Starting a membership club is both an interesting and complicated process. Of course, if we are talking about a successful club that will work for more than one year.
The most important things that are needed to organize any club are the enthusiasm of the organizer and the creation plan. This article will discuss how to start a membership club and write a creation plan.
What is a membership club creation plan?
A membership club creation plan is a document that discloses the perspective of the membership club with the reflection of the main stages and all significant risks. It is as important as a member engagement strategy. The membership club creation plan contains:
- Information about the company/person initiator of the membership club
- A description of the services provided
- Analysis of the main sales markets
- Economic calculations of the business
Additionally, the membership club creation plan may include annexes detailing calculations and confirming the data. For example, annexes can consist of various charts, details of income and expenditures, cash flow, photos of facilities, and marketing research results. All of this can be added to the main body of the membership club creation plan, but then it will get cumbersome. It will be difficult to focus attention on the essence.
Why do you need a membership club creation plan?
The correct approach is to develop a membership club creation plan before starting. But this is not always the case: many entrepreneurs believe that the environment is so unstable that planning is meaningless. Some neglect the membership club creation plan because they are too lazy to calculate everything, and it is easier to trust their intuition. Some people believe in their entrepreneurial gift and are so euphoric about the club idea that they don’t want to spoil the romance with tedious calculations.
This is a mistake. If you act without a membership club creation plan and preliminary study of the niche and the market, the risk of losing money or even going bankrupt increases.
Main types of membership club creation plan
There are 2 main types of membership club creation plans – internal and for investors:
- Writing an internal membership club creation plan. Such plans are intended solely for internal use, so they are usually drawn up in any form. The primary purpose of the work is to understand and assess the club’s prospects and risks and follow a step-by-step process.
- Writing a membership club creation plan for investors. The purpose of drafting is to attract external funding for the club. Investors, as a rule, require a creation plan to be drawn up according to UNIDO international standards. The main thing for them is to understand and evaluate:
- The volume of investment
- The essence of the club
- Competitive advantages of the club
- The payback period and return on investment
We advise you to be prepared for long work ahead of time. Most likely, the membership club creation plan will have to be corrected. If you don’t have copywriting skills, you can always turn to the help of writing service Essay Writer Pro to make your creation plan straightforward and easy to read.
How to write a membership club creation plan?
The development of a membership club creation plan can be divided into 3 stages: market analysis, collecting baseline data, and writing the plan. Let`s discuss them in detail.
A preliminary analysis of the market and competitors
At this stage, you need to study the market in which you will work. Starting a membership club without a detailed analysis is a path to failure. You will invest money, and it may turn out that the club does not interest anyone. For example, competitors have better or cheaper membership clubs or no clients because the market’s capacity is tiny.
For example, the entrepreneur opened a local business club in a provincial town and sold membership for $1500. But he did not consider it too expensive for most local people in business. They judge the club not by the quality but by the price.
So, you should study the market situation before starting a membership club. You can purchase ready-made market research if you plan to enter large markets. If you are going to work in the local market, you can hardly find a ready-made study. Then it is worth analyzing the market yourself:
- Study your competitors – see their working conditions, price lists, and offers.
- Reach the target audience – see how big it is and what it is interested in.
Market research usually includes the following information:
- Market capacity and dynamics of changes for the last 3-5 years.
- Forecast of market dynamics for long- and short-term perspectives.
- Description of the specific conditions of the market, for example, seasonality.
- List of competitors, their coverage area, analysis of supply and demand.
- List of market leaders with a description of their financial conditions and business models.
- Main conclusions and recommendations.
You should pay particular attention to SWOT analysis.
How to write SWOT analysis before starting a membership club
SWOT analysis helps understand which external and internal factors influence the membership club and what to do about it. SWOT is an acronym that stands for:
- S (strengths) – the strengths by which the membership club stands up to its competitors.
- W (weaknesses) – shortcomings preventing the membership club from increasing its market share.
- O (opportunities) – opportunities that can improve the market position.
- T (treats) – threats that the membership club may face.
The essence of the analysis is that all factors that may affect the company are evaluated and divided into four groups: S, W, O, and T. The SWOT analysis is universal, flexible, and straightforward. But there are disadvantages – the subjectivity of assessments and the lack of numerical indicators.
So, you should identify the strengths and weaknesses of your future club. Suppose you start a membership business club in a small town with a population of 100 000 people.
Strengths of membership business club would be as follows:
- Advantageous location in the center of the town
- Comfortable place for business events
- Wide range of services
- The best coaches in town
Weaknesses of membership business club would be as follows:
- There are competitors with lower membership price
- Building membership base from scratch
- People in business know nothing about us
Opportunities for membership business club would be as follows:
- The growth of the market for business clubs
- Increasing number of people in business interested in the business club
- Formation and strengthening of the positive image of the business club
- Replacement of the market share of competitors by the overflow of customers
Threats of membership business club would be as follows:
- Emergence of new competitors
- Decline in personal income
- Reduction of free time for attracting potential members
This is an excellent example of a SWOT analysis for a membership business club. The analysis results are usually presented in the form of a table with four cells. SWOT analysis of a membership club allows you to look at it from different angles, explore its strengths and weaknesses, and see the risks and opportunities.
Gathering baseline data
Before you sit down to write a membership club creation plan, you need to:
- Determine the taxation system, the composition, and the percentage rates of taxes to be paid.
- Make a list of investment expenses with their size and periods of implementation.
- Decide on a list of other expenses, such as office rent, utility costs, etc.
- Gather data on the planned sources of financing as well as the volume, cost, and repayment period of the money involved.
- Determine the number of employees and their remuneration.
- Define the volume sales of the membership, the rates, and the influence of seasonality.
This is a minimal and incomplete list of information that is needed for the membership club creation plan. Each club has nuances and peculiarities, so additional information may be required.
Writing a membership club creation plan
And now that you have gathered all the information, you can write a membership club creation plan. Write out each section of the creation plan in turn.
The membership club creation plan should necessarily include a description of the idea, as well as marketing, organizational and financial sections. In the appendices, you should place visual support material: graphs, tables, charts, and photos. Visual elements will attract the attention of the person who will read it, and help him quickly grasp the essence of the project.
You can include in your membership club creation plan such steps:
- Preparation. The most important thing for the organization of any club is the enthusiasm of the organizer and helpers. And one more point: there must be a person in your circle to whom you could entrust the management of the club during your absence. Now, let’s get down to the organizational aspects.
- Organization of creative contacts. It implies establishing connections with organizations and people that can be useful in the activities of the club.
- Identification of prospects interested in the club’s activities. It is necessary to collect as many wishes of prospects as possible, to study their interests in order to best meet their expectations.
- Development of symbols and attributes. From today’s point of view, it can be considered a part of advertising. You can develop a logo of the club, its motto, badge, and even an anthem. Often there are elements of humor and familiar symbols are used in the design. Psychologists believe that the presence of symbols and attributes allows people to feel like a member of some community and contributes to the cohesion of the group.
- Planning the work of the club. Planning is the implementation of the marketing approach, which is to promote services to the market. As you know, plans can be long-term (annual, prospective) and operational (monthly, quarterly).
- Choosing a meeting place. You will need a meeting place that is convenient to get to and can accommodate everyone. You can hold events in public places like parks, cafes, or business centers. This depends on your club niche. After a while, you can have meetings at different places.
- Choosing a date and time to meet. If you have a place, move on to a time. Choose a day of the week that is convenient for all participants, like a Saturday, if the club is for working adults. When there are more participants, you can discuss a new meeting schedule.
- Attracting prospects. You can attract prospects in different ways: with affiliate marketing, targeted advertising, PR, PPC, etc. Some clubs create a specific number of NFTs to stimulate prospects. Only people having NFT are part of a membership and their number is limited. It is also advisable to interview new members in person before accepting them into the club and to know each of the future members well before the first meeting of the club.
Since even in small companies you have to deal with the so-called human factor (and not always positive), you need to take care of safety. When thinking about how to start a membership club, this facet must be considered regardless of the profile.
This means that all candidates need to be vetted carefully. We are talking about a database with reliable, verified information about each member. To better organize this process, it is worth creating a website, which will be a business card of the club, as well as a tool for gathering the necessary information.
Such an approach will avoid unnecessary complications with the participants of the organized events.
There is always a temptation to act quickly and decisively, they say, let’s start, and then we’ll figure it out as we go. This approach leads to failure – it is better not to rush.
- Any new club should start with a creation plan. Then the likelihood of failure will be much lower.
- If you are planning to work on a membership club creation plan, take part in its development – you should not delegate this work completely to consultants.
- Remember – every club is different. Use ready-made membership club creation plans only as a working material.
Eliza Medley is an experienced psychologist and writer. She is actively interested in management, new technologies, writing motivational articles and also trying to go with the times with modern trends. She inspires people with her work to learn new things and reach new heights. You can find her on [email protected] in case of any inquiry or suggestions.
Press Release Distributed by The Express Wire
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