Growing up in the Midwest, one quickly learns there is no predicting the weather. Even the length of our seasons is somewhat unpredictable. Some years see longer and hotter summers, and others, longer and colder winters. Therefore, planning an outdoor business in the Midwest, or any other “seasonally-challenged” climate, is very risky and has caused several of us to adapt and move our sports programs indoor.
Due to the women’s college beach game growing and being established, and beach volleyball gaining more popularity, here’s the million-dollar question several have asked themselves across the Midwest and the colder parts of the world, “Is an indoor beach volleyball facility the right move, or next necessary step, for me and my beach program?”
Before ever getting to the design phase, business plan development stage, or considering a plan for site acquisition, one must first ask themselves 3 very simple, yet extremely important questions:
- Is there a need or a demand in my area for a year-round beach facility?
- Do I have the financial and business wherewithal to pull off a project of this magnitude?
- Lastly, and most importantly, do I truly have the passion and ability to commit the time and effort needed to make this vision/dream become a reality?
While many other pertinent questions can be asked, and will be asked as this train begins to slowly move down the track, one must first answer a resounding “Yes” to all three questions before any more time and energy is ever spent on the project.
Are there existing adult leagues, a junior beach club, adult and junior tournaments, and/or group and individual lessons? I’ve seen too many people with the mentality of, “If I build it, they will come,” and almost every time they have failed, or at the very least, had an extremely tough go at it.
Financial and Business Wherewithal
A project like this, is not going to be cheap. Whether renovating an existing space for $200,000, or building your dream facility for a couple of million, this vision/dream will not be cheap. You must be completely honest with yourself, and those you may partner with, and recognize whether you have the business savvy, volleyball community connections/relationships, and, most importantly, the financial backing to do it right. Answering “No,” to any of these should ultimately be a, “No,” to the whole project, or at least the first step to recognizing you need another partner who can fulfill whatever resources your team is lacking.
I have listed Passion last, but we all know that it is the first and most important requirement of any project, sports endeavor, or business opportunity PERIOD! To be successful in the youth and adult sports management world, you must be 100% passionate about growing the game, the athletes, and the overall sports community, or you will never make. Not one successful club director, facility owner, or investor, that I have ever met, got into this business to make money. It was their love and passion for the game and community….is it yours?
In the end, while building, owning and managing an indoor beach volleyball facility has been one of the most difficult and challenging projects I have ever undertaken, it has also been by far the most satisfying and rewarding as well. If you have answered confidently,”Yes,” to all the above questions other than the question regarding Demand, then you are ready to move forward.
For related reading on beach volleyball click HERE.
About the Author
William Robbins is the founder and CEO of Empowered Sports Club, a 90,000 sqft state of the art multi-sport facility, located in Fort Wayne, IN, and home of Empowered Volleyball Academy, and Pro Beach Juniors. As a recently retired professional indoor and beach player, William now spends most of his days coaching, mentoring, and consulting young volleyball athletes and entrepreneurs.