Devil Dog Martial Arts was founded by former Marine Greg Koval in 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. Teaching under the umbrella of the Nemean Fight System, the center teaches a unique blend of old power Taekwondo framework with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Boxing, Muay Thai, Judo and Wrestling added in to create a unique and effective system that emphasizes “putting the fight always on your terms.”
From Private Lessons to Program Expansion
Devil Dog Martial Arts began as a small club-size program operating out of the back area of another business, offering mostly private lessons. As more customers came on board, Greg began teaching small group classes as well.
“I’m a big believer in growing slowly,” Greg says. “In fact, doing so gave me the time I needed to refine my curriculum and identify what my business and my customers needed as we grew.”
In early 2023, Devil Dog Martial Arts brought on additional instructors to teach classes to the rising number of students who were joining the school. Halfway through the year, the business had outgrown its original space and made a move into its own, 3,500 square foot facility.
Streamlined Billing Supports Growth
Going from a small operation in the back of another business to a growing program with numerous instructors on payroll, its own dedicated space and plenty of overhead was a big transition for Devil Dog Martial Arts. Prior to this growth, Greg had received payment for classes in the form of checks or cash. But that system was far from ideal, especially as student numbers kept increasing.
“Chasing people down for money is the worst,” says Greg. “It strains the dynamic between the business owner and the customer, and requires conversations no one wants to have. I knew I needed a third-party solution to help me handle my billing – and ideally remove me from the billing and payments process entirely.”
Greg began researching options before finding Finli and realizing it was perfect for his needs. He loved that the solution had everything he needed and nothing he didn’t, as he wasn’t willing to pay for additional features he wouldn’t use. He also found the fact that Finli keeps businesses separate from their customers’ sensitive financial information to be a great value-add and privacy measure.
Getting Customers Up & Running Fast
Once Devil Dog Martial Arts started working with Finli, Greg was delighted that all he needed to get customers started was their email address. This saved a lot of time in the initial meeting, and also ensured that he could get new students into the room and onto the mat in record time.
“Finli removes so much friction from how new and existing customers interact with our business,” says Greg. “When new clients come in, I get their email address and have them sign the waiver – then they can join the class.”
Finli has also helped manage the transition from trial to ongoing customer. “Students are given a trial month for free and then, a week before their first bill is due, they’ll get an invoice and be invited to set up their billing through Finli,” says Greg. “If they want to continue with classes, they can easily pay and move forward. If they don’t, it’s no sweat. But either way, I’m not having to take extra steps to check in at the end of the trial month, ask for payment or handle their money in any way. Finli takes such a load off of me when it comes to the operations of the business.”
Endless Benefits & Powerful Results
Adding to the functional impact that Finli has on Devil Dog Martial Arts’ business, Greg has realized numerous advantages of using the platform, like being able to add discounts and surcharges easily.
“The price point for Finli is great,” he says. “I’ve also had an excellent customer service experience, my reps being very responsive and extremely helpful. The setup with the platform is super easy, too; hassle free. I like things that create less work for me, which Finli definitely does.”
The Future Looks Bright
Devil Dog Martial Arts has grown seamlessly, to a point where the class structure is locked in and the instructors are operating off of a clear, concise curriculum. Greg is currently writing a book called “The Nemean Fight System,” about the revolutionary system he’s developed in martial arts that teaches students much faster and utilizes systems and processes to maximize results.
With its steady growth, new location and Greg’s forthcoming book, we have no doubt Devil Dog Martial Arts will continue to thrive and make a name for itself. We’re proud to play a role in helping wonderful businesses like this succeed.
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