6 Great Ways to Diversify Your Sports Facility Services
Cash flow problems are almost always at fault when sports facilities fail. Unfortunately, most sports facility owners and managers don’t know that they’re putting their cash flow at risk by relying on too few sources for most of their income. So it is essential to add sports facility services to your business model.
Let’s say you run a softball academy, and softball lessons bring in 70% of your annual revenue. You can struggle to make ends meet during the slow season for softball, and a serious competitor could easily force you to shut your doors.
Sports facilities offering a variety of services that are helpful at different times and to different groups can minimize their risks. You can’t offer everything to everyone, of course, but there are simple, smart ways to diversify your business and still stay within your original mission.
Here are some common options that many sports facilities have used to diversify successfully.
1. Sell retail
One of our clients’ pro shops is so successful that it accounts for about half of its total revenue.
But you don’t need to open a full pro shop to take advantage of retail benefits. If you have good relationships with suppliers, you may be able to make orders on your clients’ behalf — giving them discounts and allowing you to make a commission on each sale.
These relationships can take time to develop, but you can have a good return once they’re in place. After all, your clients are already ordering uniforms and equipment. They might as well order conveniently and through someone they trust.
A sidenote: One of the biggest obstacles to retail sales in sports facilities is often the high manufacturer minimum orders. Speak to your eSoft Planner representative or sign up for our monthly webinars to learn more about ways eSoft Planner can help you gain access to low or no minimum ordering!
2. Sell concessions
Depending on your business model, a concession or smoothie stand can be a profitable option. But again, you can make money from concessions without adding a full kitchen. Consider offering a variety of energy bars, bottled drinks, or dietary supplements. As these products can be used all year long, regardless of specific sport or fitness goals.
3. Offer sports-specific fitness training
Today’s athletes need more than sports-specific training. They also need general strength, speed and fitness training throughout the rest of the year. Such sports performance training programs have many benefits, both to athletes and to your business, which is why Compound Sports in Tampa, Fla., is home to a Parisi Speed School franchise. If you don’t offer complementary services, you’re missing out on a big business opportunity.
4. Offer related services
Most sports facilities have a lot of success hosting birthday parties. If you manage them right and optimize for revenue, secondary services can be very profitable.
Another great example of a complementary service is college recruiting. The parents of high school athletes are often willing to pay for personal guidance through the process of selecting and getting noticed by college teams. If your staff is familiar with the world of college recruiting, you may be able to offer this as a professional service.
5. Diversify sports training options
This is an easy one: offer training for more sports — preferably ones that have the opposite seasons of your facility’s most popular sports.
This might mean recruiting new instructors or developing relationships with other programs that specialize in those sports, but the extra revenue and security can make it worthwhile.
6. Offer services to new client groups
Most of your clients are probably school-aged athletes. If so, it’s time to target a wider variety of ages and interests.
You can create dodgeball leagues for young adults, fitness training for adults trying to lose weight, or sports fundamentals classes for preschoolers. It will take some work to get the word out to your new groups. Plan ahead and use best practices for promoting your camps and classes for a successful launch.
eSoft Planner’s staff is well-acquainted with the process of establishing secondary services. With the software modules, adding a new offering requires minimal setup effort.