This is the first in a series of posts on creating a business plan for a sports facility. In upcoming weeks, we’ll discuss how to add details on marketing, operations, finances and an exit strategy to your sports facility’s business plan.
Thinking of opening a sports facility? You need to start by making a business plan.
It doesn’t matter if you aren’t looking for investors. You need to make sure you have a business idea that is going to WORK and not just suck away months of your life in a frustrating failure.
A business plan won’t guarantee success — nothing can — but it will force you think seriously about what you’re about to do and clarify what you’re trying to accomplish.
Unfortunately, many talented former athletes and coaches assume (on some level) that their passion for their sport and their reputation in the community will be enough to sustain a business. A long list of loyal clients is definitely a great start, but there’s much more to running a business — which is why so many sports facilities close down.
Making a plan, using the steps we’ll go through in this guide, will get you in the right mindset.
Don’t be intimidated. I’m not going to make you plot out a line graph with projections for 12 scenarios including inflation. We’re just going to make sure that you understand what it takes to get your business making enough money to be profitable.
Let’s get started.
The first step in creating your business plan is to identify the basics:
- the business’ overall mission
- the services your business will provide to fulfill that mission
- your business’ ideal customers (or the “target market” for your services)
- your plan to compete with similar products/services
- your plan to make money
Can you describe your business’ objective in a few sentences? Clarifying your main mission will be key to marketing your facility, as well as leading your company and keeping your staff focused. For example:
The mission of DNA Sports Center is to “Develop a New Athlete” by focusing on teaching kids how to move before sports-specific training.
Describe the products/services you’ll offer, and explain why your audience needs these products/services. For example:
DNA Sports Center will offer speed, strength and agility training that focuses on building self-confidence for all athletes. Other services will include sports-specific training, batting cages, and use of the facility for parties and events.
3 .Customers/Target Market
Add a few details about your typical customer. Briefly describe their age ranges, where they live, their income levels, their interests, and their skill levels. For example:
DNA Sports Center’s services will benefit kids age 6 through high school, although programs for adults and younger children will also be available. Our services will appeal to those athletes who are striving to improve their skills. DNA Sports Center is located in the suburb of Milford and is in close proximity to many sports-oriented school districts and plenty of families.
Explain why the need for your services is not being addressed by current facilities or services that are already accessible to your audience. What will make your facility better or different? For example:
DNA Sports Center is home to the area’s only Parisi Speed School, which offers a proven successful curriculum for improving speed, agility and strength.
5. Revenue Plan
This is the big one: How specifically will your business make money? Don’t stress about the actual prices here. We’ll get there in the next steps. For example:
DNA Sports Center’s main source of revenue will be monthly payments for unlimited access to speed, strength and agility training. This income will be supplemented by revenue from facility rentals, sports-specific training, and commissions from private lessons taught by instructors at the facility.
Next Step: Create a Marketing Plan
Need more info? Contact me directly with your sports facility questions.
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