Times are tough for many entrepreneurs, especially those who operate service businesses. Larry Foisy, director of the Larry Foisy Martial Arts Center in Sherbrooke, shouts from the heart and highlights the problems experienced by physical activity centers like his.
A family man and multi-talented Renshi, Larry Foisy wanted to share his testimony in an open letter sent to the media.
Mr. Foisy is the director of a traditional martial arts center as well as a company specializing in the sale of martial arts equipment, training and therapeutic products. The COVID-19 situation thus directly affects its two companies. “We have lost more than 75% of our affiliates since the start of the pandemic and only 1% returned to return in person,” he said.
For his dojo, this represents a 7-year retreat from its normal development.
Hoping to rectify the situation in 3-4 years, the owner of the karate school claims to have redoubled his efforts to attract new martial arts fans to his business.
The latest sanitary measures announced for the closure of physical activity centers have undoubtedly turned their plans upside down. “This announcement hits us squarely, because it shakes the remaining members who had the flame that we are hardly going to maintain in a virtual way. To illustrate our situation, please understand that we need a large number of records for a dojo to be profitable, ”we read in your letter.
Many parents have noticed the benefits of martial arts on their children and on themselves, he says.
“In times of a global pandemic, the habits we transmit, such as meditation, self-examination and balanced eating, prove to be even more helpful in getting ahead. “
EFFORTS THAT CANNOT BE FRUIT
Last September, he took various measures to adapt to the current context, including virtual lessons, advertising campaigns for all four clubs, the increase in the number of lessons for beginners, the onboarding of teachers to support this increase, as well as short-term subscriptions. , among others.
Despite these efforts, milder flu-like symptoms or outbreaks in schools have reduced the dojo’s retention rate to its lowest level since the center opened 15 years ago.
The latter highlights that his martial arts center has had access to some financial aid programs. However, this will not be enough to keep the business going for long.
Since the start of the pandemic, Larry Foisy has been spending nonstop to get the job he loves and is passionate about. “Currently I envy all my colleagues who practice martial arts in community gyms, for whom practicing martial arts is just extra income. If the situation continues, I will be forced to do the same ”, he concludes.
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