I've had contact with some amazing martial artists this week, and as always we chatted about value within the martial arts, and in essence the value martial artists apply within their own pricing schemes.
Value is a strange concept because we so often think in our heads about not what we are actually worth but what people are prepared to pay. If you stop and think about this thought process it is really rude. We are actually telling people that they cannot afford to spend any more money other than the price we dictate to students.
Hold on, no where else in the world does this type of thing go on, in no other industry do people try and price themselves out of business. You dont ask a plumber round to your house to fix a leak then when you ask him how much you will never here "well what can you afford?"
You dont go to a restaurant and have the waiter come to the table and say "how much would you like to pay for your food?". Hotels dont ask you to pay based on how much you enjoyed your stay. But in the martial arts we all try and think about what people can afford to pay.
In all the years I have trained martial arts I have only ever paid between £3.50 and £7 for class. So in the last 20 years the cost of martial arts instruction has never changed. When you actually look at inflation you see just how behind martial arts pricing really is:
The chart shows the total cumulative inflation for the almost 22 years from January 1990 through September 2012 is 81.64%. In other words, something that cost $100 in January of 1990 would cost $181.64 in September of 2012 and that is what happens at "low" inflation rates.
So if martial artists are charging the same fees as they did in the 1990's you are basically closing the doors on your own business. Martial arts instruction cannot afford to be this cheap, prices need to rise and rise fast otherwise the martial arts face mass extinction.
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This week I was able to do some research/ shopping and have put together a list of everyday things I purchased that cost more than the average martial arts lesson price of £3.50 to £7.
Here we go:
I do like wine, but to get a bottle you are looking at £5 to £8. And I went into the slug and lettuce in Manchester this week and 2 glasses cost me £10.55!!! Yes going to the pub for a drink is now more expensive than martial arts. Guess what, the pub was full!!! Full of people paying this much.
I also purchased 2 glasses of mulled wine from the market and that cost £6!!!
Yes I have received a lot of praise for my line in a past article where I said martial arts cost less than a price of a kebab, but its true a kebab and chips will set you back between £5 and £7 depending on the kebab.
3. Taxi journey that lasted 10 minutes
I got a taxi from the train station to home and that journey cost me £8 and I was in the taxi for 10 minutes.
4. A bottle of water and a lemonade in Just Eat
So I was shopping and got thirsty, the only place nearby was just eat and this cost me a whopping £3.75 for 2 soft drinks WTF!!
5. Christmas Panto Tickets
My little boy wanted to go to the panto, it is a normal everyday thing for this time of year but guess what it cost us a whopping £46 for 2 tickets. Yes it was worth every penny but it was still steep!!!
6. Renting a film from sky Box Office/ Store
I wanted to watch the new Hercules film and for some stupid reason I thought the £5.49 was worth paying. Im not sure that it was but I enjoyed the film but yes this was still about the same price as a martial arts lesson.
7. A Christmas Decoration
Sounds silly but you cant have a Christmas tree without decorations and I went out and purchased 2 to replace some broken ones and yes it was £8 for the 2 we wanted.
I paid £11 for a sausage sandwich, a full breakfast and a side sausage for my daughter. I got a glass of orange with this breakfast at Trentham Gardens (google it, cool place) and this cost £11!!!!!
Yes not once have I been able to spend less than £10 per petrol station visit and my tank is never full.
Yes a pack of socks this week set me back £6. Just 3 pairs of plain old boring socks cost me £6!!!
So there you have it the cost of martial arts is about the same as some socks, less than the cost of a kebab and a lot less than 2 drinks at the pub. But how can you raise prices? How can you charge more? Well over the last few months I have been looking at pricing structures from several industries and I will show you very soon how you can raise your prices and keep your integrity.
Until next time