Key Lessons Learned From Martial Arts and MMA Business Owners (Part 3)

4 min read


Our team has had the honor of getting to know thousands of fitness business owners during our years serving this community. Throughout countless conversations, we’ve picked up some recurring takeaways that can help you steer your business to success. This is our last installment of a three-part series. Part one and two can be accessed here or here.

Lesson 7 – Member management software saves you money

Without software, it’s highly likely a growing studio or gym will end up letting membership dues slip through the cracks.

Ascension Martial Arts NY is a Brazilian Jui Jitsu and Muy Tai school in New York that is run by Chief Instructor and professional MMA fighter, Jason Trzewieczynski. This school started out like many do, using only spreadsheets to manage their business.

As Ascension NY grew busier, Jason recognized they needed to find software to help them manage their business. He said, “Flipping back and forth between QuickBooks and Excel was a nightmare. I knew we were probably missing key details because it was impossible to keep everything accurate and up-to-date.”

Jason was sure software would save Ascension NY time, but he also thought it would help them collect more of the membership dues owed to them. Once they implemented Zen Planner, he was shocked by how much money he discovered that they were not collecting. Within the first month, Ascension NY increased their revenue by 50% by collecting on current student memberships and past membership dues.

With the increase in revenue, Ascension NY was able to invest in more programs and positively impact more students.

Lesson 8 – Do business with companies that share your values

Our final lesson comes from Relson Gracie Colorado, a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu school in the Denver area. This school is run by a team of highly skilled and experienced Jiu Jitsu practitioners who teach the values of honor and respect to each and every student. Especially known and admired for their anti-bullying stance, they teach their students that practicing Jiu Jitsu is an honor and an art to be used only as a defense.

In their early days Gracie Colorado retained the services of an organization that didn’t share their same values. This mismatch led to challenges and few misunderstandings. The Gracie Colorado team, led by Chief Operations Officer Dylan Miller, eventually decided to discontinue that relationship and find a provider that was better aligned with their values.

Dylan explains that long-term relationships need to be built on more than just liking a company’s product. He believes that to have a great relationship you need to work with organizations that have similar values and beliefs. “You have to ask yourself as a business owner if you can work with both the staff and the product,” Dylan said. He continues, “That is the recipe for long-term happiness in a business relationship.”

Looking for some great ways to grow your school, check out our Free 10 Step Marketing Guide for Martial Arts Schools!

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