It cost between $96,000 and $285,000 to start a session-based swim school in the United States. However, the exact amount it will cost to start this school will depend on a wide range of factors such as the location of the swim school, the size of the facility, customization as well as the quality of equipment used.
Howbeit, note that consulting with a financial advisor or consultant will ensure you have a detailed and accurate financial plan for your swim school.
According to reports, over 50 million Americans take part in swimming every year, and this has further heightened the demand for swimming lessons, especially within the past few years.
Keep in mind that the United States swim school industry is valued at around $3.4 billion, and is projected to keep rising at an annual rate of 1.8% from 2021 to 2026.
Note that operating this business is not as easy as it may seem. You will have to put up with a whole lot of one-time expenses that come with establishing the school. You also need to carry out extensive research to understand the things to put in place and the start-up costs necessary.
Factors That Influence the Cost of Opening a Swim School
Swim school facility
The cost to rent or acquire a good commercial space for a swim school will often depend on your location, the size of the facility, as well as the amenities you intend to make available to clients.
Howbeit, you should budget around $10,000 to $20,000 per month to rent a 5,000 to 10,000 square foot space for a swim school in the United States. If you instead choose to purchase a facility for your school, then you should budget around $700,000 to $1.5 million.
Pool construction or renovation
One of the most important components of a swim school is the swimming pool. As per industry reports, it costs around $35,000 to $70000 to build an in-ground pool in the US, whereas an above-ground pool will need around $6,500 – $15,000.
If you are looking to renovate, note that the exact amount this will cost will depend on the type of renovation and size of the pool.
Generally, take into account your location, size, and design of the pool when considering how much to budget for your swim school pool.
When starting this business, you need to purchase pool cleaning tools like vacuum heads, hoses, brushes, leaf nets, and test kits.
Note that you will have to budget around $500 to $1,000 to purchase this equipment, although the exact amount will vary and depend on things like the quality and brand of the equipment.
However, ensure you only purchase high-quality equipment to guarantee the safety and cleanliness of the pool. You will as well need to invest in the right maintenance tools such as filters, pumps, and chemicals to ensure the pool water stays balanced.
You might also want to install appropriate seating, shade structures, and safety equipment like life jackets and flotation devices.
Office Equipment and Furniture
Since this is a school where knowledge is meant to be transferred and documents well managed and organized, it’s necessary to obtain the right office equipment and furniture.
However, note that how much these furniture and equipment will cost will often depend on the size of the school, the location, and the design aesthetic. Nevertheless, below are the top furniture and equipment to consider;
- Desks and chairs: $100-$500 per unit
- Computers and software: $500-$1,500 per computer depending on the specifications and around $50-$300 per month on swim school software
- Storage solutions: $50-$500.
- Office supplies: $50-$200
- Basic desk and chair set: $100-$500 per unit
- Computer and software: $500-$1,500 per computer and $50-$300 per month for software
- Shelving units: $50-$100 per unit
- Storage cabinets: $250-$500 per unit
- Office supplies: $50-$200
You might want to start up a swimwear and equipment merchandise store alongside your school. Note that a good number of swim schools in the United States also run a merchandise store to cater to the needs of their clients.
You should budget around $3,000 to $8,000 for the initial inventory you need for the store, although this will more or less depend on the size of your swim school as well as the types and grades of products you intend to offer.
Accounting and Legal Fees
You need to put in place the right accounting system and ensure you have the appropriate licenses and authorizations. However, note that it will cost around $1,500 to $3,500 to legally register your business as well as obtain the requisite permits and licenses.
Howbeit, don’t forget that the exact amount will depend on the location and complexity of the legal work involved. Below is a good estimate to work with;
- Business Registration: $50 to $300, depending on the state.
- Insurance: $1,000 to $2,000 annually, depending on the size of the business and number of instructors.
- Accounting Software and Professional Services: $500 to $1,500 annually.
Hiring and training instructors
It is possible to start a small swim school alone, but if you intend to grow past being a neighborhood swim school, you will need additional hands. In the United States, the average cost of hiring and training a swim instructor is between $25 to $30 per hour.
Marketing and advertising
You want your potential clients to know that you exist as well as where to find you. As such, you will need to invest in the right marketing and advertising strategies.
Note that a valid marketing strategy for swim schools includes flyers, brochures, social media promotions, and referral programs. Basic options to consider and their cost include;
- Social media advertisements: $3 to $35 per status update or $0.50 to $2.50 per click.
- Print Advertising Costs: $100 and 1000 per week, ads in national publications can take up to $20,000 per issue, whereas direct mail flyers and brochures can cost between $0.30 and $1.50 per item.
- Search Engine Advertising: The average cost per click (CPC) for swim schools and related keywords ranges from $0.63 to $5.00 per click. Facebook advertising costs around $0.05 and $0.25 per click,
- Events and Seminars: Around $100 – $10,000.