Your location is the biggest driver of who your potential students will be. You should choose well where your studio will be located since the location is the first step in setting you up for success. Refer to How to Choose A Location to ensure you’re prepared for moving in. Selecting the final location is an interactive process that works hand-in-hand with understanding the demographics of the location, i.e. who are your clientele.
There is a VERY long list of resources out in the Internet that can provide all the information you need to build a fact-based approach to defining your market of potential students. The following site is one of the more economical options available for our type of demographics needs. You as a studio owner can build a profile to be used to find the best potential locations and determine clientele. The “Ring Reports” are very applicable to you:
Other options to investigate are: https://www.census.gov/popest/research/demo-analysis.html http://www.bls.gov/ http://www.standardandpoors.com/products-services/industry_surveys/en/us http://www.claritas.com/sitereports/Default.jsp
It will be important to understand how many families are within a 5 mile radius of the prospective location, as that will drive the potential market for kids programs. Across all martial arts in today’s market, kids are the biggest group of practitioners. If you are to own and manage a full-time studio it will be vital to have a significant number of families in close proximity to the studio location. If you are setting up an operation that is mostly business and adults in residence your program options and marketing should be focused on products and services that adults are interested in.
A growing demographic to look heavily into is the Baby Boomers. The Baby Boomer generation represents the largest pool of consumers today and includes people born after World War II. It’s a group of people who are moving into retirement, want to stay healthy, and can be a great supporter of extended family participants. This group would be interested in maintaining vitality, improving longevity, strengthening spirit and power.
Your pricing strategy works hand-in-hand with the demographics, as well. If your program will draw $99 – $250 per month, you need median family incomes that can support $1,200 – $3,000 per student per year (or slightly adjusted down for family discounts/rates) plus additional products and services which can add up to $3,000 – $6000 per year per student. You should think about the disposable income within the area of the potential studio location.
Attracting families to your studio gives you a higher possibility of maintaining a long lasting connection with the students. Giving options within your programs to make it easier for families to participate will help you bring groups of students into the studio with a lower cost of enrollment – 1 enrollment meeting could net 3-4 students compared to 3-4x the number of conversations and enrolling consultations.
Eventually you’ll need to identify who your best customer is and focus in on them. Our art is the highest quality of martial art in the world. We should focus on the customers that value high quality at a reasonable price and not the lowest price classes. Many studios see children as their best customers for
a variety of reasons. To find your best customers, we must promote very strong with very appealing initial offers, including generous discounts, gifts, and free products or services without destroying our change to charge premium prices later on for premium classes.