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Exploring New Business Ideas in Australia

By May 30th, 2024No Comments
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Is a Lawn Bowl Business a Good Idea in Australia?

Currently there are around 250,000 Australians who are registered participants at over 2000 different lawn bowls clubs around the country.

While this figure roughly represents one in every 100 people in the population, it also averages out at 125 members per club.

For many clubs, this might be enough to sustain them and, for some, even make them thrive. But for all of them, it also highlights a significant opportunity for growth – assuming they are developed and marketed properly.

But how do you do that?

If you run a lawn bowl business and are looking to grow it into a much more sustainable and profitable venture, or maybe considering to start one, these tips might help guide you.

  1. Get a roof

Traditionally lawn bowls have been an open-air sport. However, in a country like Australia, where the sun can be scorching, and it can storm for three days solid, there are large parts of the  day where it is not practical to play outside.

For this reason, it is worth investing in a roof because not only will it protect your members and guests from the elements, but it will also enable them to enjoy the past-time all year round.

Roofs come in various shapes and sizes and are a significant investment which you might need a loan for. However, over the long term they can more than pay for themselves.

If this is something you are interested in doing, Greenline would be a good first point of contact.

  1. Get younger members

There is a common misconception that lawn bowls is an old person’s game, and while it’s true that most amateur players in Australia are over the age of 55, the average age of the national men’s professional team – The Jackaroos – is only 29.

Surprisingly, this is much younger than the men’s international cricket team, which was around 33 years old at the time of the last test match against the West Indies in January 2024.

Clearly, there is some interest in the sport at a younger age level. So, it is worth making an effort to target younger members of the community through your marketing activities.

One great way to do this is through social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, where you can generate interest in your club by posting engaging and entertaining videos.

If you don’t know your reels from your shorts, you might want to hire the services of a specialist social media agency to get you started.

  1. Incentivise your current members

Another excellent way to grow your lawn bowl business is to incentivise your current members to introduce new people to the club.

Whether you decide to offer a free month’s membership, a free meal at your restaurant, or any other inducement is up to you, but the more attractive you make it, the more likely your current members will be to try to take advantage of it.

If everyone of your members brought on average one registered participant, you’ll double your membership without really doing that much yourself.

  1. Host other sports

While you might be a lawn bowls club, there is no reason whatsoever why you can’t host other games as well.

For instance, the likes of barefoot bowls, disco bowls, bocce, boules, boccia, Pétanque and Basque bowls can all bring new faces to your club. In addition, it can also introduce your current members to new hobbies and pastimes.

  1. Host tournaments

Even though you might be an amateur club where people just come for a friendly game, it is worth hosting some tournaments.

Most people who play sports love a bit of friendly and healthy competition. So, why not tap into that with the odd tournament?

For instance, you could have separate men’s and women’s tournaments, as well as mixed doubles and an ‘all-in’ where anyone can play against each other. You could also have age-group tournaments and even fancy-dress tournaments to inject a bit of fun into the event.

You shouldn’t host a tournament that regularly, as they will lose their appeal. But once a year, it will be a good idea to create a bit of a buzz.

  1. Improve your food and bar

For many people, the experience of eating and drinking at a lawn bowls club is just as important as that of playing the game. So, to grow your operation to its true potential, you should consider improving the quality of both.

If you can get known for providing guests with delicious food and a nice social ambience in which to enjoy a drink or two, then word will soon get around. Subsequently, you’ll find people wanting to come here just for that, providing you with a different type of clientele.

  1. Hold Functions and Events

If you have a good amount of space, you should consider hosting functions or events at your lawn bowls club.

They could take the form of anything from wedding receptions to corporate team bonding exercises and could bring in valuable revenue to your establishment via a different sales channel than you would otherwise receive.

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