Location: Indianapolis, Indiana monteiro_academy_logo-c855ded1f021cbc52224969d76c15b2cmonteiro-10be87edf8e15e9fa48c5e98d40aef22
Founded: 2000
Association: Marcello C. Monteiro Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Association (MCMBJJA)
Discipline(s): Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
# of Students (approx.): 250
Kicksite Family Member since: 2012

In this Kicksite Success Story, we feature Brazilian Jiu Jitsu master Marcello Monteiro, and discuss the challenges of owning and operating a school while also managing an association of over 50 schools and balancing a busy travel schedule.

Why did you decide to open a martial arts school?
I am a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I opened a school there in 1998. I started traveling to the U.S. about 15 years ago to compete and to give BJJ seminars. I could see the way the sport was growing in the U.S. and see the big picture. The presence of BJJ fighters like Royce Gracie in the UFC raised interest in the sport. So I decided to move to Indianapolis to open a school, which was a very new experience for me.

I was the first BJJ Black Belt to teach in the Midwest so there were some challenges with educating people about this type of martial arts. A lot of students and teachers alike asked me how to train to become a good blue belt or purple belt, for example. So I decided to not only open a school but to also develop my own program of step-by-step instruction, which took about 4 years to finish. It helps instructors understand what to teach and also helps students know what they need to learn, from white belts all the way to black belts. So it’s great for everyone interested in improving their Brazilian Jiu Jitsu! There are currently about 40 affiliated schools in the U.S. that teach my curriculum, as well as a number of international schools.
Marcello’s Indianapolis BJJ Academy.

What does being a martial arts teacher mean to you?monteiro_academy-2bb3d7325d897b42f3c6d061117b3cdd
Meeting and helping other people, particularly young kids with problems or adults that are stressed out. BJJ is more than just exercise or fitness; it’s like a chess game with your body, teaching you to think 1-2-3 moves ahead of your opponent. You can apply these principles to your personal life. It also helps you control your emotions.

What do you like most about your job?
Seeing people changing their lives through Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu; relieving stress, controlling emotions, building relationships with others. It’s like an extended family.

What are the greatest challenges of owning and managing a martial arts school?
Student retention. For me personally, I’ve got about 40 affiliated schools in the U.S. as well as some international schools, and my schedule can be a little crazy traveling every weekend to teach seminars. I noticed that my students were training on and off for months, so my membership numbers were always fluctuating. I realized that it had a lot to do with my travel schedule, as it prevented me from focusing on my home school. I needed a way to monitor my business while I was away.

Also, it’s important to keep newer students motivated, as they can sometimes get discouraged in the beginning when they don’t feel as skilled as higher belt levels. Communication is the key to keeping them motivated and Kicksite’s automated communication tools strengthen my connection to new students that may be losing motivation.

How did you learn about Kicksite and why did you ultimately decide to go with Kicksite?
Around 6 months ago I attended a weekend business conference in Cancun, Mexico with a variety of other successful BJJ academy and traditional martial arts school owners. During that conference many topics were discussed, but there was also a lot of focus on student retention. Once I realized how important retention was and how many students I was losing because I wasn’t keeping in contact with them, I knew that I needed to focus on that aspect of my business. Other school owners that I met at the conference were using Kicksite and suggested that I take a closer look. They told me the software would help me retain my students, and they were right!

What elements/features of the Kicksite platform do you enjoy most?
The automated messaging is great because it makes my students feel more connected to the school, like when they miss classes. The students think the email comes from me, which is great, but I would never have the time to send all those emails manually. It also gives my staff the information they need about those students, so they can follow up directly with phone calls to see why students are missing class and encourage them to stick with the program so they can make progress towards their next belt. It helps us keep them engaged and motivated. I have noticed a big improvement already.

I also like the Dashboard function because it helps me keep an eye on what’s going on at my school, even when I’m not there. I travel all the time for tournaments and seminars, and it’s important to me to be able to maintain awareness of everything going on at my school. Kicksite helps me see the big picture, which is very important to me.

Finally, the software is so intuitive and easy to navigate.

Do you have any major goals for your business?
Growth and retention are my primary focus. My camps are growing every year, but I need to spend more time focusing on growing my Indianapolis school. I’d like to see it reach 500-600 students.

What would you say to others who are not using Kicksite or perhaps not using a school management system at all?
Since I travel to other schools all the time, I talk about Kicksite a lot. Although only a couple of affiliated schools are using Kicksite, I know that all my schools could benefit from using the software. I actually prefer to show people the software, versus talking to them about it. Once people see the software they are very impressed.

For more information on Marcello’s BJJ Academy and Association, please visit his website or Facebook page, email or call 1-317-538-5593.

Location: Olathe, KansasOKA_logo-732afc425e07426da5b470587e7eaa9eOKA_location-08c8e40edc7f549a2e800992d9f44204
Founded: 1999
Discipline(s): Okinawan Kenpo, Hawaiian Kempo, Okinawan Te Jujitsu (grappling), Okinawan Kobujitsu (weapons), Arnis (stick fighting)
Kicksite Family Member since: 2009

In this Kicksite Success Story, we feature Olathe Karate Academy, owned and operated by the husband and wife team of Jamie and Ashleigh Palmer. We spoke with Jamie to learn more about what has made his business successful.

Tell us a little about your school.
We are primarily an Okinawan-style Kenpo school, but we have a jujitsu system and a weapons system. We also do a couple of fitness classes: Power-Fit Kickboxing and Power-Fit Yoga. We teach students as young as 3 and 4 years old in our Karate Kubs program. I opened the school in 1999 with my instructor, Dean Kennedy, and bought him out and took full control of the school a year later. We currently have about 260 or 270 students, but we have been as high as 300 students.

Why did you decide to open a martial arts school?
Well, I have studied music and martial arts since I was a child. Since graduating college as a piano performance major I have chased the dream of performing music professionally, but that doesn’t provide a very steady income. I looked to martial arts to bring in a more consistent paycheck, and when my instructor decided to expand we went in on this location together. As a new school, it wasn’t profitable enough income to split between two owners, so it worked out better for my instructor to focus on the first school while I took over this school. We’ve had our ups and downs, jumping way up then dropping back down in 2005 and 2006. We moved from the middle of this shopping center to our current corner location and that helped.

What do you like most about your job?
Helping people, creating leaders and bringing families closer together. Obviously martial arts has both self-defense and fitness aspects, but it also teaches important values such as discipline, focus, confidence and goal setting. I try to teach in a way that sends my students out into the world more confident and positive than when they came in. And I think that is what has helped my school to grow.

The school has grown from just me teaching every class to having a team of leaders, including my wife Ashleigh who is my second in command as well as team of 5 or 6 other instructors who are helping teach these martial arts and instilling the values in our students.

For families we only have two rates, so if parents are bringing their children in and realize they can train alongside them for the same price then we’re creating a shared experience. Sure you can take your kids to play soccer, but you’ll only be able to watch from the sidelines. This is something where mom and dad can get out there on the mats with their kids and do it together.

How did your wife become part of the business and how does that impact your ability to run the school?
My wife was a student, probably the best female I’ve ever trained, and we just clicked. She has trained for over 10 years and she brings a lot of complementary qualities to my own management style. And since martial arts is a big part of my life it’s nice to have a wife that cares about this as much as I do. She had the idea to start the Karate Kubs program, which I never would have done on my own. She also helped revitalize our Power-Fit program, which I don’t enjoy teaching quite as much as the traditional classes and self-defense. She’s also great for dealing with some of the younger students that may be a little more intimidated by me.

What are the greatest challenges of owning and managing a martial arts school?OKA_palmer-cbf0c7130d9e2659c1d0a9c0c288db11
Growing and managing the business side of things. I think that’s the part that people underestimate. People see my car here at 9:00 AM knowing that I teach until 9:00 PM and ask me what I’m doing. Well, someone’s got to pay the bills. I probably teach only 30% of the time and the other 70% of my time is focused on marketing and operations. When I talk to younger students who are considering starting their own school I tell them “You better love it because it’s not always easy.” You can have great students and great classes, and you can have some tough ones and you have to be ready for both sides of that coin.

How did you learn about Kicksite?
About 4 years ago, a representative from Kicksite stopped by my school and introduced the software to me. He had a trial offer, so we decided to give it a shot. We quickly grew to love it. We were one of the first clients, so we corresponded closely early on, discussing features and making suggestions to make it more useful. And they kept making it better and that’s why we stuck with them. For example, the attendance function now has a counter that tells me how many classes they have attended at their current rank so I know when they’re due for their next promotion.
Were you familiar with or using other school management software systems before you were introduced to Kicksite? If so, was there anything that appealed or did not appeal to you about those systems?
No, we were just using cards with attendance on the front and rank on the back. It was very tedious and inefficient compared to what we do now.

Why did you ultimately decide to go with Kicksite?
For me it was a no-brainer. It was cheap at $99/month to start, and for the amount of time it saved me it was an easy decision. With more time I can do more private classes or spend more time at home with my family. Another reason that I liked Kicksite initially was that it was designed and developed by martial artists, and I could discuss features with them and they would understand why I would want something to function differently.

What elements/features of the Kicksite platform were most appealing to you in the beginning?
The attendance feature is very useful. My old instructor still uses attendance cards in a box and I laugh because I can’t imagine going back to managing attendance that way. We have classes of 40 back to back and if I had to manually take attendance I’d be losing 10 minutes per class.

What other features have you implemented that have made your management responsibilities easier?
The automated correspondence feature works well. For example, the automated absent student message starts a dialogue with students and families that haven’t been to class recently, and I get email responses, which I can then respond to personally. They don’t realize the first message is automated and it helps me develop my relationship with new students and families. Even the older students like receiving those automated messages, as it reminds them to reprioritize their martial arts training.

The prospecting follow-up reminders are also very useful because they help me keep tabs on my prospects. I’ve had prospects that I’ve worked on for years that finally came in, loved the classes and signed up the whole family for 18 months. That makes it all worth it.

The student user accounts are also great. Now that I have a larger teaching staff, sometimes I teach classes where I don’t know all my students. When that happens, I can quickly cycle through the students checked into the class to put a name to the face without having to look silly by asking the student his or her name. On a similar note, we can look at past correspondence or comments to quickly get caught up on a student’s history should any issues arise. It also helps me and my wife stay aware of everything that’s happening in our school without having to be there all hours of the day. And since it’s web-based I can even log in while on vacation to see who’s coming to class or what else is going on while I’m gone.

Is your business growing?
We’ve grown through the recession, partially due to moving to our current corner location which not only gave us more square footage but also greater visibility. My wife and my team of instructors have also played a part in our growth. Our school enrollment jumped quickly when we started using Kicksite because we started doing things differently. It allowed me to change the business model to allow for month-to-month or other short-term membership arrangements to get people in the door, and automating the renewal process to keep our retention high. I wouldn’t have been able to manage that before. Now I have alerts and reports that help me keep track of everything and it’s definitely raised our bottom line.

Do you have any major goals for your business?
My push for 2013 is to get us back over 300 students. I think our school has a capacity of around 350 without sacrificing quality, so I think it’s realistic. I’d like to add a few more instructors as well. I don’t have any immediate plans to expand, as it’s not an easy business to duplicate. It’s certainly not a pizza chain where I can teach anyone to make the pizza.
As for the future, are there immediate challenges do you believe your business will face in the next year or two?
I know that MMA is growing, but I’m not really worried about it affecting my business because that’s not the demographic I’m going after or the direction that I’m going with my business model. I’m focused on families. I’ve enjoyed watching a lot of taekwondo schools come and go over the last 14 years. At one point I was surrounded by 5 schools in a 2-mile radius. But I’m still here and still growing.

What would you say to others who are not using Kicksite or perhaps not using a school management system at all?
Just give it a try. It really is simple to use. The hard part is convincing those that aren’t using it that it’s worth it. I know from experience that it’s worth it, but that’s the hurdle. I’d be willing to offer a 2 or even 3-month trial to get people to try it because I’m confident they won’t want to give it back after that.

For more information on Olathe Karate Academy, please visit their website or Facebook page, or call 1-913-829-3873.

Location: Southlake, Texasspicar_school-c28c81966d5514ad9c6f7c13a46103a9spicar_logo-99d2edf872077a1fa60480d8263706e2
Founded: May 2008
Association: Taekwondo America
Discipline(s): Traditional Tae Kwon Do
Kicksite Family Member since: 2009

We interviewed school owner Adam Spicar to learn more about his school and Kicksite’s impact on his business.

Tell us a little about your school.
My wife Lucie and I opened our school in May 2008 in Southlake, Texas (a suburb of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area) to teach traditional taekwondo. We teach kids starting as young as 4 all the way through adults and currently have about 260 students.

Why did you decide to open a martial arts school?
I fell in love with it when I started training in 2003. I had a job in web design and thought martial arts would be a good outlet and exercise for me. The first moment I stepped on the mats I thought ‘Wow, this is cool!’ Within 3 years I had become an instructor and I began to think about a career in teaching martial arts, and by my fifth year I decided it was time to try it out on my own. So I started a school and here we are.

What are the greatest challenges of owning and managing a martial arts school?
Time management. I spend about 6 hours a day teaching class, and I try to cram as much school management work into my day as I can. But I also want to spend time with my family, my wife and 1 year-old son. With such a large school it’s not possible to do that unless I can streamline my systems to the point where things work on their own. And that was one of the reasons that we started using Kicksite.

How did you learn about Kicksite?
I met a representative from Kicksite in 2009 when he visited my school and introduced the software. I could immediately see that it looked good, but felt that it lacked some features that were important to me. At that time I was not ready to move forward with Kicksite, but he promised to follow up to discuss how Kicksite software could be modified to be more useful for me. I honestly didn’t expect to hear back from him. Two weeks later, I got a call from him and we had a long conversation about the software and my school’s needs. He took some of my ideas, discussed them with his development team and came back to me and said ‘We can get it done.’ It was very exciting to have a company that was willing to work with me to make my school better and improve their software as well.

Were you familiar with or using other school management software systems before you were introduced to Kicksite? If so, was there anything that appealed or did not appeal to you about those systems?
We were using an offline database system for martial arts schools, but the company was not interested in updating or improving the software.

Why did you ultimately decide to go with Kicksite?
The close relationship with Kicksite’s representative and their commitment to work with me was very important.

What features have we implemented that have made your management responsibilities easier?
Targeted messaging, allowing me to filter who I send messages to, is very useful. I can quickly send a message to specific groups, such as my instructors or just my white belts, with a few clicks and it only goes to the groups I select. I don’t have to manually sort through all my students or contacts. Another feature is belt testing events. I can quickly promote all my students that attended and passed a testing event, as well as send those results to my national association without any additional programming or legwork on my end. All I have to do is click a button, again, saving me precious time.

How much time do you spend on school management work now, and how does that compare to the time you spent before you began using Kicksite?
Well, I still spend about 6 hours a day managing the business, but our school has also grown significantly since we started using Kicksite. So ultimately it has allowed me to do a lot more with that time and has allowed my business to grow without increasing my workload.

Is your business growing?
We have been open for 5 years now and our school has reached a plateau, meaning we have about as many students as our location can handle. However, we are very happy with the current size of our school and have no immediate plans to expand the business. I’m incredibly proud of having 80 black belts and 20 instructors that are fantastic and hard working individuals.

Do you have any major goals for your business?
Retention is a major focus for us, as well as building our students to black belt level, higher degrees of black belt and helping them open their own schools if they so choose.

Just as you are looking to grow and improve so are we. On that note, is there anything you would you change or improve about Kicksite if you could?
Aside from a few minor technical issues, I am very happy with the system.

Service is one of our top priorities. How do you feel about the quality of training, support and customer service provided by Kicksite staff members?
Both the system and service is great. I love that when I call Kicksite I almost always reach a real person. And if not, I quickly hear back from them.

What would you say to others who are not using Kicksite or perhaps not using a school management system at all?
I often speak with other schools in my association and I tell them that they are missing out the benefits of using Kicksite, including not only the features, but also the excellent support. However, thanks to me there are many schools in Taekwondo America using Kicksite now. I also point out the Facebook social integration component to them, which I haven’t seen with any other systems, and is incredibly useful to bring new students in and create buzz about our school. As someone who has been using Kicksite for years, I am also willing to help other school owners learn to use Kicksite, which is like more free tech support!

Do you feel that Kicksite is a good value?
Yes, even with a monthly payment with Kicksite compared to the one-time cost of our previous software. The time that Kicksite saves, and allows me to run the business smoothly, is well worth the cost.

Is there anything else you would like to say about the Kicksite system?
I’m very excited about how far Kicksite has come and how useful it is for my school. Keep up the great work!

For more information on Spicar’s Martial Arts, please visit their website or Facebook page, or call 1-817-488-6009.

Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado us_taekwondo_center_2-3cc1e57ed4d2bb5ddcfd7c86d14dcaf6us_taekwondo_center_logo-d5672a80ce30d74189a626498c9dbb9b
Founded: 1986
Discipline(s): Taekwondo, Hapkido, Boxing, Jujitsu
# of Locations: 4
Kicksite Family Member since: 2012

We interviewed school owner Jay Lee to learn more about his family’s chain of schools in Colorado and why he chose Kicksite for his martial arts school management needs.

Tell me a little about your schools and your role.
I am a second generation taekwondo master. My father, Grandmaster Sang Lee, opened his first school in Binghamton, NY and we moved to Colorado Springs, CO in 1986 so he could train the US Olympic Taekwondo team for the 1988 Olympic Games. We currently have 4 locations in the area with approximately 1,000 students. Our primary martial art is taekwondo, but in addition we also teach some hapkido, boxing, jujitsu and other arts in our programs. We teach students of all ages.

Why did your father decide to open a martial arts school?
Grandmaster Lee grew up poor in Korea and used taekwondo to build his body, eventually earning a scholarship and becoming a 13-time national champion. He wanted to share his passion and give back to the sport that gave him so much opportunity, so he decided to come to the U.S. to teach and further the development of taekwondo in America.
US Taekwondo Center Students.

What does being a martial arts teacher mean to you?us_taekwondo_center_3-bbf83f75e1f4102563982ba21e0bdbfe
I feel the same way as my father, acknowledging that taekwondo gave our family a foundation for success in the U.S. The martial arts industry can provide both financially and personally. I feel indebted to taekwondo as it has helped me become who I am, and I recognize that it can have a profound impact on the lives of others. I want to continue to grow the sport and build upon my father’s legacy of furthering the advancement of taekwondo in the U.S. I also enjoy giving back to our community and making a difference in people’s lives, and I like being able to do that with taekwondo.

What are the greatest challenges of owning and managing a martial arts school?
The first challenge is staff development and retention, ensuring that we are challenging our instructors to become leaders and expand to new locations. Second is generating new enrollments and third is student retention and promotion.

How did you learn about Kicksite?
I am the secretary for the Korean and American Martial Arts Association (KAMA) and I met a representative from Kicksite at one of our events. I also received a good referral about the software from a colleague and decided to take a closer look at the system about 2 years ago.

Why did you ultimately decide to go with Kicksite?
I had been using another computer-based system for about 7 years, but I needed an Internet-based management software that would allow me to access school information outside the school. Kicksite offered just what I needed, and combined with good feedback from others I decided to give Kicksite a try.

How has Kicksite helped you run your business?
I think Kicksite is very good at managing attendance and student updates to help our staff keep up with our students. But I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not using Kicksite to its full potential, as there are other features I’d like to learn to use more effectively including the messaging and social media functions.

Is your business growing?
Yes, but I don’t have any specific numbers. But we are considering opening a fifth location. I think that Kicksite will continue to help us keep a pulse on our students and communicate with them better.

Do you have any major goals for your business? (Growth, expansion, retention, etc.)
Continuing to improve our customer experience, grow and develop our student body and expand to future locations.
As for the future, are there immediate challenges do you believe your business will face in the next year or two? (Competition, economy, etc.)
Being in a military community, there’s always a challenge of retention. The economy can also have an impact, but as long as we are focused on doing what we do best, which is helping strengthen families and developing values, I think people will continue to invest in our product.

What would you say to others who are not using Kicksite or perhaps not using a school management system at all?
We have been doing this for 27 years. We had a student try to develop a database for us about 15 years ago, and my suggestion is ‘Don’t try to reinvent the wheel.’ If you want to run your school professionally, I think it’s vital to have a reliable student management software and go with a professional company that is committed to developing and maintaining a top-quality product.

Is there anything else you would like to say about the Kicksite system?
I think Kicksite is a very good product. I’ve done it all…developed software in-house, used another software system for years and looked at other systems…and I think Kicksite is the best one.

For more information on U.S. Taekwondo Center, please visit their website or Facebook page or call 1-719-488-4321.

Location: Diamond Bar, Californiacheon-ef4edb4e0e8a508cac1c2f48d110b3d3cheon2-4d381b8a69e61d8fd402e342ffa66dc7
Founded: 1991
Discipline(s): Traditional Taekwondo, Olympic-style Sparring
Kicksite Family Member since: 2011

We interviewed Owner/Manager Ann Cheon to learn more about the school her father founded and how Kicksite has modernized their business operations.

Tell me about your school
My school is YIC Taekwondo, which stands for my father, Grandmaster Young In Cheon. He opened the school 1991 in Diamond Bar, California (Los Angeles metropolitan area), and we have been teaching here for over 20 years. Our membership generally fluctuates around 250 students but we’re aiming to surpass 300 students. We focus on traditional taekwondo and Olympic-style sparring, teaching students from 3 years old through adults. I took over managing the school about six years ago.

Why did you decide to open a martial arts school?
My father trained in taekwondo as a child in Korea and became a well known competitive fighter. He was on taekwondo teams in high school and college, eventually coaching the ROK (Korean national military organization). He moved to the U.S. and got married, eventually moving to Diamond Bar. With his limited English he began working as a painter, but ultimately decided to follow his passion and open his own school to teach martial arts.

How did you get involved in the business?
This is a family business, and both my father and brother are instructors. As the oldest daughter of a traditional Korean family I am responsible for taking of the family, whether it be my siblings or perhaps even the family finances. My father is an extremely nice guy, but probably not the strongest businessman. He knows and loves the sport and has taught at some of the highest levels, including coaching the US National Team in the 2000 Olympics. But when it comes to business, he’s just too nice. I was brought in to help with the business part-time after graduating college, but quickly fell in love with managing the school and became the full-time office manager. My degree in Communications helped me with a lot of the major aspects of running the business, and I focused on modernizing the business. We did a lot of work with paper (flyers, attendance cards) and I helped bring technology into the business by implementing school management software and using social media like Facebook.

What do you like most about your job?cheon3-6590a5e60fd5453131dbba39c6954327
I’m really proud of our program and what we’re teaching. I’ve had pushy sales jobs in the past, and with taekwondo I don’t have to do any of that. The benefits of taekwondo sell themselves. The parents love what we teach, they love what we’re about. Their children become more respectful and happy, they start bringing home good grades. I love being able to come into work and meet families and work with kids in a fun family environment. And I love coming up with creative ways to generate new prospects.

What does being a martial arts business owner mean to you?
Generally the average student lifespan is about 18 months. I like seeing the transformation of students during that time. I like seeing them go from being shy to being a leader. I like seeing children develop respect for their instructors, peers and their family. Knowing that taekwondo is a foundation for their character in the developmental stages of their life is a big deal, and I’m proud to be a part of that. When I was young, I didn’t understand that. I merely saw it as exercise. Only after working at the school did I start to realize the importance of our school and the effect each student transformation has on our community.

What are the greatest challenges of owning and managing a martial arts school?
For me, being part of a family business is a challenge. I think managing your own business of any kind is a challenge. There’s no guaranteed paycheck. For us, getting new students in the door and retaining them is difficult. Kids get bored quickly and it isn’t always easy to motivate them to aim for that black belt. From on operations standpoint, there’s just not enough time in the day to get everything done. In addition to the marketing and advertising activities (booking demonstrations, working with school systems, planning in-house events, creating new student packages, etc.), I still have to do all the day-to-day management of existing students.

How did you learn about Kicksite?
I met a representative from Kicksite at an event and instantly felt like he was a very friendly, genuine person. And I could tell that he truly believes in his product. It made me more inclined to learn more about the software.

What do you love about Kicksite?
I am very impressed about just how much the software does to help me manage the business, like having an assistant manager. I can run reports on active and inactive students, look at financial data, and keep track of student details. It’s a great tool for me to track the daily flow of students via the reports and dashboards, which I use in staff meetings

I encourage all my staff to add comments on student user profile pages to get more out of the program and it helps me monitor the school whether I’m in New York, Korea or even at home.

It’s good for the students because they love checking in and seeing the awards they’ve received, and the parents love being able to log in as well to see how their children are doing.

Since you focus specifically on managing the school and not teaching, how has Kicksite saved you time or positively impacted your management workload?
Kicksite has allowed me to prioritize and simplify much of my work, such as eliminating the hassle of attendance cards which easily took up an hour of my day before. The attendance report quickly tells me who hasn’t been attending class which is great. Sending out targeted emails by age, program or belt color in just a few clicks saves us time and allows us to keep in touch with our students better. And the automated communication tools give our school a more professional appearance to our students and their families, and it’s so easy for us to do that.

Is your business growing?
The business hasn’t been growing recently, mostly due to my other duties coordinating tournaments and state championship events. It has kept me from being able to focus on growing the business. But my immediate focus is back on the school and I expect us to grow this year.

Do you have any major goals for your business? (Growth, expansion, retention, etc.)
Actually, we are planning to expand to a second location this year and Kicksite is a big reason for that. I’d like to open more schools or provide career opportunities for our black belts if they want to open their own schools. I read a lot of business books that say you shouldn’t have to be a slave to your job, and helping others achieve career independence while gaining my own financial freedom is definite long-term goal.

As for the future, are there immediate challenges do you believe your business will face in the next year or two? (Competition, economy, etc.)
We are in constant competition with other seasonal sports like soccer and football, which sometimes cause our attendance to decline. We’re surrounded by other martial arts studios as well, so it keeps us on our toes. But we’ve been here for over 20 years and have earned a reputation for excellent service and teaching, so competitively we are doing ok.

Service is one of our top priorities. How do you feel about the quality of training, support and customer service provided by Kicksite staff members?
I’m 100% pleased. Kicksite’s representative has been wonderful and the other members of the staff that have helped us with the initial training and walkthrough. I know that there are video tutorials available, but I didn’t need them because the system was so easy to learn.

What would you say to others who are not using Kicksite or perhaps not using a school management system at all?
I think it is a really great program for any school owner. I know that many older school owners are technology averse, but if they only realized that Kicksite can make their lives so much easier. I think a lot of owners may also be scared to try something new, or they also don’t want to spend the money. But I always advocate Kicksite and try to persuade them by pointing out what they are getting in return for the price. I encourage them to visit the website and take a demo or try the trial period to get a taste of it, as it has definitely saved me a lot of time.

Is there anything else you would like to say about the Kicksite system?
Thanks to Kicksite, our customer service and communications have become more professional, we have a lot more time on our hands to focus on important work, we are more aware of how much money we are making thanks to reports. Overall, we are very happy with Kicksite and I look forward to seeing how the software will help us grow as we move towards a second location.

For more information on Young In Cheon Taekwondo, please visit their website or Facebook page, or call 1-909-468-1350.

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