CEO and Founder of Pro Hockey Development Group Lindsay Hofford cover what it takes to start a Pro Hockey business. Whether starting a hockey business from scratch or looking to grow an existing one, a few things are needed first. Fortunately, learning the hard way is a thing of the past. In fact, learning from other entrepreneurs and using their successes can sometimes be the best way forward.
The first step is to come up with a solid business plan. Determining a targeted market and competitive landscape to find the best talent. If finding talent locally proves too difficult, checking into some outsourced franchise opportunities may be a good idea.
It’s also a good idea to find out how to market the business. There are many moving parts to an effective marketing campaign, so be sure to include a website, social media accounts, and promotional pop-ups. The goal is to generate traffic and increase sales.
Do the Math
Lindsay Hofford says that pricing registration and other entry fees will be based on various factors, such as travel, experience, location, and availability. Sometimes hiring an assistant can help steer the ship while making some of these tough decisions.
Making Quick Decisions
Be prepared to make changes on the fly. This can mean moving the business model to a different line, a new location, or even a different product. Make sure that due diligence and understanding of the risks are always part of the game plan. The wrong move could very well end up with a flop.
The hockey school business model has changed over the years. In the past, schools ran semi-private lessons with around four or five kids. Today, recruiting and coaching are part of large businesses and bring substantial revenue to the sports industry.
However, to succeed in the hockey business, finding the perfect mix of players, knowledge, and teamwork will result in a team that wins multiple championships. It also helps to have a product that is tailored specifically to these needs. For example, most schools these days offer different types of hockey lessons and camps, including summer semi-private, Christmas, and March break camps.
Another good measure and priority to always keep at the forefront of a sports business is branding. Having a quality website to use to promote a hockey school and generate an impressive number of hits on social media platforms is an essential part of making sure that the model is a well-known name in the industry.
Ensuring that anyone can access it around the clock, making it accessible to a broad audience, and offering the correct contact information all help the recruiting process. Find an online payment method to generate revenue so that the visitors can have ease of access when it comes time to sign up.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to starting a hockey business is to know the market. Focus on a region that isn’t currently hockey-friendly to reduce the competition or teach a new audience about hockey who are much less familiar with the sport may be another good option. Surveying the existing audiences to find out which hockey programs are gaining popularity and how much they are costing is always a great way to stay ahead of the competition.
Lindsay Hofford is the Eastern Director of Scouting for the NHL and owner of one of the biggest hockey development companies in the world, Pro Hockey Development. With more than 30 years of experience in the hockey industry, Hofford knew he never wanted to leave the hockey industry but also knew that he couldn’t coach forever.
Eventually, he decided to leave coaching and focus on growing his business. At the same time, he became the Director of Scouting for the London Knights. Hofford spent six years as one of the most successful scouts in the league.
His scouting expertise eventually caught the eye of the executives at the Toronto Maple Leafs in the NHL. After just one year of scouting with the Leafs, he received a promotion to the position of Eastern Director of Scouting.
Written by Lindsay Hofford.
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