Top Tips for Running a Sports Facility

Running a Successful Sports Facility

Whatever the size of your sports facility, the best practices to run a sports facility remain the same. Here we will look at some of the challenges and basics of running a successful sports facility.

All facilities face operational challenges.  Some of the challenges faced by a sports facility manager are managing programs, controlling costs, keeping open communications, time management and increasing operational efficiency.

Without addressing these challenges, they may continue to hinder operations.  Managers need to look at these obstacles to ensure they can manage their facilities to the best of their ability.

There are several things managers can do to help to run a successful sports facility. Below we will look at a few tips to help you.

1. Timetable

It is important for a sports facility to have a well-organised timetable catering for all clients you wish to attend your facility.  The program of classes should be diverse enough to serve all levels of fitness.  A good timetable of programs will generate income for your business.  You need to decide if you want to create a focused and specific timetable to attract a niche audience or if you will be more diverse.

2. Membership

Offer membership deals that make it easy and more economical for your customers.

Look at the market in your local area, to see what is currently on offer for your potential customers.  If you see something missing from the market this will help you plan the programs that you can offer at your facility and stand out amongst your competitors.

3. Pricing

Pricing is one of the most important aspects of any business.  To work out your pricing strategy take these things into consideration:

  1. Marketplace analysis: Make a list of the gym membership pricing schemes of your competitors, especially in the local area.
  2. Positioning: The bigger your gym, the lower your price can be, as you’re getting more people through the door.
  3. Traffic balancing: Congestion is inversely related to gym membership pricing: the more your membership costs, the less congestion there will be.
  4. Packages & add-ons: These packages can vary from discounts on long-term memberships, personal training sessions and/or VIP perks

4. Budgeting

Like with any business, running a sports facility requires you to plan your finances in detail before you start and continuously.  There are lots to think about, buying equipment, paying staff, keeping up to date with maintenance and replacement and ensuring you generate enough income to cover all costs.  Creating a practical budget for your sports facility will support better decision-making at every step in your business.

On top of membership fees, other ways to make money include facility usage fees, birthday parties, food and beverage sales, running events, or selling workout wear or other branded sports goods.

Be sure to plan for both annual and seasonal budgets, look at past figures to see patterns in sales.  The outside areas are less likely to be used in the winter months, could you offer these for cheaper during this time? Knowing that most people sign up for the gym in January but trail off by March gives you insight and allows you to work accordingly to accommodate this.

5. Customer Base

Think about how accessible your sports facility is physically in regard to its location, this will influence who signs up for your memberships.  If you can reach your facility by public transport this opens you up to more customers as well as an ample car park.  The community that uses the facility is one of the major channels for operational funds. To attract your local community this is where you need to market to. Knowing how customers will get to your facility, by public transport or car, will help you work out how better to market to them. You could advertise on trains and busses or use the radio.

Understanding who your customers are will help you better recognise how to get their attention.

6. Manage Your Space Effectively

Make sure you utilise your space the best you can.  Even if you don’t have a large area to work with you can make sure you make the best of the space you have.  Ensure you manage schedules effectively to maximise profits.  When designing schedules be sure your space is used effectively.  When your space isn’t being used by in-house classes, a good idea would be to rent out the space to other organisations needing room.

7. Manage Staff

Every organisation is only as good as its staff.  The key to running a successful sports facility is through uniting and empowering your staff. It is important that everyone is on the same page and understands the ultimate purpose of the facility.  If you can make staff feel like an integral part of the organisation, they are more likely to work hard for you.  For more information on motivating staff visit our blog post here.

Giving staff a facility management software like OpsPal will empower your staff to manage their schedules and availability, avoid double-bookings, and improve communication throughout the organisation to improve both productivity and member retention.

8. Integrate Facility Software

Using digital solutions throughout your organisation enables easier and faster ways of doing business. With multiple spaces, staff and members to manage technology can give you the support you need to organise your business efficiently. The right facility management software can help you with many aspects of your business.  Using software like OpsPal can manage your daily & weekly tasks, keep all your risk assessments up to date, keep all procedures in one easy to access place and lots more.  Software like this is invaluable to running a successful sports facility.

To conclude, by simplifying and automating your operations, you can look closer at the areas of your business that need to be improved and then focus your efforts on doing so.

OpsPal has helped many sports facilities save significant time and effort in operations to be more efficient and in turn offer a better service to their members.  To see how OpsPal can help you do the same get in touch

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