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Proposing New Pricing Model for Training Camp

Posted by Stepio On 7:08 AM

New Pricing Model for STEPIO Camp

As athletes' parents ourselves, we have experienced and participated in many sports camps, including technique-learning camp, physical hardship camp, camp/clinic before tournament, camp combined with training & vacation, camp to meet celebrities, camp for making foreign friend and build relationship with the club, camp for learning new tactics and camp to learn from an inspirative coach, etc.

Most of those are effective and impressive with whom we got coached from and explored new spectrum of ideas. However, there is always a concern : PRICE!

Money Rules

How much camp fee is believed to be reasonable? What are the costs embedded? How much profit the organizer could make out of a camp?

Honestly, one of the reasons why there are not many quality camps out there is that the costs to employ a good coach at a nice venue with reasonable accommodation are usually too high and, most of the time, not profitable for an organizer to coordinate a camp -- or the camp fee would be too high for most of the parents to accept.

What's Wrong with The Existing Pricing Model

One of the reasons most of the camps are of high fees because of a critical component -- profit margin.

It is a business to organize a camp, making profit is a must. However, there is a dilemma : the more the athletes joining the camp, the more profit the organizer can make. Yet, on the same token, the quality of the camp would become lower while more athletes are joining, and less effective the athlete can learn from the camp.

Imagine you have the best coach ever in the camp and he has only 5 minutes with you because there are 99 others are queuing. Don't be surprised that it is usually the case if you have more than 50 participants in the camp.

Customers are no longer accepting a set price and paying without a question. This approach only happens based upon a closed market and the limited suppliers are of a competitive advantage on some of the costs that customers do not know about but they do. They then take that advantage and make a profit out of it. In Economics, it is called 'imperfect market'.

Nowadays, it no longer works this way -- customers can always check all prices anytime, anywhere they want and compare, right at their fingertips.

Jerry Mcguire Approach

In the movie 'Jerry Mcguire', Jerry, by Tom Cruise, was fired by the sports agency, SMI, because he admitted that the best way to do the agent business is 'less money, less client, more personal attention to clients and their families'.

It was obviously an opposite mission to SMI's objective, as to maximize profit. Jerry had no choice but left the agency to start his own business by himself,  dramatically with an accountant Dorthy Boyd who was inspired by what he believed.

Although Jerry was not really convinced by his own 'mission statement' at the beginning, the reward from 'less money, less client, more personal attention to clients & families' had not yet appeared until the miracle happened to his only client, a NFL player Rod.

It always takes time for good things to happen, and most people might have given up their own beliefs and got back to the conventional ways to compromise on what the crowd is doing.

Our Open Book Approach

Instead of following the crowd, like a traditional travel agency, we adopt the 'open book approach'.

Our customers no longer accept a price tag and then take hours to read the fine prints in order to understand what actually covers and what not -- and most of the time you have to 'experience' then you know the 'quality' of the tour, and usually it is too late.

If our customers do not agree on a price tag, we simply do not use it!

'Open Book' is a common pricing model for many large corporations to deal with their suppliers, especially on their outsourced services.

In the business world, large corporations requires crystal clear on viewing the perspective suppliers' costs in order to appoint a particular supplier to provide the service. It is not just about knowing your partner, but also the compliance on financial auditing and requirements on securities listings in major stock markets.

And suppliers are more than happy to tell the corporations how much they make and how they allocate resources to come up with the proposed plan to make things better, to improve the service in longer run.

Why not this applies to camp fee?

Advantages of STEPIO Pricing + Jerry's Approach

The concern on pricing of such 'camp service' is that customers (usually parents and athletes) do not know how much it costs to make a quality camp.

Without knowing the bottomline, customers are not comfortable on any prices they see, even it might already be the lowest possible fee to be charged.

STEPIO, as a non-NGO, is running a business for a profit (although as low as possible). We do not mind to tell you how costs are allocated and how much money we make out of a camp.

By having the view of our 'opened book', customers know exactly what they expect from the camp:

  • what quality of coach are they expecting? And his/her charge per hour?
  • what kind of food are they expecting for dinner? 
  • what star rating of the room they will stay throughout the camp?
  • what kind and condition of the venue are the athletes going to spend most of the day on?
  • what training supplies would be provided?
  • what kind of staff to be appointed to take care of the athletes? etc. etc.

Tom Cruise also said in the movie, 'I didn't say winning is cheap!'

Quality service usually comes with a proportional price tag.

What we believe is that once we open to our customers the bottomlines, customers are more than willing to pay what they see appropriate.

We might have 'less money' and 'less clients' but surely we can offer 'more personal care to clients' -- to offer 'personal attention to the clients and their families'.

Here is Our Pricing Tag

We charge ALL items AT COSTS, plus a 10% profit.

With this STEPIO Price Tag, you can :

  • join any sports activities like a local, i.e. never pay a 'tourist' price;
  • set your own budget, i.e. you go with a group of athletes with the similar concept on 'consumption';
  • choose your own style, i.e. if you do not like it, you are not forced to follow others; 
  • best value of money, i.e. you pay what you get;
  • lowest service charge, i.e. our 10% is more-than-enough to prove that we are not a 'shark-in-the-track-suits'.

Focusing On Quality, Not Maximizing Profit

With such STEPIO Price Tag, what it means is that we :

Focus on Quality but Nothing Else!

Coordinate the Best Possible Camp but No Second Best!

Athletes Always Get the Best Possible Training We Could Reach To!

What's Next?

We will try to adopt this pricing approach in our Wellington Fecncing + Ski Camp in August and see how this would change the game!

Here is the link to this camp!

Wellington Fencing & Ski Camp 2018

Hope we could not get into a breakdown, but a Breakthrough!


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