Our previous blog focused on facility expansion, but maybe you aren’t quite ready to invest in additional space. Do you need more revenue? (Who doesn’t?) Have you looked into the curriculums available for complementary programs you might want to offer? Do you have staff with skills that could provide new revenue streams to your business? Are you maximizing the space that you currently occupy? Adding new programming in your current facility could be the answer. Creating new profit centers is the easiest and least expensive way to generate more income.
Another thing to consider is your competition. When you follow the steps below, make sure that your direct competition is considered. What are the current child activities available in your area? Do you want to compete with what is available? Are there programs that you do not want to offer? What programs would be nice to have in your area that do not currently exist?
Your clients trust you with their children. By offering new activities, many parents will sign up their children or siblings instantly filling several classes. It may be as simple as putting out a flyer to current families. For example, if you offer gymnastics and have a party or camp room, that space could become your dance or martial arts studio. Many families in your program already enroll their children or siblings in these types of programs at other businesses. Why not have them at YOUR facility? By offering complementary activities, the parents can save time by only driving to one destination. Of course, we at 3LC are available to discuss the next best step for you to take – click HERE to connect. Several steps are involved when preparing to successfully add new programs.
Steps to determine opportunities to maximize capacity (space/square footage and staffing)
- Review facility usage schedule to determine if you have blocks of time where use of space or staff available isn’t maximized
- Categorize the availability
- All of the time
- Blocks of time on a set schedule (i.e. 4pm-6pm every Tuesday)
- Is there a way to reorganize your space to improve your capacity?
- Determine options depending on category
- All of the time / Blocks of time could allow for a new class, program or opportunity to sublet
- Intermittent would allow for a new type of event that doesn’t necessarily occur on a regular schedule
If you’re not sure where to start or just want to brainstorm with those who have “been there and done that,” we are here to help. Click HERE to set up time to brainstorm with a member of 3rd Level’s Team.
Step 1 – Narrowing What to Add
Once you have narrowed down what is available, you must consider what it is that you want to add to your repertoire. We have some examples here, but the possibilities are endless!
- Adding, Adjusting or Expanding Class Offerings
- Shortening class lengths to allow for adding classes
- Adding a junior coach or assistant to allow for increased class sizes
- Overlap of classes where a coach can lead a larger group (i.e., warm up or cool down versus actual supervised sport activity)
- Expansion of class types (by age, interest or gender specific)
- New Programs
- Virtual – online classes for children that cannot attend in your facility (location or restrictions)
- Educational (preschool | tutoring | online ed monitoring | homeschool co-op | full day child care | before & after school care)
- Obstacle Course (Ninja | Parkour | Urban Gymnastics | Gym Extreme)
- In-House Competitive Program
- CrossFit | Interval Training | Zumba | Line Dancing
- Martial Arts | Self Defense Classes
- Tumbling & Trampoline
- Senior Fitness – Fit & Fall Proof
- Leap Star (preschool sports)
- Special Needs
- Additional Sports such as pickleball on tennis courts, etc.
- Aerial Silks, Cirque-themed, Rock wall
- Homeschool | Private School PE
- Water Aerobics | Aquatic Fitness
- Water Polo
- Synchronized Swimming
- Line Dancing
- Creative Movement
- Get creative, the options are practically endless….
- Celebrations (Birthday Parties)
- Kids/Parent Night outs
- Team Building (Youth Groups | Schools)
- Field Trips (PE classes | Child Care Centers | Private Schools)
- Recitals / Skill Showcase
- Drop In / Pay to Play
- Skill based: Flip Flop Shop | Swim Stroke | Cheer Stunting | Aerial Awareness | Learn a Dance
- Indoor Playground | Toddler Time | Mom’s Clubs
- Family Fun Time
When making this determination, many things need to be taken into consideration;
- Is additional licensing required (make sure to always check state and local guidelines)?
- Does my insurance cover this type of program?
- Do I need the assistance of a professional (lawyer for sublet language, etc.)?
- Do I have multiple staff members available to teach [new program/class/etc.)?
- What training and/or certifications is/are needed?
As always, consult with your licensed professional advisors prior to making business decisions.
Understanding the questions that need to be investigated is paramount to making the best business decisions. What other limitations do you need to consider? Once you maximize your space, do you have the staffing (and backup staff) to make it work? Perhaps with some rearrangement; you can allow for more participants. Getting an educated outside viewpoint on this can really help. 3rd Level can provide advice via multiple avenues – membership programs that provide on-going support for your overall business goals, on-demand consulting available in 1-3-5 hour increments or even on-site consulting which may be ideal for this type of analysis. We are just a click, phone call or text away when you need us – click HERE to get more info.
To Sublet or Not to Sublet
If you have space available that you would love to maximize, but you aren’t interested in adding programs to your business, subletting might be a viable option. By subletting, you are now leasing space to a tenant. YOU are a landlord! Take this decision very seriously. We highly recommend having your accountant, attorney and insurance agent review any lease agreement prior to commitment. We will cover determining the rental rates in a future blog.
Programs that could Sublet
- Personal Training
- Martial Arts, Dance, Cheer
- Music, Art, Theatre
- Professional Offices,
- Senior Activities, Bingo
- Physical Therapy businesses
- Volleyball, Basketball Leagues (if you have a lot of space)
- Adult “Boot Camp” early morning programs
Things to consider when contemplating subletting:
- Will the tenant be occupying designated space or designated time?
- Will the tenant be paying a set monthly rate or will they be paying a % of enrollment?
- Do they have a current Certificate of Insurance for liability and accident/medical coverage? Are they willing to name your company as additional insured?
- Will the programs be marketing with yours?
- Will they take care of all their own enrollment and their customers financial transactions?
- Will the tenant have keys (will they have employees with keys) to your facility?
- Length of lease
- Terms for ending lease
- Consequences for unpaid “rent”
Step 2 – Piloting
Since subletting is more permanent, as we walk through the next section, we are assuming the decision is to add programs or class types versus subletting. Whether you are piloting a class type or adding a program, the majority of the things to consider remain the same.
Steps Involved in Piloting a Program
- Start Up Costs
- On-going Costs to Maintain
- Size of pilot (how many students / classes / etc.)
- Always check with your insurance company to verify coverage
- Example – you may be able to add Cheer / Tumble without an issue, but as soon as stunting is added INSURANCE is added or perhaps your coverage primarily insures children under 12, but the program you are adding adds several teens
- Determine length of time to evaluation – typically a 90-180 day period should give you adequate time to analyze the potential for success of your pilot
Step 3 – Evaluating your Pilot
Plan ahead when starting your pilot and KNOW what you will be measuring to determine the “go/no-go” for this decision.
- Sustainability – do you have the people and the space to make this a permanent part of your company’s legacy?
- Fit – Does this fit with your mission, vision, goals?
- Profit Margin – Is this program a contributor to the bottom line? Does the reward outweigh the work or vice versa?
- “Passion” Margin – Does this program fit with your “why”? your “passion”? Perhaps this isn’t a profit-center, but you have always wanted to give back to your community, then the rewards are worth the effort.
As always, make a pros and cons list both prior to making a decision and after starting the pilot. Keep your pros and cons list fluid and revisit it regularly to add/remove/comment in order to have the best data for your analysis.
Step 4 – Pilot Completion / Decisions
You are at the point where you can make a decision on your pilot
- Move forward with implementing the pilot as a permanent part of your long-term business plan
- Cancel the pilot and move on
Remember, determining a pilot isn’t a good fit, is not a failure – it is learning.
Based on your data, make a solid business decision. Do not prolong a pilot out of “hope.” Use your established measurements for evaluation to make your final decision to move forward / cancel and move on.
Whenever you are making business decisions, always take into account the programs or the space that you want. Envision 2 to 3 years into the future, and design your ideal org chart and then work that backwards. What is it you want? Where do you want to be in 2 or 3 years – once you have defined that, then it is easy to work backwards.
Sometimes, it can be difficult when you are faced with many choices at one time and are overwhelmed with ALL of your options. Planning for the future and having systems to evaluate your decision makes your life less stressful. By having systems in place, you will know your roadmap to success and will be following a realistic GPS versus fantasy.
What is it you want? What is your passion – what programs do you want for YOUR business? What is your dream (and is it realistic)? You now know the questions you need to research and filter through what makes the most sense for your business. The next step is to clearly define your goal – Do you want to add space or new activities to your existing facility? Make sure you’re armed with the right information for your project. Hiring an expert can save you time and money while you continue to focus on running your business. If you would like to talk to someone about expansion, click HERE.
Having an expert by your side, will reduce your stress and contribute to your bottom line. We will help you keep moving toward targets that fit your WHY so you can experience the financial and emotional benefits of owning and running your successful business.