A lot has been written about which demographics are best for a martial arts school. In virtually every case, the answer has been presented as though all schools are the same, so the answer has been a “one size fits all” answer. If you know anything about me, it’s that I don’t believe in “one size fits all.”
The truth is that the best demographics for your school depend on what kind of school you are planning. You have to think through who your students are going to be, then study every resource in your area to find out their income, where they live, and how often they move.
These have always been touted as the best location for a school, and that may be correct, depending on the school. For kids-oriented, family-type martial arts schools, being nestled within a community of single-family homes with a few elementary schools may be ideal.
Elementary schools are packed (overpacked usually) with your target market, and they attract additional families to the area.
Multi-family homes are condos, townhouses, and apartments. Who typically lives there? Young adults, that’s who. If your school offers adult-oriented mixed martial arts, self-defense, kickboxing, fitness martial arts, sport, or just wants to pull more adults than kids, then you want to be in this kind of area. Bonus! What do multi-family home renters tend to do more than single-family homeowners? Move! This means there is always a stream of new potential students unloading their moving vans every day.
Large High-Income Homes
Because high-income families have large homes, there are far less of them in a given pull radius than single family or multi-family homes. Plus, wealthy kids have the resources to do almost any activity and often do. Your school may or may not be at the top of their list, even if they do join. Middle-and upper-middle-class students tend to focus on one activity.