Survival of the fittest?

During the last 18 months the golf industry has faced an unprecedented challenge. Private golf clubs and proprietary golf courses alike have started to be affected by the credit crunch, Well that’s the story we are hearing anyway, but in reality our latest recession has merely served to expose poorly prepared golf businesses to the greater challenges of declining demand for club membership and a massive over supply of golf in some areas of the world.

Much of the face to face work I do with clients is based right in golf’s heart…the home of golf…Scotland. Here we have 18 holes for every 9,000 of population… isn’t that astonishing! We have experienced a 25% increase in supply of golf since about 1980. However, many industry experts now estimate that up to 20% of Scotland’s golf facilities are in financial trouble…indeed I talk to these clubs everyday and I would say that the 20% estimate is accurate.

Now another thing everyone is talking about this year is the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth and I am not one to let a cheesy metaphor slip by. I get to see the performance of many golf businesses every year, so I am reasonably well placed to report on the impact the current financial downturn (change for recession or depression depending on how gloomy you are feeling) is having on golf clubs and golf businesses. One way to describe the view I see is to shamelessly relate it to Darwin’s Survival of the Fittest. I am seeing two marked extremes: On one side many perfectly good golf businesses/clubs have started down a path that will sadly end in disaster. They’re not bad businesses, the managers and committees aren’t stupid. They just haven’t evolved enough yet, and now that there has been such a huge correction (environmental change) they’ve been caught napping. They always knew that Marketing, Selling and Service were “quite important” – they sent the occassional staff member on a tourist board training course (the ideas from which were implemented for a week or so), but somehow they never found the need or the time to think and act like a proper business..they mistakenly thought they were immune to the normal pressures of business.  The evolutionary timebomb in the economy has sadly shown them too late that it’s all about being better than the club down the road; its about having a better course, better service, better food, better staff, better value and just constantly being better at marketing, selling and inspiring customers to come in and enjoy themselves…striving for excellence all of the time..continuous improvement in other words. Seeing these businesses destroyed is horrible…and that’s what’s happening… and of course it’s not just business failures. There is a huge knock on effect for members, suppliers, staff, their families and homes. Then on the other side is something quite remarkable – and something the media of course is totally ignoring because good news travels slow!. Every day I speak to golf business owners and managers who are so excited because they are doing so well. Sales are up, profits are up, internet bookings are up, customer satisfaction is up…its just up up up!…brilliant. How can this be? Well funnily enough, despite what it says on the news, the world is still turning. These businesses have grabbed the opportunities that this economy has offered and they’ve realised that as business owners and managers, if they don’t become excellent at business, the alternative is disaster.

So please don’t become extinct…you can download our FREE Golf Business Survival Report NOW just by subscribing to this site on the top right of the page.

This is the report that crashed our server when it was released due to the high demand for downloads. This report is FREE and contains essential Tools, Strategies and Advice to help your golf business survive the current downward trend in the industry:

  • Learn the 5 things that golf clubs MUST do to survive.
  • Learn the essential strategies for releasing cash, retaining your top employees, and for retaining your valuable members and clients.
  • Access unique business tools to help you navigate your way through hard times and come out the other end stronger and better equipped to thrive in the future.
  • Learn how the current financial climate can actually be a golden opportunity for forward thinking clubs.

To receive your FREE copy of the Hole18 Golf Club Business Survival Report just sign up for updates on the top right of the page today.

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