils and pens and keychains with the instructor's school's name? What if the money from these accessories to education start to eclipse the earnings from just the tuition. Where does the focus of a business go compared to the focus of a teacher? You do need the money after all.

The temptation to change curricula to make it easier so kids want to and will learn only the "neat stuff" will be present. Also the push for selling all the trappings, including a T-shirt that says "I Practice Pinao at so-and-so's" will be included in the marketing section of the business, not the instruction side. And that will be at an additional $25.00 a pop for the shirt. See where I am going with this.

If your time and resources are finite, where do you invest these for a better profit margin? In teaching more? Or in contacting more people to make more things to sell to those in your educational care?

Where's the balance and how do you justify the balance? That's what you have to consider when making your school a business that doesn't just sell instruction but makes its money by selling stuff associated with instruction and rationalizing all of it by saying you are giving more options and benefits to those coming to your place. But is it looking the reason why the students came there in the first place directly in the eye?

I do wish you luck.

#334723 - 01/09/08 02:40 AM Re: Small Dojo, Big Profits Manual [Re: Kintama]
LuTheWanderer Offline

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 1
I have purchased The Manual.
Firstly, I used the ebook option (which I was charged full price for) & it was transferred to me almost immediately. I will vouch for there being a Real book, & if you pay the money you actually do get it for Real. That being said...
I was greatly dissapointed with the purchase. There were a few different offers being made, different amounts, with different 'Final Offer' due dates to try & force a speedy decision, & then when the guy was sent a copy/paste of his own emails showing the contradictions, he immediately sent out an email resetting the clock (so to speak). I've been through the text word for word, & there are a lot of promises made between glib comments & attempts at sounding like a sympathetic big brother who's here to help.
IF a person hasn't done Any homework whatsoever, that is, hasn't considered even the most basic research into what it means to run a small business (NOT the Fortune 500 that The Manual proposes) then he's already ahead. The Manual is just a compilation of basic buisiness start-up info that I have already seen spread across hundreds of websites across the internet, the Small Buisiness Association, SCORE, etc. The major dissapointment comes from the fantastic cost of the book, & there are no cut-in-stone answers or details that one might expect - like the actual Details to be included in a business plan, sources for information, etc. Instead, within The Manual that had promised answers to these & other questions, there are instead offers for Other purchases that will provide answers to these questions. Now after the first shoe hit the floor, what makes me think the other isn't going to follow in suit? And an endless line of upsells that continue to not come through with the goods.
I wasn't looking for much, just a few solid pieces of statistical information, some examples of templates that might have been used successfully before. The dissapointment is that he includes all of the common sense & easily available information & manages to skirt Just around the edges of what I was Paying for. Serious dissapointment. I really can't advise this as a sensible purchase for anyone.

#334724 - 11/05/08 11:41 AM Re: Small Dojo, Big Profits Manual [Re: LuTheWanderer]
Greenknight83 Offline

Registered: 12/31/05
Posts: 9
Alot has been said about Michael Massie, and his Small Dojo, Big Profit book. More than I have time too read through.

One of the people who has been using his program has gotten 100 students in 120 days. True the guy did change the material to fit him. I know of other people who are getting results from his materials.
The weak become strong, and the strong become champions

#334725 - 12/08/08 03:15 PM Re: Small Dojo, Big Profits Manual [Re: Greenknight83]
jeffbarnes Offline

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 4
Loc: IN
I am the guy who was able to get the 100 students in 120 days. If you have any questions on the validity of the book, I can tell you what worked for me and what didn't.

I will say that you can make money teaching the martial arts if you follow his model without sacrificing your art, or credentials.


#334726 - 12/08/08 04:39 PM Re: Small Dojo, Big Profits Manual [Re: jeffbarnes]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
Any relation to Dawn?

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