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starting badminton court business

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

  1. pBmMalaysia

    pBmMalaysia Regular Member

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    Right! Also to power sprinklers with rain water to cool zinc roof :D
     
  2. LazyBuddy

    LazyBuddy Regular Member

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    Good to see someone at least having a plan to do so. However, by my own understanding, the OP needs to be conservatitive, unless s/he has a lot of $$$ to burn, especially at the beginning stage.

    1. Sure, you do not need to be a top level player to own a gym. Same as you do not have to be an iron chef to open a cafe. However, for small business, you need to save everything you need, and be "the expert" not only save cost, but give you more "quality control", and give you the freedom to offer more products (service in badminton term).

    2. It is very hard to balance the book, if you start any business in metro area. The high cost of living (or running business) such as rent, tax, labor, insurance, fine (if not lucky), utility bill, etc can be troublesome. So, if a gym is just opened for court renting or open walk-in, you cannot survive. You need additonal services, such as coaching, pro-shop (product sales and stringing, etc), tournament, etc to balance the book. Therefore, if yourself is a top level player / stringer, you see where your skill kick in. If you have to hire others to do so, not only it's a $$$ issue, you can be the hostage.

    3. It's always good to be a volunteer helper for an exisiting club, to learn the skill (daily management, social skill and event organization skill) and to know the community, before diving in blindly. You need ppl to trust you (not necessarily say top notch playing skill), in order for them to give up their comfort zone, and hand in their hard earned $$$ to you. It is very easy to make a lot of friends in a gym to have fun together. It is a totally different story, when you try to convience them to hand you a $1000 check on a consistant base.

    4. You would rather want to be over-prepared, and realize that the reality is not as bad (hardly the case), rather than under estimate the situation, give up all your $$$, all your energy/effort, all your career and family, only to face the harsh reality.

    I used to take a lot of things for granted, and tend to complain this and that in gym (or event), as soon as something does not come to me in a perfect way. After I start to volunteer to help organize some local tournament, I have a lot of more respect for the ppl doing this on a regular base. Dealing with human being, with limited time and budget, is a lot of harder than dealing with a pre-programmed machine. Also, you are always on the losing end, even if your customers (players) broke certain rule. You cannot just throw the books at them, because they have nothing to lose, but you have your entire career on the line...
     
  3. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    there are a few factors to opening a gym.

    - location. do you have a location in mind?
    - financials. the most important one, as you are a business, you won't stay afloat unless you have a sound financial plan. after you have a location in mind, do you have an estimate cost of the running costs? including (as you mentioned) cost of the land, the construction; or if you decide to go rent, the rental rate. after you get the cost of running the facility, next is how are you going to generate income? with around US$8 dropin, and then some membership that runs around $300-400/year these days (to stay competitive). do you think that will sustain your busines?

    after the run the numbers, you will then realize that this will be tough. unless you provide a facility that is way more excellent than the usual suspect of Bintang/BBC, etc, you will need to stay competitive with the pricing and to be honest, a $8 drop in for 2-3 hours of entertainment is really dirt cheap and doesn't bode well for club owners. at best, you will be break-even with dropin/membership. your only way to sustain is to pad it up with 2 other things.

    coaching: coach is profitable, with most group classes going at $30-40/2 hours for a group of 8. that is great income. however, you also need to share profit with the coach. the other factor is where are you going to find coaches? coaches are in high demand and club fights for them constantly.

    equipment: you need to run a shop, and not just a shop like most clubs, you need to run a very efficient online shop. in person sale is too little, most people don't buy from the shops, you need to expand out to online in order to survive. some of the clubs here are more successful than others in this respect.

    snack/beverage: a smaller portion of the income, but potentially will generate some profit. everyone needs to drink/snack during a game, and the more attractive they are, the more likely you will get good business.

    do your do diligence on the costs / revenue involved, run the numbers, and come tell us if that still sound like a good idea.

    for now though, it seems that the market is quite saturated. hard to find any location in which there is a good demand and a good supply of land/warehouses to start a badminton gym.
     
  4. CanucksDynasty

    CanucksDynasty Regular Member

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    If you are thinking of renting. You better figure out what the rent will be and what the maximum rent it can be raised the next year. You'd be dead in the water if the landlord raises the rent 100%. I've heard of crooked landlords (in Vancouver) doing something similar like that. Or purposely making it difficult for the owner to run the business...making them get out of the contract early (on a multi-year lease) and paying a penalty.
     
  5. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    you just missed the chance as RBA was just sold last month to Synergy.

    and the turnover rate also points to how hard it is to run a club. other than Bintang/BBC/CBA/Affinity, all other gyms have already turned over, at least once!
     
  6. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    badminton is very space inefficient business. a badminton court is 20' x 44'. give it a bit more around the side you are talking about at least 25' x 50' of space you have to provide. and that's for the entertainment of 4 people on court, and they can potentially stay there for a few hours.

    the other end of the spectrum, a movie theater. they packed u in there like sardines, each maybe get a few sqft of space, and then they have multiple showings per evening. they do have to pay for the movies, but they make up for it from $12 each round in a very densely packed space, and then they charge ridiculous price for the beverages also. imagine charging $5 for a drink in a badminton gym, that will never fly.

    the major problem for running a badminton gym in the bay area is that the entry pricing has been too competitively low. you will never be able to find such prices for other sports clubs. $300 is probably what people pay per month on a tennis club or other health club (i am not sure, just guessing).

    this makes it really hard for someone small to enter the business. esp when the market is already so saturated.
     
  7. voranik

    voranik New Member

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    I am glad I came across this thread.
    I am a similar situation, thinking of starting a badminton club. The influx of people in this city who will play badminton is really high, and there are only 2 (maybe 3) places in the entire metro that have badminton facilities - and I am reading of high wait times and less opportunity for the less advanced players to play.

    I have never owned a business, so am just getting a feel of it from forums right now.
     
  8. pBmMalaysia

    pBmMalaysia Regular Member

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    Yes, this is not a small investment business.

    You need land and economy of scale you can't build a small gym,

    it's really expensive and car park is one hell of space killer!

    I don't know about US new building requirements

    but i know in Malaysia all those baddy courts are zinc roof, steel column

    and very little concrete wall and we don't get a permanent OP or occupation permit.

    Mostly its temporary and renewal every five years

    so here bank won't lend you money based on your 'property'

    but you could get some money if your land is charged :D
     
  9. thumpsky

    thumpsky Regular Member

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    Key thing is to specialize. There's a local badminton place that has tried to do everything under one roof, I.e., restaurant, ping pong, etc and I think it's a mistake.Seeking out PARTNERS to fill those roles makes more sense. For instance, share the rent with a bubble tea or Vietnamese coffee joint. That would be a perfect fit.Maybe even get a pro shop in there.
     
  10. thumpsky

    thumpsky Regular Member

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    thats what happens when you treat badminton like a commodity. What about product differentiation?
     
  11. CanucksDynasty

    CanucksDynasty Regular Member

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    You're talking about Badminton Vancouver right?

    I think the ping pong was a mistake as I seldom see it ever being used. That extra space could have been better used to space out the courts better.

    The restaurant isn't such a bad idea. Since there's no real restaurant in the nearby area. It's upstairs on top of the washrooms, foyer, and pro shop (which would have been wasted space anyways). They should have a liquor license by now. So after a session...take a quick shower and head upstairs for a burger and brewski.

    There is a pro shop as well...albeit a small one just behind the front desk area. They partnered up with All Court Stringing...so they bring the rackets and do the stringing. And they provide demo rackets to try out (at $10 deposit towards a racket purchase). I haven't seen any courts that do that.

    They have a former Olympian Anna Rice as a coach to provide lessons as well.

    All in all...it's not a bad set up. My only complaints are the flooring is a bit hard (imo) and the lighting on some courts are terrible (especially if you are looking at the foyer...maybe they should have drapes or something to block out the sunlight). Haven't tried the drop-in on a busy weeknight...so I can't comment on that.
     
  12. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    the question is then, how?

    how to make it better? better enough that people will pay more money than the guy next door who charges $250/year of membership? overall, i think badminton images is more ghetto style and mostly visited by us Asians who are more money savvy (to put it in a nicer way ;) ). you will have to do something that is attractive enough for people to pay more, or do more things to attract people to buy more services. but what could they be aside from things that has been mentioned. training, shop, snack/beverages.
     
  13. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Asian style? :D Rent out rooms to a tutorial centre. The tutorial centre teaches math, English, science, Chinese, Korean. Kids can get tutorials and then get to go on a badminton court for lessons and exercise without the time and petrol needed for travelling costs. How about a dojo? Small amount of refurbishment cost right?
     
  14. pBmMalaysia

    pBmMalaysia Regular Member

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    That was my initial idea, Cheung :D

    but it turn out not really working

    unless you can get those good or "famous" tutors inside your compound :D

    Works for the younger ages though as the parents are not that choosy :D
     
  15. winstonchan

    winstonchan Regular Member

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    Asian Style - the only thing that came to my head would be Sauna & Massage within the badminton club.. I'm sorry!!

    OK back to the reality!! Besides restaurants or cafes, tutorial centre is a good idea, with baby-sitting or children playgroup services would be even better. The moms and dads can spend 1/2 a day at the badminton club relaxing without worrying about kids. Moms & Dads are "the fat pocket market" who is willing to spend if you can serve them right!!

    Try to think what services are available to differentiate your badminton club from just being a badminton club...
     
  16. pcll99

    pcll99 Regular Member

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    how about a dojo for Kungfu, Karate, Judo and Kendo!!!!
     
    #56 pcll99, Nov 16, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
  17. CanucksDynasty

    CanucksDynasty Regular Member

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    Sign me up!!! I surf the net while my kid goes to Martial Arts but I much rather play badminton if I could.
     
  18. thumpsky

    thumpsky Regular Member

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    differentiation doesn't always mean better, but it does mean different. That will take imagination.
     
  19. thumpsky

    thumpsky Regular Member

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    I think strategic partnerships are also helpful. Look at how jugo juice sets up shop outside every gym, or how Starbucks and Chapters always go hand in hand.So what is the perfect compliment to badminton?
     
  20. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Just going back to the tutorial centre idea, it's important to consider that the success will depend on local factors. I think in M'sia, the market tends towards freelance tutors. In HK, there are free lance tutors but companies offering tutor centres are very common. In HK, these companies tend to concentrate around certain buildings/commercial areas. So in one building, you might find a couple of dance schools, art schools, language schools etc with a couple of snack bars very close by. So in HK, such an idea sounds quite plausible. In M'sia, it doesn't seem to work well.

    Well, I am not sure how it works in US, but the point is to attract people can work differently in different countries or cities.
     
    #60 Cheung, Nov 16, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012

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