How do I get more students in the door and keep retention?
You have opened your mixed martial arts school and your classes are going well. However, you see and expanded number of empty spaces in your classes that need to be filled. What can you do to get more students in the door and then what can you do to keep them in your facility?
FILL THOSE SPACES
It takes a combination of things to get the students in your classes. It takes more that low prices to get the attention you desire in your programs. The following is a list of concepts essential to getting more registered students:
Top quality instructors- having a handful of well educated and experienced instructors will give potential students an opportunity to find the teacher that most fits their desired style of training. It also allows for more variations of martial arts to be taught at your school. Another advantage to having more instructors is that you can prevent the teachers from becoming burned out by limiting the number of classes they each would have to teach each week.
Well maintained facility- A clean and well designed facility will create a more comfortable atmosphere for your potential students to learn in. Boring colors and cracked mirrors or walls will be distracting and a turn off to the professionalism they desire from the school. On the other hand, if the facility is in great cosmetic condition and the place is properly decorated with martial arts related items that would embrace the feeling of inner strength for everyone there.
Fair prices- the lowest price in town doesn’t make people think you are the best school in town. Often times, if your prices are too low, potential students may start to think that your instructors are less than qualified or that something is wrong with your facility in general. Why else would you be half the price of every other school in the region!?!
Set your prices based only on what you are worth. Even if you are a little more than some of your competitors, your customers may see the value in the little more they would have to pay for your classes in the excellent quality of skill they would learn.
KEEP THEM IN THE CLASSES
Now that you have the spaces in the classed filled, what can you do to maintain their interest and keep them coming back for more week after week? Try some of these ideas:
More in class tournaments and performances for the general public. Bringing fame and attention even on a local level to the students in your class will create desire and passion for the sport that would keep them coming back to train over and again.
Most of the students in your classes are there because they have seen the sport on television and they want to live the dream of the people they seen on those shows. If your facility could make that dream a reality once in a while, you would keep them excited about sticking with your program to be able to continue to perform again and again.
Have fun demonstrations for the students such as having the instructors go at it in a sparring match one an occasional basis to motivate them to improve their own skills. What better way to show your students the correct way to perform a skill than to have the teachers perform them for the class? And when the class performs well you can reward them by having a free for all sparing match between the teachers.
Discounted rates can be offered for long term agreements on registered students to keep them interested in coming back to learn new things. Most facilities are teaching continuous classes year round where a student can start at any time and still manage to learn their skills at their own pace. If you want to make sure that they keep coming back to your classes, rather than billing a flat rate from week to week, you can offer a prepaid discount package for say groups of ten classes when paid for up front.