Before founding Martial Arts on Rails in early 2016, I have been training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for close to a decade. From the east coast to the west coast in the US, to Japan and Israel, I’ve dropped in and trained regularly at many different locations.
Since I build software products for a living, I couldn’t help notice how backwards some of the systems I had to interface with as a member / visitor in many of these places. For example –
No online onboarding or profile access.
Uncertainty regarding payments – from cash to Paypal and insecure online payment forms.
Complete lack of visibility to my training record.
For the last few weeks we’ve been working on a refresh of the gym website template we’ve been offering, a feature that has barely been touched since we launched more than 4 years ago. Let’s go over what’s new:
Processing payment cards and bank debits is a common requirement for most membership based businesses, such as martial arts schools, fitness / MMA / cross-fit gyms and yoga studios. Being able to charge members on a regular schedule for memberships and create on-demand charges for selling products is how those businesses generate revenue.
Despite being so important for such businesses, payment processing is often one of the most misunderstood aspects of it, and particularly how payment processing fees are calculated.
Since launching in 2016, one of our major selling points has been the ease-of-use and simplicity of our user interface. User feedback has always been very positive in that regard and we’re looking to build and improve and on that.
In the four years since we originally designed the look and feel of our software. Many new features and whole sections of the software have been added, adding additional complexity and pushing the limits of what our original user interface was designed for.
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.