Thinking about opening a soccer business? We tell you what you need to know to get started.
Startup Prospects in the Soccer Industry
Although it enjoys widespread popularity around the world, soccer has struggled to gain a foothold in the U.S. Still, the outlook for amateur soccer businesses is cautiously optimistic, based largely on the fact that more than 19 million kids and teens regularly participate in soccer leagues and neighborhood pickup games.
It's worth noting that once kids reach the age of 19, their interest in soccer plummets as they shift their loyalty to football, baseball and other more traditional American sports. So for startup entrepreneurs in the soccer industry, the path to profitability typically is typically weighted toward the youth soccer market.
Whether you are planning to launch an indoor soccer arena, a soccer retail store or a combination of the two, the key is to tailor your business model to the needs of kids and teens.
Overcoming the Challenges of an Indoor Soccer Arena
Indoor soccer arenas offer entrepreneurs an opportunity to earn year-round revenues, especially in cold climate regions. Although demand for indoor soccer may wane during middle school and high school season, there will be ample demand for sponsored leagues during the off-season.
But before you can start recruiting players and coaches for your first league, there are several challenges you'll need to address.
- Suitable space. Indoor soccer arenas require large, open facilities. Ideally, your business location should have enough space for a full-size indoor soccer field, bleachers, locker rooms and auxiliary areas for skill-building activities. In reality, you may need to modify your vision based on the availability of suitable space in your community.
- Liability insurance. Unfortunately, indoor soccer arenas are magnets for injuries. In addition to insuring you facility and business, you will need to obtain liability insurance to protect your startup from injuries that occur both on and off the field.
- Scheduling. Every minute your arena is vacant represents a lost business opportunity. Successful indoor soccer arenas are aggressive about booking leagues, parties, camps and other events in order to minimize downtime. In some instances, it may be appropriate to book your space for non-soccer activities (e.g. open play) just to fill the facility schedule. To stay on track, you may want to consider implementing a scheduling software solution into your booking routines.
How to Write a Simple Soccer Company Business Plan
Haven't created a business plan for your soccer business yet? You could be in big trouble.
At Gaebler, we advise new business owners to keep your business plan simple. Ultimately, your business plan is intended to be a resource for you, the business owner.
If your time is limiting, outline the essentials of your soccer company's business plan now and make a commitment to come back to it later.
Don't Overlook Competitors
Prior to launching a soccer business within your community, it's a good idea to see what the competition looks like. We've provided the link below to help you get a list of local competitors near you. After clicking on the link, type in your city, state and zip code to get a list of soccer businesses near you.
Before you open up shop, make sure you know what you will offer to your customers that provides a significant advantage over your competition's offering.
Learning More About the Industry
Once you've finished assessing the competion, it's essential that you learn as much as you can from somebody who is already in the business. If you think your local competitors will give you advice, you're being overoptimistic. Why would they want to educate a future competitor?
However, an entrepreneur who owns a soccer business in another town may be willing to share their entrepreneurial wisdom with you, provided that you won't be directly competing with them. Many business owners are happy to give advice to new entrepreneurs In my experience, you may have to call ten business owners in order to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
What's the best way to find a soccer business owner on the other side of the country to talk to?
Here's one way to do it. Just use our link below, find somebody and call them.
Why You Should Buy (Instead of Start) a Soccer Business
Spurred on by dreams of a future big money buyout and an undeniable entrepreneurial impulse, many would-be soccer business owners are driven to pursue startup strategies.
However, a business purchase is nearly always the smarter ownership option.
Most notably, a soccer business includes more than just assets - a brand identity and customer base come with the keys to the front door. And that's not to mention the fact that a purchase let's you avoid the trial-and-error mistakes that are common in startups.
Consider Buying a Franchise
Startup small business owners sometimes lack the experience and resources to make a go of it in a competitive business environment. Franchised startups have an edge over other startups because they launch with many resources already in place.
The Gaebler soccer franchise directory is full of exciting franchise opportunities for soccer businesses as well as other businesses. Just click the link to peruse the possibilities.
Remember, like any business, a franchise requires commitment and capital. Although the capital requirements vary by franchise, with a little research you should be able to identify a franchise that is capable of meeting both your ownership goals and capital budget.
These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.
If you sell to soccer businesses, we've got better information for you elsewhere on our site. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are interested in starting a different kind of business, please browse our directory of guides below.