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starting badminton court business

Discussion in 'General Forum' started by divinefavor, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. divinefavor

    divinefavor Regular Member

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    while that may be true in your area, it might not be the same case here. i've been to at least 4 different venues, and i've been constantly going to the same place for past 2 years. owner never shows up and nobody cares. people just enjoy their badminton all the time. (and the gym is always packed with people)
     
  2. divinefavor

    divinefavor Regular Member

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    also, proximity is an asset. if i can play badminton with 5 min driving compared to 30 min driving, i'd choose the former given that the quality of the courts are similar.
     
  3. latecomer

    latecomer Regular Member

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    I can tell you are very determined, good luck. Keep us post your progress.
     
  4. divinefavor

    divinefavor Regular Member

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    thanks i guess. do we have any idea how many people here are club members and how many are casual (non-club) players? i'm not sure if we categorize players like that, but i'm just curious because badminton clubs are mentioned a lot.
     
  5. pcll99

    pcll99 Regular Member

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  6. divinefavor

    divinefavor Regular Member

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  7. latecomer

    latecomer Regular Member

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    A good club needs a core of good players to attract other players. Most people like to play with people at par or better. Traveling time is a factor but I think the people you play with is far more important. Good players usually have had some coaching, therefore having a good coach or two have a major impact . Just my own opinion.
     
  8. divinefavor

    divinefavor Regular Member

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    good point.
     
  9. divinefavor

    divinefavor Regular Member

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    you make lots of assumptions which are not accurate.

    in general, good location can be expensive, but it is probably expensive for good reasons. but i won't even go there because badminton is somewhat different from other popular sports in US, in that it is mostly enjoyed by people from certain regions around the world like asia and europe. so a good location must have high asian/european population who can be potential customers. so you cannot generalize the definition of a good location here in US in this context.

    most of badminton gyms around this area are warehouses converted to badminton courts. where do you think they are located? in a nice shopping mall along with popular shops? nope. they are next to other warehouses. and these warehouses are typically isolated from residential areas (though they can be very close in distance from residential areas). i am guessing it's how each city dissects zones for city planning. residential, industrial, shopping district, etc.

    it can be a bit challenging to find these places at first because they're not located in "good location" by your definition. but are they going out of business? no, because badminton lovers don't give up playing badminton just because most accessible badminton court is hiding in the industrial zone. all badminton gyms that i've been to are always packed with people at peak times, often with people waiting for courts. so location is less important for badminton business compared to other businesses. with internet, gps and location services, anyone can find it at will. badminton here is not something that you decide to walk in while passing by a badminton gym. those who play badminton here were already into badminton or were introduced to this sport by others. in that sense, your badminton gym, though it'd be nice, does not have to stand on the most valuable land.

    " For every customer that has easier access to your location, there will be another person who lives further away from your club."

    this statement just assumes everyone plays badminton which is just not real. so i won't even argue that point. my previous paragraphs should have disproved why this is not applicable here.

    people will be willing to drive to get a nicer court, good coaching, etc. i agree. but if you have to drive 30 minutes to get to a gym while there is another gym in equal quality in 5 minute distance, you will think about it. 30 minute might not be a big deal. but it's 1 hour round trip in your car when the gas price is spiking. sure, if you have friends who come to the location that is further from where you are, then so be it. one of reasons why i want to open a badminton gym in my choice of location is because there's no courts nearby. i'd like to give people better and quicker access. that does not necessarily imply that i want all badminton players to come to my business. simply it's another choice for consumers, and ultimately it is up to consumers to decide where to go.

    lastly, about age profiling. i am not sure what your point is there. i can see you are making some assumptions about age groups and their ability in general. i don't find it necessary to argue this point. but, according to your rule of thumb, you seem to fall in the right age group.
     
    #29 divinefavor, Nov 13, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 27, 2012
  10. winstonchan

    winstonchan Regular Member

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    divinefavor

    Good to know that you have the heart and enthusiasm (ie guts) to start a new badminton club/gym. Similar to starting a new business, it's never an easy task, the biggest enemy is yourself, because you have to drag yourself out of the comfort zone, while yourself is telling you "don't be silly". Lots of "chicken and egg" feeling.

    Basically forumers can only offer you advice, sensible and healthy advice based on their life experience. You have to have an open-mind to analyse these advice. Try not to fall into the trap of arguing every point that you don't agree. Successful people accept and learn from differences in opinions.

    I guess the only people you have to convince now are your bankers, yourself, and any partner that you will be starting the project with, at this stage. What your friends say could be useful, but you have the choice to filter the noise.

    Once you get the club going, then you will have to put in some effort to convince people to come, not to come once, but to come on regular basis. It takes guts to start a new venture, then it take perseverence to sustain it. Don't be surprise to see what you put in has zero or negative reward for the first few years. The most difficult part is to learn to live through "Uncertainty" times. You want to stay in when yourself is telling you to get out. When you can't even convince yourself your logic of carrying on.

    You might ask, isn't perseverence = stubborness. Yes, but perserverence is stubborness with sense and wisdom. That's why people ask you how old you are. The older you are, the wiser you are, because you have lived to see more. That's only a general rule, not absolutely true. At the age of 40+ I am still an idiot.

    Take things step by step. Dip your finger, then your foot, before jumping into the water. Try to work in a club to gain experience before running one. There are basic things you need to know, and every business has some tricks. So that you don't go the long way.

    If you can't sleep without trying it, then I suggest you go out and try it. Once you started it, you definitely can't sleep. It's a commitment.

    Good luck mate! All the best...
     
  11. CanucksDynasty

    CanucksDynasty Regular Member

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    Not sure how it is in your area but my (former) coach said if it wasn't for lessons given/provided, the courts wouldn't survive. Also, prepare not to make any money for the first 3 years. And have an exit strategy. Good Luck.
     
  12. divinefavor

    divinefavor Regular Member

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    very helpful insights. thanks.
     
  13. paulierand

    paulierand Regular Member

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    Your competition is brutal. This reminds me of the tv show Shark Tank.

    Where did you want to open this club? I am assuming San Francisco.
    I talked to one owner who told me after crunching the numbers for this area, it's simply too expensive to be profitable. Existing clubs are saturated in just about every other area already.

    emeryville, ssf, burlingame, menlo park, milpitas, sunnyvale...

    Not to mention that currently, many sf ppl go to the rec centers that offer badminton such as 28th and lawton or upper noe valley.
     
  14. pBmMalaysia

    pBmMalaysia Regular Member

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    This thread looks like my initial plan/dream :)

    And now a reality for the 7th years :) whoops! time flies .... LOL

    We are still running the same 39 courts, the biggest badminton centre in Malaysia !

    Occupancy rate at prime time 7pm onwards is at 100% everyday!

    Beside these courts we have 6 futsal or mini soccer field.

    Trick of the trade is do it yourself full time.

    Know badminton inside out, i mean must know how to run tournament,

    knowledge of coaching, sports injury etc etc anything related to baddy.

    BadmintonCentral here provide a hell lot of infor if you do a search.
     
  15. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    If the owners of the gyms are never around, I have to assume they are either running a very well managed facility or the demand for courts is so high, that easy profit can be made.

    The good things are property prices are relatively cheap now. Location is important in that the facility should be easy to find (GPS is not 100% certain).

    30mins driving one way I think is quite reasonable. Mind you, I have been to places where it takes an hour one way but that's me being a badminton addict.

    I really think experience of the whole picture counts from the needs of casual players up to to tournament players up to coaches. That way you can understand the dfferent needs and the facility can appeal to different market segments. I have got started in running a club (not the facility) and the difference in perspective between myself and some of the other pre-existing committee is huge. They have an ambitious aim to progress and attract good players. But the mainly socially orientated committee don't understand what brings people in despite having access to a great location. So the club has been stagnant. I am on the same wavelength as the coaches but a lot of the committee are not.

    I guess why mainly ex-pros/coaches open gyms are a) it's the one thing they know really well, b) they understand underneath the surface how to fill it up quickly and minimise the potential losses. It's easier for them to tap into badminton addicts and find backers. If you were a financial backer, who would you give your money to? Would it be somebody who hasn't got much of a track history?

    If you have a large warehouse, opening 10courts initially an then adding more is inefficient - if you already have the space for 16, but only open 10 courts, then you are wasting rental. Later you might have the headaches of trying to expand the flooring, lighting whilst keeping the other courts open. Nobody would like to breath in solvent fumes and extra dust while they play.

    I think that's why the badminton gyms are so large in SF/Bay area. A larger facility can also spread out the staff costs. 2 people can run an 8 court facility, and they can also equally run a 12 court facility (plus the availability of large warehouses).

    One thing many of us cannot assess is the demand. Are people complaining they cannot book courts? Are they complaining of the distance they have to travel to get to courts? The fact that large gyms are still busy in an economic downturn is very encouraging.
     
  16. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    What are your opening times?

    Probably the killer are the non-peak hours, fixed running costs and empty courts. At least in Malaysia, heating costs are low! And people don't mind playing in the heat.:)
     
  17. latecomer

    latecomer Regular Member

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    divinefavor, please ask yourself this question. There are a ton of badminton addicts would love to own a club which they can play whenever they want, share badminton stories with other addicts etc while making money at the same time. What a perfect picture. Now back to reality, why are 99.9999999% of badminton addicts not owning a club? May be you are the chosen one. If we do a survey re who would like to owning a club but dare not to because of too risky, I believe the writing is on the wall. As I mentioned earlier, I admire your determination. Again good luck if you do opening one. Don't forget to keep us informed cause everyone here in this forum love to wish you well.
     
  18. pBmMalaysia

    pBmMalaysia Regular Member

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    Its 9am until 11pm everyday accept friday 9am until 12am!

    Peak hours are from 5pm onwards on weekdays

    and we have cooling cost here :D

    Guess what could that be? Lol
     
  19. pcll99

    pcll99 Regular Member

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    divinefavor, why don't you partner with a coach (or two)?
     
  20. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    The cost of keeping 100plus cold and for sale to hot and sweaty players ;)
     

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