One of the biggest mistakes a club director can make is not fully appreciating how much work goes into managing and understanding the financial aspects of running a volleyball club. Many club owners are athletes and/or coaches first, without a formal business background, which can result in challenges as they navigate through the year.
The first step in forming a volleyball club is having a business plan that aligns with your vision and philosophy of what kind of club you want to be. In order for your club to be everything you want it to be, you need to have a business plan that supports your goals. In the first few years, new club directors often lack the ability and/or discipline to follow their business plan and accomplish their goals because they struggle with the financial aspect of running their club.
Due to the amount of time that needs to be allocated to accounting, budgeting, and finances, a club director can unexpectedly be forced to sacrifice aspects of managing their coaching staff and day to day operations of the business. Here are a few steps a club director can take to balance business operations and the club training and coach management that comes with running a junior volleyball club.
Invest in a Bookkeeper or Business Manager
Spend the money and hire someone who can set your club up for success from a financial standpoint so you don’t find yourself buried in spreadsheets and unable to focus on the day to day volleyball operations of your club. You can start by consulting with an accountant for strategic planning, tax planning and revenue/expense planning. The accountant can help you develop a solid financial framework so that you can effectively manage the business.
If the day-to-day financial aspects of your operation are overwhelming you, consider hiring a bookkeeper to manage the basic financial aspects of the club. Having someone solely focused on the financials can streamline simple or complex financial decisions through evaluation of income statements, and budget reviews, as well as projections. This position can be full-time or part-time and focus on revenue collection and accounts payable.
If your challenges expand beyond those areas, consider hiring a Business Manager, who can manage those responsibilities as well as a variety of other “off-the-court” responsibilities, including scheduling, facility rental/operations, travel, hotels, staffing, etc. These positions could cost you anywhere from $1,000-$5,000 per month, but would be money well spent.
Checks and Balances
Once you hire a bookkeeper or business manager it will be beneficial to meet on a regular basis to create and update programs, while also reviewing financial matters to decide what is feasible in a financial and execution sense. This way you can review your club’s main revenue streams, and ensure you are hitting your numbers and taking the steps necessary to hit your goals. These meetings can occur informally on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, and informally every quarter for a newer club, and every 6 months (pre-season and mid-season) for an established club.
Focus on Your Coaching Staff and Product
We often hear club directors stress about the various hats they have to wear on a daily basis, and feeling like they can’t do anything to the best of their ability because they are spread so thin. Now that you have someone on staff taking the bookkeeping and/or business management off of your plate, you can refocus your time and energy on your passion (coaching) and the lifeline of your volleyball club (coaching staff). In addition, you’ll find time to complete those projects that you’ve put off because you couldn’t find the time to get to them.
Club Directors, especially mid-season, recognize when their plates are full and their heads are spinning in different directions. Take action proactively and make sure you have a team in place to help you run your business. Your members, your coaching staff, and most importantly you, will be happier, more organized, and better equipped to lead your club toward a successful future.
This article was written by Briana Schunzel, JVA Director of Marketing, Education and Partner Development.