San Francisco SBDC

FTK Martial Arts

“[Our advisor] has been a saving grace – she helped us a lot, making us aware of things we never would have known. She also helped us to get a grant that allowed us to remodel the studio.”

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A women-owned martial arts studio in San Francisco saw new sign-ups and sales spike after following the encouragement of their SBDC advisor to adjust their pricing and marketing strategies.


Being one of the few female-run martial arts studios in San Francisco, owners Liza Fernandez and Diandra Thompson have worked hard to gain the respect in the male-dominated industry. They found themselves in a competitive environment where families oftentimes have dozens of studios to choose from in the same neighborhood. They were struggling to grow their business and turned to the San Francisco SBDC for professional marketing advice.


SBDC marketing advisor, Molly O’Kane helped them redesign their website with the addition of Google Ads to attract more customers. She also encouraged them to look at the price settings and structures of their competitors and adjust accordingly to charge the going rate and what they were worth. Through these discussions they also decided to simplify their payment transactions by using WooCommerce. The SBDC discovered a grant opportunity with the City of San Francisco and helped the women apply for it.


As a result, Liza and Diandra’s monthly new student sign-up doubled and monthly sales increased 75%. They also obtained $5,000 from the San Francisco Women’s Entrepreneurship Fund (SFWEF) and used this grant to improve their facility and computer system.

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