Marketing Martial Arts in Sugar Land, TX
new strategies for the new millennium
by Rick Ellis
Nothing ever stays the same. In fact, some people say that the only thing that is ever the same is the presence of change. I think this is true. When I opened my first business (today I own three), which offered lessons in Martial Arts, in Sugar Land, TX, I was a young idealistic new business owner, I did what anyone would do, I purchased an ad in the local phone book, and entered into an expensive lease on the busiest corner in town That should have them beating the door down right? Well, it did for a while. It didn’t last forever though.
Slowly, this strategy became less effective. As the 1990’s faded it became clear that there were two dominant ways that were the future of any business, one was business networking. The other (a topic of a future blog) was internet marketing. These two seem to be opposites of each other. One is faceless and one is face to face. But you’ve got to go where the people are.
Today more than ever it’s important to be visible in a more tangible way. One way I’ve found to tell me people about the wonderful job we do teaching martial arts in Sugar Land, TX is to get out and meet people. I’m speaking of course about business networking. I am a proud member of Texas Community Referral Network (TCRN) which specializes in network marketing in Houston, TX and it's surrrounding communities. Business networking can be a difficult task for any new entrepreneur. You may worry about leaving your business when it needs you, but if you have some trusted associates like I do, it’s easier. If not you’ll have to choose opportunities that coincide with your schedule. For me that meant morning and lunchtime business networking events. You may prefer to leave work and meet others for a cocktail mixer, in my group (TCRN) these are productive, but some cocktial mixers are less productive than those held earlier in the day, becoming more about the coctails and less about business!
Now you can’t just walk up to someone at a networking event and say “Hi I”m Rick, I teach martial arts in Sugar Land, TX!” No my friend, this is not the way to go about it. The first and easiest place to start is to find members of your networking group that offer services that you need now or might need in the future. If you need a new roof in the next few years, say hello to the roofer and ask him some questions about your roof. Learn now long you should wait for replacement and find out when you should have your own roof inspected for possible replacement. Never fake things like this. If you just bought a new roof, it would be a waste of your new contacts time to come and discuss let alone inspect a roof that won’t need replacement for a long time. If you’ve done things right however, you’ll have a chance to get to know each other, and when the time is right you can suggest your services to him.
The second way, is to get to know your new networking contact, their goals for their business, and what kind of customers they are looking to attract. If you can be of service to them by giving them a referral immediately or more likely in the future, then you have a friend for life, and someone who will be glad to reciprocate. Once the ice is broken, be creative. Just because I offer martial arts in Sugar Land, TX, doesn’t mean I should just invite him or his family to attend a classes. Instead, I might offer to teach his employees some flexibility exercises that will lower their incidence of lower back injury. Maybe I can teach his female employees a safety class for free. All of these things lead to more people seeing me do what I do the very best...teaching martial arts in Sugar Land,TX. The second strategy is similar.
Rick Ellis is Sugar Land, TX based entrepreneur who owns several businesses. He is a sought after public speaker on a wide variety of subjects. If you would like to know more about his martial arts business visit his website www.trmasugarland.com