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  1. #1
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Starting a chess club: Writing the business plan

    Along with a small number of other chess players, coaches and administrators, I am involved in preparing to launch a new club in Melbourne's outer east at Croydon. The process thus far has been:

    - investigating existing chess resources and activities in the area
    - indentifying initial volunteers to kick-start the project
    - indentifying a potential venue in a good location
    - getting initial expressions of support from the occupant of that venue
    - investigating, applying for, and receiving a council grant for startup costs
    - finding more people with coaching and administration experience who are prepared to get involved as the founding committe
    - identifying the best structure for the club from a legal, financial and insurance perspective

    Given that all those ducks are now in a row, I feel we should now formalise our "good ideas" (or not-so-good ideas as they may turn out in time!) about how we're going to start, promote, develop, grow and mature the club. This means writing a first cut of a business/marketing plan.

    My question: Have other clubs formalised their strategies into a marketing plan and, if so, would they be prepared to share a copy of their plan or a cut-down version of their plan with us?

    No sense in us re-inventing the wheel. If we can beg, borrow, or steal good ideas from others that seems like a sensible way to start out. I would be prepared to reciprocate and in turn share our ideas and information with those that share with us (and with anyone else who's interested for that matter).
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  2. #2
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    From another thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by JGB
    [b]We did pretty good this year as a club, gaining over 10,000 Euro in profits just from our internal bar; yep that surely says something about some of our players 'first' pastimes. I should give some tips to those guys asking questions in the 'how to start a chess club' thread
    I think the regulations in Aust. might probably make that difficult, but I'd confess that I haven't really investigated what would be required. I think it'd be a lot easier to do in the USA where its much easier to obtain alcohol. Are the regulations similarly relaxed in the UK and Europe?

    Perhaps we ought to lobby the gov't for a relaxation of rules here for properly constituted clubs ... just so we could keep a small fridge and "a couple of beers" available for the thirsty?
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  3. #3
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty
    My question: Have other clubs formalised their strategies into a marketing plan and, if so, would they be prepared to share a copy of their plan or a cut-down version of their plan with us?
    I guess then, in light of the deafening silence in response to my question, that either (1) there are no formal marketing plans; and/or (2) nobody is prepared to share them?
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  4. #4
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty
    I guess then, in light of the deafening silence in response to my question, that either (1) there are no formal marketing plans; and/or (2) nobody is prepared to share them?
    No, we just get together and play chess. Word spreading via the club webpage, small ads in local papers and leagues club newsletters, and word of mouth. We also have the same guy organising junior and seniors which helps with the transition of player from one to the other and keeping the right level of player at the appropriate venue. HTH but it probably doesn't.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  5. #5
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty
    From another thread:



    I think the regulations in Aust. might probably make that difficult, but I'd confess that I haven't really investigated what would be required. I think it'd be a lot easier to do in the USA where its much easier to obtain alcohol. Are the regulations similarly relaxed in the UK and Europe?

    Perhaps we ought to lobby the gov't for a relaxation of rules here for properly constituted clubs ... just so we could keep a small fridge and "a couple of beers" available for the thirsty?
    Going from memory, if you are an incorporated club you cant get a liquor licence, which then means you couldnt have alcohol at your premises. Perhaps an option though is to have some sort of deal with a local pub or something where after the tournaments is over, players go to that place for a drink or two and they get cheaper drinks.

    This would be a lot better as the playing venue would still be alcohol free and so not an issue for junior play.

  6. #6
    CC International Master JGB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty
    From another thread:



    I think the regulations in Aust. might probably make that difficult, but I'd confess that I haven't really investigated what would be required. I think it'd be a lot easier to do in the USA where its much easier to obtain alcohol. Are the regulations similarly relaxed in the UK and Europe?

    Perhaps we ought to lobby the gov't for a relaxation of rules here for properly constituted clubs ... just so we could keep a small fridge and "a couple of beers" available for the thirsty?
    I dont believe alcohol is more difficult to obtain in Australia. We in Germany also require a license to sell beer at the club etc. All the laws are similar. I think what makes it work for 'us' is that we at SF Wetzisreute are formed from a core group (about 10 men) who have been mates for about 25 years, these guys drink a lot on a Thursday night. They all have a fair amount of cash, owning thier own business and buying our club premises outright last year. These men 'support' the real chess club if you know what I mean. They pay for my fees and a presenation fee when I play in tournaments for the club and give lessons to the youth squads. These are not normal arrangments in a small club.

    Also these guys are 'heavy' drinkers, and when the evenings bill comes to 22 Euro or so, it is not uncommon to leave 30 Euro in the till, because the men know the money stays in the club.

  7. #7
    Account Permanently Banned PHAT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty
    I guess then, in light of the deafening silence in response to my question, that either (1) there are no formal marketing plans; and/or (2) nobody is prepared to share them?
    The ACF has no plan for Australian chess
    The NSWCA has no plan for it's $80k
    The junior scene has plans and is blossoming
    The Wollongong clubs have no formal plan, but John Mazzieri is the man who insigates most plans here, which are not formally stated, but nevertheless exist and are acted on.
    Last edited by PHAT; 18-12-2004 at 12:03 PM.

  8. #8
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Sweeney
    The Wollongong clubs have no formal plan, but John Mazzieri is the man who insigates most plans here, which are not formally stated, but nevertheless exist and are acted on.
    What's the easiest way for me to get in touch with John? If he'd be able to even email one or two paragraphs on what he sees as the key success factors for his area that would be helpful. A couple of months ago I visited with 'starter' for 1/2 an hour or so and talked about critical success factors at Box Hill ... very illuminating and helpful it was too!). Each club faces unique challenges and develops unique strategies to overcome them. I figure the more input I can get early on the better menu of options I will have to pick from when we set our initial goals/strategies.
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  9. #9
    Account Permanently Banned PHAT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty
    What's the easiest way for me to get in touch with John?
    http://home.swiftdsl.com.au/~mazzieri/chess/wgong.htm

  10. #10
    Account Suspended Libby's Avatar
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    ACTJCL is a member of the Club Development Network http://www.ausport.gov.au/clubs/

    The member resources are excellent with lots of advice about how to set up a club, templates for preparing standard documents, stuff to do with child protection, links to innumerable useful websites etc.

    Membership is free and we also see it as a useful way to lift our profile and just be included with the range of sport & recreation associations.

    Libby

  11. #11
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Libby
    ACTJCL is a member of the Club Development Network http://www.ausport.gov.au/clubs/
    Thanks Libby, that's a great looking resource. I've bookmarked it and will investigate it next week. Appreciate your input!

    Thanks also to those that have PM'd me some additional information, its greatly appreciated. We had our first committee meeting today and allocated out some roles. We're aiming to be "go for launch" in the second week of February.
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  12. #12
    CC Rookie ozbit's Avatar
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    promotion

    hello,
    If you get this moving any further I would be happy to post a free ad on our social networking site for Business & IT professionals...Ozbit

    Possibly raise the profile,.....the ad can be linked to your webpage off our online chess challenge page.

    let me know how you go.

    regards
    AL
    AL Mihalic

    Ozbit Editor

    Ozbit Business & Technology Network
    http://www.ozbit.com.au

  13. #13
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Good on yer Al ... I'll take you up on that offer! ... the club is up and running now (and healthy, ~35 junior and ~20 adult members). I'll put you in touch with our new (incoming) president and he can advise the wording he'd like. Thanks! Steve.
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

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