What It Costs to Get a New Student

Take a moment to write down all of the expense, effort, and energy that goes into attracting and enrolling new students. Here’s a short list of the resources necessary to turn a stranger into a student:

1 Time to create marketing plans

2 Capital to purchase ads, print flyers, etc.

3 Time and stress to execute marketing plans

4 Time, stress, and money to train your front line staff to set and confirm appointments from the inquiries resulting from your marketing efforts

5 Time, stress, and money to train your staff to teach intros to those appointments

6 Time, stress, and money to train your staff to conduct enrollment conferences

7 Time, stress, and money to train your staff to collect the tuition for these new students

8 Payroll for the staff to carry out 4 through 7

Let’s take a look at some real-world numbers.

A funnel represents your marketing efforts. You pour risk capital, time, and stress into the top of the funnel and, hopefully, black belts come out the other end. The better job you do marketing, the wider the top of the funnel. The better job you do handling the front-end process of turning phone calls into good appointments to take an intro and, later turning intros into enrollments, determines how wide the funnel continues to be.

Of course, how well a job you do in terms of teaching, retention, and student service will determine how wide the bottom of the funnel is.

Despite all the money, time, and stress, you don’t actually get paid until the fourth level, and that is only if a student enrolls. You don’t get paid to market. You don’t get paid to take phone calls. You don’t get paid to set appointments or teach intros. You only get paid when a student goes through that process, signs on the dotted line, and hands you a credit card or check.

As a standard of performance, each level should result in 80 percent of the level above it. If you get 10 calls from an ad, you should set eight appointments (80 percent) and have six or seven intros resulting in at least four or five new students. A similar gauge is that you should be enrolling 50 percent of your phone calls.