Most swimming instructors work for either schools, government or clubs, and many have part time jobs working for a multitude of all three to provide enough money to make it worthwhile. But some of the more entrepreneurial ones have taken the bold step and started their own classes. There are opportunities for independent swim instructors if you are prepared to put the hard work in and have the nerve. In this blog we look at the steps that can aid into becoming an independent swimming instructor and highlight some tips to assist.
Find a Pool
Firstly, to teach swimming you need a pool, and this can be a real problem. Most public pools run by local government nearly always have their own swimming classes. So, you need to think out of the box and approach schools and hotels in your area. The success of your business depends on choosing the right pool and having the right relationship with its owner, remember without this you have no business. Draw a hire contract up with a specific length of time, so you do not have the rug pulled from under your feet as the business blossoms.
Ask yourself the following questions about your chosen pool:
- Is it in an affluent area?
- Is there plenty of children around the area?
- Is there a demand for swimming lessons?
- What is the competition?
- Is the pool easy to get to by public transport?
- Is there plenty of parking for parent’s cars?
- Is the pool clean, warm and inviting?
- Is the operator reliable?
Your answers to most of the questions above has to be in the affirmative, or you have not chosen the right pool for your business.
Formulate a Business Plan
Most swimming instructors are great at teaching swimming, but you have to understand this is now a business and you must dedicate time for the business side of things. Draw up a business plan how you expect the business will develop over a particular time frame. Your first entry will be income and costs, this largely depends on what agreement you have on a pool. The size of pool will govern the costs per student, a small pool cannot take many students, so you either have to charge more per head or lay on more classes. And vice versa for larger pools.
Your figures have to take into account every expense that you pay out, that includes administration costs as well as your salary, plus pool hire, swimming aids, etc. Then you can work out how many classes you need to take with how many students attending each class. Make the business plan flexible so you can make adjustments as you need to. Remember to solicit the aid of an accountant, he can save you a great deal of money with things like taxation, insurance, VAT. Finally, you must market your business, so make sure your budget has taken this into consideration. Social media is probably the best and cheapest, and your message can be shared with many groups. In part two of starting your own swimming classes we look at, forming a company, formulating a contract and addressing health and safety.