We recently came across this article on Tracy's Business Guide to Survival, that said 3,200 Martial Arts Studios went out of business in the month of May. I'm not sure where Tracy got her information from, but she lays out some good guidelines on how to cut down on overhead. One of her main points in cutting costs is doing everything yourself.
As the economy continues to weaken, and discretionary income is further reduced with high gas prices - we agree with her point. As a local merchant, you have to be proactive and sign yourself on to any free network you can. Here's a good post about just what all this 'local search' talk is about from Aspiring Business.
As part of my Merchants Across America campaign, interviewing our merchants in all 50 states, I had the opportunity to talk to Gary and Mary LaChapelle of Maury's Kung Fu in Worcester, MA. They told me that one of their biggest money drains was advertising in the Yellow Pages and the local newspaper.
"I got one response from that $400 ad - I was really disappointed. I tried the Yellow Pages, and I think they still have value, but they charge too much," says Mary. "As for the internet, I claimed my business on MerchantCircle and I've noticed a huge increase in phone calls and new students that found us through our listing."
Now that the LaChapelle's are no longer paying high costs for print advertising, they've been able to significantly reduce their overhead while still finding new customers. You should definitely check out what they did with their free MerchantCircle listing - click here.
As you take measures to spend your money more-wisely, we wish you the best of luck and will continue to do our best to help you 'do it yourself' so that you can pockets the benefits!