Good question! I have four students and the dojo has been up and running for seven months. All are new to aikido, and only three train with any regularity. Two are extremely dedicated and excited. Problem is that my rent is $800 per month and I am bringing in $80 so I am bleeding out the other $700 or so with no end in sight!!!! I don't think I will be able to keep this up too much longer, and I can't find a cheaper place (visability is a major issue, but then rent becomes much more costly). I am sharing the space with a yoga person who is paying some of the rent, but it still leaves me extremely short. I've implimented a summer special and put out an info flyer box on the outside of the dojo, so hopefully that will help.
Anyway, class size is typically 2-3 people (including myself) and sometimes up to 5 (a friend who comes up to train a couple of times a month), and the training is very good I think, but energy can be an issue with such a small group of people, and when (and if) folks coming in the door to watch, there is very little activity. Half the time no one shows up, and I just sit around for 1/2 an hour before bagging it and going home.
The smaller class size is condusive to more help, and my students are doing exceedingly well in their progression. I am worried that after time, once they have progressed to a certain point, that they will want to leave to a larger dojo with more excitement on the mat. It is a hard row to hoe, and I hope it gets better and that the dojo lasts long enough to grow (it takes awhile when starting from scratch).
anyway, those are my random thoughts too.