Benefits of Running a Commercial School
By Ricki Kay There are a lot of considerations for having your dojo as a commercial school — here are a number of insights gleaned from the experience of having both a club and a commercial school. Pros:
  1. You are your own boss, you answer to yourself.
  2. You set your own hours, you work as much as you want.
  3. You wear whatever you want to work.
  4. You may pay yourself whatever you think you are worth.
  5. You may give yourself a raise whenever you feel like it.
  6. You may purchase whatever equipment you may think you need for your students, your office, and yourself.
  7. You may offer as many different classes as you choose. You are the king of variety.
  8. Your students have a place to go to 24/7 — a home away from home. You become part of a larger community.
  9. MORE CONTROL over the growth of your school. If your intention is to run a business, you need to be able to control the growth of the business. Clubs are limited to space availability, the whim of their provider and the size of the space. You may schedule any extra events, classes, seminars, etc. whenever you want, without accruing any extra costs or scheduling challenges.
  10. Your students have the opportunity to train more, since they have a place to come.
  1. You have to be highly motivated to have your own space. You should have passion for such an endeavor.
  2. Be prepared to work unusual hours, and to wear many hats. You might have to work swing shifts, or split shifts, — mornings and again in evenings. You have to work even when you are not open. You will be doing retail, set up, marketing, ordering, cleaning the facility, taxes, payroll, advertising. All of these require time and skill.
  3. You don’t wear business suits, but will have other requirements.
  4. You may set your own salary, but your business has to support those expenses. Most small business owners will make certain their basic expenses (rent and utilities) are paid first. You could be paid last. * I worked the first 2 years without basically taking a salary, but I never missed any rent or utilities payment.
  5. See 4. - raises may not happen for quite some time.
  6. Yes, you are in charge of equipment purchases — as long as your budget allows.
  7. You are in charge of scheduling — either teach what you are able or hire others if you can.
  8. There are big responsibilities to being part of a larger community. You may be constantly busy and active, and that involvement can be a cause for a lack of privacy.