Finding a Space for your Dojo
You want to find a space for your dojo. First you want to ask yourself how much time you want to devote to this endeavor: Is this going to be a full-time commitment for a business, or a club to do part-time with friends? If you decide to go full-time and rent a commercial space, you will be paying on this space 24/7 whether you use it or not! Below are some insights to consider... Location - Location - Location Determine the distance from your house that you are willing to travel — daily, perhaps even 2-3 times a day. Some choices to consider are: 1) Strip mall location, or 2) Stand alone facility Strip Mall Location
  • Front location = more $ per square foot with increased visibility
  • Rear location = less $ per square foot, but less visibility. You can compensate for less visibility with increased advertising spending.
  • How far is the site set back from the street — can you really see it if driving by?
  • Parking availability
  • Street presence
  • What are the other businesses in the mall? Will they bring in foot traffic for you? If it is tucked into a corner, there may be no visibility.
Stand Alone Facility
  • Lots of visibility
  • Lots of parking
  • Variable foot traffic
You have chosen a site — now consider...
  • How far is it set back from the street? Are there windows — can you see inside easily? It’s free advertising to be able see activities.
  • Interior set up - Is it set up to meet the needs of your business, such as amount of floor space for workouts (no obstructions such as support columns) etc. Can you add inside spaces, a visitor area, dressing rooms, storage etc.?
  • Electrical units etc. - Check out every utility within the site AC units, water pipes and quality, etc
  • Ingress and egress - How easy is it to get in and out of your site?
  • Demographic study - What is the tax bracket of the neighborhood?
  • Traffic flow - Are there schools nearby to add to your business, and what are the nearby businesses? Is it close to a highway, public transit, foot traffic?
  • City Restrictions of Signage - Also check with the city to see if there are limitations on the size, design, etc. of signage. Cities often want you to go through their design department and take out permits which cost $$.
  • City improvements - Go to the city planning office and check if there are any plans for changes or improvements to the site in the works.
Location Ideas for a Club If you were renting a space for a club, you could use other types of facilities such as inside a gym, at a school or church, part of a rec center or parks department. You might even share a dojo with a complementary school, though all options may have a limit to your access and schedule.