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DWx
KF Sensei
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Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6148
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 8:53 am    Post subject: Attrition rate Reply with quote

Just celebrated my one year anniversary of my school

Starting to lose a few of the junior students now. I know it is inevitable at some point, but what's a typical attrition rate in schools? What percentage of students have you typically lost after 6 months, after 1 year etc.
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sensei8
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14406
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First off...Congrats for celebrating your 1 year anniversary. Speaks volumes because that first year is the most trying for any MA school for many reasons!! So, you deserve a big....

Typical?? Imho, there's nothing typical about student attrition.

My rate is somewhere around 10%-15%, on an average. Of course, that number bumps up to around 20% rate, depending on the time of the year...vacations and summer events seem to be my momentary bump up for that 20% rate. However, I've been around far more than 1 year, therefore, my numbers are going to be much lower than a MA school that has only had their doors open for 1 year.

My first year was fueled by the continued surge of interest in the MA with the public from the early and mid 1970's. However, I also had Dai-Soke at my dojo quite a lot during my first year, and on the floor with me; he was my "Assistant Instructor", of which he brought with him several of his Sempai's as well.

Even with all of that, the learning pains were harsh that first year because my churn rate was churning at a monster rate of 55% for my 1st and 2nd Quarter, and didn't start to show a sign of slowing down itself until the end of the 3rd Quarter, and by the end of the 4th Quarter, my churning rate had a comfortable 35%...and it gradually became lower and lower, even with the annual summer events bumps.

May I ask...What was the highest number of students you reached?? How many students do you have right now??

If you can average between 35% - 40%, you are doing well. Of course, the lower the churning the better. What I do is that I take all the students I had at this time last year, and then add all the new students who enrolled in the following 12 months. Compare that sum to the current number of enrolled students. If I then end up with less than 35%, I'm doing well, in which I maybe lost 1-3 students.



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bushido_man96
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
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Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I'd been told when I first started my MA career was a 10% rule: 10% of the people you start training with will end up testing to black belt with you. After that, 10% of those that made 1st dan with you will hit 2nd dan with you...and so on.

I've found over the course of my career, that rate is probably about right, if it's not a bit high. That's not an exact representative number, but I've found some truth in it.
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DWx
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In terms of numbers, total students on the books minus myself and my sister is 69 in one year.

11 of those are blackbelts who came to me from elsewhere.

That leaves 58 complete beginners.

I've had 7 quitters. Most young children.

One was a 6 year old and probably just too young. Quit after 3 months. Her father said she was struggling with how late it was in the evening.

Another 6 year old quit after 9 months because he wasn't enjoying it. His father still wanted him to come to class and made him come quit in person which I think was great. Again probably a little young for what we do.

A 7 year quit after about 9 months because he wasn't enjoying it.

A 14 year old girl quit after only a month or so but I think she never really wanted to do it anyway and her mum made her.

I had one adult stop showing up with promises to come back soon after her exams and then after the summer...

More recently I had another 7 year old just stop coming, she was getting on ok but for whatever reason her parents just stopped bringing her and cancelled the Direct Debit. Despite me trying to get in touch I never got a reason why.

Then lately another 7 year old quit for no reason at all. Her mum messaged me to say she still wanted her to do it and I thought she was enjoying class but the girl doesn't want to come anymore. I think because I held her back from grading as she'd missed a lot of classes at the start of the year.

So I guess that's 12% of total beginners quitting in a year or 10% of total students.

The younger ones I definitely think would have gotten on better in a dedicated little kids program but I don't have the time or resources at the moment.

Adults I find it harder to convert from free trial but once they're in they tend not to quit.
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sensei8
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those are numbers to be quite proud of, especially during your first year. Whatever you're doing, keep it up!!



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bushido_man96
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Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The major trend seems to be "7 years old." Lots of kids that age have trouble focusing on something, or with the concept of putting in work to get rewards down the road. Unfortunately, I think a new breed of parents have trouble understanding that, too, and here we are.

I'd say far and away you're doing really well, and the future looks bright!

Getting adults into classes is tough. Many don't want to do much after they finish work for the day, and feel that those days of being an athlete are behind them. Those that do get started tend to commit for at least a year, I've found.
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DWx
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
The major trend seems to be "7 years old." Lots of kids that age have trouble focusing on something, or with the concept of putting in work to get rewards down the road. Unfortunately, I think a new breed of parents have trouble understanding that, too, and here we are.

I'd say far and away you're doing really well, and the future looks bright!

Getting adults into classes is tough. Many don't want to do much after they finish work for the day, and feel that those days of being an athlete are behind them. Those that do get started tend to commit for at least a year, I've found.

yes it is definitely the younger ones that struggle.

I do have younger students that are more committed, or should I say the parents are more committed. I guess with those that are flaky that's the type of student I don't want or need anyway.

Unfortunately I think the new school year has triggered another quitter. I had a pair of brothers training but who barely ever came... looks like their mum just cancelled the direct debit. Frustratingly without explanation. But then again the two were a pain in the backside as were dropping so far behind from missing classes.
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bushido_man96
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is frustrating. Unfortunately, it's the nature of the beast. In the end, when all is really tallied up, you'll have way more students that quit than stayed with you.
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sensei8
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
It is frustrating. Unfortunately, it's the nature of the beast. In the end, when all is really tallied up, you'll have way more students that quit than stayed with you.

That is the unfortunate truth with any type of business; more leave than those that stay. The measure of any business is how that business handles that evil truth; 7 times down, and 8 times up!!

Students come and students go, and when students go, it doesn't bother me one way or another; the door swings both ways. Their decision of leaving is their free right to do so, and I don't give one bent pin as to their reason(s) for doing so. I'm there to teach, and not there to babysit them; train...don't train, stay...don't stay.

My first 6 months, it bothered me, but then one day I had an epiphany that it doesn't matter one iota one way or another if a student leaves or not because it's not that important. What was important back then, and is still important nowadays, is that my integrity remained intact, and wasn't for sale, throughout all of businesses ups and downs; integrity ended the financial bleeding.
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