Sonic Golf: Keep Your Business on the Fairway

Not just a dream business for golf lovers, Sonic Golf is proving itself to be a profitable proposition through it's rapid national growth. Adam Browning reports

An innovative product in a niche market, it is no wonder that in just nine months Sonic Golf has sold over 27 territories in England, Ireland, Spain and Portugal. 'What makes this golf franchise so appealing to investors is that, in terms of new opportunities, there are relatively few golf investment options,' explains Sonic Golf Founder Joel Bissett. 'It's a unique franchise serving a growing market.'

A clever ultra-sonic golf club cleaning machine is at the core of the business - supplied to Golf Clubs on a free, profit sharing basis. It is this reason why franchisees are finding that Golf Clubs are taking up their proposition across the country.

'We estimate the total UK market for golf club cleaning services to be in the region of £40 million a year,' reveals Joel. 'Our target is to secure 35 per cent of this market within the next three years. We are working to achieve this with the extension of our franchise system and a streamlined Sonic Golf franchise model.

'We expect an average machine to generate income from cleaning in excess of 200 sets of clubs per month. Our trials indicate that this figure can be as high as 1,500 sets of clubs per month, and smaller clubs can still generate significant profit with a throughput of up to 300 sets a month.

'Our unique relationship with an accredited UK ultrasonic cleaning manufacturer means we are in a strong position to deliver and service equipment quickly. Our local base also enables us to offer telesales and marketing support, which is included within the franchise licence.'

The franchise has benefited from a three year UK pilot scheme proving the durability, reliability and profitability of the Sonic Golf offering. Responsible for the sale, distribution and servicing of the machines franchisees do not need to be golf enthusiasts but must possess excellent local knowledge and communication skills, have the financial capabilities to fund the business and be prepared to hire and manage part-time staff as the business grows. One Sonic Golf franchisee who fulfilled this criteria perfectly, as well as being a keen golf enthusiast, is Brynn Hill who launched his business this summer. Having previously worked as the regional sales and marketing manager for Bannatyne's Health Clubs, Brynn worked very closely with Duncan Bannatyne himself.

'Working with Duncan was an inspiration,' reveals Brynn. 'It gave me a great insight into the entrepreneurial spirit and this had a great effect on me. I wanted to build and develop my own business and found that Sonic Golf would let me utilise my existing skills to achieve this. Besides that, I loved the fact that Sonic Golf provides a unique product to a large potential market - I really do believe in the product. I could see that this was a business that would work, especially with the additional help and support I receive from Joel and the company.

'The training was very helpful and is a great starting point for setting up your own business. Joel is always there to help with any queries and questions that may arise - Sonic Golf is right behind it's franchisees all of the way.' Following his training Brynn begun to start building his client base. In striking an agreement with the Golf Clubs that lets them receive a percentage from the sales of the tokens that operate the machines, all they have to pay for is the electricity to run it.

'It's all about building a relationship with the Golf Clubs,' says Brynn. 'As soon as they see the product, they like it. When the business model is explained to them, they like it even more. It's a very appealing prospect for them. Demand is very high and everyone I've seen has been incredibly responsive.'

For the investment fee, franchisees receive the first 10 machines and when these are placed, they can invest in more. 'My plans are to double that figure within a year,' reveals Brynn. 'It's a very attainable target. Beyond that, my direction for the business is to expand through investing into new territories. When running a business, I believe it's important to focus on the positive and with Sonic Golf there's a lot to be positive about.'