Building Successful Martial Arts After-School Programs
After-school programs are in high demand across many communities, especially due to the scarcity of affordable childcare options available for parents. Offering an after-school martial arts program at your center, school, or facility won’t only provide a positive outlet for your community, but also attract new students or members, as you showcase your facilities. Here are a few tips for building successful martial arts after-school programs.
Build on Your Strengths
Identify your most popular classes for young children and consider: what does this age group like the most? Taking information from your existing classes can help you determine how to craft your next after-school program. If, for example, kickboxing for kids is popular at your school, then consider introducing a similar class that teaches and builds on basic techniques in your after-school program.
Developing a curriculum will help you and your instructional team deliver value. Since after-school programs are modeled after a progressive course style (as opposed to starting anew every class), ensure that the skills and techniques being taught can be advanced class-by-class. These types of introductory classes are a great first taste of what your facility has to offer.
Flex Your Social Media Skills
One of the best channels for capturing your community’s attention and interest is social media. In addition to being easy to use and cost effective, social media can provide extended reach and awareness. Make sure to feature your best, well-composed photos or videos that showcase your space. Reserve some funds to boost your posts and place social media ads, which can significantly increase the efficacy of your posts. Keep in mind that ad targeting on social media typically requires the audience to be over the age of 13, so you will likely be targeting parents, rather than the kids themselves.
Collaborate with Local Schools
In addition to executing social media marketing, you can get the word out about your new after-school programs by collaborating with local elementary and middle schools. Ask schools in your local community if you can give demonstrations as a special guest during their physical education class. Don’t forget to prepare handouts that highlight the benefits of martial arts for children to take home to their parents.
Consider a Pick-Up Service
Transportation is one of the most widely discussed challenges that come with after-school programs. How will new students get to your location? Parents sign their kids up with the idea that they won’t have to worry up picking them up until after they’ve finished work or completed their errands. Consider hiring a driver for your classes or connect with your local bus services, to organize a 10-person van as a student shuttle to (and potentially from) your program. Since this will be an added cost, it should be factored this into the program cost for your students. Introducing a pick-up service, however, will give parents peace of mind and help you focus on providing an exceptional after-school session.
It’s important to manage your martial arts programs efficiently, so that you can stay on top of your new roster of students or members. Xplor Recreation’s cloud-based martial arts management software will help you manage all aspects of your facility operations, marketing, and member accounts, to increase efficiency and effectiveness. Experience our management software and request a demo here.
What other tips and tricks have worked for you in building a successful martial arts after-school program? Let us know on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to stay up to date with all of your Xplor Recreation news.