In last week’s column, Scotty Smith, owner of Synergy Sports Performance in Hobart, talked about his vision for his newly expanded business. As a participant in the Green Bay Packers Mentor-Protégé program this year, he was matched with Green Bay SCORE mentor Dick Hopfensperger.
Hopfensperger, who has decades of experience in management, logistics and marketing, was impressed by Smith’s passion and is looking forward to working with him.
“In the ‘speed dating’ that led to the match, Scotty said he was looking for marketing assistance to attract specific targets, and I want to be practical and tactical in our approach,” Hopfensperger said.
The practical will include a review of the current target market and determining if it is too broad. In setting goals, a required part of the program, Hopfensperger wants to look at the market and determine if there are holes that Synergy can fill.
“There is a lot of competition out there,” he said. “He might need to narrow his focus to differentiate the business. I like what he does with personalized training and treating each individual as a niche of one.”
Hopfensperger said he has visited the facility and that it is beautiful and has a large capacity. The size, 18,000 square feet, presents challenges in optimizing the use of the space. A 3,000-square-foot recovery center provides a unique approach to sports performance with an emphasis on taking care of the body in order to prevent injury.
The other space is used for personal and group training, clinics and camps. However, much of the time, it isn’t in use, and this is something that he would like to look at more closely.
“I would like to get involved with that and have Scotty look at some partnering with others to utilize that space," Hopfensperger said. "That will bring in income while having a nominal effect on operating costs.”
Although Smith has a good handle on the budget and financial projections, Hopfensperger would like to take a closer look at the numbers and determine which segments of the business are the most profitable and could be expanded.
“The classic way to look at this is to do a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats). We need to identify those areas,” he added.
In his initial look at the business, Hopfensperger sees strengths in Smith’s passion and experience, the facility and equipment, the expertise of the staff and the quality of the programs.
Weaknesses include the amount of competition in the area, affordability and fixed operating costs.
Opportunities include creating a greater awareness of the business and recovery center, the possibility of working with health savings accounts, greater integration into the high school athletic market, partnering with other sports programs to utilize the space and working with goal-oriented adults who are training for specific events.
The threats are the competition and financial liability.
A more detailed analysis will be completed as he and Smith set goals for the first quarter. Hopfensperger has taught at area colleges at the undergraduate and graduate levels and will share his expertise in business sustainability, entrepreneurship, leadership, accounting and marketing.
“It is important to have an objective, and results should be measurable to those objectives," Hopfensperger said. "In setting a marketing budget, it is sometimes tough to measure but important to know the return on investment.”
The marketing plan will include an emphasis on establishing a definable brand so that the name Synergy Sports Performance is top of mind when potential clients are looking for the best place to train.
“I keep getting back to those niches of one,” Hopfensperger said. “Scotty knows the needs of each individual and he is willing to meeting those needs. It isn’t a mass ‘here’s the program,’ it is all personalized.”
This column will check in with the pair later this year to see how they are progressing in meeting their goals.
Tina Dettman-Bielefeldt is co-owner of DB Commercial Real Estate in Green Bay and past district director for SCORE, Wisconsin.