School’s out for summer! For many, this is a very exciting time of year. But, we know that for a good number of martial arts school owners this is also a time of concern. Worries about student retention and how to keep students engaged during summer months are present regardless of geographic location. With the mix of summer sports, camps, family vacations, and the obvious desire to be outdoors, students have plenty of distractions when it comes to staying passionate and engaged on the martial arts mats.
To help you weather the shift to warmer weather, we partnered with Kicksite (providers of innovative, uncomplicated student management software to strengthen your business, motivate your students, and simplify your life!) to put together three unique ways to attract new students, retain existing ones, and to enjoy record breaking summer months.
Implementing just a few of these changes/additions to your schedule can minimize summer’s student attrition before it even starts!
Schedule Off-Site Summer Camps
Summer daycares are booming with new kids. Working parents need to keep their normal schedules, so childcare centers have an influx of children under their care. Many of these childcare providers are looking for new, unique, and entertaining ways to provide value, engage and to teach kids new skills.
What better way to help them learn a new skill than by creating an off-site summer martial arts class at these locations? Reach out to your local childcare centers and ask them what kind of programming they’re in need of. It may very well be your opportunity to offer a day-long karate or taekwondo camp.
Make the classes fun! Include something like ninja training, board breaking, or a weapons demo. These classes are also an opportunity to get in front of potential new students that have possibly never been exposed to martial arts before.
PRO TIP: Bring promotional materials that you can offer the parents, or for the kids to take home, that way the parents know where to send their excited son or daughter when they come home asking for more lessons! You can take it a step further by creating a special summer introductory price.
Host Birthday Parties
Hosting youth birthday parties during the summer months at your martial arts studio provides a fun and entertaining environment for your students and their friends to celebrate in a safe and responsible atmosphere. Adding more birthday parties in the summer can add additional revenue to your martial arts business and creates another opportunity to meet potential new students who have never been exposed to martial arts before.
We suggest offering birthday parties that run approximately 1-2 hours and include a ninja training obstacle course, breaking real boards, cutting the cake with a sword, and gifting the birthday boy/girl a t-shirt, gi or rash guard that is branded with your logo or imagery.
PRO TIP: Custom t-shirts are often available locally. Work with a distributor in your area to create a unique birthday design for a shirt that you only give to people who have parties in your martial arts facility.
Offer Date Night
One easy and fun way to add more student classes is to offer a “Date Night” for parents where they can drop off their kids for a few hours in the evening and enjoy a kid-free evening. During those hours, create a fun-filled class or obstacle course, then have pizza delivered and play a movie. Parents will appreciate the free time they have and will come to know your studio as more than just a place they send their child to learn martial arts, but also a community with positive influencers and a place for them to make friends and spend time in a safe and healthy environment.
PRO TIP: It takes a little extra work, and sometimes expense, but many parents report a higher comfort level repeatedly sending their children to facilities that offer healthy snacks such as fresh fruit, as well as variety beyond pizza every time.
Yes, student retention can be a real issue because of the hustle and bustle of other summer activities and vacations, but utilizing these ideas for retaining business will set you up to enjoy record-breaking summer season!