Why is a website important for a club?
There are many clubs that do not have a website. There are many clubs that do have a website, not always a “good” site, but at least something. Then there are clubs that prosper because they use their websites to work for the club. Clubs that thrive will be around for a long time and be a pleasure to manage and be a member of – these clubs have many members, their finances are sound, is well organised and runs like a well oiled machine.
Any club can be in this position. All it takes is a decision to run the club on business-like principles, using the abundant 'free' resource already available – its members and their individual skills. Amongst the members you will find highly qualified individuals that will work for the fun of it – that’s why they joined the club in the first place, to have fun. As long as the club generates a lot of fun, members will invest their time and know-how for FREE.
So, what have we got so far? For a club to prosper, we need the willingness of individuals to invest into their own enjoyment. But, this does not come about all by itself. Someone must take the initiative and start the ball rolling. This person will be the natural leader, a highly motivated organiser who steps in and get things moving.
This kind of person will use all the tools of a typical business to help him to run and develop the club. The club will prosper. Take this person away and the club will suffer. It is therefore a sound strategy to not depend on one person alone, but to form a well organised committee, or management team, with the appropriate skills to run the day to day activities of the club, but also to plan ahead and ensure that the club will grow and become more successful as it matures.
This could be quite an undertaking. The bigger the club, the more demanding it will become – which in itself will require greater sums of money and effort from the management team. No club can survive without money. Everything revolves around money – as in any business, also in a club. Many a club has failed due to the lack of money. Money and money management is key.
That is why businesses invest so much money and skill in properly designed websites. Using a website, you will reach many more customers than the few that will happen to pass by your door, or hear of you by word of mouth. Of course, before the “world wide web”, businesses had to depend on advertising using television, radio, news papers and magazines as a medium to attract their customers. This is very costly.
A club is no different. Need more money? Get more members.
And this is where a well designed and properly applied website comes in very handy.
A club depends on membership. Otherwise, what’s the point! Members pay membership fees, which goes into the financial pot to finance the activities of the club. More often than not, clubs suffer because they do not have enough members to finance their activities. In an effort to rectify the situation, members are burdened even more with higher membership fees, causing resentment and ultimately resignation from the club. Membership decline and the club struggle even more to keep afloat.
So, what can be done? Another source of income becomes inevitable – sponsors, donations, raffles, match fees, spectator or audience fees to name but a few. The more the merrier. Again, it all boils down to one thing – advertise to reach as many eyes and ears as possible.
How does this relate to having a website?
The answer is: one single website is the low cost alternative to advertising in local papers, magazines and other media in your catchment area. It reaches further than these mediums. It could be used not only to advertise, but to organise and control almost every aspect of the club. It is the one essential tool that every club cannot do without. Whether you are a sports club, a chess club, a card club, a snooker club, a social club or any sort of club you can think of, YOU NEED A WEBSITE to assist in your ultimate goal - enjoyment.
But, not any old website will do – like those uninteresting one page sites. You really need a website that people want to visit on a regular basis...
Isn’t it time that you invest in a website, one that has the ability to keep your club afloat when applied - of course, it does not end here; you would also need to know how to apply your website to gain you that success.
But, that’s a topic for another day...