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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 2:15 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2001 6:01 am
Posts: 473
Location: worcester, ma
every business could use a good buisiness plan. i never thought i needed one until i understood what it entailed and how to use it.
one of the first things a business owner needs to do for a business plan is to define his customers. who are they and what do they want. if your business dosnt fill a need you dont have a business.

so who are they? what is your target group. it is a big mistake to just think "everyone" will want your service. it is also a mistake to try to capture market share that is outside your business scope.
example my handyman business could have a target market of , marketing to real estate agents and their customers, land lords and their rental property and casual homeowners but it would be a mistake to go out side my scope and try to also do 100 k remodels or landscaping.

so who are the karate customers,, compitition seekers, health and fitness ect. now that you know who you are targeting your business plan would require you to reduce this to a company mission statement.

later you may find teaching something may be profitable but outside your mission statement. do you do it?
now this decision is a little more thought provoking then just "ah what the heck i can teach womens kick boxing.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:52 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2004 9:40 pm
Posts: 3700
Good stuff Hoshin.

Now how one defines profitable is also important. Most of the time it means money, but even if you are doing for love and not for profit you still want "a valuable return (miriam-webster)". Now that valuable return could be many things but the guy running things from the front still needs to know what that is.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:55 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 10:42 pm
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Location: Virginia
hoshin wrote:
thank you Shana
very well stated as always, BUT... :) i dont disagree with you on anything you said. we have the same view point, i am just expanding my definition of what a business is , while you are looking at "a business" a little more strictly. a dojo business does not have to have 800 students. it can be something just as you described. my thought is that if the teacher shifts his view from being the teacher to adopting some business savy and techniques he will eliminate the problems that he was causing in the first place.

all the same problems that happen in a dojo also happen in business. they are all very common. now if the teacher looked into business practices and read more about it he might find some solutions that he didnt know before that have been documented over and over in business books.

i will try to post some of the business rules, when i can to give a better feel for what i am saying.

First, thank you!

Second, I look forward to your next post and learning some new business rules.

Finally, I also think we are probably closer than you think in opinion. I agree that the application of some proven business techniques would solve lots of issues that crop up in problem dojos, hobbies, etc.. I just think that some folks get so wrapped up (almost type warped, which might be appropriate) in having a "BUSINESS" that they lose sight of thier original goals and purpose.

Can't wait to read more!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:34 pm 
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Posts: 473
Location: worcester, ma
my question would be , do they really get wraped up in the business aspects or was money the motivation factor to begine with?

i remember sitting with Buzz Durkin when i first wanted to open a karate school. he grilled me good. i think it was to show me more about the business side.

he asked question like ...
"what is your ROI on your marketing plan?" "how much does it cost you to make the phone ring each and every time?"

what calculations did you use to figure out your tuition? tuition VS square footage?

i was like a deer caught in the headlights.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 9:38 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2001 6:01 am
Posts: 473
Location: worcester, ma
here are some "business rules" that might apply to the topic of having a healthy dojo. these mostly come from things i have read.



Produce a great product... dont use your experience in traditional karate and pawn it off as MMA or law enforcement defensive tactcs unless you also have experience in that field.

Your customers are not all stupid...if you do try to pawn off crapy instruction people will get wise sooner or later.

Figure out projected revenue to calculate how much space you need and buget yourself for your expenses. dont rent a space just because you like the view from the windows

Stay focused on your misson, the military has a mission so should you . this goes back to my last post. dont branch out into new ideas and markets untill you have mastered your core.

decide if this is a business or a hobby. is this for the "art"? is this what other people want? or is this what you want? karate as an art can be likend to music , every composer produces music he would like to hear. is your karate dojo something only YOU would like to see come to life.
if you are not 100% sure that your vision is filling a market need you better keep your expenses down and hold off from signing that 3 year lease at $2000 a month.

Dont try to motivate students thru negative attitudes... "John if you dont get better at your kata yo uwont be going up for green belt"
(i actually heard this next one)
" hey John you better be doing all of the push ups like everyone eles or ill make you spar with ME !!! and ill kick your butt good" ( he says this while leaning back heavly on the wall wiht his arms folded. while everyone is sweating but him)

Dont allow students to criticize the efforts of other students, especialy to make themselfs look better...
one ego driven turd can ruin the entire pot.

if you are making good money from your regular job or the dojo, dont flaunt the money and drive to class in your new Jag to show it off t oeveryone.

Set a good example... be in there with the troops lead by example

Never lose you temper, take the issue in the office or outside. never argue infront of the class

be in the middle between ball breaker and being a pushover ... dont let students walk all over you. NOT ONE STEP.
dont go out drinking after class and get drunk off your rocker... they will lose all respect for you.
dont play favorites... it is common for teachers to promote people they like before those they dont ..watch yourself.

Have the guts to do your own dirty work. if someone needs to be talked to about something do it your self, dont deligate repremands.

I wouldnt teach family... unless its my own kids , relitives will take advantage of this even if they dont do it on purpose, walking around the dojo with shoes on and such. other students will resent them and you.

know what is going on in your own dojo...
is john having an affair with betty? does mike and Bill want to kill eachother? you better have eyes and address it early.

speak the truth.. never tell tall tales of the old days and make up stories about how good you were. students will know . if they dont know right away if they find out later your dojo will be empty. have the courage to tell the truth, work on yourself untill the truth is better then a tall tail.

keep your promises ... dont tell John he is going to test then back out of the deal.

Clearly define exeptable practices and behavoir right from the get go and enforce it. at one dojo i was at, it was expected every student would show up 1/2 hour before class time to clean the dojo. we did it out of habit , no piss and moaning it was just what we did.

set student goals and define a path for them.

Dont ever promote a student that doent deserve it... the other students will lose respect for you and the system.
and dont take a promotion yourself, out of political agenda, your students will know your a sell out. ( YES WE KNOW WHO YOU ARE)

Get rid of trouble makers as soon as they show their ugly heads...
they will poison the dojo.

If they dont want to be there get them the heck out... students who are lazy, ridicule you behind your back or are always late for class because they dont like the push ups at the begining of class and wine about everything else should be escourted to the door NOW!!!


be very carefull and selective about your help... you maybe a great teacher but the brown belt you let teach maybe Hilter incarnate when you are not around or rude and insulting. they will lose students very fast

i think this is long enough lol

steve
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 5:06 pm 
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Location: Virginia
:lol: but it was a very good list!

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Shana


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 Post subject: My three simple rules
PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 7:04 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 18, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 343
Location: Los Angeles, CA
With regards to the way I run my non-commercial Uechi training activities, I have developed three simple rules:

1) Respect is essential.

2) If you break it, fix it or, if impossible to fix, replace it.

3) Don't hurt Sensei


The first rule covers all of the topics relating to respect for oneself, one's health and body, one's dojo, one's training partners, relationships, property, etc., etc., etc.

The second rule covers not just physical property damage, but also damage to one's training partner, damage to one's relationships, etc. etc. I don't mean replacing one's significant other with a different individual. To be clear, replacement in this context refers to replacing "bad vibrations" with "good vibrations" and replacing hurt with compassion. Of course, this all leads back to the first rule of Respect.

The third rule is merely self-protection.

Thus far, these rules have led to a harmonious undertaking with my training partners. (I prefer this term as opposed to "students").

Please keep in mind that I teach out of my home at no cost and only have a few regular training partners. I am, therefore, not subject to the difficulties and challenges inherent in running a part-time or full-time commercial dojo with large class sizes. I understand that the complexity of the rule set will increase depending on these and many other variables along with an instructor's inclinations and mind-set.

Regards,

Mike DeDonato
Los Angeles, CA
mjdcgb@ca.rr.com
www.uechi-la.org


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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 6:17 pm 
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Location: Virginia
Thank you Mike...good rules...I'm particularly fond of the last one! :lol:

Seriously, I like the concept of respect for your training partners...I think, for most people, good behaviour rests on that underlying principle. For younger and/or interpersonally challenged individuals, some direction may be required, but once you understand respect for self and others, the rest should follow..at least in my ideal world! :roll:

Mike, I do have a question, and since it may be personal, you do not need to answer.
The question is do you have any additional insurance because you train in your home? I know that for a commercial venture or even a non-profit venture in a gym or club, that insurance can become an issue. Just curious what is involved in some cases. Thanks!

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Shana


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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 6:08 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 18, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 343
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Shana,

In answer to your questions, I carry an umbrella policy which covers mishaps that are not covered by my property insurance.

I have to research to determine if the umbrella policy this would fully protect my assets all against all possible mishaps relating to the training.

Good question!

All the best,

Mike DeDonato
Los Angeles
www.uechi-la.org
mjdcgb@ca.rr.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 3:07 pm 
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Location: State of Confusion
Quote:
In answer to your questions, I carry an umbrella policy which covers mishaps that are not covered by my property insurance.

I have to research to determine if the umbrella policy this would fully protect my assets all against all possible mishaps relating to the training.


I have been considering cleaning out my garage and training with some of my Uechi friends, so was concerned with the liability issues and have been looking into insurance.

We sell insurance so, after doing some research, I found out some things I did not know.

As long as you are not charging for instruction, you are covered by hour home owners insurance. If I invite people to come and train with me, they are considered vistors invited to my home.

They would be covered up to the limits of your home owners, say $300 thousand or whatever yours is. You can always add an umbrella for more coverage, say a million...and it is not that expensive.

If you are charging for business or profit, it becomes commercial and is excluded from your home owners. You then may need to take out a general liability policy or typical martial arts insurance. This is pretty much the same in all states.

FWIW,
Vicki

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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 4:21 pm 
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Location: Virginia
Good to know! Thanks Vicki for sharing your expertise!

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