Adam Spicar

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.

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