4 Easy Ways to Improve Your Youth Sports Finances This Year
By Melissa Wickes
January 19, 2023
Let’s face it—you didn’t get into youth sports because you’re passionate about finance or accounting. You’d rather be out on the field helping athletes improve, watching coaches do their thing, and planning the logistics of a really awesome tournament.
However, none of that is possible if you don’t have a clear-cut focus on financials. In fact, Rodrigo Gomes—CEO of North Virginia Volleyball Association—starts every morning by looking at his customer reports.
“By going through our finances, I can see which programs did better, which expenses are no longer needed, etc.,” says Rodrigo. “It helps me make good decisions—like coach hiring and marketing.”
If you don’t have a solid handle on your finances, now is the time to start. Heck, make it a New Years resolution (it’s not too late for those, right?).
Here are four simple ways you can improve your financial and operational management, as suggested by a panel of youth sports executives at NextUp: the Youth Sports Management Conference. You can listen to the full panel on youth sports finances here:
Identify All Revenue Streams
Wherever you are in your lifecycle as a youth sports organization, you have to establish a process where you have great data on what’s coming in and great data on what’s going out, says Tyler Kreitz, founder and CEO of Focus on the Field—an administrative service provider focused on youth sports organizations.
Where is your revenue coming from? Where is your revenue going? Make it your #1 priority to classify these things—because you can’t make decisions to scale your organization until you do this.
Hire a Great Finance Team
Like I said, chances are you’re not in youth sports for the spreadsheets—and that’s okay! Hire a very good accountant and a great finance team. They’ll cross your i’s and dot your t’s for you. (Is that the saying?)
Budget, Budget, Budget
Budgeting is something a lot of youth sports organizers tend to neglect, the main reason being time, says Tyler. Youth sports is a service industry at it’s core, and after all of the networking, relationship building, and parent handholding (at times), budgeting will often fall on the back-burner.
This shouldn’t be the case! Dotty Talbott, Executive Director at Springfield South County Youth Club—who also has 30 years of experience in Information Technology—sits down with her team about six months before the start of each fiscal year to discuss budget. She’ll essentially ask her team, what do you need this year? Then, revise revenue streams and it helps her build out a budget.
What helps her with this? She documents everything.
Have a Single Source of Truth
Keeping good records and identifying revenue streams can only go so far if you’re pulling from many different programs and softwares. The majority of the executives we asked rely on QuickBooks or Zapier to track their financials—both of which LeagueApps seamlessly integrates with.
Click here to learn more about how LeagueApps’ integrations with QuickBooks Online and Zapier can help you better manage your youth sports finances this year so you can spend more time doing what you love, and not in Excel.