Fire Yourself, and then Rehire Yourself
A few years back I read an article in the Wall Street Journal by Carol Hymowitz, that touched on this subject. I am going to attempt to put it in a golf course operators perspective.
Just as employees often must learn new skills to meet changes in their careers, companies must repeatedly reinvent themselves to stay strong.
Faced with an over supply of courses, golf facilities can't survive as they once did by offering the same customer service or communicating to their golfers as they did in the past. The most successful golf facilities don't wait until they're in trouble or are overtaken by rivals to make changes. The trick is to analyze revenue trends constantly, to move quickly to shed weak businesses and to gamble on new opportunities without making the golf facility unstable.
Whereas in the past decade, the concern among courses was course conditions, and you build it, they will come. Now a days, it's survival of the fittest, and running your operation "Lean & Mean" seems to be the common thread. There are no new customers; you have to take them away from your competitor down the street. We have also realized that customer retention is key to a courses success.
Many golf facilities are now investing more time and money into new websites, email marketing programs, growing their database, social media, and mobile marketing.
Golfer's needs are changing, but why is it that most golf facilities still market their golf courses as they did in the 80's.
"Windows of opportunity open and close so quickly today, you can't just mull decisions right in front of you. You have to look around the corner and figure out where you need to go, without becoming spastic or jerking your company in too many different directions," says Michael Fraizer, CEO of Genworth Financial, the insurance company based in Richmond, Va.
Every couple of years around this time, I fire myself. At least in my mind. I then rehire myself, and take a good hard look at the direction of the company. I implement the things that I've always talked about doing, but never got around to it. It wasn't that I was lazy, but sometimes the business can run me, and not the other way around. Here are 3 key words to remember - Prioritize, Prioritize, and Prioritize.
For 2010, objectively analyze your golf operation, and implement programs that you've always talked about doing, but never had the time. Your business viability depends on it....
Whether you are looking to implement a new customer service program, or want to communicate to your golfers more effectively, doing something is better than not doing anything at all.