I am currently the instructor at a TKD school. The school is in its second year in a great location but business is not picking up. I'm not sure why things are not working. I?m not the one that runs the office so I'm not sure about the communication with the parents. What suggestions can you give to me to help with this situation?
Here are some tips that may be of help to you:
- Do the usual, such as ads, demos, promos, signs, specials, etc., to make sure everyone knows about your school, but primarily rely on referrals. If your students are happy and enthusiastic about the school, they will tell their friends. If visitors feel special after they visit the school, they will come back and will tell their friends.
- Greet every person who comes in the door personally and enthusiastically all the time
- Know the names of every student and every parent and use them often before, during, and after class.
- Remember visitor names so you may greet them by name if they come back again.
- Ask students and parents how they are doing and remember what they say so you may ask follow-up questions the next time you see them. Always act as if you care, even if you don't.
- When regular students miss class, call to check up on them; not to scold them, but to show concern for their welfare. If a student is not attending regularly, talk with them to find out why.
- Run your school as a business, but treat the students as if they were part of your family. Make on the spot corrections to bad behavior and counsel the student in private immediately after class. Be tough, but do not overdo it; people respect authority as long as it used justly and fairly.
- Be a friend to people and do things to ensure people consider you a friend. People always want to help friends and be loyal to them. If you are just a teacher, if students have a disagreement or complaint of some kind with you, they will have no problem in dropping you and finding another teacher. However, if you are friend, students will not want to leave, even if they become discouraged for some reason. Ask students for their assistance in the school operation, such as solving a computer problem, answering a business question, etc.; just don't be a nuisance. People want to feel needed and, when they help in the school, they feel as though they are a part of the school and partially responsible for the success of the school.
- Treat every visitor as a potential customer. Do not pressure or pester them, but ensure they know who you are and that you value them as a person.
- Make each student feel special and needed. Although the instructor should not have an obvious favorite student, if asked, each student should think he or she is one of the instructor's favorite students.
- Have a set routine when dealing with potential customer phone calls or visits so you always get the pertinent information and answer all their questions. Tell people why you are the best choice, not why other schools are a bad choice. Even if an employee fist handles a call, ensure you follow-up personally.
- Make follow-up phone calls regularly and on time. Show concern but don't pressure. If people are undecided, ask if you may check back with them at a future date, make note of their answer, and call back on that date.
- Children students are where the money is since there are so many of them wanting to train, so you must concentrate your efforts on children and their parents. However, adult students are who holds the school together so you must maintain a loyal, happy base of adult students.
- When a people show interest in the school, answer their questions about cost etc. but push getting them into a trial class or classes so they may experience what you have to offer so they will want to join your school no matter the cost.
- Try to satisfy all types of students. Each class should be a strenuous workout for those who want an aerobic workout or want to lose weight, but don't overstress those who don't want to or can't workout very hard. For the martial art enthusiasts, each class should stress some aspect of the art. Students should learn something new, be it a technique or just knowledge, at every class. Sparring is where the competition and fun is, so spar every class.
- Surveys have shown that, no matter what their original reason for taking a class, the number one reason people stay in a martial art class is the social structure. They like to workout with friends, test and compare their abilities with friends, feel relaxed and carefree after a hard day at work, and have fun. When coming to class becomes a chore, they dropout.
- The owner must be directly involved with all aspects of the school. Employees may have the best of intentions, but they are not the owner. The owner must meet and greet all customers. The final signing may be handled by an employee, but the owner must handle everything else. People do not sign up with a school, they sign up with the instructor. They could care less about the business, if they like the instructor, then they will sign up. If they do not see the instructor in much, they will leave. Owners must juggle both teaching and management; if one slips, the school will falter. When owners are hungry, they school grows. When owners become complacent, the school shrinks.