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Morgray
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 10 Apr 2002
Posts: 32


PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2002 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi everyone,
I'm currently teaching at a sport complex but I have only a few students. There are several reasons for that, but the main one is you have to pay about $200 to become member and the active members are there mainly for tennis.
Well, I started to think about opening a dojo but I have no idea about how to do it. Any suggestion?
Thanks in advance.
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Taikudo-ka
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 20 Mar 2002
Posts: 450
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2002 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well no other volunteers?

I've never run a dojo but I'd assume you'd approach it with a standard business model.

Only you can decide how many hours a week you want to teach, how big a class, and how much profit to make, and how much money you're willing to invest in the venture.

Be accurate with these calculations, make sure you know how much everything is going to cost on an ongoing basis, as well as your initial startup costs. That way you can structure your fees so that with a realistic number of students you don't lose money and go broke.

To get things going, your basic needs are people to train, somewhere to train them, and compliance with local laws.

Compliance with laws

This is probably the easiest part. Most places you'd just have to register a business name ("Morgray's Mutant Martial Ninjas"), keep accurate tax records and follow whatever tax program the local tax office gives you, and register for some form of public liability insurance. (I understand this is the killer for many people... technically you only need it if someone sues you AND you can't afford to pay out of your own pocket... )

I don't think there's any special need to have a "martial arts license" or anything. You might want to register your club with some large national/international body for your art, though. (e.g. the Australian Karate Federation for Aust. karate clubs). Depends if that's your style or not...


Somewhere to train

This all depends on budget and personal taste. I can't tell you where to train or how to set it up.
It could be a converted room in your house, it could be a public park, it could be a rented community hall, or you could set up a permanent dojo somewhere. Not hard, just rent some commercial property somewhere convenient, decorate to taste/budget, install whatever equipment you need/can afford, and hang up a sign. Check with the landlord about what you can do with the place - commercial property tends to be fairly flexible as far as refitting/modifying places because every new company always wants to outfit things differently to suit their business.

People to Train

Maybe the hardest part? Maybe for you the easiest. I don't know. But you'll probably have to advertise to find students if you want a decent sized school. Again, 1001 ways to do that, depending on budget. You'd probably want a phone number people can call to get info about the school, maybe even a website or a listing in the local business directory. Or you could just stick photocopied ads on poles...

Not that you necessarily need all this... The beauty of martial arts is they can be taught and practised in a public park, with no special equipment, and no need to follow any special regulation.

But if money gets involved and you want to run it as a business and a source of income, these are some of the things to consider.
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Bon
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 10 Aug 2001
Posts: 1047
Location: Australia
Styles: BJJ, Kickboxing

PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2002 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In business studies at school, we constantly get drilled about a business plan and the reason most businesses fail is because they don't have a business plan or they don't constantly review it.

How good the quality of the information I'm getting in this subject is, I don't know.

The most important thing would be building up a student base who are dedicated and committed. Also, you need your students to trust you & you have to care about the students, not the money you're making. If you care about the students genuinely, I believe money should be coming in.

_________________
It takes sacrifice to be the best.

There are always two choices, two paths to take. One is easy. And its only reward is that it's easy.
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Morgray
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 10 Apr 2002
Posts: 32


PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2002 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your help!
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tsdstud
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 21 Apr 2002
Posts: 147
Location: Davison, MI

PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2002 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's funny the timing of me reading this post. I am in an entrepreneur class at school. Our year end project is to write a business plan. Guess what mine's on! Haha, well I am going in to talk to my instructor tomorrow night to get financial information as well as other advice. So, I'll tell you what he says

_________________
cho dan TSD
"Every second that you are not training, someone somewhere is training to kick your butt"- Kyo Sa Lyle (my instructor)
"Where we going in 5 months?!?!?!" "Cali!!"
-Spring Break '04
"Life begins at 130 mph".
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three60roundhouse
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 10 Jan 2002
Posts: 891


PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2002 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don'tr take business classes or anything, but a word of advice: you need assistants. Look for people who are also black belts to go on the venture with you.
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Chris from CT
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 23 Sep 2001
Posts: 168
Location: Connecticut, USA
Styles: Jung Ki Hapkido, Shaolin Kempo

PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2002 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was going to start a class at the NYSC (New York Sports Club) near my house, but just like your situation, they had to be members in order to be in the class. This may not be a bad thing.

Are the members paying $200 per year? Does the club pays you a flat fee no matter how many people are in the class? If so, read on. If not, don't bother.

If that is the case then people would be saving alot of money in the long run by being a member even if they only took your class.

Around here the general cost to train is between $60-$100 per month at a dojo/dojang. That breaks down to $720-$1200 per year. This could be a great selling point for you and the club to get more people in. Your students would be saving between $520-$1000 per year! Aw, man. I coming to train with you!

Even if the club isn't charging $200 per year, see what it is and compare it to the general tuition rate of the other schools in your area. It may work out.

Take care & good luck, Morgray.

_________________
Chris LaCava
Jung Ki Kwan of Connecticut
"Man is born soft and supple,
in death he is hard and rigid..." LaoTzu
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Morgray
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 10 Apr 2002
Posts: 32


PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2002 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Chris from CT,
Your case is slightly different. In my case the sports complex doesn't pay me a flat fee.
To become member you have to pay a $200 fee but ONLY as membership fee! After that, you have to pay about $40 each month...
Thanks anyway.
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Chris from CT
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 23 Sep 2001
Posts: 168
Location: Connecticut, USA
Styles: Jung Ki Hapkido, Shaolin Kempo

PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2002 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, Morgray.

How much are the other schools in your area charging per month?

Take care

_________________
Chris LaCava
Jung Ki Kwan of Connecticut
"Man is born soft and supple,
in death he is hard and rigid..." LaoTzu
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Morgray
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 10 Apr 2002
Posts: 32


PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2002 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They charge an average of $30 to $35. Yes, I have a problem here...

But I'm starting to seek new avenues...

Regards
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