Today’s parents search online for the “best” of everything for their kids. Gone are the days when whatever facility is closest is the one they choose. To attract an optimal number of children and families to your swim school, you need to prove your mettle by outshining your competitors.
Does your swim school offer the following features?
Some of the features parents look for in a swim school center are:
1. Attractive and Up-to-Date Facilities
Looks matter, and most people do judge a book by its cover. If your swim school is looking a little shabby around the edges (or has that telltale mildew-and-musty smell), it’s time to spruce things up. Bold and fun color combinations, a safe but comfortable pool deck, high-quality lifeguard stations, all go a long way to make your facility more inviting to prospects and their guests.
- Pool deck: Concrete is by far the most affordable option, but it can look drab. Consider upgrading the look of your pool deck by utilizing an attractive option like wood – Trex deck or mock-stone pavers around the perimeter of the pool to jazz it up a bit.
- Comfortable seating. Kids in the pool mean parents, grandparents, and toddlers on the deck. Ample seating in the form of chairs, tables, and chaise lounges encourage them to stay and take advantage of other amenities.
- Kiddie pool and play areas. Along that same vein, the addition of a small kiddie pool and children’s play area with easy-to-clean and sanitized equipment makes your swim school user-friendly for parents with children who aren’t in swim class yet, or for children needing a break from the pool.
- Attractive landscaping and shade. If you have an outdoor pool, attractive landscaping and shade are a must. Consider using artificial “turf” options to minimize water consumption and the need to replant and maintain the lawn – but make sure your selection uses reflective or heat-blocking materials, so the turf doesn’t get too hot.
- A well-designed locker room. The bathroom and locker room should have plenty of room for storage, showering, changing, etc. They should be well-lit, use slip-free surfaces and mats and have excellent drainage and ventilation to prevent mold, mildew, and rot.
- Spotless and clean. No matter where anyone looks, all surfaces should be immaculate, and clean. From windows to floors, to lockers, bathrooms, showers, furniture — when we say everywhere, we mean everywhere. Nothing is a bigger turn-off than seeing dirt.
Sprucing up the facility’s aesthetics will make a better first- and lasting impressions on clients and prospects.
2. A Wide Range of Classes & Attractions
When we say “wide,” we mean it. Take a closer look at target demographics and think outside the box to create classes and activities that appeal. Water aerobics, lap swimming, the range of toddler to advanced technique swim classes – all of that is great. However, consider offering options such as:
- Water walking (or water jogging) classes. An article on recmanagement.com states that while less than 4% of the population can swim laps for 400-yards or more, 98% can walk or jog. Offer water walking or water jogging classes, which can be done rain or shine, and are easier on the joints. Plus, they tone other muscles via water resistance.
- Water dance. What about offering a water exercise class that focuses on synchronized swimming and dancing-type moves?
- Classes offered in other languages. Does your area have notable populations for whom English is a second language? Offer swim classes in those languages and ensure facility signage and posters, as well as marketing images, reflect cultural diversity as well.
- Waterpark features. If you have space, why not develop your swim center with a more “water park” feel – including areas with water slides, wave machines, lazy rivers, etc.? If limited space is an issue, enlarge your pool as much as possible. Then, research inflatable module waterpark options that let you convert a lap pool into a water park for certain portions of afternoons or weekends.
Remember: you can offer all the attractive classes, features, and amenities in the world, but the onus is on you to market them well to targeted audiences.
3. Streamlined registration, enrollment and billing
Today’s customers want to do everything online — from finding a swim center (another reminder that smart marketing matters) to registering their memberships, enrolling in classes and facility events, and paying their bills.
Numerous studies show that swim centers using online class management software see an increase in enrollment, which translates directly to higher revenue. Plus, the services offered by online swim class management software save staff time when it comes to communicating with clients, maintaining social media accounts, connecting with delinquent customers, tracking payroll and taxes, and running fiscal reports.
4. Exceptional Staff
Finally, the best kids’ swim schools have outstanding staff members. From management and office staff to instructors, lifeguards and snack bar employees, your swim center staff should be friendly, patient, courteous, and diligent. Be sure to take the time to hire qualified personnel, and then do the work to train them, and keep them happy.
There are more than enough “average” swim centers out there for families to join. Why not go the extra mile to ensure your swim school boasts some of the most desirable features on the market? It’s time to leap off the high dive and out-splash your competitors by adding the features and classes your future clientele want most.