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How To Create Your Own Tennis Club? – The Whole Process
It is a dream to create your own tennis club. But first, you absolutely have to study the project.
When there is particular demand for a tennis facility in a certain region, a feasibility study must be conducted to identify the needs of the population and analyze the opportunity to create a viable tennis club project.
The potential clientele needs to be taken care of. You have to know what people want to find in your club and meet their expectations.
What Do People Want in a Tennis Club?
Knowing what the population need is a crucial step. A survey needs to be done on people of different ages and genders.
In most studies, what people look for in a tennis academy is:
- Good community: The club should be a place to meet people, to make friends and to exchange great sport moments of your life.
- Proximity to the courts: The club needs to be close to the neighborhoods. The people should be able to reach the courts in less than a 10-minute drive ideally.
- Online reservation: It is better than picking up the phone every time. An app is also a good idea to facilitate the reservation process and monitor the access.
- Easy access: In an accessible zone with parking and less than a 15 minute drive for the average customer.
- Good court conditions: A well-maintained surface, No hedges around the court and no broken nets or erased lines.
- Great facilities: The members should find showers, toilets, a restaurant, a lounge, a gear store, chairs, rental ball machines, and so on.
- Good coaching: People have to find qualified coaches with certification and expertise to improve their game.
- Good price: It should not be expensive to join the club. On the other hand, the club have to be profitable.
To be competitive and bring clients to your club instead of the competition, you will need to implement these factors in your project and set up all the needed facilities.
Based on experience, people essentially focus on the ambiance of the club and would change it instantly if they do not find a friendly community and helpful staff.
Questions to Ask in a Tennis Club Study
To assess the demand for tennis, analyze the market, and forecast the revenue and expenses of a tennis facility, the project manager should ask the questions below. The answers are not always easy to find and in most cases require the help of planning consultants.
How many potential tennis players in the market?
The study should reveal a potential number of players, including actual players and persons expressing their desire to start playing the game. There are two ways to proceed.
- The first way is to run a face-to-face questionnaire on a small population of mixed ages and genders, and to collect the answers. The population can be as small as 50, the more the better. The results are then generalized on the neighborhood or the city. This would determine the number of potential tennis players.
- The second way is to run a questionnaire on a large scale. The population is big, consisting on a few thousands. In general, experienced consultants or sports associations take charge of this study by using direct mail or email forms. The estimated number of players is more accurate. It collects the people involvement in tennis activities and correlate the data by age, gender, income, household size and region.
How many existing tennis facilities in the area?
A google search helps identify the existing tennis facilities. The manager has to compare the clubs’ prices, driving time, number of courts, quality of equipment, and more aspects. This will help further to conceive the most competitive offer.
What is the player to court ratio?
The estimated number of potential tennis players when divided by the number of existing courts in the study area, gives you the player to court ratio. A typical planning ratio according to the specialists is 250. If for example a small city has 25000 players and there already are 50 courts in the city, the calculated player to court ratio is 500, which is far higher than 250.
That means that there is demand for tennis and the new club courts would make a great addition to the community.
Indoor or outdoor courts?
The same player to court ratio can be applied to indoor and outdoor courts. If you remember the survey we talked about earlier, it should ask if the person prefers an outdoor or indoor court. You should then have an estimation of potential indoor players and outdoor players. After that, you can calculate the ratio and conclude which type of courts you should build more according to the market demand.
How to find the perfect site?
Location is a major element to consider in a tennis academy study. The club needs to be in a big spacious area with easy access and nearby facilities like parking, transportation, and an eventual supermarket. The players typically should not drive more than 15 minutes to the club. With a consultant, you can identify good potential sites and narrow them down to two or three.
What are the expenses and the revenues?
To run a tennis club, you have to know the required operations, the projected revenues, and expenses. The table below shows typical operations done and revenues collected by a tennis facility.
|Facility Management & reception||New members initiation fees|
|Programs instruction||Monthly dues|
|Coaches and operators salaries||Access card fees|
|Health insurance||Daily court fees|
|Office supplies||Tournaments hosting|
|Misc employees labor||Special Events|
|Equipment maintenance||Café/restaurant revenue|
|Bank charges||Tennis store and services|
|Exceptional charges||Events revenue|
Calculating the revenues is based on market prospecting that helps to set:
- Court fees: competitive but profitable
- Occupation rate: (70% typically for tennis clubs)
You can have an estimation of the yearly earnings, using a financial analysis of the table above.
Take the club idea to the reality
Now practically speaking, once the project is validated with the help of your consultant, you can proceed with these important steps.
Validate the site
You should now validate the site after the prospecting phase. Remember that the site area has to be spacious enough to allow the construction of at least 8 courts. This typical number permits you to accommodate more players during peak times, not leaving your customers queuing up for their turn. Otherwise, this can quickly become a huge turndown for your potential clientele.
Without money, there is no club.
The acquisition of land needs millions of dollars and not everyone has that money. If you do that is great.
Otherwise, you have two options:
- Reaching to fundraisers or taking a loan from your bank. This will require a solid business plan.
- Negotiate a lease for the land with the owner. This solution requires good financial planning to keep the project balance positive.
Further, by developing partnerships with schools and associations, you can exchange programs like training young students with financial and social support. That is a great way to advertise the facility.
It starts by installing the courts. The cost of a tennis court is between $30,000 and $60,000. Then comes the alleys, the showers, the water and electricity installation, and the courts’ equipment.
This is the minimal viable project to run, before hiring the coaches, setting up the programs, and adding extra facilities like a café, restaurant, lounge, conference room, gardening, and more.
That includes hiring qualified and reliable coaches. They have to be friendly, engaging, and good communicators to teach kids and old players very well. You should have at least 8 coaches for 8 courts.
Besides, you should design a coaching program and have in place good management and reception staff. They have to communicate well with people and explain thoroughly the plans and the programs. You should aim for all ages and levels to have a great mixture of players in your club.
How Much Do Tennis Clubs Charge?
How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Tennis Court?
Use every tool available in your arsenal to market and communicate your club opening. Social media is a strong canal to spread the word. Organize an open day to attract people and make them try the courts for free.
You can also use a banner ad in the streets, or run a TV commercial if you can afford it. Sponsors can help as well to increase your club profile among the community.
To Wrap it Up
To create your own tennis club from scratch is a dream project to accomplish. Not only does it help you fulfill your dream but offers the opportunity for thousands of young and adult players to play in your facility, and to create a strong and friendly community.