Why you should be tracking attendance at your martial arts school

Checking-in with a code or a membership card is a very common practice at fitness gyms. I haven’t seen it done often at martial arts schools, until I joined my current academy which does just that. At first I considered it a hassle – I knew all of the staff personally after the first week, so there should no need to verify my membership every time.

As it turns out though, there are significant benefits to tracking attendance, for both the instructors and the students.
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How people find your martial arts gym

The survival and growth of a martial arts gym is tied closely to the influx of new members. Members pay the bills, and without a steady flow of new ones, a school cannot grow or even maintain its current status, as there is a constant churn of existing members.

To understand how prospective members might find your place, we ran a survey on Reddit’s BJJ community. Being that the results are from an online community, you would expect the data to somewhat prefer online acquisition channels. However, I believe it is still representative of how most people conduct their martial arts school search.

You can view the results of the survey here

The marketing term for the process in which you convert potential customers to actual clients, is called the funnel. In the survey, we broke down the funnel for acquiring new members into 3 sections:

  • Visibility – how do new members find your gym?
  • Attractiveness – what makes prospective members walk through the door?
  • Conversion – what makes people sign on as new members?

For your convenience, we summed up the results in a SlideShare presentation. To read more in-depth analysis, keep reading the text below.

[slideshare id=57808313&doc=howpeoplefindgyms-160203004610]

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Martial Arts on Rails goes live!

We’re happy to announce the Martial Arts on Rails service is now live! If you’re reading, you probably have a good idea of what we do, but just in case, an introduction:

What is Martial Arts on Rails

Martial Arts on Rails is an online service for managing martial arts academies, gyms and training studios. It is a modern solution for all the core items a martial arts academies deals with on a daily basis:

  • Member management – sign-up, liability waivers, personal information, contact information, attendance tracking, Email messaging and so forth
  • Billing management and collection – billing scheduling, payment card processing, automatic and recurring payments, payment failure, payment card expiry, revenue statistics and graphs and more
  • Academy website – professional designed website with general academy information, location, galley, contact details, schedule and compatibility with tablets and mobile devices.
  • Academy dashboard – monthly revenue and weekly attendance graphs, membership changes, attendance and billing notifications and real-time view of training sessions currently in progress.
  • Member accounts – self-service personal area for members, where they can update their personal information, payment details, pay outstanding bills and keep track of their progress in training.

Those are the big items, but there are many more convenience features, such as on-demand reports, information import / export, custom notifications and more.

Having ran this service in beta with multiple academies, we know it answers a major part of most academies’ needs from day 1. However, we think of it as just the beginning – if you run an academy, try us out and if there’s something we could to help you do a better job at it, we want to hear from you! Your feedback is invaluable and will be considered as we keep expanding our core product.

On this blog, we will be writing articles on how to manage martial academies more efficiently, how to attract and retain students and how to improve your bottom-line. You might want to bookmark this page and visit us again in the future! Additionally, you can follow us on Twitter or sign-up for new posts via Email in the sidebar.