2009 isn’t going to be easy- but winners always find a way to win.
A lot of people are probably thinking the end of this year can’t get here soon enough. I know football fans in Cleveland feel this way, but I digress. Between endless campaign rhetoric, the economy, and a view to the future that is about as clear as looking through road grime on your windshield, the past few months have been particularly unsettling.
The reality is that 2009 isn’t going to be easy, but my observation over the years is that despite the conditions, economic or otherwise, winners always find a way to win.
Our mission is to provide a monthly stream of ideas that will help you be a winner, and our editorial plans for next year include a special four-part series we are calling Industry in Transition.
Look for the first installment, Golf’s Future, in the January issue. This will be followed by Family Values in May; Facilities That Work in August, and a profile of Winning Teams in November. The backbone of this series will be exclusive interviews with industry leaders, as well as case histories of notable success stories and exemplary operations. We are excited about these features, and you will be, too.
Separate from delivering an excellent editorial product for our subscribers, here are some other things I’m thinking about that might help us all win as we head into the New Year.
It’s more fun to drive revenue than it is to manage costs…
But cost control is going to be more important than ever in 2009. Odds are pretty good that member attrition rates are going to be abnormally high next year—white-collar layoffs in the automotive and financial sectors will have a ripple effect that has yet to be felt in our industry. I would look to technology and a greater emphasis on training to help drive down operating costs at my club or resort.
It’s not the economy, it’s the number of rounds played…
Figure out a way to increase the total number of rounds played at your club next year. Do this, and the revenues will follow. Get the players on your premises, and the rest will take care of itself. Yes, the hard-core golfer will always be there—but what about the rest? Will low-cost or subsidized playing lessons do the trick? The better people play the game, the more they will want to play it. This is good for your golf pro, and for your club.
You can’t save your way to prosperity…
It takes a certain level of “bravery” to not circle the wagons until conditions improve. But clubs that continue to invest—wisely—in their future will weather the tough economy better than those that stop improving their properties and operations. And these will also be the clubs that perform better, and more quickly, when the recession is over.
And finally, best wishes to all of you.
I want to personally thank you for your letters and comments this past year, and for your continued interest in our—your—magazine. The feedback is always constructive and appreciated—and it’s mostly positive, as well!
Here’s wishing you and yours a terrific holiday season and a healthy and prosperous New Year.
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