Over the past few weeks, I’ve received calls from three collections companies looking for White Tiger Martial Arts. Not for anything about our school or programs, though. I took a couple calls to figure out that the calls were for a now defunct Taekwondo school in the Metro area. They had burst on the scene a couple years ago with opening a big location with all kinds of signage. It was a purchased franchise with an owner who I’d never heard of.

Just the other day I drove past a shopping center were I had done my grocery shopping a few years ago. The Karate school there had been open for about a year then disappeared but the signage was still on the door. Out of curiosity I looked up the school name and found that the website was still active but with a different address. The address is near the Twin Cities dojang, so I drove by to check it. It was closed and looked like it had been gone for a while…but the signage was still there.

This lead me to two thoughts.
1) Commercial locations are too expensive but really cheap since they leave up signage from past businesses.
2) Just because you have learned something doesn’t mean you know anything.

I am still figuring out how to do business in a manner that I can accept and make enough to pay my bills and have a little more. I know that I can’t follow what is currently promoted as the way to do business in this industry. The above examples, to me, prove the point. Put money into a storefront location and follow the sales/marketing concepts purchased from the industry associations and you will automatically be successful. How many 1st Dans and those with even less experience have gone this route? You can have all the fancy equipment and big location but without quality teaching you won’t stay open.

I have put in my time teaching as part of Community Education/Parks & Recreation programs (and still do). I have tried having buildings open…and closed. I have tried to figure it out along the way. Currently we have a great location with plenty of space and will be adding two more nights of class in September. The East Central class is growing. The biggest thing that I’m proud of is that the school is completely debt free.

Friends don’t let friends join…

Author: Master Robert Frankovich

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