Strong opinions, lightly held

Is your asset transfer project on track?

10 tips to get moving with a sports asset transfer in Scotland.

  1. Apply for Just Enterprise support now. You’ll get four days free consultancy support on a business area you need support with.
  2. If your background is private business, go easy on the business-speak until you understand the language of social enterprise and sport-for-change. Otherwise you risk appearing like you’re trying to build a new empire. Show that you get the difference and won’t be treating your project like a for-profit start-up.
  3. If your local Active Schools Coordinator is brilliant then keep them close. Ask them for a list of the sports/activities that have the highest demand in their schools and/or have the worst provision.
  4. If you Active Schools Coordinator is less than brilliant….. cultivate a relationship with the Head of PE, primary school Head Teachers and the Chair of local Parent Councils.
  5. Plan for delaying the hiring of staff until you really have to. Piggy back off the HR capabilities of third party partners if you can — your governing body, local housing association.
  6. Start applying for funding now. Your first applications will take forever because you’ll agonise over every word and the decision timeframes can be crippling to cash-flow. Try Awards for All if you’re not sure where to start.
  7. Forget business plans early on — start with the Business Model Canvas. You’ll need a disruptive business model that operates your new facility in a way that the council or leisure trust could not. This gives you a shot at creating a sustainable position in the market (at The Crags our business model is based on turning our customers into volunteers which saves on staff costs and creates a feeling of shred ownership).
  8. Contact your local housing association. If they agree with your WHY they could be amazing partners.
  9. Start saying YES to every potential partnership and user group. Over time you’ll be able cultivate a reputation for saying YES when other facility managers say NO (be the antidote to grumpy janitors).
  10. Contact your nearest university careers service and advertise for a student placement/internship (but be picky about who you choose) — download a template of an intern job description I used successfully.
Simon Turner