How important is the website quality for your school?

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by BJJ Coffee Drinker, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. lechien

    lechien Gold Belt

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    Well, not only that but it also resounds in the attitude that if the potential customers is not bothered to visit my gym so I can announce the price that I refuse to divulge on the website....he is not worthy of my time.

    It is already that pompous attitude that his service is so excellent and important that the service provider is already taking the attitude of superiority.

    Well, guess what the person will take his money somewhere else.
     
  2. Balto

    Balto Silver Belt

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    Yeah I think that if you're any good at customer interaction at all, you should be happy to have someone walk in unannounced. You probably spend so much time responding to messages on FB, etc. just trying to get people in the door in the first place. Having someone walk in is like a present.

    In practice most of the gyms that do no schedule are part of various internet marketing groups that are obsessed with passive income and automating stuff as cheaply as possible. The idea is that the gym owner himself does not even need to be present. So I think some of the attraction is that if they can control as many variables as possible, they don't need the actual person they have working at the gym to be any good at sales.

    Most gyms on this system use "office manager" people who are just the bottom of the barrel that they can get as cheaply as possible. Usually kids out of high school who aren't going to college or learning a real trade or doing anything productive. Ostensibly they are learning "sales" but in reality it's set up so that they do the bare minimum of thinking possible while sticking to the formula. They get paid as low as possible.

    Any kid you get who is actually talented in sales will figure this out, leave you, and go sell cars or some other industry in which he can make real money.

    As you can probably tell, I'm not a big fan of this particular gym model.
     
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  3. BJJ Coffee Drinker

    BJJ Coffee Drinker Amateur Fighter

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    Having a website is essential for any essential business. I feel for a BJJ gym, its the first avenue to reach people you have never met to have them even to entertain the possibility of walking into your place to consider signing up

    The real question is, what are some of the best and most consistent ways to get NEW students?
     
  4. Kenny from MD

    Kenny from MD Less angry than before.

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    In regard to the original post... I think a website is essential for both prospective students and visitors. I've noticed some academies have gone the route of existing solely with a Facebook page which is frustrating as hell to me and makes it really difficult to find the information I am looking for, or to get in touch.

    Clarity is the most important thing to me, and I need to be able to find (easily) an address, a schedule, and information about the instructor. Those are the three things I look for when dropping in, and shockingly enough, it is rare that those three things are easily displayed.

    Squarespace is more than sufficient for making a website, even as a complete novice. I know plenty of working professional web designers that love the features and ease of using it. I've used it plenty, and it is kind of amazing how much you're able to do with it when you really delve in.

    As far as the latter conversation goes: I certainly understand why prices aren't normally posted online, but that being said, if I owned my own academy I would AT LEAST put down prices range from x to y depending on available packages or something to that nature that gives someone a ballpark of what they can expect to pay. The whole "won't give you prices unless you come in" or "answer every question with a question" sales strategy is antiquated huckster bullshit, and if you have to employ tricky psychology to make a sale, you suck as a person, point blank.
     
  5. lechien

    lechien Gold Belt

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    Have you tried to offer some special deal for potential customers wanting to start to train after New Year?

    Lot of gyms are doing it.

    Some of them were even jumping the gun and were signing people in December for year 18 and then gave them the whole month of Dec for free.

    Usually, bargain deals like that can entice people that are sitting on the fence or still debating. Or some just like a good bargain.

    Of course, if you always over do it, you might cheapen your brand image but that for later to discuss.

    Some gyms were even doing their offer on FB as well and then people would tagging their mates etc..
     
  6. rmongler

    rmongler Brown Belt

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    I keep reading the thread title as 'How important is this websites quality for your school?'
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  7. TheMood

    TheMood Blue Belt

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    You may also want to consider having your school up on other sites like Groupon, Living Social, or something along those lines. For a BJJ school I think it is a good idea. The students can come in when the school is already open so there doesn't need to be an additional cost for having them. I am pretty sure you can decide how long to have your specials available.
     
  8. chubbman

    chubbman Yellow Card

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    I can only speak for myself... I won’t go to a gym that doesn’t state prices. I also don’t sign monthly/yearly contracts, the chubbman is strictly pay to train.
     
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  9. BJJ Coffee Drinker

    BJJ Coffee Drinker Amateur Fighter

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    I don't really like mandatory contracts, but I am open to the option if someone wants to sign a year contract for a reduced monthly rate
     
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  10. BJJ Coffee Drinker

    BJJ Coffee Drinker Amateur Fighter

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    Maybe I'm a terrible business person but it is still beyond me why any BJJ academy website wouldn't list their address or schedule.

    Speaking of price ranges...what if my only options were drop in fee for single classes or the monthly rate? Would you still place the prices online? I am hesitant to post drop in fees online, especially if I want to deter the kind of people that I don't want to walk in. Eery martial arts schools have those types
     
  11. lechien

    lechien Gold Belt

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    It depends on your situation.

    When I started my club, we had a fee for one class. Hell, we even sold a coupon of 11 classes for a price of 10 classes.

    I never really grew big in term of numbers.

    Then later at our latest location, we slowly put people on direct debit ie auto payment. No contract and still cheaper to our nearest "competitors".

    But I still had the drop in fee which was so expensive because I wanted people to understand that going on auto payment was going to save them lot of money.
    But also, we were poor in terms of members so I had to charge for visitors.
    I remember having to charge 2 visitors from Australia and Scotland and I felt bad about it but I barely broke even and needed to pay the rent. They were good sport and understood.

    Which remind me my BB friend that visited a gym and got charged $30 for the drop in...the replacement instructor for the night was a purple belt. lol

    Few years later, we do have not drop in fee on our website ie. You have to go on auto payment. I still honor the original deal with the founding students that help me build at our first location, They do not have to go on auto payment.

    But I have no increase my fees over 6 years anyway.

    If you drop in and you are a paying member of another gym, you train for free. Because you are doing well financially.

    If you drop in and you want to join, you go on a waiting list because we are full.
    I still invite them for a free training because they travel to visit us
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  12. Auspex

    Auspex Brown Belt

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    We're growing as a gym in a smaller city - We were forced to move to a bigger place a few years ago, and are outgrowing a very nice/large place already. While I understand posting prices online - as a consumer, I'd love to see that - but the model we are using, which is guided by our affiliation, is working incredibly well. Some people hate it - some people understand it. The people who'd signed up and/or renewed their memberships seem to have no issue with it.

    Anyway, dead horse is officially still dead.
     
  13. Foppa21

    Foppa21 Brown Belt

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    It's the same everywhere. No one pays sticker. Or rather show me a person that pays sticker and I'll show you a idiot.
     
  14. Foppa21

    Foppa21 Brown Belt

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    The issue with no timetables is a potential student doesn't know when to turn up to talk to someone (assuming that the gym is a part time venture/has "down time" daily).

    The best gym "new to training" experience I've seen had a person walk with the person through the gym (minimise the crazies mid class or which this gym didn't have anyways). I don't think they let the person try the class but they could watch as many as they wanted. There would be a trial period but when the person committed a 1:1 would be organised with a instructor (usually the head instructor, he loved getting on the mat for those classes) where it was an hour of basic drills, movements and "learning the lingo". Then it was off to regular classes. It was still a trial period so there was cancellation options in palce but before cancellation if they would be open to discuss. Sometimes the vibes just don't synch up
     
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  15. Foppa21

    Foppa21 Brown Belt

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    Everyone without any knowledge falls for the bright lights and the bells and whistles. It's why guys that run business mentoring workshops show up in big expensive cars (no one knows if it's leased or rented which they often are).

    One of my long time teammates was a out of towner. We asked him "Why you pick us?" at our old academy "The owner had the best website". And that's a guy that was in the know, so to speak
     
  16. Foppa21

    Foppa21 Brown Belt

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    I won't go that far. I'll at least check them out and I'm in a very similar boat to you. I won't stay long in clothes stores that don't very clearly have prices on the tags but I'd have to find something awesome to think about flagging a clerk to find out how much something costs/stick around.

    I'd at least check the gym out, but in my mind, they'd be on the back foot already.

    On the contracts thing, that's your choice. Willing buyer/willing seller
     
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  17. BJ@LW&WW

    BJ@LW&WW Gold Belt

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    website doesnt have to be great quality, its just gotta have information and be easy to navigate.

    Class schedules, usually prices or at least an idea, a short bio for each instructor, location, contact info, and maybe some basic dojo rules i.e. hygiene requirements, cutting nails, etc. if youre worried about prices deterring possible new members, then make it clear that you have a free first intro class on the main page. some pictures showing the size of the dojo and members and thats basically all you need for a website.

    I think to grow the business, the main effort goes into managing the social media accounts, i.e. facebook/instagram/twitter on a day to day basis.
     
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  18. BJJ Coffee Drinker

    BJJ Coffee Drinker Amateur Fighter

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    Thats in line with what I was thinking, the site doesn't need to be too flashy. But many of my other friends around me who are in marketing, tech, and fields related to websites and design insist on having an awesome website that might cost more. I was just thinking the website could be a reference point for basic information about the school and instructors
    One of my long time training partners and BJJ black belt who is also very savvy with website design and SEO marketing was actually suggesting I go with the most economical option, and I, going along with him. No offense to my other friends who specialize in their fields but I think they don't understand the dynamics and culture between both worlds as well as my training partner does.

    When you say managing social media accounts on a day to day basis, what do you mean by that? Posting and updating every day?
     
  19. BJJ Coffee Drinker

    BJJ Coffee Drinker Amateur Fighter

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    Also, anyone have examples of BJJ websites they have seen that look too flashy, basic, or inappropriate for its purpose? For example, I was looking at Studio 540's website, that seems like overkill and makes me wonder if something like that is worth the investment.
     
  20. Russky

    Russky Green Belt

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    I'd rephrase that as having up to date address and schedule.

    When I started I came to the club twice only to find doors locked and mats empty, because their schedule changed for 30 minutes later.Well, only people who can rise to the challenge can train in a real BJJ club :)
     

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