Good thread and excellent points brought up by everyone.
Several questions I have: What is your style? What is your goal in life (you say you are going to college but is it for business or other)? Where do you live (city/suburban/country)?
All these questions will make a difference… If you do tai chi, then you don’t really need a lot of equipment and you will market differently than if you do thai boxing… If you plan on doing this as a hobby rather than a career, then you may not want to open a formal school and just teach at people’s houses or at the YMCA….
As a consumer, if I ask a question regarding price, I already did or am currently doing my research and am just looking for price and price alone… If you try and sway me by asking my name and other information, I get frustrated and start to feel like my name is being put on a list (I shouldn’t feel this way but it is the overall bombardment of marketing these days that has made it this way).
Saying in the beginning that you prefer that the consumer see the class and facilities up front so that both you and him/her can ‘interview’ each other in order to make an informed decision (and not waste time) is always positive… If they ask what the cost structure is again, then just briefly repeat the above and give them the price.
However, do your pricing comparisons beforehand so you know what you are up against. Know what your overhead is so you know what you need to pay rent.
Since you are just starting up, ‘quality’ is untested to the public and your reputation is minimal at best. So in essence you will be getting a lot of people asking the question about price.
My teacher had several schools and shut them down for many reasons due to poor quality of instruction, high cost of overhead, and the public’s opinion as to what it meant to study the martial arts…. Yet he still taught a number of people at his house, at the YMCA, at various colleges, etc…
Therefore it is possible to do it but it will be tough in the beginning.
You don’t necessarily need a facility to teach. Your cell phone can act as a business line. Liability insurance is always a good idea… The rest is up to you.