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Book Review

Starting And Running Your Own Martial Arts School

By Karen Levitz Vactor & Susan Lynn Peterson, Ph.D.

Tuttle Publishing
Softcover, 298 pages

Review by Richard Reichert

Being a good martial artist is rarely synonymous with business acumen. Martial arts schools face daunting challenges, the biggest of which is the basics of knowing how to run the business side of the school effectively. This book offers invaluable tools to help any martial artist make his teaching efforts a success.

Making a martial arts school or business work involves a whole host of matters from how to answer a telephone call, to advertising, to student retention and cost for lessons -- each step a critical element that builds toward success.

So, if you are just dreaming of opening a martial arts school, or have a school but are having trouble making it profitable, or have a profitable school and want to maximize its operations, "Starting And Running Your Own Martial Arts School" can be of valuable assistance.

The authors made this book generic, which allows it to be useful to a wide variety of martial arts schools. The vagaries of the business side of chain schools, various martial arts organizations, and styles with a head master are just too complex and different to be able to address.

This reader particularly liked the way the authors provided a broad overview of a wide variety of business topics without getting too detailed. Too many small specifics can confuse and obfuscate rather than clarify and guide.

This book capably covers such topics as: establishing a memorable identity for the school, developing an effective marketing program, funding to get started, basic business organization, selecting a location to bring in students, setting realistic student fee schedules, contracts, hiring and developing good employees, developing an effective advertising and marketing program, how to handle telephone calls, walk in students and methods of closing, tracking students and money management, student retention, selling uniforms and other martial arts products in house, as well as problem solving.

Undoubtedly many readers will benefit by how the authors break down and discuss various parts of a subject. In chapters eight and nine, for example, marketing is broken down. The pros and cons, key aspects, costs, planning and other basics of mass marketing and direct marketing are discussed and compared. This discussion will clarify the subject for readers who do not have a comprehensive business background. Readers will be educated in a wide variety of basics, learn the alternatives, options as well as potential pitfalls.

The information the authors give is a product of experience.
An accomplished black belt in several martial arts, Karen Levitz Vactor has a degree in business administration and more than 35 years of experience in business management and marketing. During this time she successfully founded and developed several karate school.

Susan Lynn Peterson, Ph.D. is also a black belt martial artist and teacher. As a writer she was a Gold Medallion Book Award Finalist and her articles have appeared in several martial arts magazines.

To find more articles of interest, search on one of these keywords:

martial arts book, martial arts, book review, martial arts business, martial arts school

Read more articles by Richard Reichert

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