With summer fast approaching, demand for swim lessons increases — particularly if you offer outdoor lessons. Taking proactive steps to prepare for the busy season will help your swim school and staff be more efficient and avoid burnout.
Here are seven ways swim schools can prepare for increased demand this season.
You can’t predict what kind of summer season your swim school will have, but you can analyze data from previous years to identify trends in demand. If you have a general idea of when your peak periods are — and even the times/days you’re swim instructors are busiest — you can adjust instructor schedules accordingly. You might even need to consider adding additional swim lessons to accommodate increased demand without overcrowding your classes.
Although this is an obvious tip for preparing for the busy season, many swim schools leave hiring additional instructors to the last minute. This means there isn’t time for proper training, which can negatively impact lesson quality.
If you know the demand for swim lessons is about to skyrocket, consider bringing in temporary swim instructors to provide extra support. If you’ve analyzed data from previous years, you should know how long you’ll need the additional staff and can advertise swim instructor jobs with set timelines, e.g., three months.
Demand for swim lessons peaks in the summer, which is right around the time hundreds of students are looking for temporary positions, so hiring shouldn’t be a problem.
It might seem counterintuitive to prepare for busy season by ramping up your swim school’s marketing efforts, but just because you expect to be busy doesn’t mean you will if your competitors are running offers and poaching customers.
As you prepare for busy season in your swim school, your marketing efforts should be two-fold.
For both, the goal is to get customers to organize their lessons early, so you can adjust instructor schedules and increase your workforce if necessary. The earlier you can get a good idea of how high the demand for swim lessons is, the better.
If you’re responsible for maintaining the pool/building your swim school operates out of, you should start repairs and increase maintenance well before the busy season starts. This will help mitigate the effects of increased traffic through your pool and ensure you don’t have to cancel lessons last minute due to avoidable maintenance issues.
Consider if any of your equipment needs replacing, like kickboards that have seen better days, or if your changing rooms could use a refresh. If you’re about to increase your lesson schedule, you should also increase changing room cleaning schedules and ensure you’re testing the pool water regularly.
One easy way to prepare for increased demand this busy season is to simplify your booking process, so you don’t have to deal with the increased demand! Introducing online booking for your swim school makes it easy for customers to book their own swim lessons, meaning you don’t have to field booking requests 24/7 and can focus on teaching.
For mobile swim schools offering lessons in clients' homes, MarketBox is the only appointment management software specifically designed for backyard swim lessons. The all-in-one platform makes it easy to schedule appointments, coordinate instructor schedules, process payments, and manage the running of your swim school. To learn more, book a personalized platform walkthrough with an expert.
If your swim school doesn’t have clear guidelines around canceling and rescheduling swim lessons, now is the time to implement them. Establishing clear policies for customers and instructors ensures that everyone knows what is and isn’t possible (at least without incurring a fee) and sets expectations to make the busy season smoother.
If you offer outdoor swim lessons, you should also establish a bad-weather policy, including what aren’t acceptable weather conditions and who is responsible for changing the lesson time if bad weather is forecast.
Our last tip comes courtesy of Bear Paddle Swim School, who prepare for their busy season by updating lesson plans ahead of time. Here’s what Kimberly Jones, the school’s marketing coordinator, had to say about why they do this. “The school has created and updated lesson plans to cater to students’ specific needs. The lesson plans are designed to enhance swimming skills and abilities while keeping the lessons fun and engaging. We are committed to providing high-quality swimming lessons for children and take pride in ensuring the safety of our students. The school provides a nurturing environment that helps children learn essential swimming skills while having fun.”
As demand for swim lessons increases, it can be tempting to over-schedule instructors to avoid turning down bookings. But overworking instructors can lead to burnout and high employee turnover rates, so you must balance their schedules accordingly.
Hiring additional instructors to take some of the pressure off can help, but you should always ensure swim instructors have enough time off and encourage them to take breaks and prioritize self-care when needed.
Consider implementing an overtime policy that allows instructors to pick up extra shifts if they want to, rather than forcing them to work above and beyond what is expected. This gives swim instructors more control over their time and can help them stay productive during busy season.
Speaking of scheduling instructors, implementing scheduling software takes the stress out of this time-consuming and often complicated task. Scheduling software automates instructor schedules, optimizes calendars, improves productivity, and enables you to share schedules with your workforce quickly and efficiently.
For mobile swim schools, MarketBox makes it easy to schedule instructors for in-home lessons and allows you to group lessons into service areas to minimize travel time between lessons. The booking software filters providers by skills, location, and availability so your customers only see providers who fit their criteria. Once the booking is confirmed, the provider’s schedule is automatically updated, and they’re notified of the new booking.
Preparing for busy season involves implementing tactics and processes that will improve the running of your swim school all year round. Everything from upping pool cleaning to introducing online booking will ensure your swim school has a successful season and your customers return year after year.
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