How and When to Renovate your Martial Arts School
Renovating a martial arts school can be a daunting task but, for some schools, a necessary one. There are plenty of reasons why a martial arts school could use a renovation. Whether it's to improve the functionality of your school, accommodate your growth or to modernize your space, there are lots of factors to consider.
A cost-benefit analysis of the many options available, as well as a quick reference to your martial arts business plan, should help guide you. Setting a budget, doing proper preparation before starting the renovation, and establishing systems to maintain the new improvements are all critical parts of a successful renovation. Here are our thoughts on how and when to renovate your martial arts school.
Your School's Needs
Martial arts school owners will ponder whether a renovation is necessary when the physical space is not meeting their needs. Different needs exist for various martial arts schools. If you live in a hot or cold climate, for example, proper air-conditioning and heating may be necessary for providing a comfortable environment for your students' training sessions. Other schools may find it necessary to boost the aesthetics of the space, to stay relevant and competitive in bigger cities.
Some martial arts school owners may have to renovate their facilities to accommodate their growth, if they're not ready to open a second location.
You should be tracking your growth rate, as well as your retention rates, to help guide the timing of this decision. You can use this to predict when your student base will exceed the capacity of your school. At that point, you'll have to explore the costs of relocation, renovation, and any other possible options, to see which opportunity has the best return on investment. There are many reasons why a renovation may be necessary and keeping yourself on track with your business and marketing plans will direct your decision making in the right way.
Finding your Budget
The budget for the renovation is the biggest constraint for most martial arts schools. Renovations can cost a lot of money and your school has to decide whether it's worth it or not. Things don't always happen as planned so make sure you leave room in your budget for unpredictable issues that may arise during the renovation. Keep in mind that you'll also have to factor in a discount or pause on memberships for your martial arts students for the duration of the renovation. During highly invasive renovations, you may need to find a temporary location your students can practice out of to avoid causing a break in their training, as long as it is financially feasible to do so.
Preparation is Key
Depending on your city, state, and country, there will be different laws and regulations to abide by when performing a renovation. Performing your due diligence to make sure everything is to code can help you save money, time and stress, especially in the long run. Many contractors will help you deal with this work, further showing the importance of hiring a reputable contractor. A mistake here can be very costly when not managed effectively.
If you're lucky, you may find in your research that you have local or regional economic incentives to renovate the building you're located in. Recently, many municipal and federal incentives have been allotted towards improved energy efficiency, replacing some types of insulation and more. Creating a renovation plan is also a good idea and can help you successfully navigate the big project.
Getting it Done
Make sure you hire a reputable contractor to perform the renovation. Through your preparation, the owner and the contractor should be on the same page, in regards to expectations of the renovation. This part is essential, as you don't want to micro-manage the contractor once their work begins. If the renovation is small or you have people on your team that have experience with what you need, you may be able to save money by going internally. Just remember that cutting corners and saving money in the short run may not be worth the hassle in the long run. Doing it properly the first time is the way to go.
The Importance of Systems
Once the renovation is complete putting systems in place that prioritize maintenance and upkeep can help you preserve the benefits of your renovation for years to come. There may be some things that require upkeep on a monthly or yearly basis. Keeping your martial arts school clean and tidy is very important and this will also help you preserve the investment you've just made in your school's success.