Working hard to save money can be a more sustainable approach to improving your sport club's finances.
- As well as looking at ways to raise money it is important that your sports club looks into how it can save money as part of managing your finances.
- For clubs with their own facilities there is a greater opportunity to save money. However, all sports clubs can look at their expenditure to see if they are getting the best deal, or whether there are different ways of doing things.
Clubs with facilities: Reducing energy costs
Research has shown that up to 20 per cent of a club's annual energy costs are wasted through energy inefficiency. This is a great place to start then when looking to reduce your club's costs. The following approach may help:
- Know what you are using. Get a clear understanding of what you are spending on your energy bills annually. Keep a track of these so that you can highlight any sudden rises or changes in the bills.
- Know what you are spending. By looking at your previous energy bills work out what your club’s biggest costs or overheads are. These are the areas you will want to look at reducing.
- Plan your actions. Once identified plan actions to reduce any bigger costs. Some of these could be quick fixes that can be introduced immediately - for example installing energy saving light bulbs. For further impact your club may decide that it is more financially viable to look into other long term solutions - such as installing sensor activated lighting). Over time the cost of installing these should be made back by the savings that you make.
- Get the right deal. Continue to monitor your energy usage and costs to ensure you are able to save as much money as possible. Make sure you are getting the best deal from energy suppliers - there are many online comparison websites to help you do this.
Clubs with facilities: Business rates
As well as energy costs, another big expense for clubs with facilities is business rates. Some local authorities offer discretionary relief for sports clubs, however many of these schemes are being removed. If business rates are a significant expense for your club you may want to consider changing how your club is structured. See our club structures page for further information.
Clubs without facilities
Even if your club doesn’t have its own facility you can still look at ways to manage your costs more effectively.
- Look at what you spend - To start saving money, the best place to look is where you spend money. Your budget and last years’ figures are great places to start. Look at the largest balances first to see if you can make savings here.
- Ask yourself could we do this differently - Just because you have always done something the same way doesn’t mean you can’t change. Think about your expenses, could you switch to a different supplier, or do you need to spend the money on that item?
- Ask for a discount - Asking for a discount can work surprisingly well. Politely enquiring whether that is the best price can see your club save on a range of goods and services.
- Use free services - Many online resources offer free simple services and then charge when you need more complex support. You can take advantage of this Freemium model, but make sure you know what services are free and what the costs implications are for paid services so you don’t get caught out.
- Consider bartering - Is there something your club can offer in return for goods and services?
- Ask your members - You’re members may be happy to provide services / skills for free (e.g. website design) or at a discount, or may know someone who can help. Just make sure you are clear on the club's requirements and expectations and manage this accordingly to avoid any disputes. You will also need to make sure there are no conflicts of interest if you are engaging members, friends or family to do work at the club.
- Ask around - Your National Governing Body may have discounts available to affiliated clubs or recommend preferred suppliers who can help and other clubs may be happy to share where they have found good deals, especially on kit and equipment.