Five Tips and Tactics for Thriving in a Tough Economy

economy Five Tips and Tactics for Thriving in a Tough Economy


What do people typically call the present status of the economy? A recession?  A downturn?  Whatever you call it, the rate of income growth across US businesses has slowed to a crawl, and that is scaring the pants off of a lot of people. Your own business may not be affected in any way, but the fact is that many people are worried about their future… very worried.

Bad news?  Obviously, in some ways, it really is! Those worried folks only spend less money these days and don’t buy anymore on impulse, making each and every transaction, making each sale a little bit harder.

But for those of us with the right approach, there’s hope. A sure hope and opportunity. You will ask, “Why?” The fact remains to be simple and true and that is while everyone else is capitalizing with less vigor and determination, you can do the exact opposite. As what Paul Lemberg puts it that while timid business owners are pulling in their horns and “conserving cash” you can outmarket them. As the unemployment rate creeps up, you can acquire their staff more easily.  And good businesses are for sale and can be bought on the cheap. How about that?

Here are a few martial arts business tips and tactics that will definitely help when things get rough.  These tips apply whenever your School needs a boost.  You can think of them as turnaround tactics.

1. Market Harder

Make sure to advertise your business harder!  Hey – either they will enroll in your school, or not.  And if they don’t, there are plenty of other clients and prospects, so who cares. But when students and prospects are feeling the pinch they become circumspect about how they spend their money, and it takes more persuasion to get them to enroll.  Research shows that it takes as many as seven – even ten – “touches” to get someone to take action.  And sales data shows that most people stop closing after the first try, and even professional folks usually quit after the third time.   Advertise harder.  Ask more often.  Use stronger arguments. Go back to your people repeatedly and make them see the need!

2. Narrow Your Focus and Broaden Your Lines

This may seem like a paradox – narrow and broaden at the same time.  It isn’t.  You’ve got to free yourself from all distractions.  Prune outlying ventures and offshoots that aren’t really part of your core business.  Narrow your focus and spend all your energy on strengthening the core materials and services that contribute most to your income.  Next, make it easier for your good students/clients to spend more money with you.  Figure out what related promo or services they want and need and make the strategy to offer it to them.

3. Spend More Money On Marketing

Most business owners “budget” for marketing, which only makes sense if you think of it as a cost.  Instead, if you see marketing as a income generator, you should be willing to be spend some defined fraction of that income to acquire yet more income!  That fraction should be a function of your average customers lifetime value.  If you follow tip 2 above, you will quickly increase your average lifetime value, and therefore be willing and able to spend more.  Test first. Make sure your programs work before you roll out big.  One more thing; in tough times, you may also want to think about increasing that fraction itself.  If you normally consider spending 10% of lifetime value to acquire a student, you may want to increase it to 12% or 15%.

4. Establish Your Referral Systems

Teach your Martial Arts Buisness to market itself. How do you do that? Well, it start’s with being REMARKABLE! What is your Buisness Story? This is a great place to start. Create your School’s story, why your passionate about teaching martial arts and how it came to be. Create a great looking sheet to give to prospects, Have a mural painted in your school of the story. This will train your students to TELL your buisness story to others. Also, use social media (video works best) to feature students. You will find when you put up a “student of the week” video on your blog or fan page that your students will be sending them to your page to check it out. Buddy Days, Contests and all other referral tactics only CONSITENTLY produce results when you have made every part of your martial arts business UNIQUE! Think of the last time you had a GREAT experience dining, you wanted to TELL everyone you know to go there. When you run Tactics such as a buddy day WITHOUT being REMARKABLE your students have no impetus to bring your referrals. SPECIAL NOTE We have a great new Video Training on our REFERRAL FLOOD SYSTEM, watch your inbox for detals.

5. Clarify Your Value Proposition

Remember: even if there really is a ‘recession,’ people are always going to spend money.  Perhaps not as easily or as much, but we all still have needs and wants, and we are going to try to satisfy those.  That means that while people aren’t rushing to pull out their wallets for every offer that comes along, they will still spend on things perceived as valuable.  What does that mean?  Before you may have gotten away with a lot of fast talk.  Now you have to prove it to them.  Spell it out; show them exactly how they will benefit – in financial terms like how martial arts can prevent them from hospitalization bills and other aspects of their lives.  Use case studies, testimonials, examples, demonstrations.

BONUS TIP – Sweeten Your Offer

Get OUTRAGEOUS! create a offer that your prospects can’t refuse and then sweeten it more. Check out your compettitors offers and make yours 10x better. I suggest using FREE trial offers with a touch of “Velvet Rope -Take away” in the process. Offer them a 2 week Trail and at the end of the 2 weeks we will BOTH see if it;s a good fit. Offer them a bonus gift right after the 2 weeks are up and give them little bonuses throughout the 2 week trail. This will make you UNIQUE and don’t forget to INVITE them into your membership or GRADUATE them into your club at the end of the 2 weeks. Once they have been ACCEPTED it makes it easy to ask them for the names of 3 friends, nieghboors or co workers. I like to do this on the 4 week Check Up call!



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One Response to “Five Tips and Tactics for Thriving in a Tough Economy”

  1. I have started to market harder and it’s tough to spend the money, but this information is great encouragement and I agree it does take several times to get someone to join, it’s a matter of timing and continual marketing.

    Thanks, Mike