Our latest Community Sport blog is written by Becky Johnson, General Manager and Head Gymnastics Coach of Planet Gymnastics. She set up her private, family-run enterprise in 2008 and here shares her top tips for setting up a new sports business.
• Be prepared for long hours and late nights
When I first set up Planet Gymnastics, I was working 14 hour days – coming in at 8am and often not leaving before 10pm. But it is all worth it. Get a good support team behind you – staff, partners, parents, whoever – and remember that it will be worth those sleepless nights!
• Persevere even when things get tough
Lots of things happen all the time with a new business. In the first year we were burgled twice, had the loos flooded several times and came up against several expenses which we did not account for. At times it felt that it wasnt worth it but with the support of family, friends staff and even customers we cleaned up and carried on.
• If your business involves something you love its easier to work hard
• Be prepared to keep adapting to your customer base
We send our customers regular feedback forms (especially for the after school club) and newsletters. We hold open days for parents to view classes and give us their feedback. We look at numbers in all classes and change classes if numbers are low for something new. The aim is to make every hour of the timetable work. We have a Facebook page where we share news with members. When we started we thought mother and toddler sessions would generate income for us in the day but there was too much competition in the local area. We now offer after school club and a nursery wraparound service instead to utilise the space in the day.
• Our business runs like a family
We treat all customers as individuals whether they come for one hour a week or 20 hours a week.
Providing gymnastics and dance tuition for all ages, from babies to adult, Planet Gymnastics has ensured a sustainable income from CSSIW registered after school club care. After-school care includes school pick ups and a gymnastics lesson in a fully equipped Gymnastics and Dance centre.
Planet Gymnastics’ classes include Teen Gym, Cheerleading, Street Cheer, Tumbling, Parkour, Artistic Gymnastics, Adult Gymnastics and Pre-school and toddler gymnastics.
Find out more at: http://www.planetgymnastics.co.uk/
This blog was written in conjunction with the launch of a strategy for Community Sport in Wales. If you’d like your say, get involved in the debate on twitter – using the hashtag #communitysport and you can mention us @sport_wales