Asking the Right Questions at your Sports Business

Upper hand – upper hand –
My conversations with thousands of coaches, managers, and owners have brought up questions like, “How do we get more clients?” or “What are the best ways to market my organization to increase attendance/revenue?” or my personal favorite “Why would I invest in clientele data tools if I sell out every year and know everything about my clients?” Simple answer: Today (more than any other time in history) it is crucial to understand your clientele and understand whether your offerings are aligning with client data to determine whether or not you’re getting every single dollar out of your client base. This is especially true if you are looking to throw money into marketing. Here are some key questions to ask yourself when making decisions about your business.

Key Questions to Ask

It’s actually quite simple, start with asking yourself these questions and be honest. (Bonus points for all three, and if you’re not sure, we’ll point you in the right direction!)
  1. From my clients perspective, is it easy for them to register, schedule and pay online?
  2. What’s the largest age group(s) of my clients today?
  3. If someone told me to pinpoint on a map where my clients come from, could I?

Answers & Resources

From my clients perspective, is it easy for them to register, schedule, pay online?

The less work your clients have to do the better. The days of printing off a PDF registration, placing a check/cash in an envelope and sending it in (via email or mail) are dying. Example: I had a recent conversation with a new client who described a recurring pain point with prospective clients. His current registration process had his perspective clients email him a form of what they were interested in and dates/times that would work to connect for their initial assessment. In theory this sounds reasonable and sometimes he was able to connect with them that day and get them into training. Yet this was far from a seamless process. He started noticing that due to his current training schedule it would take him at the shortest, four hours to respond to an inquiry and sometimes up to two days. By the time he would respond to the inquiry many of those who were interested a few days earlier had already found another trainer/academy or he wasn’t able to get ahold of them at all.Upper hand –The industry standard for convenience and data security is online registration, integrated with a payment processor. This is more true than ever as millennials are having kids who are involved in sports. This generation expects to buy online. People go for good servers for their sites (like the Melbourne servers out there) and the secure payment options specifically to cater to this. Personally, I’ve wrote one check in my entire life and don’t plan on writing another.

What’s the largest age group(s) of my clients today?

Why would you spend money on marketing to gain 50 new clients for a 14u camp when you have 75 clients in your database ages 16-18, but you aren’t offering an event for that age group? I know this seems crazy but we come across this everyday. If you don’t know what demographic you are already serving, it is impossible to make smart business decisions. The best way to generate revenue is to ensure the clients already in your database, are engaged in every program that applies. It’s imperative to understand your paying customers and what type of training or events will fit their buying profile. And even if your camp is selling out year after year, without understanding your demographic, it’s possible you are leaving revenue on the table. Key insights about your clients will lead to scaling opportunities that were previously unavailable. Harness that data to grow your business and brand.

If you look on a map, where do most of your clients come from?

This technology is one of the most intriguing tools being introduced to the sports training industry. Finding out where your clients are geographically located gives you further demographic information on clientele trends and distance traveled to your training. Regardless of what type of training you run, client location matters, period. Those in the camp business can find additional locations to scale their training. The trainers working out of multiple locations can determine which facility would be the most cost-effective when comparing current costs to distance traveled by clients. In terms of marketing, knowing the density of your clientele in certain locations allows you to effectively use tools like Facebook advertising which can generate 10,000+ hits. This way, you’re more likely to see the results you want.

Final Score

In coaching, we incorporate advanced techniques and technology to better train our athletes and give them a competitive edge. This same type of technology and best practices on the administrative side are not going away and should be implemented into your current operation for maximum success. The best type of marketing starts with taking action to understand the data behind your clients. You need to know which are your largest age groups, which training types will provide the highest ROI, and which location(s) offer the best client base to run your training or event. Once you understand your target audience, you can then spend money wisely on marketing that other people in that category are likely to see. For help with marketing, it might be worth finding the best digital marketing consultants to implement some marketing strategies to grow the business and clientele.   All of this information allows you to clearly grow your training and brand awareness, and without the answer to the above questions, positioning your business for long-term success will be an uphill battle. Once you understand this information and lay out a distinctive plan to effectively market your training using readily available tools, you will be on the right track for rapid growth in a market that is constantly evolving with online technology.
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