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- This is the actual, original business plan I used to get a real, unsecured business loan -
- Written by Mike Massie, the author of Small Dojo Big Profits and dozens of other MA biz resources -
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The Story Behind This Martial Art School Business Plan...
Back when I was running my first school in the mid- and late-90's, I was a pretty happy camper. 150+ students, extremely low overhead, and located in a town that had plenty of families, kids, and disposable income.
Basically, I was running the ideal Small Dojo Big Profits school, although I didn't know it back then (because this was way before I wrote the book). But, at some point during that time, I decided I wanted more. In fact, I wanted to expand my facility by 2.5x the square footage, add two more classrooms, multiple bathrooms and changing areas, and have a dedicated area for after-school and summer camps.
In short, I got bit by the big school bug.
Now, these days I would tell my younger self that you don't need all that, to just run a small, lean, profitable school. But, this was me in my mid-twenties. Being a typical young guy, you couldn't tell me anything back then. I wanted a bigger school, and that's what I was going to get.
But the question was money. I had plenty of cash-flow, but it would take me over a year to save all the money I'd need for that type of an expansion. Again, if I were advising my former self, I'd tell him to be patient and save that money up, instead of getting a loan. As I said however, this was my younger self, and I was very impatient.
So, I decided to get a loan.
As everyone knows, in order to get a bank loan or investor loan, you need three things:
- Good credit,
- Collateral of some sort,
- And, a business plan...
In other words, you have to show the bank or investor that you're a low risk. Good credit helps, but it's not always going to be the deciding factor. Having something to secure the loan with is also a big help, so if you have a lot of assets you can put up against the loan (sometimes called "liening up" your assets), that'll help too.
I had okay credit but no assets... so, I needed to make sure the third component was solid, which is why I wrote this business plan.
Now, here's the thing - I wrote this business plan specifically to attract the interest of an angel investor. One of my students worked for a wealthy guy who liked to invest his money in short-term loans with a high yield, and preferably with little risk. In others words, he had a lot of money and was smart about making it work for him.
The reason I'm telling you this is because I didn't need to show this guy a lot of financials. If I had gone with a bank loan or an SBA loan, I would have had to get a lot more detailed about the business financials and my personal finances. So, if you're going to be revising this biz plan in order to get a traditional loan, make sure you use some decent business plan software to help you show everything the bank is going to want to see.
That being said, this is still a very solid business plan, and it will give you a very good foundation from which to write your own individualized martial art school business plan. Can I guarantee that you'll get a loan with this? Nope. There are too many factors that determine whether or not a bank will loan a small business person money, including current market conditions and interest rates, your personal credit, business history, assets and debts, and so on.
The majority of that is up to you, so I'm not making any guarantees of success or failure. All I can vouch for is that I wrote that business plan, and it helped me get a loan from a private investor. Capisci?
Also, I should mention that if you're just looking to see on paper how a real school runs, this will also be of use to you. It'll give you a good idea of what sort of money a martial art school can bring in... and remember, these are '01 numbers we're dealing with here. Your numbers today should be much higher.
And of course, the great thing is that it's free. You don't have to pay a dime to download it, all you need to do is enter a valid email address below, and I'll send you the download link lickety-split.
So, fill out the form now so you can start reading it and adapting it to your own individual needs.
author, Small Dojo Big Profits
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