Understanding and Utilizing Occupancy in Your Swim School

Occupancy is a crucial metric that measures the efficiency and profitability of your swim school. By analyzing the ratio of booked or enrolled class spaces to available lesson spaces, you can gain valuable insights into how effectively you are utilizing your resources. In this article, we will explore the significance of occupancy, its calculation, and three ways to leverage occupancy data to grow your swim school and maximize revenue.

Understanding Occupancy Calculation:

To calculate occupancy, divide the number of active students or enrolled participants by the total available lesson spaces, and multiply the result by 100. For instance, if your swim school offers 100 classes per week with a maximum capacity of 7 students per class, resulting in 700 available lesson spaces, and you have 590 active students, your occupancy rate would be 590/700 x 100 = 84.2%.

You may want to then further analyse your occupancy data further by focusing on specific days or times.

For example, many of our clients will have an occupancy rate close to 100% for specific days of the week whilst other days may only be 70%.

We have seen our clients break down occupancy by days, times, teachers, and levels.

The Importance of High Occupancy:

A high occupancy rate indicates efficient utilization of your available resources, translating into increased revenue. Conversely, a low occupancy rate implies that you are paying instructors their full wages but not maximizing revenue potential.

Monitoring occupancy regularly, (preferably monthly), allows you to gauge your swim school’s performance and identify areas for improvement.

Utilizing Occupancy Data to Grow Your Swim School:

1. Targeted Marketing Efforts

Your occupancy reporting provides valuable insights to drive marketing strategies. If your occupancy rate drops below the usual levels, consider launching a marketing campaign or reorganizing lesson schedules to enhance efficiency. Promote specific days or times with lower occupancy rates to your email list or through targeted advertising. It could be as simple as communicating with people on your waitlist. For example, if you have people waiting for a Tuesday time slot however occupancy rates are low on a Thursday, consider emailing those parents and letting them know that although their preference is a Tuesday, some slots have become available on a Thursday.

2. Focus on Retention

Low occupancy rates for certain days or levels may indicate poor customer retention and a high dropout rate. Pay attention to these areas and prioritize efforts to improve customer retention. Communication and progression-focused strategies can play a pivotal role in enhancing retention rates and maintaining optimal occupancy levels. We have seen customers notice that their retention rates and therefore their occupancy levels are low on a specific day (For example Thursday). When this occurs, try to establish the root cause. Is there a teacher that is doing a poor job on that specific day for example?

3. Capacity Management:

Occupancy data helps you make informed decisions regarding capacity management. Assess whether you need to hire additional staff, add more classes on specific days, or expand offerings for particular age groups or skill levels. Likewise, consider reducing the number of instructors on low-demand days to optimize resources. Ultimately, when a class is less than 100% occupied your profitability is not at its optimal. 

Occupancy is a vital metric that determines the efficiency and profitability of your swim school. We recommend that you look at occupancy rates on a monthly basis at a minimum (ideally weekly). This can become a lot easier with a good online swim school booking software with occupancy reporting.

Look for a software that can break down your swimming lesson booking occupancy by day, time, level and teacher.

By monitoring and analyzing occupancy rates, you can identify areas for improvement and take strategic actions to maximize revenue.