two men dressed in business casual working around a desk with a laptop and papers

With hockey popularity on the rise nation-wide, creating a hockey program could be a natural boon to several types of community spaces. If you manage or associate with a community center, church, or school recreation program, you may have an ideal facility for ice hockey rink dimensions.

Even if your region never gets cold enough for outdoor ice, a synthetic ice rink from KwikRink Synthetic Ice makes your hockey programming dreams an easy click-and-snap into reality.

Setting up a business plan for a hockey training center is a lot easier than you may think. Keep reading for all the essentials to include in your hockey programming foundation.

Once you’ve ironed out your hockey programming particulars on paper, visit our website for a free rink dimension analysis and quote. KwikRink is your partner in hockey programming for all ages and spaces.

First, start in the middle

Though it’s crucial to format your business plan with the executive summary at the beginning, you’ll complete the overview as your last step. Let’s begin with some market research. Try asking yourself and your organization these questions:

  • What is the demand for hockey programming in your community? It may be that you have a population screaming for a new youth and adult hockey league, a hockey instruction program, or a coach’s clinic. If this is true, you’ll have an easier time with marketing and program registration. If your region has not traditionally offered hockey, you may also have some work to do to educate your desired audience. Try offering a survey to your existing audience to gauge excitement around hockey programming. You can also mine your audience for other essential information like how much families and individuals would pay for teams, tournaments, practices, and private coaching.
  • What physical resources do you need? You must cost out your skating rink and any additional equipment like rental equipment, rink barriers, goals, maintenance, additional utility costs, and other incidentals. When you purchase a rink from KwikRink, we can also supply all rink accessories as well as rental skates and other equipment. If you’re bringing a hockey program to your community for the first time, enabling parents to rent skates and equipment as they experience hockey and learn about the sport makes sense. Your audience can step gradually into the sport, absorbing league-associated costs incrementally.
  • How many staff will you require for a successful program? If you’re in a smaller town or will share hockey space with other programming, you may only need a coach and perhaps an assistant to launch a small but successful league. You’ll need to be sure that the staff you hire can handle registrations, practice scheduling, and customer service, as well as the more specialized coaching and hockey instruction. Don’t assume all hockey coaches are gifted at marketing and outreach. Be sure you have talented people lined up for each role that will make your program shine.
  • What systems will help you deliver a superior participant experience? You can have the best coaches in the world and the most ideal practice space ever conceived. But, if your audience can’t find you, cannot pay online, or cannot contact anyone within the program to answer their questions, your program is doomed to fail before it begins. Effective player and team management systems build successful programs. There are many team roster, tournament organizer, and registration-capturing software programs out there. Be sure to research a number of different program management systems to find the one that will meet your needs while also offering you room to grow. Providing an online payment option is also essential to generating revenue with ease for both participants and organizations. Do not skimp here. Be willing to invest in a product that meets you where you are and offers you expansion options as your hockey program evolves.
  • How will your desired audience find out about your hockey program? Effective marketing involves several moving parts. Will you have a website? A few social media accounts? Does your company already have a website to which you can add a landing page or promotional pop-up with a registration and info link? What are some offline tactics you’ll use to spread the word about hockey in your region? A blend of “organic” (unpaid) marketing and paid advertising can help you drive more participants to your training center. If you have the budget for it, enlisting the help of a marketing team in your community can help you create a strategy that will generate more customer traffic, registration, and sales.
  • What else are you forgetting? Other expenses involved with any new program can include insurance (for the facility, contents, and coaching staff), additional utilities, security systems, and more. Walk your facility and make a list of all the ancillary items, both tangible and abstract, that you’ll need to be successful.

Pack of dollars with icon of hockey.

Put the “fun” in funding

Any business plan must have a robust financial section. You’ll need to cost out all the expenses mentioned above.

Provide two columns of expenses in your business plan: one for start-up expenses like rink purchase or any other build-outs to your space, and another for monthly recurring expenses.

The more detail you can provide in these two categories, the more prepared you’ll be for the financial ups and downs of launching your hockey training center.

You’ll also need to list how you plan to pay for your start-up expenses. This section of your plan should include:

  • Existing capital (savings, checking)
  • Investor capital and terms
  • Crowd-funding
  • Business loans
  • Lines of credit

It’s all about the margins

Once you’ve financed your start-up, on paper at least, you must detail how the business will sustain itself in the first few years of operation.

As you reference your monthly expenses and any monthly loan payments, begin to price out your programming according to:

  • Your market: If there are other hockey programs in your region, it’s smart to price your registration fees competitively, unless you’re offering a luxury or specialized experience targeted toward an audience who can pay elevated fees.
  • Your expenses and desired margin: If you’re adding a hockey program to an existing rec facility, think of your margins like this:

Cost of additional staff hours + marketing costs + plus system fees = total programming costs (per month).

Programming costs + desired margin (30% is a good place to start) = desired program revenue per month.

Desired program revenue per month/minimum number of registrants desired for optimal team experience = Individual registration fees.

Your math will be a little more intense than we can cover in this article if you’re opening a brand new dedicated hockey training center.

Pull it all together with KwikRink Synthetic Ice

Finally, once you’ve done all the heavy lifting with your business plan, you’ll finish it up with an Executive Summary that outlines your company mission, your big-picture business goals, and your “why” behind launching a hockey training center.

With KwikRink as your dedicated collaborator, you’ll save money on start-up costs, maintenance, utilities, and more. Our synthetic ice tiles are versatile, durable, low-maintenance, and fit any space available with speedy installation, tear-down, and storage.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you launch a successful hockey training center.