Having a good business brain means you are taking good care of your students.
I hear the industry crying “commercialism!” Fact - If an instructor doesn't charge enough he goes out of business. Students will be left without a school. If an instructor isn't making enough money he will not be able to quit his day job. Students now do not have an instructor with 100% focus on their outcomes. I could go on but you get the idea.
Marketing and handling inquiries are more important than the quality of your black belts.
I can hear the complaints again. As an explanation, I recently helped an experienced instructor in his club. In the last month he had joined 10% of his inquiries. At that rate, he would be closed within a year. Not much use to have a higher standard of Black belt if no one is there. Both are important, just get your priorities right.
Personality beats systems. People follow role models not procedures. Although your staff need to have procedures, it must not be at the expense of their personality, character and ‘observable enthusiasm’.
Dropping the traditional system completely in favour of MMA is like throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Just because Royce Gracie destroyed some black belts from traditional styles doesn't mean the traditional method is all without merit.
Bigger isn't better. By bigger, I mean more students and more floorspace. More income isn't better although if that is all that matters to you, then it is better. At the end of the day, the huge majority of instructors agree that your quality of life and the quality of your students are what it is all about. These two factors should be kept in mind when making any decisions concerning growth and income.
Experts aren’t smarter than you. This goes for business coaches, instructors running large schools and anyone you feel is an expert. They have just had more experiences than you and adapted.
The four hour workweek is a fallacy. True, some business owners only spend four hours a week in the business. But they got there by spending years doing 60 to 70 hour weeks.
You spent the same amount of time getting your black belt as a doctor so you deserve the same pay and respect. No you don't. Comparing doctors and martial arts instructors is ludicrous. You deserve, and will receive, the reward and respect that comes as a result of years of training and years of learning business principles coupled with making good decisions. Simple.
If a student quits it is always your fault. Saying he or she wasn’t cut out for real martial arts training is a cop out. You need to step up as an instructor.
Number 10 is up to you. No one knows how you should run your life or your business so following someone else's business model EXACTLY, will rarely work. The same goes for this list.
Having said that, your mission now, if you wish to accept it, is to trim down these 10 points into 5 that really mean something. Then order them. Every day look at your priority number 1. When you have that sorted, move to number 2.
In the long run, you can’t lose.
Sooner or later, earning a living is going to become easy and you will wonder how to make a measurable difference.
Money won't mean as much. Family will mean more.
Achievement will diminish in importance, contribution will grow.
You will think more and say less.
Looking tough won’t occupy any brain space at all.
When you get to this point, you will be successful.
May 2015 deliver what you deserve.