2019 was a tough year for many people in the golf retail sector. While the weather hit profits during some of the wetter months, we also saw a lot of movement, and some pro shops even closed by their clubs. It’s never been more important to have a plan so make 2020 the year you take charge of your destiny.
There’s a lot going on around us in the retail sector – and not just for golf. Store closures on the high street, along with ever-changing consumer behaviour, present constant challenges. Combine those with the wet UK weather, and other threats often faced by golf professionals, and it’s not surprising you may question your career choice occasionally. But help is at hand, and we have essential guidance to ensure 2020 is the year that sets the course for the rest of your life.
Cause Versus Effect
When it comes to mapping out your future, it's hugely important to reflect on what type of person you are. Do you take responsibility and ownership for events that happen at work, and generally in your life – even if things aren’t going as planned? If so, you’re living “Above the Line”, or in other words, “at Cause”.
On the other hand, you might know someone who plays the blame-game all the time, constantly moaning about how difficult their situation is. They're living their lives "Below The Line", and 'at the Effect' of events around them. Is this YOU? If so, it’s time to take ownership and accountability for things that happen to you. Be proactive to set your goals and make a plan to ensure you reach them. We talk in more detail about Above and Below the Line concept in our “3 Steps to Retail Glory” CPD. If you’re like to be at the next one-day workshop in February, just get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
What the mind believes, the body achieves
We can’t stress the importance of having goals to work towards. These can be both professional, and life, goals. And very often, your ultimate, longer-term ‘life goal’ (eg, a retirement in the sun), will be determined by the success of the shorter-term professional goals you set yourself. As motivational speaker and life coach, Peter Drucker, is well-known for saying; “You can’t manage what you can’t measure”: meaning how do you know if you’ve been successful unless you are achieving, and can show that your success is defined and tracked.
What motivates you? Is it the thought of a retirement in Florida, spending more time with the family, or a new car? Or is the idea of making more money your main driver?
Goals should be high priorities in your life so it’s important to be motivated by them. Goals that have a high value to you will change your behaviour, and whilst the process of setting goals helps you identify what you want out of life, achieving them develops you as a person and builds character. Bye bye “Below the Line” whinger. ‘Hello’ proactive, positive YOU!
Goal Setter, Go Getter!
Setting a goal isn't rocket science but simple steps will help you make it happen.
- Set yourself a specific goal. Remember, it has to be of high value to you.
- Give yourself a deadline to acheive it. If you have a long term goal of retiring by 60, give yourself deadlines to complete whatever shorter term goals you need achieve the retirement deadline.
- Writing down your goal will help to formalise it. It also helps to talk to people about it and makes it feel more official.
- Put a plan in place.
Case Study: Director of Golf and Operations, Edgbaston Golf Club, David Fulcher
Now you have a goal, how do you now take this to the next level? What steps do you need to take to ensure you get there?
When he took over as Head PGA Professional at Edgbaston Golf Club, David Fulcher recognised his strengths didn’t lie in selling and retail, and set himself the goal of spending less time in the pro shop, and more time coaching out on the course. The first priority was getting the shop to a stage where he could step away.
Says David, “I have had to find people I trust in order to achieve my goals. When I first came to Edgbaston, I worked closely with Phil Barnard and Mark Hopkins from XPOS, who mentored me through necessary changes to the business and helped me put plans in place. I didn’t have the skills to do it on my own and I’ve learnt a lot over the last 4 years”.
Having taken on board great advice, David was able to double the profit in the pro shop year on year for the first 3 years, and also attributes a lot of the shop’s success to his team: now headed up by PGA Pro and Retail Manager, Josh Harvey. “Having great staff is a huge priority to me and it’s important that the team is consistent. I pay the staff in the shop more than the average wage and they also need to see extra revenue coming back to them. Last year, we invested in more staff training, increased salaries and bonuses, along with equipment to support the shop, such as marketing budgets, displays, software and IT. It’s very much worthwhile. We have a commission structure and year-end bonus system because staff performance reflects how we do as a business.”
“Josh is more than capable of managing the day to day operations in the shop and he’s focussed on sales and margins to ensure we achieve our targets. That’s allowed me to step back to do some longer term thinking around the future of the business. If you’re working 10 hours a day in a shop, you can’t pursue other opportunities as there just isn’t time.”
Bringing Josh in as Retail Manager means David is free to focus on new projects with the aim of generating additional revenue: which, in, turn, allows him to offer better packages for his staff, as well as more security.
“My role has changed a lot. Effectively I’m the Director of Golf and Operations for the club. So, rather than being a retained head pro, I now manage the whole golf club as well. It means there are significant time pressures on me and I’m even more reliant on my team. But I’m also coaching more and doing what I’m good at, rather than struggling with things I’m not.”
Keep your Eye on the Prize
Focussing on his strengths and spending more time doing the parts of the job he truly enjoys were the biggest motivating factors for David. And, for anyone else looking to take their goals to the next level? “Think about your strengths as well as the areas you enjoy when you set your goals”, he suggests, “Find people you trust to work with you, including business mentors who can provide additional skills you might be missing. I also spent time visiting other retailers, pro shops and businesses to find out what was working for them and to see if we could replicate anything”.
If you’d like to benefit from expert help and advice this year, including budgeting, planning and setting goals, get in touch with us for a Business Health Review and call 01454 418395 or contact email@example.com