Improve Your Tennis Club Management

Tara Massouleh

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June 2, 2021

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category

minute read

PUblished

June 2, 2021

Tennis has come a long way since its 12th and 13th century roots as a French handball game called jeu de paume or game of the palm.

The 2019 ITF Global Tennis Report estimated that approximately 1.17% of global population plays tennis. That may seem like a small number, but when you consider that 1.17% of the population represents 87 million people, that number suddenly seems much more significant. Not surprisingly, tennis clubs are a big part of how the sport is played globally.

While some may think of tennis clubs simply as sets of courts, they encompass so much more. For tennis club owners, the list of daily tasks and jobs associated with running their club can feel never-ending.

That’s why we dedicated this guide to breaking down some of the most common aspects of tennis club management.

What is Tennis Club Management?

Like with any other fitness business, the first requirement for successful tennis club management is passion. Owners who love the game and have a passion for helping spread that love have a leg up in managing their tennis clubs. The rest of the job requires organization, prioritization, having a grasp on what tennis players want, and putting the right team and tools in place to make it all happen.

Whether it’s financial management, scheduling, member experience, or managing employees, having a process for each, plus a comprehensive tool to automate administrative tasks, can be a game changer.

The Rise of Tennis

The last few years have been a remarkable time for tennis. While industries across the spectrum, from dining to fitness, struggled to stay in business during the height of the pandemic, the tennis industry experienced the opposite effect. With social distancing recommendations in place and most other organized sports cancelled because they require close contact or larger groups, tennis saw unprecedented demand.

With outdoor courts, a four-player maximum, and no need to be within 6 feet of another player, tennis was the perfect pandemic activity, providing fun, fitness, and safe socialization to the masses.

According to the Physical Activity Council, which monitors more than 120 sports and activities in the U.S. for its annual Participation Study, tennis saw a 22% increase in participation from 2019 to 2020, bringing 4 million new players to the sport in America. Of last year’s total tennis participants, 6.78 million were considered new or returning players. The Tennis Industry Association noted that entry-level racket sales went up 40.9% from the third quarter of 2019 to the third quarter of 2020.

The pandemic presented a massive opportunity to the tennis industry. Now’s the time for tennis businesses to capitalize on the interest of a new audience and create lifelong tennis players. Don’t let 2020 be just a novel year or an unexpected blip on your growth chart. Continue the organic momentum by increasing marketing efforts, offering more beginner and intermediate programming, and reaching out to the many who took tennis up during the pandemic.

As vaccination rates increase and more and more sports open registration for youth and adults, you’ll have to fight harder for the attention and time of participants. Get ahead of the impending fitness boom by perfecting your tennis club management and creating an environment that’s welcoming to all new members.

Member Experience

One of the biggest ways tennis organizations can amplify the benefits of the recent tennis boom is by making exceptional member experiences a top priority. For new players looking to join a club for the first time, the member features and perks you provide could be the deciding factor that causes them to choose your club over another.

Providing an exceptional member experience starts with understanding your members and their needs. In today’s increasingly digital world, one of the best ways you can serve your members is to let them serve themselves. Give members the freedom to book their own court times, schedule a lesson with a pro, sign up for a clinic, or pay a bill. With online registration, members can see court availability in real time, then select a time and date that works best for them. Online bill pay allows members to save time by keeping track of the packages they’ve purchased and staying up to date on their monthly payments without reaching out to your staff.

Having a tennis club management software that allows for online registration is a must, but finding one that also supports an integrated mobile app can take your club to the next level. The Pew Research Center reports that 85% of Americans use smart phones. A recent eMarketer study showed that nearly 90% of mobile internet time is spent on apps. Giving the members the option to manage all aspects of their membership directly from their smartphones provides that convenience and flexibility members crave.

Another big contributor to overall member experience at tennis clubs is facility management, including court maintenance. Whether you have clay courts, hard courts, grass courts, or turf courts, proper and regular maintenance is key. In addition to paying for the community and opportunity for improvement offered by your club, they’re also paying for top-of-the-line tennis courts. For clubs with indoor courts, consider LED lighting and a durable white liner system for optimal playing conditions.

Scheduling

To best manage your tennis facility, it’s important to have streamlined and efficient internal operations. One of the biggest tasks for your staff is managing scheduling. With a jam-packed schedule of reserved court times, private lessons, clinics, and league matches, it can be difficult for your team to keep everything in order. Add in instructors switching shifts and members last-minute cancelling sessions, and scheduling can quickly become your biggest nightmare.  

With an online tennis management software to streamline scheduling, you’ll never again have to worry about double bookings or unused courts. When picking a software, look for one that translates scheduling across online reservation portals, mobile reservations, and staff portals.

That way, when a staff member reschedules a beginners’ clinic through their staff scheduling interface, the clinic will automatically update to the new time on member-facing schedules. Manage the full breadth of your court reservations in one easy-to-use location that optimizes court use and takes the burden off pros, coaches, instructors, and program managers to solve the never-ending scheduling puzzle.

Financial Management

You can’t run a successful tennis business without focusing some of your attention on what keeps you running—your revenue. However, financial management can be a huge stressor when you don’t have an experienced and dedicated finance team to lead the way.

You may want to know which of your classes brings in the most revenue. Or maybe you’re wondering about the return on investment from Facebook ads. Both pieces of information could help you get a better idea of how to grow your business but sorting through dozens of spreadsheets and reports to get to the numbers you need can be daunting.

A financial management software with a robust reporting tool can easily find those numbers for you, as well as many others, so you get a birds-eye-view of your club’s finances and have a better of idea where to go next.

The exchange of money within your tennis club is constant. You have to pay your staff and vendors, and your members have to pay you. Having a partner to aid with payment processing, member billing, and staff payroll, is about much more than just lessening your workload. The right financial management partner can also increase your profits and save your tennis club money.

With payment processing and full-service billing software, you’ll recover more lost funds from declined cards than ever before. A proactive card account updater that automatically updates credit card information means you save yourself from losing revenue due to declined cards.

One in three members who experience a credit card decline end up cancelling their membership shortly after.

With the right payments and billing partner, you can guard against a potential loss of revenue due to decline-caused membership cancellations.  

Employee Management

Another big piece of the tennis club management puzzle is employee management. Your employees are the heart and soul of your business. They’re the ones making personal connections, inspiring new passions, and serving your members on a one-to-one level. It’s their job to keep your members happy and fulfilled, and it’s your job to do the same for them.

Employee management covers the entire length of the employee lifecycle. Managing everything from how a potential candidate hears about your tennis club to their retirement after a long and fruitful career is part of the job.  

Here are some top tips for each stage of employee management:

Hiring

  • Write clear job descriptions that include an emphasis on your tennis club’s values and mission so you can find employees that are qualified and share your values.
  • Encourage referrals and prioritize diversity when hiring. It’s important to have employees that fit your company culture and provide an array of perspectives and backgrounds, so they reflect and encourage a diverse member base.

Retention

  • Provide comprehensive onboarding and training, so you staff feels confident in your club processes before they start work. This includes training in all management software or technology tools you use.
  • Invest in professional development. This is especially important for tennis clubs where instructors are working to become certified teaching professionals through the United States Professional Tennis Association or the Professional Tennis Registry. Providing support, either monetarily or through flexible scheduling, shows your staff that you care about their growth and the longevity of their career.  

The single most important thing you can do to keep things running smoothly for your employees is to prioritize communication. Having a system that makes it easy for them to get in touch with anyone—including you, other staff members, and your members—is paramount. Empower coaches, pros, and instructors to take ownership of their work by giving them the tools they need to manage every aspect of what they do.

A comprehensive communication platform means they can directly message a client to encourage them after a good lesson. They also can easily contact your full list of coaches to find a fill-in for a lesson they need covered. Communication connects your staff to what’s happening inside your tennis club and in your tennis community and is essential to building a strong, unified, and motivated team.

Consider Club Automation

As evidenced even in this short guide, a lot goes into managing a tennis club. While there’s not a shortcut or quick fix for every aspect of the job, a multi-faceted software solution can make a night-and-day difference in how your tennis club is run.

With a management platform like Club Automation, you’ll gain countless hours back in our week to focus on big-picture ideas. Your staff will benefit from a streamlined process for internal and external communication, as well as a robust scheduling system. Your members will gain ample options to reserve court times, purchase lesson packages, and pay bills through an online portal or mobile app.

Built by club owners for club owners, Club Automation solves for each of the unique challenges that tennis club owners face in running their organizations and is constantly innovating to adapt to changing needs.

Ready to take your tennis club management to the next level? Schedule a demo with Club Automation.

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A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

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A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

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A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

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