Five Useful Tips for Starting a Sports Business
A job they are passionate about. One that they desire to go to each day.
Oftentimes, this wish for a career field they truly love encompasses the idea of starting a business around one of their favorite things…
And, for some of us, that is sports.
Whether you spend your afternoons hitting the gym, running on a local track, hitting home runs in the batting cages, or throwing the football with your buddies – sports are a big part of your life.
Now, how awesome would it be if your work life encompassed your love affair with sports?
Life-changing. Your hobby would become your career.
You could be selling home gym equipment online, the next revolutionized baseball glove, football helmets for the NFL, marketing sports teams, coordinating kids sports camps - whatever aspect of the sports industry you are most passionate about is where the opportunities exists.
But, not knowing where to get started can put a halt on your sports business plans. Some useful tips for starting a successful sports business include:
Creating a Clear Plan
You know when you’re in the locker room and the coach devises an entire scheme on the whiteboard? It has information for every little detail – each linebacker has a designated task, the secret plays are in place.
Well, you need to do that for your business.
Sit down and come up with a very detailed plan including your mission, goals, an effective marketing strategy, financials, staffing proposals and your niche market and target audience.
Pro Tip: Keep in mind, the goal is to always stay ahead of your competitors, so you need to be creative. Don't just copy what they are doing, think really hard about what is next, then execute on that plan.
Advertise Like a Crazy Person
With so many sports businesses out there, you have to constantly battle for consumer’s attention. While you are trying to reach a customer, someone out there is trying to steal the same one.
The game of business has one simple rule: grab the attention of sports lovers from the very beginning and hold it. Continuously market your products and services, ensuring people hear and/or see them over and over again.
When you advertise, focus on the benefit to the end user. Remember, it's about them, not you. Sell them on the fact you have something that can improve their life, increase their enjoyment or engage their curiosity and you'll have a winning ad campaign.
A few useful advertising avenues include billboards, local sports shops, social media sites and passing out flyers at local sports games.
But, when you begin to advertise, make sure you have professional graphics and a creative, professional sports logo design to share with everyone. Also, develop a professional website for clients to follow through with the CTA (call to action) to try your products.
Take Care of the Legal Aspects
There are several legalities when it comes to starting a business – especially one like a sports business where there are several other companies out there that could get easily offended.
Don’t forget to get registered with all the appropriate government agencies, and also remember to start the process for a patent if necessary.
During this time, you should also consider opening a business account and seeking out proper business insurance if necessary.
This is not the fun part of your job, but it is the most essential. Two things you don't want to have happen - upset the IRS, and have someone else steal your idea. If you push off getting your business filings done, both of these things are likely to happen.
Manage Your Cash Flow
It is vital to your new company to immediately set up a stable cash flow. But, in order to do this, you also need a method for accurately tracking business expenses and profits.
Once you have a set financial plan in mind for handling the inflow and outflow of company cash, devise a payment policy. Your main goal during this part of the business startup should entail doing whatever will keep your operating cost low.
Remember, you are a new company and every expense adds up.
Now that the idea for your dream company is ready to go, start the funding process. Consider reaching out to investors who frequently deal with people in the sports industry.
Also consider crowdfunding, bootstrapping, peer-to-peer lending or microcredits.
Once you realize your dream of working in the sports industry can become a reality, it is imperative that you foster successful business practices. The attitude and effort you put into the company is the type of outcome you will see in your business and your profits.
The sports industry is a great business to get into, but just keep in mind that you are not the only one fighting for the attention of athletes – young and old.
It is always important that you stay one step ahead of your competitors. Continue to find ways to stand out, be creative, and focus on advertising.
As you begin to establish a customer base, focus on maintaining high-quality products and always ensuring customer satisfaction to the best of your ability. Eventually, you will begin to establish word-of-mouth credibility via your regular customers and that can revolutionize a small business and lead to several loyal customers.
Don’t get blindsided by the competition – instead, blindside them.
Swoop in like a hawk catching its prey and take the sports industry to a whole new level using your products, business model, customer satisfaction and overall customer experience.
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