Considerations on Cost.

In business – and in life – the first question everyone asks is, “How much does this cost?”

The reason for this is that money, or price – like love and music – is a universal language of establishing value.

If you are in a foreign country and don’t speak the language, one of the very first things you learn to ask is, “how much?”

The same goes when you are buying a car, a home, shopping for a vacuum or looking at investing in a quality martial arts program. When you don’t know anything about what it is you are interested in buying, the natural question we all ask is, “how much?”.

As a professional martial arts instructor, I was asked that question almost every single day. I still get asked that question now, just not as much. My answer – the same as it has always been…

“How much is your life and well-being (or that of your child) worth?”

How much you are going to spend on your training really isn’t the issue. The issue is what are the benefits you are going to get from your training and how much is that worth to you?

If you bought a book for $19.95 and it had information in it that prevented you from having a heart attack, and you lived another thirteen years, was the book only worth $19.95?

Of course not! The information in the book is priceless; you can’t put a monetary figure on an additional thirteen years of your life! The $19.95 was the cost of the printing, ink, paper and other costs for printing the book.

If you went to college, wasn’t your first criteria for selection which school was the best that you could get admitted to? You figured out how to pay for it after you got accepted.

All martial arts schools are not created equal; they are not a commodity. It’s just like not all private schools are the same, even though they fall under the label of “private” schools. Some are better than others depending upon location, funding, who’s running them and other factors.

The point is this: the quality of your experience, the feeling you get from the staff, and how confident you are that the school can help you reach your goals are the determining factors that will decide how much you spend.

You Buy What You Want…

You’ll happily pay any price for something if that something meets your needs – or you want it badly enough.

I don’t know about you, but I’m like everyone else; I buy stuff that I want because I want it. I don’t really care how much it is because if I want it badly enough, I’ll find the money! And, even in this economic environment, I can prove it to you…

When Apple debuted their new iPad – which is basically an iPod touch on steroids, according to a tech writer who stood in line to buy one – they sold 300,00 units – in ONE day – and 700,000 units in the opening weekend.

People camped out overnight and stood in line for hours for something with price points between $499 and $829, for something that will NOT teach you how to protect yourself or your loved one, does NOT help extend your life by lowering your heart rate and blood pressure, lowering your insulin sensitivity, burning fat, building muscle, increasing flexibility, increasing muscle mass or making you stronger.

Nope – an iPad is just “cool”, and over 700,000 people in one weekend, regardless of the economic environment, HAD to have one. We buy what we WANT and what is VALUABLE to us.

Another point to consider when it comes to pricing: most good schools are going to open in an area that demographically supports their target market.

If there is a martial arts school that is in your area, you can safely assume that you can afford their classes or they wouldn’t have opened there in the first place.

Your success in the martial arts is not something you want to farm out to the lowest bidder.

Emerson, in his Essays on Compensation, referred to the laws of nature and economics that state, “It is impossible to get something of great value for very little.” We usually paraphrase that today into, “There is no free lunch” or as they say down South, “You can’t git somethin’ for nuthin’”

Some schools, due to lack of belief in themselves or some negative belief systems, will charge too little. They actually undervalue what they do.

If they are undercharging for their classes they may have a hard time staying open as a viable business. That could lead to the unfortunately common occurrence that happens in the martial arts industry; one day they are there teaching classes and the next day they are gone.

Not Good.

If a school fits your wants and needs, teaches an effective system of martial arts and you feel comfortable with the Instructors and staff, then pay whatever you can to get the results you are after. You owe it to yourself to get the best training available.