Beginning the Process to Start a Volleyball Facility
Running a facility with multiple indoor courts requires a relatively large space. Because of this, most volleyball clubs start out practicing on the rented courts of school gyms, health clubs or multi-sport complexes.
But if you have a club that is well-established and have the capital, you might consider finding a more permanent location.
The Benefits of Volleyball Facility Ownership
For many volleyball club operators, owning their space can be appealing. Among the benefits:
- More control.When you have exclusive ownership, you have the power to manage your facility’s schedule, noise level, cleanliness, accessibility and more. But the main appeal for many club owners is the ability to customize the space for your own needs.
- Better branding.You can use club colors and logos throughout your facility’s decor and signage, which helps make your volleyball club look more professional when you begin your marketing and recruiting efforts. You can also create your ideal atmosphere for players and their families, which can boost player retention.
- More ways to make money.When you have full access to a reliable space, it’s easier to provide additional services. You might consider offering private lessons, skill-specific training, team parties or even retail sales. The extra money might even allow you to hire full-time coaches, which can improve your club’s quality.
- Easier to add teams.Relying on rented court space can limit the number of teams you can host each year. Your club might even grow more easily if you have your pick of scheduling hours and courts.
- More consistency for your players.If you remain in charge of your space, you won’t be at the mercy of last-minute schedule changes, closings or price changes from your landlord.
These benefits don’t come cheap. In addition to a big upfront investment, you’ll have to cover overhead costs every single month. We often advise new volleyball clubs to hold off on property investment for as long as possible to make sure they are able to keep their doors open.
Research and Planning for Your Volleyball Facility
When you start a volleyball facility, to avoid cash-flow problems and make sure your volleyball facility remains viable, you need to create a business plan.
The facility will need a lot of scheduled activities for as many hours as possible each day. For that reason, many businesses choose to rent their space to local teams and other sports, or change their business model for more customer appeal.
If you’ve finished your business plan and are confident that you can cover your monthly costs, you can begin to estimate how much money you’ll need upfront.
How Much Capital Do You Need?
To determine your upfront costs, you’ll need to estimate how much money you’ll need for your property. This depends on whether you decide to build new, buy existing, or lease a building and install the courts and other infrastructure.
You’ll also need to estimate the cost of:
- Office furniture and computers
- Spectator seating
- Plenty of volleyballs
If you plan to sell retail from your pro shop, keep in mind that distributors typically have a minimum order requirement. You’ll also need operating cash. For facilities focusing on seasonal sports in seasonal climates, we suggest beginning with nine months’ worth of operating cash.
Adding up all these estimated costs (space, equipment, operating cash) will give you an idea of the finances you’ll need to get your volleyball facility operational. You can then start looking for specific locations in your price range.
Hunting for Your Volleyball Facility Location
Finding the perfect location to start a volleyball facility can be tough. The facility needs to be wider and taller than boutique fitness and training facilities. This issue might limit the club to industrial parts of town, which lack curb appeal and easy access.
You might not get the perfect location, but you’ll probably find one that more than fits your club’s needs. Plus, the downsides of an out-of-the-way location can usually be overcome with strong marketing tactics.
Once you’ve found a location and you have general approval from members and staff, you should adjust your business plan with the new numbers. You can then use that plan to recruit potential partners and investors.
No business plan can predict all the operational challenges that you’ll face. Business plans are living documents – so you’ll have to constantly adapt to the environment. Don’t be afraid to challenge assumptions, get creative and rework your business plan now, before you’ve invested thousands of dollars and years of your life.