Purchasing Equipment and Investing in your Programs
Updated: Oct 8, 2018
Many Parkour gyms have multiple programs in addition to Parkour that are, shall we say, "cousin" sports of Parkour and Freerunning. These sports can be a good way to earn some additional revenue for your facility, but they can also be a time and money drain. You need to look at your facility and programs with the view of Pareto's Law (also known as the 80/20 Principal) to determine which of these additional programs are helping your facility and which ones are hindering your growth. Ex: Tricking, Tumbling, Trampoline, Ninja Warrior, Calisthenics, Breakdance, Aerial Silks
The 80/20 Principal
The 80/20 principal states that 80% of your results (out of 100% of you results) in an action are because of 20% of your causes/work (out of 100% of the work you put in).
A quick parkour example of this using vaulting techniques is: There are many types of vaulting in Parkour, but instead of trying to learn every single vault possible (100%) to be able to utilize the best possible vault in every possible scenario (100%), we instead focus on the most widely used and versatile vaults (20%) that will allow us to use a capable vault in the majority (80%) of scenarios we encounter.
If we learn our Safety Vault (Step Vault), Simple Vault, Kong Vault, and Dash Vault, these few vaults will allow us to overcome 80% of the obstacles we come across, despite being such a small amount of available total vaults (20%).
Attaching this Principal to our Business and Programs
When I look at Firestorm's 9 class Programs, I notice that nearly 80% of our Members are in enrolled in only 2 of our Programs (Parkour and Trampoline). The remaining 20% of Members are spread out among the remaining 7 Programs. This tells me that if I am going to invest money in additional equipment at my facility, my best move would be to invest that money into the Programs that are going to make money back as quickly as possible. In this case, the best place to invest my money would be in my Parkour and Trampoline Programs as my tracking data (Check out Blog, "What gets Measured gets Managed) has shown these classes get the most students. With this new equipment I can open additional Parkour and Trampoline classes, the easiest classes to gain new students for. When deciding between these two programs I look at which of them requires the most space in the gym, monetary investment for the necessary equipment, and will take the most time (set up, training Coaches, etc) For an additional Parkour class I will need a Vault Box, A couple of Bars, a wall or two, and some floor space. This is not terribly expensive and I can build a Vault Box in a day or two. For the trampoline class, every available class time slot in my gym already has a full trampoline class (Yah!). This means if I want to run additional trampoline classes I either have to open the gym earlier or close later (also meaning I will need to pay an office person to come in for an extra hour and change my cleaning schedule) or I will need to invest in a second Trampoline. A second trampoline will run around $5k - $6k and will take up a large amount of space (roughly 200sqft). I would need to take space away form other programs to make this space available. It may be worth taking the other programs space in order to double the size of my already popular Trampoline Program, but it will also be a hefty expense to purchase the necessary equipment. All of this info together tells me that the easiest solution, requiring 20% of the work, will be investing in some additional equipment for my Parkour Program. This will require the least monetary investment, give me the simplest equipment to purchase/make, and already has a large group of interested Members. When Thinking in Investing in New Programs
Sometimes a new Program can be a huge boost to your business, even with the initial cost and prep work. This is true of the Firestorm Tricking and Tumbling Programs. These two programs only offer a total of 14 classes per week (About 10% of our weekly offered classes) but they required no additional training and an incredibly tiny investment. Firestorm already has a spring floor and crash mats, and only needed to purchase kick paddles for the Tricking Program (less that $100) We already had incredibly talented Tumblers and Trickers who knew how to teach these skills. The only additional investment needed was the creation of a curriculum for each. Once this was done we now had 14 new classes, of up to 8 Members each, that can now bring in additional income and attract new students... all with a minimum investment! We put barely any work (20%) as opposed to opening a new Program that would require large amounts of equipment or set up to get the most results (80%) of what a perhaps larger program will bring in.
How to Move Forward
Now is the time to look at your data and see what your most popular Programs and class times are. From here, start looking how you can leverage the Principal of 80/20 to open more classes for your most popular programs, with the least amount of time and monetary investment, in your most popular time slots. An example for time slots - Firestorm has roughly 80% of our Members taking classes on Sunday, ,from 11am - 6pm and 11:30am - 12:30pm + 7:30pm - 8:30pm Monday through Thursday. So when Firestorm looks to open additional classes, we are going to max out the amount of classes we can offer of our most popular programs in our most popular time slots before looking to open up classes for smaller, or creating entirely new, programs in less popular time slots.
Research. Design. Implement. Improve.
Parkour Professor - Justin Taylor