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Preparing your club for the future might sound like a complex, almost impossible task. But by taking the time to recognise the areas of your club that need improving first, you can quickly create a straightforward plan that you can refer to, whatever happens.

In this article, we’ll explain how to identify, prioritise and – most importantly – fix things that will make a big difference to your club.

How to identify and prioritise single points of failure

Before you can prioritise problems at your club, you first need to understand if there are any single points of failure. These are jobs or tasks that can only be carried out by one specific person.

An example of this is having only one person trained to carry out health and safety checks. This is a vital job as without these checks, you could be at risk of accidents and legal action. However, if the trained person has time off or leaves, who will step in to carry out this task?

As the impact of this task not being carried out could be devastating to your club, this point of failure would be the highest priority.

How to recognise weaknesses and opportunities

Once you have identified all the points of failure and prioritised them based on impact, it can be helpful to conduct a SWOT analysis. This highlights strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

To show how this is done, we’ll use the following scenario…

John works for a gymnastics club where he is in charge of the timesheets. He has created a process to manage this. John is only able to work at the club two times a week, and no one else has been trained to replace John. 

SWOT Analysis

Strength – John is a knowledgeable employee and has created a process to follow

Weakness – John only comes in twice a week because he works elsewhere during the day and that’s all the time he can give

Opportunity – John is calm and methodical so could train other employees to implement the process

Threat – if John leaves, no-one knows how to manage the timesheets. This could lead to unhappy coaches, potentially resulting in lost revenue

As you can see from the example, this straightforward analysis method makes it simple to see what the problems are, and prompts you to start thinking about solutions. In this case, a next step could be to use John’s knowledge to train other employees, either directly or by developing creating documentation.

Making the process simpler 

A process list is a great way to identify and organise your team’s responsibilities. You can see who is responsible for what, and by sharing the lists, other people at your club can see who to speak to about certain tasks. A process list can also highlight gaps where more procedures are needed.

Automating processes is another easy way to deal with management tasks, such as…

  • Setting auto-reply starting times
  • Collecting payments and sending payment reminders
  • Setting up automated social media responses

Other ways of easing up management tasks for your club can include:

  • Outsourcing activities to people with specialised knowledge
  • Outsourcing payroll and accounting, and including it in your club’s business plan
  • Setting up shared calendars with key events and notes so members and employees can keep track of what is going on
  • Listing tasks and dates when they need to be completed by. These could be ordered by priority
  • Arranging weekly meetings with key team members to catch any ideas, events, projects or issues at their earliest point

Sport clubs, like any other business, will sometimes face unexpected challenges. However, the impact of these can be reduced with effective processes.

This article was based on a Facebook Live event by Alex Row, LoveGymnastics Community Ambassador. If you’re involved with a gymnastics or football club and would like to find more content like this, join our dedicated Facebook Communities:

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