At this time of year, I know that you are looking at plans for 2016 and in doing so will be trying to come to terms with what we call ‘seasonal variation’; being the pattern of interest during the year shown by potential students.
Understanding the patterns
It’s great to do everything you can to understand the market patterns but only as a guide to taking the right actions to hit your target. The danger is that when you see low interest in some months; you want all your goals to be set in-line with these lower expectations. But this knowledge should only be used to indicate when you need to change your sales approach, and before we start on next year, we still have a few weeks to go in 2015 and they can either be great or erode the growth that you have had this year by increased attrition.
The message is: to ensure that you stimulate an increase in your business every month of the year including the run up to Christmas. Ask yourself the question: will I accept a low take-on of students? Or will I get out there and market the great services on offer. Your business is about building greater income for you and your family while providing great value to your students, so are you doing everything you can to engage your existing students and stimulate market interest in your area? – both will provide additional sales now and long into the future.
Don’t ignore prospecting
Significant numbers of martial arts schools also sell a whole range of pro-shop products at this time of year – many for Christmas presents – and this is great from the student’s perspective, and it will enable you to obtain valuable sales from existing students while potential student interest is at its lowest. But do not completely ignore prospecting activity – you could be surprised – if you do however ignore prospecting, your numbers of new students in December could become a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ and very low. It has been a great year for the industry with new student interest at a high for most months so let’s not take our foot off the prospecting ‘peddle’.
This is the time of year when, above all, you will need a balance of activities for additional sales and retention. Those will come from:
- Imaginative offers to sign before Christmas
- Internal offers to upgrade
- Events where students can bring a friend
- Product sales for Christmas gifts
Make this the best December you have ever had by continuing to grow your sales.