Baseball is America’s national pastime - and serving the glorious sport is a call of honor. But baseball facilities are notoriously difficult to run, because:
Despite these challenges, they can be very rewarding (financially, professionally, etc) if they’re run efficiently. And one of the main ways to efficiently operate your business and maximize profitability is to use modern scheduling software.
The word “modern” above is bolded for a reason - because there are a lot of older software tools that add to the toil of running the business instead of giving time back to you and your staff.
Modern tools that are built for baseball (like Swift) will not only save you 10+ hours every week, but they will also open up new revenue streams that weren’t possible to offer earlier.
So with that said, here are the 5 reasons why you need modern baseball facility management software to help run your business.
In the business of baseball, we don’t have fixed “spaces” that are rented out.
Unlike basketball courts or soccer fields, batting cages are often retractable - which means that individuals can come in for cage rentals, groups of cages can be rented out as “lane rentals”, or the entire facility can be given to a team or organization.
This “complex hierarchy” between the spaces isn’t usually accounted for by older software tools. For example, if a cage inside a “lane” (a group of retractable cages) is occupied, that means that the entire lane can no longer be rented for that time slot. And vice-versa.
Modern baseball facility scheduling software like Swift have been built with this hierarchy in mind, so you can always rent the right set of spaces to the right customers.
To add a source of recurring revenue in a seasonal business, baseball facility owners will often offer memberships to athletes for discounts and private access to certain services.
This is a great approach, but the problem is that handling recurring payments is a pain. Usually this is done in cash, which means owners have to remember when each of their members is due, and chase them down for a payment.
Modern scheduling systems take this into account, allowing your members to easily sign up, make online payments automatically, and cancel if they need to. For example, take a look at this 2-minute video to see how easy it is for customers to join, use, and cancel memberships with Swift
One of the toughest parts of running a baseball facility is the number of calls you get. Since the business is seasonal, fall and winter can be an incredibly stressful time for facility owners. The volume of calls, messages, and emails is relentless - and although this is a “good problem to have”, it can very quickly spiral out of control.
One way around this is using modern baseball online booking software that is intuitive, sleek, and easy to use for customers. This will dramatically reduce call volume, which means more time for the owner (& staff) to focus on growing their business.
This is a major flaw for older tools (check out our review of EZFacility or eSoft Planner as an example), because their online booking flow is clunky and archaic. This can have the reverse effect, leading to more calls about glitches while booking online.
In contrast, a tool like Swift is effortless for athletes and parents to book online. Here’s a 10-second GIF that shows how quickly you can book a lesson using Swift.
Plus the page looks great on mobile, which means athletes can book directly from their phone without any issues.
Unlike traditional gyms or other sports complexes, baseball facilities usually have instructors on contract.
Often, this means that their availability for lessons is sparse or intermittent. Managing this availability becomes really important, especially as parents are calling in to book lessons for their kids.
An easy approach is to allow them access to your booking system, so that they can set their availability. This works, but a major flaw with older scheduling tools is that permissions aren’t set appropriately. If instructors are “free-agents” between facilities, you don’t want them to be able to see your customer list (for example) because they may poach them to their own practice.
That’s why a modern tool like Swift is able to provide individual logins for each instructor, along with the ability to set permissions for staff members. This means that each instructor will only be able to see (and do) exactly what they’re allowed to do by you.
That’s peace of mind for owners, and easy availability management for instructors.
For most facility owners looking to optimize their business, the goal is to maximize revenue per square foot. This can be done by offering new revenue streams like packages (bundles) of services.
For example, a “6-pack” of 30-minute cage rentals that allows customers to buy a bulk set of rentals upfront, for a cheaper cost. This gives you a larger upfront payout, and an overall discount to the customers. It’s a win-win!
Most older scheduling tools can’t offer this, which means that facility owners can’t really offer it because manually tracking all the package credits would just be too tedious and error-prone.
Luckily, at Swift we take care of this for you! You can build and offer multiple packages to your customers, and all the credit tracking and redemption is done automatically by the software.
This opens up a whole new revenue stream, which means more money monthly from your facility without virtually any additional work. Now that’s software that works for you, instead of against you!
Running a baseball facility is tough, but it can be a really enjoyable and financially rewarding business if you’re powered by the right scheduling system!
To grow your business, open up new revenue opportunities, save valuable time, and spend more time in the cages doing what you love - try Swift. Good luck!