If you’re a sporty person or just have a good nose for business, the idea of owning and running a sports facility probably crossed your mind many times. Hitting any sports complex as a business-conscious person pushes you to do some quick calculations and conclude that the owner is probably making good money.
Plus, quitting your boring job and becoming an owner and manager of a sports facility sounds super exciting. However, if you’re serious about this idea and ready to invest your money into a good business plan, you need a big budget, good ideas, a lot of patience, and perseverance. Still, want to open a sports complex? Here’s everything a sports facility start-up needs to consider.
Choose your location
The first step towards running a sporting facility is to choose a general site location and do a demographic report of the area. Of course, you don’t have to have an exact address in mind yet, but you at least need to come up with the neighborhood location.
Once you have that, include a 25-mile radius to find 90% of your customer base. Conducting a demographics report helps any business get familiar with customers and makes your marketing more effective.
While cash is king in business, if you can’t come up with it to pay for your location or equipment, there are always financing deals you can rely on. Rates are usually good, but they depend on the market, your credit score, and the type of facility and equipment you want to invest in. For instance, expect good rates on equipment that the bank can sell quickly if you defaulted (pitching machines, floodlights, and such).
Make a list of equipment
Your business plan needs to have a separate section that contains products and services. This section will dictate what kind of equipment you need to provide products and services, so make a list according to your plan and keep it simple. Basic features go first, while updates and additional features can always be added later.
Everyone’s list will look different, but here’s an example of an athletic training and event facility list of items: turf, synthetic track, netting, sand, mats, poles, desks and chairs for staff and athletes, computers and other technology for staff, weights in the weight room, signage and lighting.
Lighting has an extra important place on your list. No sporting activity or even can be performed in the dark or under substandard lighting. Luckily, it’s not hard to find effective and practical sports field lighting that meet all LED sports lighting standards. When choosing big lighting fixtures like floodlights, it’s best to opt for something with high energy efficiency that will save you money in the long run.
Once you have a list of everything you need for equipping your facility, make sure to review your list and ensure every item has its own little business plan. These tiny business plans guarantee that every piece of equipment can cover its costs and your investment will pay off.
Find best ways to install
Once you have a list of all the basic equipment you need, try to save money on installation wherever you can. For instance, if you’re good with do-it-yourself projects, don’t hesitate to install netting and turf yourself or set up mats and training machines.
Being handy with tools also allows you to buy used equipment that might need a bit of love before you reassemble it at your location. On the other hand, if you’re not a DIY-er, now is not the time to get familiar with tools and processes. If you’re buying new equipment and fixtures, buy professional installation and warranties—they will be well worth it, especially when it comes to the important stuff.
Do some marketing
Marketing will lift your startup from the ground and allow you to start paying off your loans. If you find marketing complicated, here are some tips to simplify the process. Start with small brainstorming sessions for all services you offer, starting with your most popular one. Only broad details should be planned well in advance, and you can leave the specific details for later.
Also, focus on advanced marketing planning for non-event promotions like memberships, private lessons, rentals, birthday parties, and retail products. These services are usually available all-year-round and you don’t need to hire extra staff or do any special planning to conduct them. Highlighting your sustainability is also a great idea that will attract eco-conscious users.
Have patience with the entire thing if you want to save up money. If you take your time with research, you might find good locations with owners anxious to get rid of their equipment and get back some of their investment. They might not agree right away, but after a few weeks, they will probably say yes to your deals, so your patience will pay off.
A sports facility start-up has the potential to blow up and turn into a successful business. So make sure to stick to your dream, follow these tips and you’ll be more than happy with your decisions.