Owning and operating a profitable Sports Academy is a 365 day GRIND. It takes a smart & talented team to keep the the business running on all cylinders. Welcome to a community of like-minded professionals ready to help you navigate the rough and tough waters of blood, sweat, & tears!
The month of April usually means the start of the Spring Baseball & Softball season for players of all ages all over the country. However, for Academy Owners and General Managers, it's also a good time to begin taking payments for summer and fall programming, paying as much attention to them as you do for spring programs...
“It's OK to piss clients off sometimes.”
Spring Baseball & Softball usually means several things: The kids FINALLY have an outlet to let loose outdoors, parents start packing those coolers again with water and Gatorade, (not to mention the Over-21 Cooler for all weekend tournament hotel stays!), and the smell of fresh cut grass either makes you want to lay out for a ball in the gap or reach for your Claritin. Either way, it's a new beginning, a new opportunity to enjoy success playing a game so much of us love.
For Owners and GMs, Spring baseball means a ton of scheduling (and re-scheduling when teams can't field enough players - Arghh!), parent communication, securing of permits, uniform distribution, tournament participation, and getting paid! Securing registration forms and payments are one of the biggest obstacles facing the indoor training landscape today. And what should be a joyous time in the lives of facility administrators turns into a nightmare chasing people down to pay you what you're rightfully owed!
So what can you do?
“Be tough, but fair.”
First of all, getting paid is as much of an approach to how you run your business as it is securing payments consistently with improved tactical workflows and systems. If you can manage your clients expectations to the point they understand what is required of them before each and every season, you can assure yourself the money will show up when it's expected. Be tough, but fair. You never want to single anyone out or prevent a player from playing a game they love, but you also need to keep the lights on and put food on your table at the end of each day.
Get Inspired and PLAN.
Not only is it vital to successfully collect on the current season's enrollment, but it's even more important to begin planning next season and complimentary programming which may overlap. If I'm running a spring league for players ages 4 - 7, I'm also pumping those families with notes about Summer Camp, Birthday Parties, and private lessons. Once the current season is about halfway complete, my Priority Registration note is going out with a hard deadline for each family to secure their spot. If roster spots are usually plentiful, cut them and create some forced demand! It's OK to piss clients off sometimes!! It's good business, however, to allow those same families a courtesy round of registration after the closing bell has rung.
You owe it to yourself and your company to be paid fairly and on time. You got this!