What you put on your store front (if you have a business in a strip mall or are luvky enough to have and independent building) is important in order to get the drive by student and to announce to the public that you are actually there.
Many of my current students have simply driven by, seen the store front and checked us out and subsequently signed up.
Basically, I would recommend putting up something the AVERAGE person can understand. Karate, Kung-Fu, Judo, Boxing, Martial Arts (good one) even Jiujitsu as the big sign. If you put something too specific - say Silat, the average person doesn't even know about this stuff and you will attract the people who do and they are a small minority. A genreal sign is all-inclusive and ivites everyone to check you out.
Putting large prints on you windows of people smashing each other is a sure turn off - if you have a kids class, something with kids looking happy and doing something martial arty is good as well.
Be sure to put the school name in a readable font and a reasonably large sized print with a color that can be seen from the parking lot. We use a yellow font with a dark blue back ground on our windows and a deep royal purple on our over hang.
Be sure to also put your phone number with some of the things you do. Here is where you'd make a small list of the arts you practice if, say you DO Silat (sorry to pick on this one ya'll
) I'd say something like Indonesian Karate or Kung-fu in parenthesis beside it to help kind of clarify the art.
Make sure yoyu you have an electronic Open sign that has a neon bulb, also have a hanging open/close sign. I recommend having your general business hours posted as well, either on your window (not overly recommended) or on a hanging sign.
If you have a website (I do thanks to Mario Leone, Thanks Mario!!) put that underneath your phone number.
I am two minds about having an e-mail address so the person comcerned can contact you. The reason being is that the martial arts is a people business and it is best we get people to actually show up at our studio and talk with an office manager or other staff member about the school's benefits and what it offers. As far a contact form, I would only list the school's number and the name of the person they need to speak to.
E-mail is great but it only encourages the person NOT to come by and remain uncommitted. We don't want that, we need that person to come down and sign up! So by limiting their options we can motivate the person to enter our facility or at least make contact with us by phone.
If you sell equipment, make sure the public knows you do by mentioning it on the window front. Be sure also not to make the signage in front too busy and over whelming. It has to be neat and clean as well as easy to read.
One other thing we do for our students is we have an area on our front door that reads Message of the Day. It is where we put things like upsomeing events or Tuition due and such. It has worked out well even though I was initially sceptical (10 points for the wife...!)
I hope this helps some of newbys and helps some of you old salts as well!