"Success isn't always about greatness. It's about consistency. Consistent had work leads to success. Greatness will come." - Dwayne Johnson
In order for athletic training facilities to grow their business, it is extremely important in how they are connected with the community.
Remember, there are probably a handful of other facilities in town that offer sports performance and fitness training. To the outside world your business looks like every other training business. Most likely they don't know a $1,500 rack from a $5,000 rack. Your website may not reflect anything unique or the points you may be trying to make are in "coach lingo" and may seem to separate you from the competition in your eyes, but they may confuse the prospective client.
Do local parents know about the facility and the coaching staff? Are the local sports coaches familiar with you and comfortable sending their athletes your way?
Here are five ideas to add to your business strategy:
1) Grow Outside Your Four Walls
I make this point one because of how important I feel this can be for a sports performance business. Since there was so much time and effort put into building out a facility, the thought process quickly becomes "how do I get as many people here as possible?" While I do think you should maximize facility time and resources, before you expand your facility try growing outside of it. Is the local high school basketball or volleyball team looking for an edge on the athletic development side of things? Adding a few teams that you train on their campus to your client base is a great way to maximize who you are as a company.
2) Get Involved With The Community
- High School Presence: Attend your athletes games when you can & get to know all of the sport heads in your area. During the off-season, you want coaches to feel comfortable where their athletes are training and who they are training with. And vice versa!
- Offer a Free Clinic: It’s hard to get someone to pay you for your services when you don’t yet have a reputation, especially when they aren’t even familiar with what your services are. Get your foot in the door! Deliver something of real value, without expecting anything in return. Parents tend to almost always equate speed with performance. Put together a free clinic to show athletes how to improve speed, agility, and quickness. Focus on drills the athletes perform in practice. Make it easy for parents and athletes to correlate training with you will help them in their respective sport.
- Speak: Find a local coaching clinic in your area and go speak on something your clients finds valuable!
3) Identify Your Clients & Determine What They Want
Determine your top 5 clients - Who are they and what do you like about them? Are you the best solution for them? Why would they choose you? Figure out who the perfect client is because they’re going to be who you’re trying to connect with in everything you do moving forward.
Once you have your target demographic identified, you need to determine their biggest problems, greatest wants or strongest needs. This is what your perfect client seeks you out to solve or help with.
4) Fill The Athletic Performance Gap...Connect With Administrators
There are over 21,000 High Schools in the United States. While organizations like NHSSCA do a great job of creating awareness on the importance of a qualified professional in the weight room setting, it's safe to say there aren't 21,000 strength and conditioning professionals responsible for the 8 million high school athletes today.
Connect with administrators and express the importance of what a professional can do for the overall athletic performance of the program, but also from a liability standpoint as well.
A unique approach to your local Athletic Director may be to focus on different steps to preventing injury. Try a basic Functional Movement Screen, which can be used as a tool to identify athletes risk of injury.
5) Appeal To Parents
Parents add an incredible opportunity for a sports performance business - (1) Parents are the ones making a financial and time consuming investment for their children & (2) Can be a great addition to your general population fitness training. Keep it all in the family, right?!
When parents call to set up their kids for a class, they often don’t know what to expect. The most important part of this process is finding out what they really want for their children.
If it’s speed, talk about how you’re going to get them faster and only briefly mention how strength and conditioning complements their speed work. For all you know, they may think squatting slows them down...The same goes for strength. Always be sure to express safety and attention to detail as well.
One more...Connect With Athletes
It's why you got into coaching, right?!
You can get coaches to buy into your methods and parents to trust you with their kids, but if you don’t win over the athletes, they won’t be your clients for long. Coaching runs deeper than wins and losses or how much athletes have improved their squat. It includes reaching athletes on an individual level. Coaches who focus on positive, personal relationships with their athletes are ensuring success beyond their performance.
Youth athletes will not only become more coachable, they will turn into your ambassadors when they brag to their friends about their training.
What are some techniques you're using to market your business?