As supported in the Annual Martial Arts Benchmark Report, profitable schools command higher prices. No matter how long your school has been in business, no matter how big your school is, you have an expertise and unique value that is worth premium pricing. Martial arts school pricing can be challenging, but charging what you’re worth should be a no-brainer.
Setting Your Martial Arts School Pricing
“Premium pricing” obviously looks a lot different around the world and the cost of martial arts classes depends on your local market. To choose your new pricing structure, start by completing a competitive analysis. That is, contact other local schools who offer your discipline and request their pricing. If there is not a local school in your discipline, seek out schools from other regions with similar economics and demographics. From here, the question becomes whether to charge more or charge less than your competitors.
The key word when it comes to pricing is “value.” Pricing impacts your public perception and tells others what you think your school is worth. Low pricing diminishes brand value and makes students feel like they’re just getting the best price, not the best experience. Furthermore, students aren’t going to pay premium pricing for a subpar experience. If you’re going to elevate your prices, you must also elevate your student experience.
Communicating the Price Change to Existing Students
Proper communication can make or break a pricing change, and there isn’t one right answer. Of course, when implementing a pricing change, you can “grandfather in” your existing students so they keep their current prices. This is a great way to drive student loyalty and retention.
Another thoughtful way to implement premium pricing is to announce the new pricing structure and then give all current students a discount on that new price. For example, explain to your student base that you recently did an analysis of your business and realized you weren’t charging enough to maintain the long-term health of the business. Continue by telling them the price, as an example, will be increasing from $149/ month to $169/ month. If they don’t cancel their membership, they will receive a “locked-in loyalty price” of $159/ month.
Based on our industry-leading research, most schools who aren’t profitable are only a small price increase from becoming profitable. For example, if you have 50 active students who all accept this small price increase, you have just increased your annual revenue by $6,000. Add a $20 increase per month per new student, and profitability becomes a realistic destination.
Justifying the Price Change Moving Forward
As we briefly mentioned above, you can’t raise your prices without raising your student experience. The success of your pricing change moving forward hinges on your ability to exhibit undeniable value to both prospects and students.
When a prospect walks into your school, this is your chance to set the tone. You know what you’re worth, you charge what you’re worth and you leave prospective students with no doubts in their mind. The best way to support premium pricing in the lead conversion process is through promotional offers. That is, a free class, free trial or even paid trial. This gives the prospect a way to experience your school, and it gives you a fighting chance to truly illustrate your school’s value.
Prospects, students and even parent-guardians enter your school and, whether intentional or not, judge your school’s appearance. You can’t have premium pricing without a clean and organized school. If someone is paying premium pricing for their martial arts experience, a professional setting is a must-have. Respect, honor and discipline are at the core of most martial arts, so justifying your price change shouldn’t be as difficult as you may have previously thought.
Download the free Annual Martial Arts Benchmark Report.