In this blog, Jonathon takes a look at some of the things you should consider when looking at opening up in an area, expanding your business or moving into a new location. This should hopefully give you some food for thought and ensure you have covered everything before making that final step.
Thinking of expanding into new locations?
Have you thought about opening a new school in a new area? Maybe you’ve opened a new school in the past, and wondered why it failed? Well, there are some facts you need to consider to avoid getting stung and opening up in the wrong place.
Know the age of your demographic
Really look at the area you’re thinking of starting classes. If you’re going to run classes for six to ten year olds for example, but there are no primary schools for miles around, it doesn’t matter how many leaflets you drop, the possibility is you’re going to get little to no students, as you have probably just put most of your shiny new leaflets, aimed at mums of six to ten year olds, in the letterboxes of loads of people who are sixty-five plus! As you will agree this is a waste of time and money.
Is the market big enough?
If you’re thinking of opening in small villages, think about finding a central town that is surrounded by a series if villages and use you’re marketing to bring them to you. This way you’re opening only one school, targeting the town and maybe ten additional villages without having to take on the cost of village specific marketing, travel costs and hall rental. Even if one or two prospects won’t travel from their village to your school, don’t get bent up about it. You should still be saving more than their training fees would be making you if you had classes in all the villages as well as the town.
Opening by the sea
I will start this section by saying there are martial arts schools that are located on the coast that have been very successful. However, if you imagine you open an academy right on the edge of a straight coastline, then think about a two mile radius from the academy; half of the radius is going to be land and the other half is going to be sea! That is a massive area you can’t market to… well unless you want a school of fish? No pun intended. Now I know you won’t open a new school on the beach but I’m sure you get my point.
This is something I don’t understand but if people have to travel over a motorway to get to your club they will be reluctant to come! Now I know there are some students that will crawl through fire and brimstone to come train with you, I myself was travelling over seventy miles to get to training at one time. But think about the majority of your customers, mums with young kids who will be reluctant to travel far, even if the academy is amazing and your classes are superb.
These points I have made are just something to think about, remember this is not an exact science. For more information on moving and opening, locations feel free to get in touch with the team at NEST.