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Old 09-09-2007, 05:19 AM   #1
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Default Why do you think some RC clubs are closing?

Fellow club racers I thought it would be a good idea to get input from the guys and gals who are concerned about a large number of our RC Clubs closing.Hoping that we as a RC Family could come up with ideas to prevent more RC Clubs from closing there doors.First off I would like to thank all the Club owners that have taken on this Big financial venture .For the record I am not a Club owner but I am a small buisness owner who enjoys RC Club racing.The key word in all this is Buisness with that said it takes more than money to have a successful Buisness along with that comes CUSTOMER SERVICE,BEING FRIENDLY TO NEW COMERS,TAKING TIME TO TALK TO NEW VISTORS,A simple HELLO WOULD BE A GOOD START,Lending a helping hand as far as car setup tips or where ever your expertise may be .This is about growing the Hobby and growing your buisness .At your next club race lets ALL take time out to be a little more CUSTOMER FRIENDLY who knows we may find our clubs membership growing .The intent behind this is not to bash any Track owner there are some great clubs out there .Final note all sucessful buisness have had to do some reorganizing or revamping.
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Old 09-09-2007, 06:06 AM   #2
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problem here is there are too many clubs starting up. then the old one dies, because the new one is the flavour of the month, then another one opens up, then another old club dies.

i try with newbies, but end of the day i cant be fucked helping them. you see them for a week oe two, help them out. lend them tires, motors, give them free batteries etc, then you will never see them again.
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Old 09-09-2007, 06:21 AM   #3
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Just simply not enough advertising around the local area of the track (20 mile diameter). There needs to be more exposure to the people around the track that would be potential racers for a weekly club race. Advertising is very expensive and/or is alot of work.

R/C racing is expensive, time consuming, and not very easy to do successfully. Not a large percentage of people have the money, time, and talent to enjoy the hobby. The cheaper and the easier the racing is, then the more people that could enjoy the hobby. So you need to expose the hobby to large quantity of people so the people that can enjoy the hobby, become intrested, and start racing.
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Old 09-09-2007, 06:35 AM   #4
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All your points and observations are well taken. I have noticed our racing attendence is down from previous years and have spoken to a few racers and past racers. The hobby itself is expensive and add to that gas to get there (sometimes racers drive an hour or so), its a big investment! Even with the cost, people seem to find money for the things they enjoy, however, if they come away feeling uncomfortable, unwelcomed, or unhappy with the experience, why make the sacrifice of time and money? I have noticed at other tracks, as well as ours, groups tend to shut themselves off from others. The new guys, or those that come alone from a distance, are kind of left on their own. Generally, the track owner is running the race and trying to race himself so this kind of goes undetected. Also, (no offense guys), I think men are less likely to complain of this kind of thing. The "cliche" factor, I feel, is a big issue when it comes to dwindling attendence. It is hard for an owner to control customers behavior or habits and there in lies the problem. What to do? TELL THE OWNER! Use email if he's unavailable. Trust me, he wants to hear this. Its a little less prevalent indoors as space is more limited, however, when people pit next to each other and don't speak a word to each other all evening, PROBLEM! Heck, I can't tell you how many times I've been at the track and its hard to get even a Hello out of some people. When the attendance dwindles down to only die-hard experienced racers, the newbies are quickly discouraged. Everybody likes to win sometimes, or at least feel like they are a factor.

As far as customer service, this IS controllable. For example, my son works the hobby store all summer. He is a very intraverted, quiet type, but knows the inventory. When he left for college we asked my daughter to take over. She doesn't know a damper tube from a can of paint, but she is very outgoing and well trained in customer service. Customers actually enjoy coming in to talk to her and go out of their way to help her learn the stock.

Finally, attracting new racers is an issue. In an attempt to keep racing fees down, we have been less than diligent on the matter of advertising. I can't tell you how many people have asked me what our business is, and then reply "I didn't even know that kind of thing exists!". To much of the general population, RC racing remains a sort of "underground" hobby. We need to get the word out, for sure.
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Old 09-09-2007, 06:35 AM   #5
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sorry, double post edit

Last edited by Mrs. CRC; 09-09-2007 at 06:38 AM. Reason: double post error
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Old 09-09-2007, 07:28 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mrs. CRC View Post
I have noticed at other tracks, as well as ours, groups tend to shut themselves off from others. The new guys, or those that come alone from a distance, are kind of left on their own..

there are some closed groups, just the nature of the hobby as lots of rc racers have a personality of a rock.

but i can tell you for a fact that is not the reason why the newbie dont come back.... in the past 6 months, i have met many newbies...

some come along, i let them use my table, lend them batteries, tires, give them parts etc etc .... they do real shit, and u never see them again.

everyone wants to "have a go", but then when they realise they are shit, it cost a shitload, and takes lots of time to maintain, then they give it up.

even the serious racers, not many people last more than 2 years in the hobby. a few do, but they are the minority. in my club maybe 4 people have been in the hobby for 2+ years, the rest only a few months.
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Old 09-09-2007, 07:37 AM   #7
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Well, I guess its different at different tracks. I know our majority, 15 or so, have been at it for 4+ years. I'm sure none of them won the A main on their first run. It becomes a problem though when they choose to run an easier class just to take the win, and not run a more challenging class where there might actually be some competition!
Handicapping the entries, like in bowling, might be a better solution for this issue, however, there is still the problem of the better drivers getting hostile at the newbies because of their inexperience.
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Old 09-09-2007, 08:23 AM   #8
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Well, if someone would just go to the local Hooters resturaunt, and get some nice young ladies to do some track announcing, marshaling, and just make a general apperiance, the boys will show up to race , I wouldnt care what kind of night I had at that point, car could catch on fire, I'd still walk away with a smile. Primitive, but so true!
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Old 09-09-2007, 08:33 AM   #9
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Well, if someone would just go to the local Hooters resturaunt, and get some nice young ladies to do some track announcing, marshaling, and just make a general apperiance, the boys will show up to race , I wouldnt care what kind of night I had at that point, car could catch on fire, I'd still walk away with a smile. Primitive, but so true!
WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! Very simple, yet effective. I vote YES
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Old 09-09-2007, 09:06 AM   #10
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Unfortunately, not an option in our area. If I tried it, it would drive racers away! Nobody wants to see that happen.
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Old 09-09-2007, 09:08 AM   #11
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Well, if someone would just go to the local Hooters resturaunt, and get some nice young ladies to do some track announcing, marshaling, and just make a general apperiance, the boys will show up to race , I wouldnt care what kind of night I had at that point, car could catch on fire, I'd still walk away with a smile. Primitive, but so true!
Been there, done that, didn't work. In fact the Hooters we raced at went out of business.
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Old 09-09-2007, 09:11 AM   #12
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Money is a small reason. To me, it seems the newer the generation, the greater the need for instant gratification. Once they figure out how much practice and grit it takes to be just mildy competetive, it just doesn't become worth it. It's pretty sad how things are turning out.

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Old 09-09-2007, 09:11 AM   #13
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Reason for the decline? Too much attention on competition, not enough on having fun. Best example is having to spend over a grand to race touring car stock.
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Old 09-09-2007, 09:15 AM   #14
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I agree on the competition. We're even considering a novice night.
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Old 09-09-2007, 09:32 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Mrs. CRC View Post
All your points and observations are well taken. I have noticed our racing attendence is down from previous years and have spoken to a few racers and past racers. The hobby itself is expensive and add to that gas to get there (sometimes racers drive an hour or so), its a big investment! Even with the cost, people seem to find money for the things they enjoy, however, if they come away feeling uncomfortable, unwelcomed, or unhappy with the experience, why make the sacrifice of time and money? I have noticed at other tracks, as well as ours, groups tend to shut themselves off from others. The new guys, or those that come alone from a distance, are kind of left on their own. Generally, the track owner is running the race and trying to race himself so this kind of goes undetected. Also, (no offense guys), I think men are less likely to complain of this kind of thing. The "cliche" factor, I feel, is a big issue when it comes to dwindling attendence. It is hard for an owner to control customers behavior or habits and there in lies the problem. What to do? TELL THE OWNER! Use email if he's unavailable. Trust me, he wants to hear this. Its a little less prevalent indoors as space is more limited, however, when people pit next to each other and don't speak a word to each other all evening, PROBLEM! Heck, I can't tell you how many times I've been at the track and its hard to get even a Hello out of some people. When the attendance dwindles down to only die-hard experienced racers, the newbies are quickly discouraged. Everybody likes to win sometimes, or at least feel like they are a factor.
Let me play devil's advocate. Everyone can relate to the experience of showing up at a new track and feeling like you've interrupted a private poker game. However, I've noticed that has changed for the better since electric began to decline in popularity. We electric RC racers have really closed ranks over the last couple years and we are (for the most part) doing a better job of supporting and promoting the lhs/track.

Regarding clubs closing down, RC will always be an underground hobby so we might as well accept it. It's never really been "cool" and kids are no longer interested in it. The future of RC is the kids of baby boomers like me who got into the hobby back in its glory days and will keep racing as long as there's a track to race at. My generation is just now starting to make good money and our disposable income will only grow in the next 3 decades. That alone will allow racing to limp along into the forseeable future. Maybe Hobbipro has a point. Instead of always trying to be "family friendly", tracks should go the Hooter's/sportsbar route and do a better job of catering to the demographic of their customer base.
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