Re: Top 5 problems you are experiencing as a dojo owner/instructor?
I'm going to experiment with outdoor boot camps. It seems that adopting this format might address some of the issues described in this thread.
1. Amenities - Showers, lockers, any other amenities would not be expected (all though some parks do have them).
2. Commitment - To be successful in Aikido (or anything) does require some longterm devotion. Not everyone wants that. Some students would maybe prefer a four week session, knowing they probably don't have any intention of studying for a long period of time, much less indefinitely.
3. Economy - This one is tricky. Aikido can be very a very good workout. But it seems to suffer from the reputation of being extra curricular. Compare that to the expense of a gym membership, which largely goes unused. People probably justify paying for a non-used gym membership because it's directly associated with healthy living. Bootcamps are exploding in the parks here in Houston. I'm actually a member myself of one. I think business-wise we can take a few pages out of their playbook.
I started this thread just to brainstorm some ideas and hopefully help instructors or potential instructors do something they thoroughly enjoy. I'm looking forward to this experiment with bootcamps and hopefully we can come up with some other ideas to "keep the ki flowing".