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This article was partially provided by the Archery Trade Association. For their full article visit archerytrade.org.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly the entire globe and is seeing increasing social distancing and quarantine measures throughout the United States. USA Archery appreciates the feedback and concern shared by many of our coaches and club leaders and have put together nine things you can do to keep your archers engaged and your business running in whatever level of quarantine you may be facing.
1. Focus on Safety
Your number one priority should be the safety of your archers, staff, volunteers, and yourself. If your club remains open, consider the health and well-being of those needed to make your business run. If you’re unsure of how to implement best practices and increased health and safety measures, these resources can help:
– The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has an “Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employees” webpage with lots of helpful information. Click here to read the guidelines.
– The U.S. Chamber of Commerce compiled a “Coronavirus Response Toolkit” with CDC-recommended tips and action items. It also encourages small businesses to establish a remote work option (if possible), give coaches and athletes flexibility, and reduce practices and unnecessary travel.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) website shares: “Health and government officials are working together to maintain the safety, security, and health of the American people. Small businesses are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers, and themselves healthy.” Whatever you do, do something. Taking action, even if you’re not required to close, shows you care about the health and safety of your customers and employees.
2. Offer Creative Coaching Solutions (Think Virtual Lessons and Competitions)
If people can’t come to your club to enjoy archery, bring archery to them! Consider these ideas to keep your archers on target (When working with Minors, always loop a parent or guardian in on communication and be sure to adhere to the Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policies).
– Give Video Lessons: Group lessons are not advised and most 1:1 indoor lessons, require close contact. Instead, suggest doing video lessons with your regular archers through Skype, Zoom or FaceTime. Consider a weekly team meeting to keep club members engaged with each other.
– Utilize Virtual Coaching Apps: Apps such as Coach’s Eye allow your archers to upload a few videos of their shot cycle and you can provide voiceover feedback frame by frame or use the videos as the basis for a video or voice call to give archers something to focus on and work on for a week of intentional practice. Coach’s Eye is offering a 15-day free trial.
– Host a Virtual Tournament: Advertise and run a virtual tournament. Utilize your club website or social media to explain tournament rules and procedures. Have archers film or live stream their shooting and award prizes to the winners of each category. Get creative to allow different distances as archers may not have access to a full range. Click here for inspiration. Simplified version: create a leaderboard in a Google Sheet, etc. and have club members log drills, exercises, scores, or whatever else you assign so they can stay connected and motivate and challenge each other.
– Encourage Virtual Matches: With parental permission for minors, set up similarly skilled archers to compete in virtual match-play – set up a video call and simulate real matches in real time. This will help your archers stay engaged with their archery friends and build their competitive edge.
– Build Lessons Outside of Shooting: Archers can learn and absorb from just watching great archers. Share exceptional archery competition footage from www.archery.tv. This is also a great time to refer to USA Archery’s Athlete Development Model and Athlete Development Competencies (page 24) for lesson plan ideas. Offer webinars or other online lessons to keep your archers engaged. The USA Archery Coach Competencies and Athlete Competencies are a great place to start, with free resources linked in your USA Archery Dashboard.
3. Re-evaluate the vision, values, and culture of the club.
Take the time to meet with club leaders, coaches, key volunteers and athlete leaders within the club. Identify the 4 to 6 values that mean the most to the club membership and use those values to enhance the vision and mission of your club. This is a perfect time to reimagine and further define the club’s culture and create a following. For inspiration read Dan Coyle’s Culture Code or watch this talk with Dan Coyle.
During this time of turmoil, effective communication is the best way to maintain relationships. Be transparent with your staff, archers and parents. Share what’s happening through email, and on your website and social-media accounts. Let them know you’re following CDC cleaning guidelines or modifying your business hours. If you’re offering virtual lessons or tournaments, you should describe those efforts with information on how to participate in these offerings.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce developed a customizable flyer so small business owners can personalize key messages about what they’re doing to keep people safe. Also, read the Chamber’s article “Communicating with Customers During Corona” for more tips and ideas.
5. Create and Share Engaging Content
It’s smart to attract new potential customers through marketing techniques, but it’s also smart to engage and entertain current customers. Create valuable content such as blogs, posts, articles, videos or podcasts to engage new and existing customers. Share what you know – creative ways archers can train at home, training schedules, mental game trainings and more. Explain the services you offer, encourage people to train where they can safely shoot at this time, challenge them to share and post their at-home archery practices or DIY archery projects.
If you haven’t yet built your free USA Archery Club Website, take some time to set it up – it can be a great tool for your business!
6. Create a Facebook Group Page
If you have downtime, create a Facebook group for your club and community.
According to Hootsuite, brands in 2020 should reasonably expect their Facebook posts to be seen by about 5.5% of their page’s followers because of Facebook’s algorithms. In other words, your customers likely aren’t seeing your content. You can pay to promote/boost your posts, or if you create a group, you’re more likely to organically reach 100you’re your group members. Click here to learn how to step-by-step directions for how to create a Facebook group. Then, invite members to your group and start sharing content.
7. Ask Your Archers to Review Your Club
While archers and their families are at home on the couch, ask them to support your club. Some people are short on cash, but they can still help your business without spending a dime. Ask them to write a review, tell their friends about you, and like or share your social posts.
8. Take Advantage of the Slow Period to Catch Up or Learn Something New
Use this time to scratch tasks off your to-do list. Renew your certification or USA Archery Membership. Make sure you are up to date on your annual SafeSport Refresher Course. Watch educational videos for coaches in your USA Archery Dashboard or stay up to date on the rules in the World Archery Rulebook.
9. Explore Disaster Assistance Loans
If your archery club business is suffering, consider applying for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan through the SBA.
The SBA is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster recovery loans of up to $2 million to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the coronavirus. These loans provide vital financial support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
The Agency will work closely with state Governors to issue loans through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President.
This is a difficult time for everyone, and USA Archery is here to help. Reach out to [email protected] if you need support or to share feedback.
For other COVID-19 information as it relates to small business and your state, visit these links:< Back to All News