Surviving and Thriving: Tips from experts

Written by on February 18, 2019


“Thrival Guide: 2012”

four ideas to help you stay on course

             Many businesses experienced a 30% drop in revenue in 2008.  How do you survive that?  What do you do when your gross income drops from $500,000 to $300,000 in just twelve months?  If your revenue has dropped and your expenses remain roughly the same, what has happened to your NET PROFIT?

 Remember, that is why you’re in business!

                 These are tough questions and tough times, so I talked to several leading instructors in the ATA and gathered some wise tips on thriving in these challenging times: Senior Master Brian Shipton, Senior Master Kathy Lee, Senior Master Larry Hoover, Senior Master Michael Niblock, and Mr. Bob Riches, President of American Service Finance, one of the largest consulting, marketing, billing companies in the world.  Mr. Riches has been working with hundreds of instructors over the last 20 years.  Each of these instructors owns at least one full-time school.  Each one has at least 20 years martial arts experience and each has been in business at least 20 years.   These folks are in touch with what is happening in our industry.  Let’s see what they have to say.

Thrival tip #1: RUN LEAN

You should always know what it costs to run your business.  But when the crunch hits, you will need to make tough choices about certain spending.  Senior Master Brian Shipton says: “Run as lean as you can.  Evaluate all expenses but especially the big ones like STAFF and INVENTORY.”    Here are some questions to ask:

Do you know how much money is tied up in inventory?

  • Who does the ordering?
  • Does that person know the breakeven point on inventory?
  • Do you know that your staff is productive all the time? Most of the time?
  • How do you measure that productivity?
  • Can certain functions be combined to reduce staff expenses?

Experts agree that businesses that survive periods of stress rise to greater levels of success when good times return because those companies learn to “run lean” and spend wisely.    And to increase productivity, be sure to consider carefully matching duties to skills.  Put each staff member to work doing what he does best.  And that goes for school owners too.  Senior Master Shipton adds: “I instruct better than anything else I do.  I teach better than I manage.  I teach better than I market.  So now I’m teaching more than I have in the past few years.”

TIP #2: Next Week

Originally Published March 16, 2009 by Chief Master Bill Babin

Copyright 2009, William J. Babin, Reproduction without permission of the author is prohibited.


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