Things start to get hectic at indoor sports facilities this time of year — at least for those of us who don’t enjoy year-round warm weather.
That’s why it’s a good idea make your winter plans now.
Along with the heavier work schedule winter typically brings, we also get much busier in our personal lives through the holidays. If you don’t take some time to make plans while it’s still somewhat quiet, you’ll be scrambling at the last minute.
Here are a few things you can do this week to get ahead of the game.
Plan for Holiday Schedule Changes
Between Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and other religious and school holidays, your sports facility’s schedule will probably change a lot over the winter months.
Now is a good time to:
- Add planned closings for major holidays to your public calendar (useful for both staff and clients)
- Confirm the winter vacation dates of local school districts for planning purposes
- Remind staff to let you know about their plans for time off around the holidays (you don’t want to find yourself without staff when you need them)
- Remind clients about the procedure for rescheduling and making up lessons that fall on a holiday or on a day you’re closed or on vacation.
Get Ready for Bad Weather
Snow days and weather-related closings are right around the corner.
Review your plan for deciding whether to close your doors and alerting customers to your closing.
Remind your customers how they can check to see if you’re closed due to weather. If you have to close, I suggest emailing all your clients. Then, post a message on your web site, social media pages, and scheduling software. Quickly posting as many places as you can is well worth avoiding even one confused customer.
If your staff is in charge of clearing snow and ice in your parking lot or entryway, make sure you have the supplies you’ll need, such as plenty of salt and shovels. If you’ve hired a snow removal company, re-check your contract. Or, review expectations for the timing of snow removal and communication on the days it’s necessary.
Plan Your Winter Camps and Events
Once you know the upcoming schedule for holiday school closings, it’s time to plan camps and events around that schedule.
Parents and kids will be looking for things to do when schools are out, especially during the winter months when options for getting active are limited. Camps for days such as the day after Thanksgiving or Martin Luther King, Jr. Day can get great turnout.
You can also take it a step further. Plan not just for the expected school closings, but for unexpected ones.
Sometimes your facility can stay safely open even when some local school districts are closed for snow. Having an event planned for this type of situation is exactly what Harford Sports Performance Center in Connecticut did last year. Their clients have come to love and expect their open-gym-style events every time school is out. (Click here to read more about Harford Sports Performance Center’s events.)
Create Your Black Friday Deals
Many clients will jump at the chance to buy steeply discounted 6- or 12-month memberships as holiday gifts or as part of New Year’s resolution plans. These winter membership sales are often the best way to ensure monthly revenue in the slower summer months.
That means you should take these sales seriously. Be prepared to announce the membership deals right before Thanksgiving, or even before. I wrote a whole post on the topic of Black Friday specials for sports academies. I’d encourage you to read the whole thing if you need ideas.
Finally, if you’re looking for scheduling software that can help your sports academy run smoothly throughout the winter months, check out eSoft Planner. You can use it to adjust your facility’s hours, post custom messages for your clients, or sell Black Friday deals online. If you want to see a custom demo of eSoft Planner, click here to request one.