Growth is exciting.
For your athletes, it could means successfully mastering a new skill or hitting a new personal best mark.
For your business, it could indicate you’re successfully shaping the lives of many young athletes and helping them to achieve their dreams.
There are a number of ways you can grow your sports training business – you could expand your offerings, hire additional coaches and staff, or open a new facility or additional location. Regardless of what your expansion goals are, here are a few signs you may be ready to start a conversation about taking the next step.
Are you ready to expand your business?
There are a few ways you can expand your sports training academy. Growth could be as simple as offering a new program, or running an additional sports camp. Or, expansion could be more large-scale, like opening a sports training facility, or an additional location. Sports business growth is contingent upon a number of factors, so it’s important to grow in a way that makes sense for your business.
Add an additional program or event type to your schedule.
One way you may be ready to expand your business is by evaluating your programs. By looking into the buying habits of your clients, and the programs that are most successful, you can make decisions about updating and expanding your offerings to best meet the needs of your clients.
For example, if you consistently run a fall break clinic that is widely successful amongst your athletes, consider hosting a spring break clinic for this age group.
Hire an additional staff member or coach.
Another way you may consider expanding your business is through hiring additional staff to help take on additional athletes or support new programming. With an additional coach or trainer on your staff, you’re able to increase your training capacity. And, depending on the coach’s experience, you can offer more specialized training in a particular area, complementing your current programming.
If you’re new to this process, here are a few interview questions you can ask when hiring new sports coaches.
Expand to an additional location.
Whether you’re currently operating out of a facility and are looking to expand, or your business is more mobile, physical expansion is another way to grow your business. By opening a new location, you’re able to expand your reach to a new customer base, accommodate more training at a given time, or meet your current clients where they are.
6 Signs it’s Time to Expand your Business
Here are 6 signs it’s time to start a conversation about possibly expanding your business.
1. Your “demand” outweighs your “supply”
You could run the most efficient business in the world, use the best scheduling app for coaches that’s out there, and have your schedule down to a science. But, as your clientele continues to expand, there will come a time where you are unable to fit any more athletes into your day.
If athletes are consistently having to book weeks or months in advance just to get on your schedule, or you continually have athletes on waiting lists for your programs, it may be time to evaluate opportunities to expand. So, you may consider adding an additional time slot or program to your schedule to accommodate that demographic. Or, you may look into hiring a new trainer or coach to help you take on more athletes.
2. You have a high number of repeat athletes
A high number of repeat customers is a great indicator that your training and programming are valuable. Repeat athletes provide stability to your business, and can ultimately play a role when considering expansion. Having a strong base of monthly recurring revenue will help you budget and forecast revenue, even months into the future. This helps you plan for larger financial decisions like hiring, investing in new equipment, or expanding to a new location.
3. Your community has expanded
As your athlete community has grown, has it created additional opportunities to expand your presence? Another indicator of growth opportunity is a growing community. Take a look at where your athletes are located, and consider opportunities to develop programming to meet them where they are. For example, if you have a substantial population of high school athletes from a neighboring town, look for ways to offer programming in their backyard.
Pro tip: With Upper Hand’s Contacts Report, you can visually see where your clients are located, allowing you to make informed decisions about where you might consider hosting a camp.
4. You’re running out of space
If you operate out of a facility, take a look at your court booking system and how your resources are being utilized. Are your cages, fields, or courts continually booked up? Are you unable to accommodate athletes looking to rent out a space to train because all of your resources are being used?
The first step when looking at your facility spaces is to ensure you’re maximizing your resources. For example, if you have larger spaces, you may consider breaking them out into smaller spaces, thus maximizing your revenue without adding any square footage. By using a sports facility booking system like Upper Hand, you’re able to avoid double booking while also ensuring no space goes unused.
But, if you are efficiently using your facility’s spaces, and you still find your facility consistently at capacity, it may be time to think about larger-scale methods of expansion.
5. You’ve become complacent
Complacency in business can lead to a lack of innovation and edge. Paired with an increase in competition of other facilities or academies in your area, it can lead to stagnation. Recognizing complacency can act as a catalyst for growth if backed by strong financial health and proactive planning.
For example, if your business has been offering the same programming for several years, you may look at how you can provide more value to your athletes. Is there a growing demand for a different type of training program? Is there a new piece of technology or equipment that you can invest in that can differentiate your business or give your athletes an edge? Can you bring in an additional coach to reach a particular target demographic or complement the training you currently provide athletes?
Related: See how one baseball training facility increased athlete development and revenue as a result of implementing group training.
Now, just because a new sports academy opened up down the street doesn’t mean you need to overhaul your business, or make radical business decisions. You should also have the financial stability to implement changes. Likewise, just because your business model is primarily built on private lessons doesn’t mean you have to replace those successful offerings with something completely new. Rather, this is meant to get you thinking about ways you can best serve the athletes you work with and continue to provide the best programming to help them achieve their goals.
6. Your revenue is consistently growing
Lastly, a critical factor when considering expansion of your sports facility or training academy is growing revenue. Consistent revenue growth could be a result of a number of factors, including the ones we’ve listed above. But, growth does not have to solve a problem – your facility does not need to be bursting at the seams in order to consider expansion.
Strong financials and revenue growth can demonstrate a successful business model – meaning you’ve found a way to provide valuable training for your athletes. This provides a strong foundation for future growth. Additionally, having the financial stability allows you to proactively budget for equipment upgrades, new hires, or a brick and mortar move or expansion. Likewise, having financial stability and consistent growth offers flexibility to make changes or experiment with adding additional programs or offerings.
Expanding your youth sports training academy or facility can be extremely exciting and rewarding. But, it’s important that you do your due diligence to approach growth opportunities with careful consideration. Take time to evaluate the benefits as well as potential risks associated with expansion so that you are able to make the most informed business decisions that set your business and your athletes up for success.
From market research to digging into your own financial metrics, and consulting with industry experts, you will be able to determine whether expansion is the right move for your business goals.
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