Thread: Dojo Costs
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Old 10-12-2008, 01:00 PM   #8
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
Location: Oceanside, California
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,237
Re: Dojo Costs

Your question is almost impossible to answer with specificity due to all the variables involved. While its wise to begin thinking of all the possible recurring expenses of a dojo, the actual costs are going to be based on your geographic region and scale of your operation. To rent a small storefront in some areas is $10 a square foot and in others well over $ 100. How you build your dojo is also a variable. Will you be using traditional tatami? Stretched canvas? A vinyl mat? They each require different cleaning materials for example and those costs vary widely.

When you speak of payroll all sorts of expensive things start to add up too. Depending on your state and local laws you will probably have to have some form of workers' compensation insurance and other required benefits. You can probably get all the info you need from your state Labor Commissioner through the internet to help in your planning.

One budget item to consider is a reserve for unplanned events. We just had an unfortunate hot water heater failure above the men's bathroom. When the heater failed, water leaked into the ceiling above the bathroom and ruined the sheetrock. By the time all the repairs are completed, it will cost somewhere around $ 1000.00.

Overall, operating a physical plant dojo is a serious business undertaking and requires capital and a lot of sweat equity. Starting with the YMCA/Recreation Center model seems like it would be a good starting point unless you have a pocket full of money available. Good luck with your future project!

"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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