There are constant moving parts to running a volleyball club. Tournament schedules, coaching assignments, new programs, and new athletes are simply a few of the variables a club director juggles with every new season. However, it’s important for a club director to be able to rely on a few constants.
As you prepare for a new season, here are three signs that can dictate whether you are in control of your own business.
1. A Defined Market
Your club cannot be everything to everyone. It’s important that you are the right club for the right people, and focus on being the best club for your niche. Your mission, vision, and philosophy should be in writing and these statements guide every decision you make. Stick to them because they will help you weather the storms that you will face.
Focus on quality over quantity. Only take on as many teams and as many programs as you can sustain. It’s really hard to sell your club if it’s not meeting the quality of service you set out to provide.
2. Financial Stability
Most clubs originate as a start-up, with an entrepreneurial Club Director who takes on greater than normal financial risks in order to open and operate a volleyball club. To reach the point of profitability and growth is more than gratifying.
You need to have a business plan and a realistic budget. The budget should have income set aside for emergency and unplanned expenses. It should also have income set aside for equipment replacement and facility upkeep if you lease or own your facility.
It takes the average company about three years to see a profit from a new product/service, so if you are a newer club, stay the course. Cost savings are critical for any club, and can help alleviate a lot of stress.
Some ways to cut your costs:
- Maximize your court time by training 2 teams on 1 court or 3 teams on 2 courts
- Forecast your uniform order
- Purchase low-cost JVA insurance for your tournaments, leagues or youth programs
- Find out what skill sets your club parents have. They maybe able to help with sponsorships, marketing, finances, etc.
If you’re getting the most out of every dollar you spend and shunning unnecessary expenses, your club is going to be hard to bring down.
3. Harmony Among Leadership and Allies
A Club Director needs to spend time building relationships and surrounding yourself with talented, capable and passionate people. Build a village and be very selective about the people you choose to go into business with. A club that can sustain its core staff tends to have more seamless transitions from season to season, with less hiccups than a club that has a lot of turnover.
Partnerships with other clubs in your region can create great opportunities for a power league or co-hosted events, and you can learn more from communicating rather than combatting with other directors. A Club Director needs to build camaraderie and rapport with other directors nearby. Clubs need each other to leverage each other’s strengths, and by collaborating on an event schedule, clubs can have the freedom to build competitive schedules that directly benefit their club from a financial standpoint, as well as competitive standpoint.
Directors need to appreciate the ability to compete fiercely on the courts, but find great strength in working together to better the collective junior volleyball experience. Make it a point to pick up the phone and call a director from a nearby club today.
There will always be times when doubt and concern creep into a Director’s mind. Entrepreneurship is risky business — and extremely hard work. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It is important for a Director to have options and not feel stuck when making decisions that impact your business.
Hopefully you have a someone you can rely on to get advice and answer the many questions that you will surely have. JVA can be that resource.
About the Author
Briana has been with the JVA since August 2011. Bri enjoys interacting with passionate junior volleyball club directors and coaches on a daily basis, as well as building relationships with partners who share the same vision and goals of the JVA, and are all about giving back to the juniors. Bri has 12 years of coaching experience at the grade school level all the way through the college level. She was a four year starting setter at Ohio University from 2001 to 2004, where she garnered an All-American and Conference Player of the Year honors. She then continued her career competing professionally in Paris, France.