The amount of free time in relation to work time increases every year and people spend proportionately more of their disposable income on leisure activities. But let’s be realistic; no one waits around for a squash centre to be built before deciding where to spend their leisure time. Squash must compete hard with many other activities to attract customers. To ensure economic success it is essential to identify current leisure trends and incorporate a “lifestyle package” into your centre.
Current trends are:
Lifestyle and leisure time:
Aspirations are constantly changing. Your target customers work hard to achieve the lifestyle they aspire to. Plan your centre to reflect their aspirations and become a part of their lifestyle.
Your customers expect to be looked after. Provide the services they want in addition to your core product. Your goal should be to meet the individual needs of each customer.
Dull isolated work-life:
Isolation is key-feature of many people’s jobs these days. The need for shared leisure-time is increasing. Your customers want more than just a game of squash – they want to share leisure time, to chat and socialise after a game. Make sure your centre provides facilities for them to do that, and increase your income at the same time from bar and restaurant receipts!
Growing awareness of the need for health and exercise:
Much of modern work is lonely, stressful and sedentary, leading inevitably to lack of fitness, obesity and other health problems.
Leading economists call the leisure industry the global “new economy” – the one with the strongest growth potential.
What advantages does a multi-function leisure centre have over a single-sport one? It benefits from synergy – sharing a building and infrastructure lowers fixed costs considerably. At the same time you will appeal to a broader customer base, your guests can combine activities and try new ones.
So promote your facility as a lifestyle centre, whilst still satisfying individual needs.
Who are your potential customers?
A typical squash player is male and between 28 and 48 years old, with above-average levels of education and household income. The same can be said of his need for social contact: conviviality and sharing time with friends and colleagues is just as important as the sport itself.
These features make the financially independent, sociable and leisure-active “squasher”, the ideal target member for your leisure centre.
Statistics indicate that there are four types of squash player: the ‘fanatic’ who plays 2 to 7 times a week; the ‘enthusiast’ who plays once a week, the recreational player who plays regularly but less frequently, and the casual player who only plays now and again.
Of course, with the right kind of marketing, your facility will also be the meeting point for other types of customers and social networks.
When formulating your business plan – in addition to awareness of current leisure trends, potential target customers and their requirements – site selection, architectural standards and geographical features are critical factors which will obviously vary depending upon your location and budget.
Whatever your requirements CourtTech will be delighted to help develop your plan!