The self-defense industry can be extremely lucrative. In a study conducted by Grand View Research, the self-defense industry in America reached over 2.5 billion in 2019 and is projected to grow exponentially each year. Not only are people of all ages looking to attend classes to better prepare themselves for dangerous situations, but it increases discipline, fitness and is a great way for others to interact with each other and build lasting relationships
The question becomes, how do I start successful self-defense schools? Below we will go over the best tips for launching your business, and further, the easiest and most effective ways to market and promote your potential students.
Launching your self-defense classes
Self-defense schools can be run as you see fit, but it is important to get the necessary business and self-defense licenses that you would need to operate your day-to-day business. Here are some helpful tips:
- Get the necessary licenses
This varies with each person, but research is required depending on the type of discipline you wish to teach, and what area you are located in. It also depends on the scope of your business. If you are planning on keeping this a small and private 1:1 coaching team, you may not be as regulated as a national franchise.
- Register your business
Check federal and state records to decide on a naming scheme for your business. After this is done, officially register your business and choose a corporate structure. This can include a corporation, LLC, sole-proprietorship, LLP, or partnership. If you plan on keeping this a small and private venue, consider simpler structures such as sole-proprietorships and partnerships. Corporations and other larger structures will be more suitable for advanced tax planning and bigger organizations. Consult a legal professional if you are ever unsure.
- Don’t forget insurance
Business insurance is something that can be easily forgotten but is extremely important. In the extremely unlikely event of a dangerous situation occurring, you may be legally and financially responsible to fix a situation. This risk is increased in the nature of your business, as self-defense classes generally introduce contact among members and students.
🔔 Businesses require business insurance to assist cover the expenses of property damage and liability claims. Without business insurance, owners may be forced to pay for costly damages and legal claims made against their firm out of pocket.
- Build a solid business plan
The American small business association has provided a step-by-step process to create a business plan here. Although it is not necessary, it is highly recommended for organization and funding purposes.
Establish A Great Team – Small business owners experience a lot of burnout when first launching their business. This can be a normal occurrence, as when starting your business you wear many hats. Burnout is not sustainable, and you should be looking to transition from working IN your business to working ON your business as soon as possible by building a loyal and dependable team.
📢 A solid business plan not only assists entrepreneurs in focusing on the particular procedures required for their business ideas to succeed, but it also assists them in achieving both short-term and long-term goals.
How do you promote self-defense classes
Generally, self-defense classes are different from martial arts disciplines. The classes are solely for protecting oneself against dangerous situations, rather than an organized curriculum of levels, belts, creeds, and katas. This means that you should not look to brand yourself the same way that the martial arts industry does. Here are some helpful tips to properly market your business.
Building an effective website
Whether done in-house or through a contractor, it is important to build an effective website that demonstrates your brand in a great light. Your website will be the first point of contact for those that come to learn about your business, so make sure it’s vibrant, easy to use, answers most common questions, and has an intake form.
Get on social media
This can even be done before registering your business, setting a business page on your socials. What’s more, people love personal brands and engaged owners when first launching their business, so remember to also cross-promote with your personal page as well. Your inner circle will usually be your first customers, so make your posts informative, engaging, and friendly.
Choose your ideal customer
Self-Defense is a broad term, and many business owners make the mistake of setting up their business to intake as many people as possible. On the contrary, deciding on a targeted niche early on and creating that intention will bolster your business. For example, your self-defense training could be registered to teach new police officers to get them trained for the academy or on-the-job. Make sure to research any certifications you may need.
Get their attention
Where are your ideal customers spending their time? Social media may cover most of us that view our phone screens, but the message isn’t as effective due to the amount of information we receive on our phones. Advertise in places your ideal customer frequents, such as gyms, grocery stores, community centers, and targeted marketing.
Automate your marketing and follow-up
Setting up an entire marketing plan and method is extremely difficult, and even more so, scaling it up when you’ve finally figured it out. Furthermore, a large percentage of revenue is lost due to a lack of follow-up. Spark Membership is the number 1 member management software. Promotions, marketing, follow-up, scheduling, staff management, and payment are all combined into a mobile app. Try it now for just $1
Promotions and deals
Everyone loves a good deal and has a sense of getting more from their money. It is difficult to gain traction when first starting out, so offering promotional deals to new members is a great way to get attention, and hopefully, close your first few clients. Some other ideas include referrals, discounts, bundled deals, and promotional events.