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Is now a good time to start a school?

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  • Is now a good time to start a school?

    Many of you may be wondering if now is the time to start a school. With the economy in a rut and Holidays just around the corner, you may wonder when is the right time to open a school.

    In actuality it is the best time.

    Why?

    1. Economy in a down turn can equal better lease/buy options for possible locations. We may move our school to a different location simply because we can get a better rate. That cost savings equals better cash flow for existing schools. For new businesses, this means that you are going to get better pricing and negotiating on locations simply because there is less demand right now to start a business.

    2. Holidays usually mean people are out shopping. If your school is in a location next to other retail stores, there is a good opportunity that walk by traffic will generate new leads and buzz about your school. Added traffic will turn into new business later.

    3. It is an excellent opportunity to lock in new students for the first of the year. You can sell gift certificates, trial memberships or beginners classes up front. This provides you with up front capital to continue to market your school and a chance to meet people who will talk about your school to others.

    4. Starting a school now allows you to get public attention. Opening a school is a newsworthy event. Follow this up with community outreach, food drives, self defense demonstrations, talks with civic organizations will help you drum up new business.

    5. Opportunity for Holiday related promotions. You can give away Turkeys or cool Christmas gifts as a draw for students to a trial membership.

    6. Internal marketing to new and existing students. This is an excellent opportunity to buy an XBOX or Wii and set it up as a give away. Students (kids and the young at heart) will want these items. Set up a drawing to win the console if they bring in a friend to try a class. For every friend they bring in to try a class, they get an entry to win the console. The more friends they bring in, the more of an opportunity they have to win. This is a very cheap form of advertising that creates a tremendous amount of buzz for your school.

    7. This time of year, people expect free give-aways. Put up some lead boxes around your town and check them once a week. If you are starting a school, this is an excellent source of contacts that will help you get on your feet.

    This is just some of the ideas that could get you off and running your new school today.

    To all your success!

    Jeff Barnes
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