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воскресенье, 9 октября 2011 г.

BJJ as a Business?

Just a thought that some people wonder about. Does bjj make sense as a business? Well, I have some experience in the business world and probably an say a few words in this regard.

Firstly what one has to consider is the investment that needs to be made. If you have a shabby one room academy somewhere in the basement with no changing rooms this is one type of project, a budget/economy project that will only attract certain people, willing to pay little and get little in terms of the quality of the facilities.

Of course one might say that the only thing that really matters is the quality of the teaching. In fact, it truly believe that the quality of the teaching is just a single element that makes up the product that is being offered.

The product itself has the following attributes:

1. Teaching - very important. Sometimes the teaching is done by a poor quality instructor which reduces the value. Progression will not be possible without quality tuition. A good academy will offer private lessons.

2. Service - you must be cared for. The teacher must take care of his students, answer their questions and add elements to enhance student learning and experience. Without this, students will not want to dedicate years from their life to learn the sport.

3. Facilities - good quality facilities allowing athletes to train, work out, wash and change are vital. If you have a conditioning room, even if it is not part of the academy, that is a plus.

4. Location. This one is key. The academy must be easy to reach, whether by car, walking or underground. If no one can find it, reach it, then no one will come.

5. Brand. A great instructor, a successful team that wins in competitions, this are just some of the requisites, a good academy has it's own sports gear, patch. Many join the global BJJ teams like Alliance or Gracie Barra. It is important to be in line with the international standard and now the latest in whatever your area of expertise happens to be.

6. Events and marketing. Seminars are one way to attract students from other academies. Once they see your academy, they make a choice whether to join. Marketing activities help attract a student base. It is the job of the academy instructors and owners to then retain students.

You have to find a balance between investing too much in facilities, marketing and staff and making money. If you find the delicate balance, then you will succeed. Building a bond with the students is extremely important too. Think through the numbers your business plan. Be conservative. Don't go all out and burn out. Take careful steps, start small, find another instructor to support you and then expand when you have a good base of students.

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