Here’s What You Should Know If You Are Starting a Recreational Business
While there are a multitude of different businesses from which you could choose, those in the recreational industry are some of the most promising. From small towns to large cities, residents and visitors are always on the lookout for a great place to enjoy a fun activity that also lets them get some exercise. In fact, according to a survey conducted by the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, 86 million people in the United States frequently participate in sporting activities and another 83 million say they occasionally partake in various fitness activities. Needless to say, this is a large group of potential customers for a recreational business. However, before you jump in head-first and start working on your million-dollar idea, here is some important information about starting these businesses as well as why you will need a lawyer for business matters concerning this industry.
Get Some Experience
Whether you want to start a swim club, skateboard park, or local basketball league, it is always best to have some related experience prior to launching your business. By doing so, you will have a better idea of just how much goes into planning activities, the costs that may be involved, and various pitfalls that may occur along the way. Therefore, it may be a good idea to spend some time working for or volunteering with a local parks and recreation department to gain invaluable experience.
A College Degree Helps
If you are wanting to start a recreational business, obtaining a college degree in parks and recreation management, sports management, leisure studies, business management, or public administration may be a good idea. By earning a degree in these fields, you will study the various aspects associated with each while also getting a chance to participate in paid or unpaid internships, which can help give you the much-needed experience mentioned earlier.
Permits and Certifications
No matter what type of recreational business you decide to start, there will undoubtedly be a myriad of permits and certifications you will need prior to opening your doors to customers. Because of this, having an attorney for business matters related to these areas will be crucial. If, for any reason, you fail to get the required permits or certifications for your business, and then a person is injured at your facility, you could be open to injury liability that could potentially put you out of business as quickly as you started. As an example, if you are starting a business that provides guided tours of nearby rivers, you will likely need certifications in First Aid and CPR as well as water safety training and certification. Whatever type of business you start, always rely on an attorney to help you obtain the permits and certifications that will give you and your business the necessary legal protection.
Love What You Do
Like any business, you should love what you do. However, this is even more important for those starting a recreational business. Not only is this industry extremely competitive, but the majority of businesses in this industry are seasonal, meaning you will have months during the year when your business may close or have a significant drop-off in customers. Because of this, you’ll want to have an attorney for business matters on such areas as how to structure your business, how to best manage cash flow, and other areas that will ensure your business stays afloat year-round.
Have a Clear Business Plan
Before starting your business, take the time to develop a clear business plan that covers not only your initial start-up period, but also the next five to ten years as well. By doing so, you will have your mission and goals down on paper along with your marketing strategy, financing options, staffing plans, and more. To get the best results from your plan, always let an experienced and knowledgeable business attorney look it over for you. In many cases, using a lawyer for business matters early on in your planning will allow you to make any changes your attorney may deem necessary. For example, since you will need business licensing, tax permits, and much more, your attorney can help you incorporate this planning into your business model, giving you a much greater chance for success.
Advertising Your Business
Once you are almost ready to launch your business, start doing plenty of advertising. From having business cards made to creating social media pages for your business, an effective advertising strategy will always pay huge dividends. Also, since you will want customers to quickly recognize your business and brand, work with an advertising agency to develop an eye-catching logo and memorable slogan. However, to make sure you will not have any problems with copyright infringement or other related issues, it is also good to work with an attorney who specializes in intellectual property law, since they can often advise you on the best course of action to take in these situations.
Funding Your Business
Once you have a plan down on paper, you will need money to make your dreams a reality. To get the funding needed for your recreational business, you will have a variety of options. For many entrepreneurs, family and friends are who they turn to first for contributions or loans. For others, visiting a bank may allow them to obtain a loan they need. Other options include contacting your local Small Business Administration, which is always eager to help new business owners. And, of course, with social media being what it is today, more and more entrepreneurs are turning to crowdfunding sites such as GoFundMe and others to raise the necessary cash to start their businesses. In many cases, if you have a great idea, tremendous passion for your business, and can present your idea to others in a way that gets them passionate as well, it is possible to raise thousands of dollars online in sometimes only a few days. Whether you choose one of these options or instead use a combination, you should eventually be able to get the cash needed to become a business owner.
Since even the smallest and most simple of businesses have many complexities associated with them, always seek the advice of a lawyer for business matters related to starting your business. After all, it is much easier to correct a mistake before you start your business than it is afterwards. Remember, all it takes is failing to obtain one permit, certification, or license to potentially send your dreams drifting away. Rather than let this happen, speak to an attorney for business matters to help your business start off with smooth sailing.