At a typical golf club, who should be involved in building revenue for the club?
Building revenue is a part of everyone’s job at a club.
If you are a leader, it’s important that everyone under you shares your vision to increase sales. That necessitates good communication, as with any efficient team, but if all areas of the club are on the same page when thinking about how best to benefit the bottom line, the results will speak for themselves.
They say no man is an island, and no part of your club operation is either. If you want to build revenue, it needs to happen at all levels of your business.
How can a club encourage all levels of the operation to be thinking about revenue growth?
Attitude always reflects leadership. If the leader’s attitude is demonstrated in a commitment to increase revenue, most subordinates will embrace the importance of the task.
Therefore, it is incumbent on team leaders to teach staff, not just what to sell – which goods and services yield the most profit margin for the Club – but also how to sell it.
Often staff members are enthusiastic about developing new skills and all they need is guidance. The truth is, few among us are natural-born salesmen, but selling is a skill that can be learned. Think about investing in a professional selling skills program to train the club’s staff, and the selling strength of the club will expand immensely.
How should the operations team decide on which revenue sources to focus their energies?
A great way to get the ball rolling is to create and use a ‘Revenue Menu’. Think about all of your available revenue sources, list them out, and leave no stone unturned.
You will want your team to focus on what yields the most to the club and sell high-yield items as much as is reasonable; however, it is also important that each staff member knows all of the products and services that they can offer a customer. This way, when the high-yield items are not appropriate they can move down that list. It all adds up: if you don’t get the little money, you won’t get the big money.
Membership dues and guest fees are high-yield segments, as are fees for motor carts and range balls, and these are usually the best place to focus first.
However, one notable exception to the notion of focusing on high-yield products is instruction. When people commit to becoming better golfers, they use the club more often, feel more loyalty towards it, and make it a priority in their thinking. Helping others to enjoy golf more through instruction is a sound business approach.
What are some of the key tactics that should come from any “Revenue Menu”?
- Membership dues and fees will be the primary source of revenue for most clubs, and should always be a priority.
- Items that have little cost of sales attached to them such as motor carts and range balls.
- Increase rounds played through non-dues golf rounds (guest play) and events. This should be a priority for every pro.
- Win the kids and you win the moms; win the moms and you win the game. Treat children well – it’s good business.
- Reward customer loyalty, but reward it only when you get what you want (e.g. buy 10 buckets of balls, get one free, etc.).
- Cause customers to earn discounts. When you do a points program at your club, be sure it doesn’t become a problem with customers looking for more.
- Make instruction a priority. Revenue comes in different ways, not only directly.
The key is that your Revenue Menu needs to be a living document, not just a one-time event. It’s important to follow and map the items on your menu to see how they are performing. This allows you to adjust your tactics as you move forward and discover which items are more fruitful investments at your club.
This article featured insights from GGA Principal and Partner Henry DeLozier.