Wednesday, September 14, 2011

How sports clubs can learn from the business world

To paraphrase Charles Darwin, it is not the biggest, toughest, physically strongest, or most athletic that survive but rather those who adapt and develop in difficult times. Applying this thought to sports clubs and to sport in general  - what can we learn from business that will make sport more visible, vibrant and viable?
 In our latest blogpost, Gordon Clark of Sport Wales poses 7 questions to clubs:
·         Does your club have a fundraising strategy that is not reliant on grants? A strong, healthy business must generate profit to survive. Profit is not a dirty word rather it is essential if clubs are to continue to offer healthy community opportunities.

·         What can you do to increase your range of income streams? Have you considered corporate social leagues or tournaments, car boot sales, regular keep fit sessions in your clubhouse etc? A business that has a diverse range of income streams or product lines can better survive a downturn if there is a particular dip in one particular area. 

·         Is your club visible in the local community and beyond? The day of the poster is dead so what is your club doing to raise its profile and encourage new members? Businesses are committing significant resource to maximising the impact of social media marketing. Clubs can do the same – are you putting yourself out there via Facebook and Twitter etc?

·         Do you know who your competitors are and is your offer better value? Customers have the choice to purchase goods and services from other suppliers and this is the same for joining clubs - especially when there is a number of similar clubs nearby, jostling for the same market.

·         Is the experience that your members receive better than that of the competition? Sports clubs are in the experience business so what experience does a parent and child have when they turn up for the first time? Is any thought given to how you can convert this initial contact into a regular purchase / member or is it just expected?
  • Does your club have a club development plan? Planning ahead is vital to building a sustainable sports club as much as any business. If the club committee does not have a clear plan for the future and the membership does not have a clear understanding, how will you take advantage of any opportunities that arise? 
What should be added to this list? Let us know what you think...and while you're at it, you might want to look at our club resources