Small Business Story: Volo Sportsplex Manages Seasonality of Demand and Other Risks

The CoverWallet Small Business Scholarship encourages entrepreneurship in students by asking them to take on the perspective of a local small business owner. Students share their perspective on the opportunities and challenges faced by a business in their community.

Student: Madeline Maze, Northern Illinois University

Small Business: Volo Sportsplex 

Volo SportsplexToday I will be talking about a family owned business where I work. The business’s name is “Volo Sportsplex” and it is a sports complex located in a small town about one hour and thirty minutes north of Chicago. In this facility there is one main gym that has one regulation sized futsal field, two regulation sized volleyball courts, one regulation sized basketball court, two regulation sized pickle ball courts, two drop down batting cages, six drop down basketball hoops, and a drop down curtain to divide the gym in half. There is also a concession stand located in the gym. There are two restrooms located in the lobby. Upstairs at the Volo Sportsplex is a sitting area with a TV and a vending machine for drinks, a dance studio with mirrors surrounding the walls, and a multi-purpose room with a sink, microwave, and fridge. This sportsplex is managed by one manager and has four hourly employees who clean the facility and help the programs and registration run smoothly. It is such a nice and clean facility and is great for the area because there are no other sports complexes. Although this is my favorite local business, it does face many problems.

The top problem is that it is an indoor facility which mean summer registration is slow. Many people want to be outdoors during the summer, which leads to our sports and fitness programs being low in numbers. During the fall and winter, they make up for the summer because they are booked with programs and events form about 9am to 9pm Monday through Friday. Another problem this company has is its location. Volo is a small town already, but the Volo Sportsplex is located in a smaller subdivision behind a daycare center. It is not on the main road and it is tucked in the back of a cluster of businesses. Most people who come to the facility say “I never knew you guys were located here!” We do have a sign on the street, but it is a side street, which means not many cars pass it. The last and final problem I believe this facility has is the owners aren’t doing very well. They are going through a divorce and all of their money is tied up in it. This means if they need to buy new equipment or payout an instructor, it is hard for them to do this. They have taken many loans out just to keep their place going.

With all of the problems this company has, it is still my favorite local business. Yes, they aren’t bringing in a lot of money but the facility is only 2 years old. I believe with hard work from the staff that place could be a gold mine.