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#335114 - 02/02/08 12:08 PM Re: Contracts made by schools [Re: Itami]
tkd_high_green Offline

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1031
Loc: Vermont

We don't have contracts at my school, you either pay up front for one month, or for three months (at a slight discount). We actually use the "we don't have contracts" bit as part of our sales pitch. However, I'm just trying to play devils advocate and show how a contract can be a good thing if not abused by both parties. And that a contract in and of itself, does not indicate a "mcdojo" as it could be nothing more than the owner of the school not wanting to deal with having to write out bills each month. We went to the three month option because it took my instructor so much time to write out the bills and keep track of who's paid, etc. Having just a few people not pay, for whatever reason, can add up quickly and seriously affect the owners ability to pay the bills.


#335115 - 02/02/08 02:23 PM Re: Contracts made by schools [Re: tkd_high_green]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5844
Loc: USA

Don't disagree--seriously.

Having a contract is not a automatic "McDojo."

I'm just talking things through.

Edited by cxt (02/02/08 02:28 PM)
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

#335116 - 02/02/08 02:26 PM Re: Contracts made by schools [Re: Itami]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5844
Loc: USA

Sounds like you folks have a good plan and working it well.

I don't think its all that off topic--its good information.
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

#335117 - 02/02/08 04:27 PM Re: Contracts made by schools [Re: cxt]
SNieves Offline

Registered: 12/13/07
Posts: 76

The way you were writing it seemed you were supportive of contracts and that you had actually signed it. Had you actually indicated when I first asked about your own contract, I would have known you were playing the advocate.

Realize the context of which we are speaking: Bad contracts. A good contract will be fair to both parties. A bad contract will not. An example was shown above and another linked at Bullshido that shows a contract that is harmful to the student and only helps the school.

I still think you are missing that important point. We are talking about BAD contracts, not a contract that is set up for a mutual gain. i.e.-home construction. Build it after being paid, or get sued. Etc. etc.

My "model" is as follows:

After a two week trial, Students complete their registration form and pay their registration fee which covers the first month's tuition. They get a student packet. 6 weeks after registration, they pick up a free uniform. This tells me they are dedicated and want to pursue training so I reward them with something tangible and useable (unlike a star on a uniform that rewards someone "doubly" for something they were already recognized for...which is another topic entirely). They pay month to month on a verbal agreement. You show up one day for a month, you owe for that month. If you don't pay, you are supposed to be asked to leave (I have yet to ask any of my students to leave for not paying; we usually work it out). I am fair and honest with my students and I have no inclination to harm them with dishonest business practices.


#335118 - 02/03/08 01:02 PM Re: Contracts made by schools [Re: SNieves]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5844
Loc: USA

Just because I think its an interesting business model.

I know a guy that uses contracts--sort of.

Prospective students have to come to at least 5 classes---they prefer 10, no charge--if they decide to sign up they either sign a 6 month contract or pay "X" amount UPFRONT (maybe $300---been awhile since I checked) no refunds.

He explains it to the prospective students like this---my paraphrase:

"Brand new students take up much more of my time---and that is time I have to take AWAY from my long term students, so I need to make sure that I'm not wasting my time with people that are not serious......"

When the 6 month "trial period" is up---students go stright to a "handshake" agreement on a month to month deal---you show up you pay for the month---you can train as often as the doors are open.

Most people tend to just pay the whole amount upfront.

And most people stick it out--the average length of time for a student in his school is appox 5 years---with about 50% of them starting around age 13.
About 20% of his students are from a local college.

He also only uses White, Green, Brown, Black belt ranks---and you have to be 18 years old min to test for he has a decent size group of students that take their Shodan test when they come back from college on summer break---about 35% of those people keep coming back to train over the summers while they are in college as well.

Like I said, an upfront cost to cover the time where people need the most time and attention (in his opinion) and after that a simple handshake.

Guy does not use his school as his sole source of income---he has a pretty good job--runs his own contracting company.
He teachs because he likes it--and the monies generated get shuffled into an investment account........last time I ran the numbers he had at least 10K or more a year free and clear to invest--may not sound like much--but think of it over say 5-10 years plus of time---and that is all "extra" cash, did not come out of his pocket.

Think of what an extra 10K a year added to a retirement account could do....esp since its "extra" and would not be coming out of your standard of living.

Like I said, just think its interesting.

Edited by cxt (02/03/08 01:20 PM)

#335119 - 02/03/08 09:15 PM Re: Contracts made by schools [Re: cxt]
SNieves Offline

Registered: 12/13/07
Posts: 76
That IS an interesting business model. I hope he doesn't mind if I adopt and modify it for my own use.


He also only uses White, Green, Brown, Black belt ranks

We also only have a smaller number of colored belts than other dojos. From 10th kyu to 1st dan it's similar to his. At 5th Dan it's white/red (Shihan), then Red Black at 7th and Blood Red at 10th (only one person in our system holds that rank and he's fairly old; mid 70's).



#335120 - 02/04/08 11:27 AM Re: Contracts made by schools [Re: SNieves]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5844
Loc: USA

I sure that he would not care.

Please keep me in the loop on if you get any mileage out of it.
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

#335121 - 03/12/08 03:16 PM Re: Contracts made by schools [Re: MattJ]
Hapkid0ist Offline

Registered: 09/20/05
Posts: 125
Loc: Hollyhood, Ca.
One thing I have learnt is that a contract does not guarentee payment. As a matter of fact in the ma community more and more people are becoming against contracts, but if the studio you join has one then it is your responsability to ensure that you can afford this serice for 3 or so years. It is no different than a gym membership at say 24 Hour fitness. You join for a service and are expected to live up to your responsabilities. I see nothing wrong with contracts. What I see wrong with them is the iron clad nature of them that do not take into account peoples changing financial conditions, the economy and other influinces. But, if you sign one then you are agreeing to be responsible for the fees for x many years. If you can't then signing is something you should'nt have done. That being said. Always ask what the outs are and if there are any outs for a change if economy and finacial situations. If they say they can/will work with you then get it in writing, and have it be specific. Personally I think a month to month contract is the best way to go. Safest for all partias involved to. Simply put, a contract does not guarentee payment, just headache.
D.W. McCullar, Hapkido
I.H.K.A./I.H.M.U.Ca. Chief Instructor, 5th Dan

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