Top Posts of 2017
As the year comes to a close, I always like to look back and reflect on the things we covered throughout the year on the blog. I look in Google Analytics to see which posts got the most visits, then list them again for anyone who may not have had a chance to read them the first time.
Looking back gives me an even better sense of what has resonated with readers and which topics they’d like to read more about.
Of the posts I wrote in 2017, here are the top 10 most popular, starting from the bottom:
10. Cash Flow Can Kill. Protect Your Sports Facility
There are lots of factors that go into opening a sports facility, but just one truly determines your business fate. That factor is cash. If you have enough on any given day to cover your expenses, you can stay open. If not, you’ll shut down.
This article explains the importance of things like checking your cash position, getting money quickly and keeping monthly payments as low as possible — and how to do all of those things at your sports facility.
9. To Fix Programming, Focus on Your Ideal Customer
When it comes to creating sports academy programming, we often get it backwards. First, we get excited about a new technique or idea to help our athletes. Then, we try to convince our customers how cool it is. We should start by focusing on our customers’ problems instead. When we package programs as tailored solutions to real and pressing needs, they’re much easier to sell.
This article goes over how to create detailed personas, or profiles, for your ideal customers that will help you create programming and marketing.
8. A 3-Point Marketing Plan for Seasonal Sports Facilities
I’ve long advocated 12-month marketing plans to help you stay ahead, even when you’re slammed during the busy season. But as a former sports academy owner, I also know how difficult it can be to keep advanced plans updated. Even a marketing plan that only covers the basics — just for those times of year when you stand to make or lose the most money — can make a huge difference in your bottom line.
This article explains how you can leverage those three most important times of year in your marketing.
7. Planning a Parents Night out at Your Sports Academy
If you’re like most sports academies, the parents in your target market probably need a babysitter if they want any time alone with their partners. Join a growing trend that makes this easy for them: Start hosting parents’ night out events at your sports facility.
This article explains how to plan and market a Parents’ Night Out.
6. Get More Clients With Better Marketing Messages
Even an extra 20 minutes improving the description of a camp, membership, or new instructor can result in another enrollment — and hundreds more dollars in revenue. The next time you sit down to write a marketing message, whether it’s in an email, a flier for a new program, or a class description in your scheduling software — use one of these five simple and free marketing tactics.
5. Market Research Basics for Sports Facilities
Detailed market research is essential if you’re seeking investors or plan to purchase a big piece of physical property. However, it’s also important if you’re starting small or operating on your own. Plenty of market research companies will compile reports for you for a price. However, depending on your needs, you can start by taking some of these steps to research your market.
4. Dealing with Unreasonable Team Parents
Unreasonable team parents cause a lot of headaches when you run a sports academy that hosts teams. Confrontations with these parents are draining, persistent, and distract from important coaching work. This article explains how Anthony Yacco, one of my eSoft Planner clients, successfully heads off any problems with team parents.
3. The Top 3 Energy Killers at Sports Facilities
Sports and fitness businesses like ours depend on projecting intensity, passion and top-tier competency. However, plenty of us fail to make sure our customers feel those things when they enter our space. I’ve noticed that certain factors tend to creep up and drain our sports facilities’ energy. This article lists the most common energy killers I see in sports facilities.
2. Before You Invest in a Sports Facility, Read This
Although I was personally interested in the world of sports performance, I approached my own sports facility ownership journey mostly as a financial investment. If you’re considering investing in a sports facility — or want to get the attention of an investor — here are some suggestions.
1. How to Create Sports Facility Sponsorship Packages
We sports facility owners are always looking for ways to boost our profits. So if local businesses partner with us by sponsoring our teams, players or programs, it can be a big win. There many ways to structure sponsorship packages successfully. However, there are also lots of ways to let sponsorships distract from your mission and even hurt your brand. Before you accept sponsorship money or start creating sponsorship packages, read this article.
I hope you’re all enjoying this holiday season, and I’ll see you back here in the New Year.