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DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6118
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 2:55 pm    Post subject: Let's talk finances Reply with quote

I figure that this might be a difficult question and to be honest I'm not sure how many of you will answer but here goes:

How many school owners here turn a profit?

I'm a firm believer in that time = money and whilst I want to help people and pass on the love of the art, my knowledge is something I've spent years accumulating and I'm not going to pass on for free. IMHO too many instructors undersell themselves.

So if you're comfortable sharing, what kind of profit do you make?
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14265
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My goal is to always comp up across the board: Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually. 8% is the lowest comp I'll accept, for my dojo. The Hombu comps up at a minimum of 10% through those parameters; both make a profit

The quarterly comps reveal if the annual comps are feasible; can't live without the P&L and/or the KPI reports because they take the pulse of the business.



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tallgeese
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 04 May 2008
Posts: 6851
Location: McHenry County, IL
Styles: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Bujin Bugei Jutsu, Gokei Ryu Kempo Jutsu, MMA, Shootfighting, boxing, kickboxing, JKD, Pekiti Tersia Kali

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:27 am    Post subject: Re: Let's talk finances Reply with quote

DWx wrote:
I figure that this might be a difficult question and to be honest I'm not sure how many of you will answer but here goes:

How many school owners here turn a profit?

I'm a firm believer in that time = money and whilst I want to help people and pass on the love of the art, my knowledge is something I've spent years accumulating and I'm not going to pass on for free. IMHO too many instructors undersell themselves.

So if you're comfortable sharing, what kind of profit do you make?


Great question!

Does my gym make profit? Yes.
Could I live off it if I didn't have a day job?
No.

That's the reality of it. Now, this works out fine since it's not a primary income stream. There's also the fact I'm not paying tuition and the gym picks up my continuing education such as seminars etc.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27636
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Let's talk finances Reply with quote

tallgeese wrote:
DWx wrote:
I figure that this might be a difficult question and to be honest I'm not sure how many of you will answer but here goes:

How many school owners here turn a profit?

I'm a firm believer in that time = money and whilst I want to help people and pass on the love of the art, my knowledge is something I've spent years accumulating and I'm not going to pass on for free. IMHO too many instructors undersell themselves.

So if you're comfortable sharing, what kind of profit do you make?


Great question!

Does my gym make profit? Yes.
Could I live off it if I didn't have a day job?
No.

That's the reality of it. Now, this works out fine since it's not a primary income stream. There's also the fact I'm not paying tuition and the gym picks up my continuing education such as seminars etc.


I think this is how 90% of the MA gyms around end up operating. Most of us do this as a hobby, and if we can get the hobby to pay for itself with just a little left over to play with, then we call it a win.

I do agree with your opening post, Danielle. I don't have any issues at all with an instructor making money by teaching Martial Arts. Being able to cover expenses is great, but pulling enough of a profit to upgrade the school and even pay yourself as an instructor/owner is even better.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14265
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've earned my living in the MA. By owning/operating a very successful dojo/retail supply store, as well as being an elected member of the SKKA higher hierarchy, Regents and Kaicho. I've been blessed, I suppose, in that regards.

Within the Kyuodan Dojo, I've treated it as a business, and not ever as a hobby; that, I believe has made all of the differences. Treating the Kyuodan Dojo any other way than as a business, doesn't allow me to make it that successful business.

Treating the Kyuodan Dojo as though it was a hobby, or worse, would've caused me to not take that endeavor seriously whatsoever. I would've hem and hawed myself into the poor house quite expediently.



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Chunmonchek
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 10 May 2012
Posts: 172

Styles: Goju

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My goal has been to not have to pay more to teach than any of my students has to pay to learn.

So far, I've met my goals.

And in my best years, I've had some surplus $ to help fund travel to teach at our branch dojos in the US, Canada, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, and England.

That said, I don't have any objections to people making profit teaching.
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1703

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just having a place to train and teach out of will cost something for upkeep and to remain usable. Even if a dojo/school is non-profit it has to make enough money to cover the costs of maintenance and in the privilege of using the space. The only kind of dojo/school that makes significantly more than what is needed to cover rent, utilities and other vital expenses are the ones where the instructor is a professional martial arts instructor who made a career out of it , and was successful enough to make a living off of it.

In my experience The majority of dojos/schools are run by instructors who earn a living from a good day job or other sources of income. Making a good living by teaching martial arts has never been easy or stable. Historically martial arts teachers have always earned their living from a different source. Professional martial arts instructors who earn a living from the profits of running a dojo/school are the exceptions.

Matsumura was a court official and bodyguard to three kings
Itosu was a royal secretary
Chibana was a sake brewer
His student Miyahira was a schoolteacher
Other instructors whom I met since beginning Okinawan Karate have all had lengthy careers: hospital workers, policemen, public servants, soldiers and more varied careers than possible to remember. They all had one thing in common: they really really loved doing and teaching martial arts.
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LLLEARNER
Brown Belt
Brown Belt

Joined: 10 Feb 2016
Posts: 687
Location: Central Maine

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 6:25 am    Post subject: Re: Let's talk finances Reply with quote

DWx wrote:
I figure that this might be a difficult question and to be honest I'm not sure how many of you will answer but here goes:

How many school owners here turn a profit?

I'm a firm believer in that time = money and whilst I want to help people and pass on the love of the art, my knowledge is something I've spent years accumulating and I'm not going to pass on for free. IMHO too many instructors undersell themselves.

So if you're comfortable sharing, what kind of profit do you make?


I agree with you. I am not a dojo owner, but I do have philosophies in that area.

In any area the local market will determine the proper rates.
Many factors will influence the rates, some more concrete than others:
Target customers-How much is that group willing to pay? Are they A-list actors learning for a movie roll? Is exclusivity a valued part of the cost to that customer? Is the customer base of lower economic means looking to keep kids out of trouble?

What is your break-even point? This includes operational costs such as: rent, utilities, marketing, websites, taxes, professional and association fees, additional staff, etc.

What is the Sensei's perceived value? People pay for fame. If Connor MacGregor were to open an MMA gym I am sure he could and should charge more than I could. If he charged too little, he would be too busy to be effective and his name would decline in value.

As far as under and over selling a skill set, geographic area is going to factor greatly. A dojo in Washington County, Maine (the poorest county in Maine) will have to charge much lower rates than say one in Manhattan.

What is the competition doing and charging?

I am a hard core free market capitalist who believes that the market (which is really the customers) should determine cost. I also believe non-profit is only a tax-status, not a moral ore ethical determiner. Any business, for profit or non-profit, has a moral and ethical (as an extension of natural rights of the individual) obligation to be self-sustaining in that if it closes it cannot serve its intended purpose. Its intended purpose, as determined by its owners, can and should vary from entity to entity.
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