Brian Hill reports:
"Golf clubs, both public and private, are part of the leisure and recreation industry. Success depends on maintaining the high level of customer service expected by golfers. Customer retention is critical to a golf club’s bottom line...You want your customers to play more often and spend more money each time they visit. A golf club’s revenue streams include green fees or membership dues, golf cart rentals, fees for golf instruction, equipment and clothing sales, and food and beverage sales...Review past performance. Analyze the previous year’s financial results, and determine which revenue streams met or exceeded a forecast and which fell short of the plan. Analyze the reasons for either outcome. Take a critical look at the overall quality of your service offering. You may find that the course itself needs updating or upgrading to compete with newer facilities...Evaluate the competition. Have staff members visit your major competitors’ facilities to compare their total service offering to your own, including the quality of the facilities, customer service and the prices charged. Determine what your competitors are doing well and where you have a definite competitive advantage...Analyze golf industry trends, and trends in the local economy. Obtain National Golf Foundation data on current trends in the golf industry. Forecast whether the number of golfers in your area is likely to increase. Look at the economic conditions in your local area and how that will affect the growth of your customer base...Set departmental goals. Make them aggressive but realistic. You may decide to emphasize increasing the course’s occupancy during weekdays when play is normally light. Or you might set a goal of increasing clothing sales in the pro shop by 25 percent...Tie the goals to strategies...To increase the number of new customers, obtain press coverage about the course's beauty and challenge...Create a profit and loss statement forecast. Take your revenue goals and convert them into a forecast for each business segment. Forecast the expenses necessary to attain these goals. Add the departmental plans together into a consolidated plan...Review and modify the plan. Check the plan for reasonableness and make adjustments. Scale back revenue assumptions that are too aggressive. Make sure your marketing budget is sufficient to generate the increases in customers you have forecast...Make it an ongoing process to obtain feedback from customers, and take note when they say something disappointed them about your facility. You may find their chief complaint is something you hadn’t thought of, such as the condition of the golf carts. Keep the restaurant menu simple to keep food costs low. Golfers are looking for reasonably priced, good quality food but not necessarily a large menu of gourmet fare...Chronic slow play has a serious negative impact on potential revenues because you can’t get as many players around the course per day. Provide tips and reminders to players prior to their tee-off times about ways to speed up play and be more courteous to the players behind them."
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