If you have a passion for coaching basketball and want to build a business around that passion, I have some good news: you can get started more easily than many other aspiring sports academy owners.
That’s because you don’t need to own your space; you can easily run your basketball academy from local courts.
That eliminates the huge and year-round worries of paying for rent or a mortgage, plus utilities, cleaning, security, safety equipment, technology, and more.
However, if you want your basketball academy to succeed, you’ll still have to hustle and focus on the numbers. Your love of basketball is not enough to make you successful.
That’s why I summarized my full business plan for sports facilities series below, customized for all you aspiring basketball academy owners.
Do I Really Need a Business Plan?
You might think that the first place to start with your basketball academy is picking a cool name, or creating a logo or a web site.
But until you have a profitable business plan, the coolest web site and logo in the world won’t help you – and creating a plan using the steps below will help you make sure you have that plan.
A Note about Paying Clients: If you’re a basketball coach or former pro, you probably already have some paying clients, whether they come to you for private lessons, clinics, or just pay you as part of a coaching staff. If you don’t have at least three people paying you to teach their kids basketball, pause before you spend too much time on planning a full business and take some initial steps to offer some lessons and start growing your client base. Dreaming about starting a business is worlds away from actually taking steps to ask people to pay you.
That said, if you have a list of clients and want to start planning your academy, it’s time to get started.
1. Your Basketball Academy’s Mission Statement and Summary
Summarize your mission. When your business’ main product is yourself and your style of training (as opposed to a physical space with equipment), it’s even more essential to establish a defined mission. You’ll have to really commit to this objective and live it.
You’ll need a deep understanding of your target market, what they need, and how you can uniquely help them meet their needs in a way that your competitors can’t.
For example, most of the basketball instructor web sites I’ve seen say something general like “Basketball lessons and clinics from a former pro.” Others take it up a notch by saying something like “Basketball training that gets players to the next level.”
Here are some examples of mission statements that go even further by being more specific:
- “Getting high school basketball players ready to dominate college play”
- “Basketball training that produces measurable results”
- “The only basketball training in the X area that combines athletic training with game intelligence”
Of course, your specifics will depend on what your clients actually need, and on your own coaching values.
It’s not as easy as you’d think to come up with a concise mission statement, but don’t rush it. It will set the tone for the rest of your business.
2. Basketball Academy Marketing Plan
List your specific products and services and what you’ll charge for them, based on both what your competitors charge and on the value you’re bringing to your client.
Services will probably include sports-specific training, such as camps, clinics and private and semi-private lessons, any complementary training such as speed, agility or vertical jump training. If you are already confident about high client numbers, you may also list teams, leagues and tournaments.
Once you’ve listed your services and their prices, it’s time to list the potential marketing expenses for your basketball academy.
You’ll probably at least want a web site (click here to read more about your options for starting a web site), an email marketing system, and some sort of scheduling software to help you keep track of all your services. Get cost estimates for all of them.
3. Basketball Academy Operations
Get some pricing for court rentals and any equipment you’ll need for the services on your list.
If you’ll be hiring additional staff, decide on their pay structure and their job descriptions.
List anything else you’ll need to pay for to operate your academy.
4. Basketball Academy Budget and Finances
This is where you find out if your plan works out to be profitable.
- Make monthly revenue guesses based on your services from step 2. Be conservative about how many clients you expect. Use my post on increasing camp and clinic enrollment for a data-driven approach to figuring what you’ll need to do to hit your projected numbers.
- Total up your marketing expenses from step 2 and your operations expenses from step 3.
- Check your profit margin by dividing the total expected profit by the total expected revenue. (For example, if you expect your monthly revenue in January to be $2,000 and your expenses to be $1000, you’d divide $1,000 by $2,000 for a profit margin of 50% for that month). You can do this monthly and for the entire year.
- Troubleshoot: If your profit margin drops below 30% consistently, it’s time to make some adjustments. Think about why your plan might not be working and what you will need to do to change the numbers.
5. Exit Plan
Having an exit plan is more important for business owners with physical assets. However, it’s worth considering how long you plan to run this basketball academy and what your plans will be when you want to stop so that you can work towards that goal.
So, do you have a profitable plan? Contact me or comment below with any additional questions.
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