Clubs are a great way to connect with people from different walks of life and come across profitable business opportunities. There are different types of clubs – social club, sports club, students’ club, service club, recreation club and so on. All have distinguished functionalities but are established on a very common ground – bring together individuals having shared interest. If you have dreamed of starting your own club, any club for that matter, you could do it by following the process steps we have mentioned. All you have to do is identify the type of club you want to start and focus on achieving immediate and long-term goals.
Step 1: Find the Purpose Behind your Club
You have to identify the objectives for forming a club. You have to define them to understand the purpose behind creating it. Start by thinking about the kind of club you want to start and what do you want to achieve from it. For instance, if you want to start a Carnatic music club, you would want to talk to people with an interest in music. You need people of similar interest to take actions, build things, raise awareness, host shows,and events, design projects, and help each other grow and find a career.
Most clubs are hobby clubs, such as music club, chess club, garden club, science club or pottery club. You could, however, forma faith-based club, a social club that raises awareness about a cause, professional clubs, such as chef’s club, doctor’s club etc., or a club that is dedicated to volunteering.Ideas to open a club are many. You must find yours and stick to it to follow the next steps.
Step 2: Choose the Location
Clubs are solely run on meetings but obviously. So, you will need a good place for having the meetings. The place should be accessible enough and large enough to accommodate everyone. A club usually has monthly or fortnightly meetings, and if an event is ahead, then almost every alternative date. You could designate one place for your meetings to relieve yourself from finding a new one everytime.
You could initiate the meeting at your home, in a café or at a restaurant, in school or any other place of your convenience. Avoid meeting strangers at home for the first time, however. Once your club is established, you should fix a place where you can keep these meetings frequently or each club member should take a turn to host the meeting as per schedule.
Step 3: Choose the Date and Time for the First Meeting
You next need to decide when you would like to host the meeting. You should choose a date when all the club members are available. Saturdays and Friday nights are always a popular choice. Once more members are recruited, you could prepare a roaster considering everyone’s availability. For working people, evenings are the best time for meetings and for homemakers teatime is ideal. Make sure you fix the duration of your meeting, such as one hour or two hours. It should not cross more than this.
Step 4: Bring in Club Members
Now it’s time to recruit members for your club. Your immediate social circle should be the best place to start recruiting. Family members, friends, friends of friends, classmates, colleagues, neighbors are part of this circle. Find out from each one of them if they’d be interested. You can ask them to refer more people.
Apart from this social circle, you could post ads on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other classified sites, like Craigslist. Things you should be including in your ad are:
- Name of the club
- Purpose of club
- Date, time and location
- Your contact details
You could print flyers and post them on bulletin boards, on school campuses, coffee shops, gym, other clubs etc. Your tailored efforts should correlate with target members. For instance, if it is a faith-based club, you should post the flyers on church’s bulletin or if it is a food-based club, you could post on different restaurants’ notice board, chef schools etc.
Step 5: Host Your First Meeting
In your first meeting, you should get to know the members and their views and hopes for the club. Make sure you invite all the members and remind them about the meeting a day before with time, venue and duration. You could also share the agenda with the members. It is better to appoint a confidant who will help you get everything together and sorted.
Prepare a few games or some icebreaker activities so that members get lose and feel comfortable in each other’s presence. Save some good time to discuss the future of the club, hopes of each member about the club, their ideas for promotion, activities, fundraising, and events. You all should form the vision and mission of the club in your first meeting.
Make sure you encourage each member to write down their ideas for the club and read them aloud to everyone. Or, you could collect their ideas and thoughts in separate bits of paper and read them aloud yourself so the members remain anonymous.
Step 6: Schedule Your Meetings
Determine with other members how often will youmeet each other to discuss the future course. Check the availability of each member.You could plan the meetups once a month or fortnightly and meet after work hours or a whenever majority of you agrees to. Not all members will be able to attend these meetings. You are not supposed to fix a date and time when everyone is available. That would be a long and tedious process. So, if 80% or more members are available on the scheduled date, then go with it.
Most importantly, in your first meeting, get hold of the contact numbers of all members, including their preferred mode of communication and alternative contact details. You could preferably start a social media group to keep all of them together with the latest news, updates etc. Make sure you involve all the members of the club. If people are not available on social media, make a WhatsApp group or something similar.
Step 7: Figure Out the Rules and Regulations of the Club
If your club is formed via a school or college, a church or temple or by an organization, then find out their rules and regulations to run a club. For clarity and concise information, you could speak to the administrative head of the organization. Each organization-established club will have a different set of rules and guidelines. For instance, a school run club may need you to have a student counselor in the club or a faith-based club may require you to have a pastor as one of the prime decision makers.
Step 8: Determine the Roles of Executives and Officers
If your club is established to fulfill a specific purpose, is focused on taking actions, or is formed for a social cause, it will be good if you are backed by a solid team of executive officers who will be responsible for planning, marketing, and communicating. A goal-oriented club typically has the following board members: President, Vice-president, Treasurer, Secretary, and PR. If you have established the club, you may take the position of the president, the leader who runs the club and enforces the rules and regulations.
People designated with the above important roles must have good communication and coordination within each other. Furthermore, you may want to appoint a trusted person for the role of the treasurer for he will be dealing with the finances, keeping track of dues and payments, and recording the income and expenses.
Step 9: Define Secondary Duties
Once you have recruited the head authorities of the club and established their duties, vote for secondary officers and write their duties down. If your club is small sized with not more than 50 members, skip this step. A large club may need additional heads for the proper functioning of the club. You can choose a different approach to elect these officers. For instance, instead of recruiting, describe the roles for each officerto your club members and ask them to cast vote for each role.
Depending upon the size of the club, you may have to vote for a historian, event manager, and an advertising team. While you know what an event manager and advertising team do, a historian usually is in charge of keeping the records of the events, activities, or milestones achieved by the club.
Step 10: Work on the Rules and Procedures of the Club
Communication, decision-making, disaster management, problem solving and other procedures need to be defined and passed on to all club members. Rules may also include how long a member should talk, who gets the first chance, how much should each contribute, and how the votes are supposed to be cast. Although an informal club does not mandate to form the procedures, it is always a good idea to form few to maintain the decorum of the club.
Step 11: Plan the Budget and Decide the Membership Fee
Your club type and the goals you hope to accomplish will determine the budget. Funding mostly requires informing social clubs, where members join to raise awareness through events and programs. Most clubs operate from membership fee paid monthly or annually. For additional funds, you can host fundraising events, ask for donations from your community, or find sponsors to support the cause.
Make sure you have planned your budget right before you begin realizing your goals.
Step 12: Run the Club Effectively
In order to run a club efficiently and make sure it stays intact for several years, you need to focus on a few things, namely Meetings, Communication, and Expansion.
Conduct Frequent Meetings
If you only host frequent meetings, will members be reminded of the existence of the club? The club should be active and lively. Each meeting should be commenced with a purpose and have a lot of fun and entertainment elements. Make sure you hold meetings regularly as per schedule. It could be once in a month or once in a week or once in a fortnight. Create a clear agenda and make sure you involve club officers to participate in forming one.
Give every member an equal opportunity to speak their mind and act. To make everyone feel involved and contributing equally, you can delegate specific tasks to each member. For the entertainment quotient, you should organize games and plays. You could also distribute prizes for games.
Communicate and Stay in Touch
You have to make each club member feel included and informed. Make sure you send out information about upcoming events or overview about the next meeting to each. You should make it a point to send a synopsis about the meeting done to the club members who couldn’t make it. If a club member is honored or achieved a goal in his/her career, update about it on your club forum or on the social media page. You can also publish weekly or monthly newsletter regarding your club’s activities and developments. Encourage phone talks and quarterly trips, hikes, lunch gathering with family or any other friendly activity to keep the club united.
Bring in New Recruits
Just because your club has 50 members now, doesn’t mean you will stop inviting or recruiting more people. Individuals leave for unexpected and uncertain reasons. So, you must make sure to bring in at least one or two members per month.
Ask your club members to talk to their friends, family, classmates, co-workers, and relatives. Continue advertising on social media platforms, and through flyers in your community. The more number of people, the better will be the goal outcomes. This is especially true in the case of social causes and events.
That is literally all you need to start a club. The elements are same, the steps are same, probably the concept and way would differ. Fun clubs require more entertainment and events, while faith-based clubs require more meetups. Students’ club is also growing in popularity. In case of questions, raise them in comments below and we shall get back to you at the earliest.