Before opening your swim school it is essential for you to do your research. Read below to find out more.
Your Local Market
It’s essential you understand your local market:
- Who else offers lessons?
- What ages are accommodated?
- Are the lessons well run?
- What reputation does the provider have?
- Are the teachers good?
- What are the class sizes?
- Do they provide help for beginners in the pool?
- Are the lessons full?
- Are there gaps in the market?
Based on your research, you can then start to think about where you want to ‘pitch’ your programme:
It might be directed towards ‘parents & tots’ – as the competition don’t offer such classes
It may concentrate on smaller classes with more individual attention
‘One to One’ may become a speciality………..
Having established that you have a viable programme that will meet your local needs, you will need some customers!
Marketing and promotion can be expensive, but hopefully it will only be required in the early days. If your programme is good enough, the parents can do the selling for you – for free! Parents selling the lessons to their friends is the most effective way to grow – but remember bad news flows just a quickly as a recommendation.
Maybe in the early days, selling the Swim School through a local mail drop can be effective – can the local paper shop help or perhaps you need to pound the streets. Adverts or inserts in local School Newsletters are very effective and not always expensive. Even handing out leaflets to parents waiting to collect their children from school works well – but a word to the school first would help. Schools are always looking for prizes – a free (or reduced) course of lessons offered as a prize in the School’s Christmas Draw is a good source of publicity.
Don’t neglect to display your promotional material in libraries, community centres and doctors surgeries – but ask first.
Probably your biggest selling point is the ability – as an ASA Swim School – to use the ASA’s logo indicating you are an APPROVED SWIM SCHOOL.