A friend of mine just sent me a link to Tracy’s Business Guide to Survival with the following comments: “You may find this interesting. A long time friend of mine wants to study karate and came across Al Tracy a while ago. Al is in his 70’s and has been doing this a long time and has a clue how to run a business. This is significant coming from him.”

From Tracy’s Website

July 6, 2008

For too many studios my advice will be too late

3,200++ Martial Arts Studios went out of business in the month of May alone. In the history of Martial Arts in the United States – nothing like this has ever happened. In one month about 20% of all studios closed their door. Most will never reopen! Most should never been in business to start with.

Starbucks is closing 600 locations this year because people cannot afford to pay $3 for a cup of coffee.

How do studio owners – especially those with 90% kids expect parents to pay $100 per month plus testing fee’s? Now they have the added expense of $4 a gallon gas.

This is a no brainier for parents: Cut out the kids Karate and Dance lessons.

Three Critical Areas are at the top of the list:

1. Keep your overhead low
2. Do everything yourself!
3. Teaching mixed martial arts is not the solution its part of the PROBLEM!

Your goal for Studio Survival:
Keep you total Studio overhead below $2,200 per month. If you can’t do that there is a good chance you will go Bankrupt.

Warning: You still may not be able to survive if your personal living expenses are more then to studio can bring in.

Tracy’s Phone Tips For Small Businesses

#1 Keep the phone covered 24/7 – And not with an answering Machine

Without endless supply of New Customer – a studio will go bankrupt! The solution – get a “cell phone that is with you 24 hours a day” and keep the battery charged.

When ever you leave the studio – even for 5 minutes – call forward – your studio phone to your cells phone! And answer it when it rings.

An answering machine will never take the place of a real “Qualified” person answering the phone!

Discretionary spending cutbacks on top of rising heat and air conditioning costs are clearly affecting small businesses of all kinds. Tracy is writing about martial arts studios. However, his advice on overhead and phone contact applies to any number of small businesses including computer repair, exercise classes, dancing, nail salons, catering, and small repair businesses.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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