So you want to start a bike club? Well, then there are some things you need to know and consider doing before you print out any fliers or order any custom t-shirts. Here are some handy questions to ask yourself:
1. Do You Have An Established Base For A Bike Club?
If you already ride in an unofficial group then you should try to have these group members join as the first members of your club. In the early stages of formation, a club’s best bet is word of mouth. Invite friends, family, or strangers who happen to own a bike to join in. As you build up members consider:
- Further participation by members
- Sponsoring an event
- More route choices
- Liability protection
If you don’t have an established base of members advertise an organized ride at a local bike shop. You want to do everything you can to generate interest by sponsoring rides and presenting interesting activities.
2. What Is Your Purpose?
Have a defined purpose for your club very early on. Draw up a mission statement and present it to prospective members so that everyone has a clear cut idea of what they’re working towards and what to expect. Don’t worry about by-laws at the outset of the club. You’ll have plenty of time for polishing and tweaking later.
3. Have You Planned A Regular Ride?
You want to present your members with a regularly scheduled bike ride. This ride should be the most predictable part of your club. Have a ride with the same time period and route on a regular basis. A great idea is to end this regular ride with a club meeting. Hopefully, this will keep interest in the club’s boring parts from waning.
4. Do You Have A Sponsor?
Being sponsored by local businesses is a great way to generate revenue for club necessities. However, keep in mind that most businesses won’t sponsor you without some sort of community outreach on your part. Organize carefully and speak with an accountant about how a sponsorship will affect your club’s financial structure.
5. How Does The Club Get Money?
Money is a problem for many non-profit organizations including sports clubs. In order to make sure that money doesn’t fly out the window willy-nilly, hire an experienced accountant or CPA to handle the finances of your club. Some financial aspects you’ll need to consider are:
- Member fees
- Audits and taxes
Starting an official bike club can be a lot of work but also extremely rewarding. With careful planning, management, and good member participation there’s no reason your club can’t be a success. Detailed information about starting a bike club can be found here: Starting a Bike Club Manual