Bill Storm is an experienced martial arts management guru. His company has helped martial arts academies for over two decades. He’s now focused on helping Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and MMA academies to become as organized and successful as businesses as the more traditional martial arts are, without losing the technical essence of BJJ.
For such purposes Storm struck up an association with UFC veteran Hermes Franca, and he’s even learning Portuguese (“The good thing is I know all the bad words now so I know if someone is talking about me,” he jokes). Among his BJJ clients are Pablo Popovitch, Master Mansur, Milton Regis and Eduardo Santos. United Professionals is also sponsoring the Long Island Pride tournament. “I am really serious about connecting with this community,” he says. Storm will attend the 5th Arizona International Open, and then teach a seminar in a local academy. He’s now taking GRACIEMAG’s questions:
You are going to Arizona this March to teach a seminar on marketing. What services does your company provide and how did you get started in them?
United Professionals (www.unitedprofessionals.com) has been the leader in martial arts billing, consulting and marketing products for two decades. In fact we are coming up on our 21st year. Just like BJJ, experience counts!
How can a school owner benefit from a seminar like this one?
An academy owner will be able to immediately walk away with ideas that will increase his income using systems that United Professionals has perfected over the years for attracting new students. Secondarily I will offer all BJJ school owners a month of business coaching absolutely free so that they can see the value of being a client.
What do you see as the biggest thing being neglected by JJ/MMA school owners that can be learned from the traditional martial arts system? Or, simply put, if you have to give just one short piece of advice to a JJ school owner, what would be it?
Professional BJJ academies are new to the United States. United Professionals respects the tradition of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and does not want BJJ academies to water down their programs. In fact, I have started training in it myself. Teaching authentic BJJ was so important to me that I invested in bringing a Brazilian black belt in from Brazil to teach at my academy.
The advice I would give to an academy owner is to learn the United Professional systems. The have given owners of all different styles the luxury of being able to teach what they love while making a great income.
Do you feel it is possible to reconcile having a strong competition team with having a successful academy?
Absolutely. In fact, the highest paid school owners in the country are very competitive. The trick is to take the competitive spirit you have for BJJ and apply it to business. Becoming a business black belt isn’t easy. This is a fact I’m sure BJJ school owners can appreciate.