If you’re like most sports academies, school-aged children make up a majority of your customers.
As these kids start to head back to school in the late summer, you’re likely to find yourself with a much emptier facility during the day. Do you have any plans to fill those newly open time slots?
Here’s one idea that has worked for DNA Sports Center in the past: Develop programs especially for homeschoolers.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, homeschoolers made up about 3 percent of all school-aged children in 2015, but the numbers continue to grow each year – and even just a few groups of athletes can be a very welcome sight when your facility would otherwise be empty.
Here are a few steps you can take toward serving the homeschoolers in your area:
Find out the state physical education requirements for homeschoolers
Sometimes, the state requires parents to document that their child is getting access to certain educational programs, and physical education may be one of them.
If you can develop a program that specifically fits their needs for required physical education credits, it will be much more appealing to these families.
Develop relationships with homeschooling groups
The best way to figure out what homeschoolers actually want is to ask homeschooling parents.
Search online and on Facebook to find homeschooling groups in your area, and reach out to the moderators of those groups to find out what they need and start developing relationships.
If you do your research, you may also be able to connect with individual homeschooling families outside of the official groups that are looking to connect with other families that have kids with similar ages and interests.
Close sales with discounts
Pitch your hardest-to-fill time slots at the biggest discounts. Homeschoolers are used to taking advantage of their unique schedules, and hosting a heavily discounted class in your space is often still preferable to an empty facility.
Don’t forget private lessons and sports-specific training
Homeschoolers also often want private training and sports-specific training, too. Many play on private or non-profit sports teams (or even on school sports teams in some states).
At DNA Sports Center, we had one very talented homeschooler who was training to play on the college level, and he came in for his private lessons often during the day. Of course, we also gave him a special discount on his training because he came in during our slow times.
As you meet new homeschooling contacts, really listen to what they think their kids need and come up with custom solutions for them.
Homeschoolers are often part of tight-knit groups, which can mean that if a few of them are convinced to join your classes or try private training, you’re much more likely to get referral business from other members of the group who have the same needs.
Looking for other ways to fill those empty daytime slots during the school year? Try these ideas:
- programs for stay-at-home parents and preschoolers
- programs for older adults
- corporate team building events
- lunch break fitness classes for adults (especially if there are offices near your facility)
- training programs for other organizations, such as groups getting certified to use an AED or learn CPR