The UK sport and leisure industry is estimated to generate over £200 billion annually–and the trend is on the up. The magic words behind this growth? ‘Experience economy’, meaning that instead of buying material goods, more and more consumers prefer to spend their money on experiences. This could include sport or cultural events, entertainment, eating and drinking, days and nights out and even accommodation.
As a key economic driver for Manchester, the industry employs greatly in the region, but also attracts inward investment to underpin a wide range of key sectors in the city.
Approaching the summer break, what are the most talked-about services that business owners could explore for the sunny season?
Brits are snacking more than ever, and they are doing it on the go. People are increasingly eager to replace their chips and popcorn for healthier, organic options. If you run a sandwich bar or pub, why not provide unsalted nuts, dried fruits or protein balls? This could be a quick and easy way to make the most of a health trend and increase your profit margin.
Alternatively, if you run a yoga studio, why not invest in a smoothie bar? Sportswear retailers, have you considered expanding your offering to include new, healthy food and drink products?
Some of the larger sports and leisure brands out there have had great success in building loyal followings through local events connected to their business. Today, people increasingly want to feel that they have a relationship with the businesses that they spend their hard earned money on.
So if you own a travel agency in Manchester, why not sponsor a local run? If you organise a young children’s football league, you could help coordinate a community kick-up competition on the high-street to create new business opportunities.
If a few taps and swipes connect us to friends around the world, allow us to order a taxi in seconds and pay bills on the move, what could a mobile app do for your business? Although not every business owner’s first choice in tackling growth, developing a mobile presence could allow you to introduce a loyalty scheme that makes all the difference in retaining customers and attracting new ones.
Alternatively, if you are a small business owner selling health care products, make sure your website is mobile friendly. With so many people being on holiday and out and about, an easy-to-use interface and swift payment platform could encourage more customers to tap ‘checkout’ on their mobiles. As many of us fill our down time with online browsing, an app allows you to increase your visibility and availability to the most casual of customers.
Investing for growth as a small business owner is never easy, but with a clear vision it becomes far more likely. It’s time to prepare for the ‘experience economy’ before everyone else does.
About the author
Stephen Whelan is Spotcap UK’s business relationship manager, providing knowledge to small and medium-sized business owners. He supports businesses all across the UK to achieve their commercial goals. Find out more at www.spotcap.co.uk.
June 11th, 2018