By David Gould, Staff Editor
The consultant and author Peter Drucker said it best: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” Any veteran teacher will have a general feel for when things are going well, but the Drucker approach emphasizes managing by the numbers. An instructor won’t truly know if he or she is succeeding unless they can define where they are through metrics—and stay on track by checking goal numbers over time. This short article covers the important topic of goal-setting and trend-tracking, by the numbers.
It may be your strong feeling that a year or business quarter or a month is going well, but hard numbers will clarify and define just what’s going on. Best place to start is simply to review the gross revenue amount for the period in question. From there you can check how those numbers are trending versus the goal you set. And it’s always good to simply count lessons, clinics and clubfitting sessions, and keep a month-by-month tabulation of them.
What really makes a difference is if you can use goal-setting, long-term strategy and ongoing measurement to make your business 15 percent—or 25 or even 50 percent—more profitable than it is now. If you agree with the premise, next step is selecting the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to load onto your spreadsheet. Total lessons taught, type of lesson taught, total revenue, revenue by category, total fittings, merchandise sales, merchandise margin, average order value (AOV), close percentage, renewal percentage, number of referrals, lifetime value of a student, range revenue by student, rounds played, food and beverage sales, and the list goes on.
In choosing what numbers to track, you’ll want to consider what your club or facility cares most about. Which metrics will help you illustrate the monetary value you bring to the table? What coaching-related activity most drives the overall success of the club? What’s most important to their bottom line? And, of course, what’s most important to your own bottom line?
Managing by measuring is always a three-phase exercise—historical, current and future business. Start simple: How many lessons do you have scheduled in the next month? Next three months? Next 6 months? Next 12 months? Your lessons-scheduled may be your most important indicator of success. The more lessons you have scheduled, the more you’re going to teach. The more you teach, the more people get better. The more people get better, the more they invest with you, and the more they tell their friends about your services.
When you’re the busiest game in town you can also charge more for your services. Funny how charging more should reduce the number of students you have but often has the opposite effect—there’s a real perception out there that more expensive means better coaching. A high volume of lessons on the books is important for your business but it’s even more important for your students’ improvement. Movement patterns take time to ingrain. The more time you have with your students ,the more likely they are to get better.
And all that time spent with students will strengthen the relationship and deepen the trust. That additional trust will open up more opportunities for clubfitting and therefore merchandise sales as well as golf trips and other potential revenue streams. Again, none if this is as important as your students playing better golf. The additional time spent with them will take you beyond just being a pro they come to for tips. It will allow you to become their trusted golf advisor, their friend and and their coach. But it all starts with KPIs.