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This is a good time to work on increasing your enrollment of women students. Woman students usually makeup the lowest percentage of a school but it doesn’t have to be that way. I have a few schools that have a majority of women students. You would be surprised if you could see all the women in your area that want your services. The big question is how to you get to these women. I asked a few schools to help us answer this question.
I asked several school owners the answer to this question who in turn gave several really good answers. I will convey the top three answers.
The first idea is to deal with hospitals. This really makes sense since hospitals are filled with women. I heard that many hospitals have a department that deal with enrichment of the hospital staff. They organize all kinds of activities for the hospital employees. Many schools said that it is not too hard to set up a program through this department. These departments feel self-defense and physical fitness is a huge benefit for the staff. I am not sure whether setting up women’s self-defense or fitness sessions gain the most students. I was given about a 50/50 response to which is more effective for a larger turnout. I say try them both. Most said that if they were given the space at the hospital they had a better turnout then if they held the initial classes at their school. It seems that the women were more comfortable crossing the line of getting started at the hospital. Some schools said they had a better turnout if the sessions were held for free while others said they would get the same turnout if they charged a $10 per class fee. A few said they liked to use free to get themselves in the door and then added a fee the following year. All said that after the initial session that they had a good conversion rate to full time students.
Several boasted of their success when dealing with PTA’S/PTO’S. The majority said that they use free women self-defense for the mothers and teachers of the school as a way in. A technique that I personally had success with to initiate a relationship with the PTA is through donation. Most PTA’S have some type of auction to raise money for their school. I would offer the PTA a few free one month memberships to my school. They were very appreciative to my offer. I also got free advertising when I was mentioned as an auction item. I always converted the users of the free month into full time students. It was a big win for me. After that the PTA was very receptive to working with me. It takes a little work to cultivate this relationship but is well worth the time. Now I run my self-defensive classes every year with little effort to set up. In fact I had a PTA president call me last week asking when I was going to offer my program. It’s great when they call me.
I have never tried this personally but several said they have great success when dealing with Mall’s and big chain stores. Malls and stores are concerned about their employee’s safety and usually are receptive to personal defense training. Most school owners said that they got in the door offering free sessions. The Malls have management companies that you can get a hold of about this. You can talk to the managers of the chain stores. They will ask for a copy of your liability insurance.
It will take some effort getting these programs off the ground but the rewards will be felt for years to come.
I wish good luck to your school.