New Proponent Survey Reveals That Websites Have Value to Coaches, Though Not Across the Board

Apr 11, 2023 | News

By David Gould, Staff Editor        

Along with providing us well-thought-out answers on a slew of vital topics, our annual Compensation and Operations Survey usually prompts us to ask some new questions. This year, seeing that only 59 percent of coaches answering the Comp Survey said they had a business website, we wondered why the other 41 percent—a surprisingly large proportion—chose not to.

That led us to a generate one of our quick “Two-Minute Surveys,” which 74 members filled out and sent back to us.

Why is it that a Proponent Group coach would choose not to have a business website? We provided what seemed to be the likely reasons and encouraged participants to check any answer that applied in their case. Here are the selections, and the percentages that each selection drew:

  • Building a site is a lot of work and I don’t have time to do that — 57 percent
  • Building and hosting a site costs more than I am willing to spend — 43 percent
  • I’m an employee and my management doesn’t condone promoting my personal teaching brand on my own — 43 percent
  • My social media presence is strong enough that I don’t need a website — 29 percent
  • I had a website and didn’t see enough return on my investment — 7 percent

Of those who don’t have one, 13 percent said they “likely will never” have one—that was just two respondents.  Another two said they are building one now and the remaining 11 respondents (74 percent) said they’re giving thought to building one in the next couple of years.

We asked: “If you do have a website, does it drive new business?” The “definitely yes” response drew a 66 percent response, the “not sure” response drew 21 percent and the “no” response drew 13 percent.

We then asked about ancillary benefits, with the question, “Does your site save you time, emails, phone calls and generally help you provide better service to golfers?  The answer there was 52 percent “yes”, 28 percent “no” and 19 percent “not sure.”

Given how dominant the smartphone is for digital communications and general business activity—and how strongly skewed the website structure is toward laptops and desktops—we checked to see whether the mobile phone’s current dominance affected our coaches’ thinking about websites. Our specific question was: “So much of your life and business is now conducted on a smartphone. How has this affected your perception of the value of your website?”

It actually hasn’t affected perception, is what 64 percent answered, adding that they believe their websites “provide valuable assistance to visitors on both desktop and mobile devices.” Others—15 percent of the group—went for a more qualified endorsement, saying: “I have noticed this shift to mobile devices and need to work with my web host to make sure my website is performing as it should on mobile.” Just over 8 percent said they hadn’t considered the question and 12 percent said simply that they don’t have a website.

Note:  As happens with data collection, the group that answered the short, specific questionnaire was not a coach-for-coach match with Comp Survey participants, with the result that 80 percent of the short survey takes reported having a website, and 20 percent saying they didn’t. There were 74 total responses, 38 percent employee, 62 percent independent contractors.