You know the old saying: if you fail to plan you’re planning to fail.
Sure, it’s not an absolute truth. There are plenty of successful businesses that get by on luck and good timing. But why bet the success of your martial arts school on luck? You’d never go into a sparring match backed by luck alone. Instead, you’d train hard and prepare for the challenge ahead.
Successful business owners put the same level of preparation into their business, and they do it by creating a business plan. But wait- before you discount the idea because you’re either 1) An already established school, or 2) An entrepreneur getting ready to open your school, we’re here to tell you a business plan is extremely valuable in either case. No matter what stage your business is in, a business plan will help you better face the challenges ahead.
Download your copy of our free Martial Arts Business Plan Template to get started on creating your own business plan today.
How a Business Plan Helps
Creating a business plan for your martial arts school has many benefits. To start, it will force you to think about your business in a strategic and methodical way. Too often business owners get lost in the day-to-day running of things and forget to take the time to be strategic. Before they know it, weeks, months and years have flown by with their business running on autopilot.
A business plan will help you step back, see the bigger picture, and make a solid plan for the future. At the end of the process, you’ll have a record of your business’ mission, vision, marketing plan, financial plan, and overall strategy. Your business plan will also help you apply for funding or enter into partner or vendor business agreements. In all, a business plan will give your school legitimacy and a road map for the future.
The Process of Writing a Business Plan
Before we talk about the things that are in a business plan, we want to talk a bit about the research you need to do to get started. Since business plans cover every aspect of your business, it’s best to start by collecting all your business documentation early. Gather your bank statements, service contracts, insurance policies, certifications, and anything else you can find that relates to your business. The more information you can gather, the easier your plan will be to write.
If you have key employees or investment partners, it’s good to include them in the process. The more your team is on the same page for the planning process, the better the finished plan will be. Plus, the more help you have, the faster the process will go, simply because other key people on your team have ideas and insight you need. You can make the process fun by planning an off-site retreat, or you can hold several shorter meetings and assign your group small tasks they can work on independently.
Key Elements of a Business Plan
Now we’re going to give you a brief run down of the main sections in a business plan, just to give you an idea of what you’ll be thinking about when you create yours. Don’t let yourself feel overwhelmed as you first look at these topics. The process of creating your plan involves breaking things down into manageable pieces.
This section provides a summary of the key points in your business plan. It serves as a quick overview for outsiders who may end up reading your plan.
Your company overview is a comprehensive description of your business, including who you are as a business owner and what your business does, or will do.
Your market analysis section is a heavily researched summary of the competitive landscape.
The marketing plan is a roadmap that lays out all the ways that you will attract prospects and turn them into students.
Operations and Management Plan
Your operations and management plan is an outline of how your school will operate on a daily basis.
Your financial projection section provides a report of your finances to date, and then it builds a forecast of future revenue and expenses.
We’re big fans of taking the time to think about business strategically. We don’t build houses without a blueprint, we don’t bake cakes without a recipe, and we don’t drive to a new place without some map-based direction. So why would anyone want to run a business without the same level of thought and preparation?
Creating a business plan is a time-consuming process, but it’s usually done in steps and modified throughout the life of a business. To help you create a plan for your martial arts school, we invite you to download our free business plan template. This resource covers business plans in more depth and guides you step-by-step through the process of creating one.