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Coach drives U-turn for martial arts business

Media release – November 20, 2006

Coach drives U-turn for martial arts business

A Christchurch business coach has turned a struggling martial arts business into a success in just seven months.

The Academy of Combat in central Christchurch has seen numbers double and customers staying on after following advice from Action International business coach Andreas Becker.

Academy directors Geoff Aitken and Leonie Burrows said they are concentrating on developing the central academy systems in preparation for opening branch academies in other centres and have just launched their first new branch in Lincoln, Canterbury.

Aitken and Burrows transformed the gym from a tough physical training centre into a centre of self-development gained from the benefits that martial arts training provides. The positive training atmosphere at the academy encourages people to push their boundaries in all areas of life.

"Andreas laid out a blueprint business plan and we took it step by step. He provided solid figures to show how much money the business needed to make a profit.

"Andreas focused from the baseline and worked up, rather than from the top down.’’

The academy had a three-monthly target balancing the number of customers through the door with the profit needed for the period.

The Action International coach offered systems and structures to sustain business.

Becker said the academy had no systems before he looked into their structure.

``It was not really profitable and their marketing was not working well with inconsistent results.. I put in place simple systems so they could retain and nurture clients and we got them marketing the place properly.

``As a result the Academy won the Action International ‘first of the block’ award for the best overall performance for businesses coached up to nine months. Ours was the only award to go to the South Island.’’

The U-turn is clearly apparent from 120 customers earlier this year to more than 250 regular clients,
Aitken has a background that breaks the mould of an archetypal businessman:
• Left school at 15, had a taste of military life, had time as a bikie, worked as a fitter-welder, then became a top martial arts exponent.
• He became a bouncer, heavyweight kickboxing champion and a fight promoter.
• Then he took to university like duck to water and gained a PhD in molecular biology and became a scientific researcher at the wool research centre in Lincoln.
• Today he runs a successful business inspiring people to improve themselves in life.
Burrows, a mother of three has a background in Science with a BSc, business education and extensive experience in running community organisations.


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