Required reading with your morning coffee
Every hospital show on TV has its vital-signs moment. Someone pushes a gurney yelling BP is 180 over 40, pulse is 100 and white-blood-cell count is whatever. It’s a cliche scene but, nonetheless, important because it demonstrates the necessity to look at critical numbers to reveal a patient’s condition.
When golf course operators sign on with GOLF Business Solutions, they don’t start wearing scrubs. But they do gain access to critical performance reports designed to inform them how well or not-so-well their business is doing. Ryan Peers, a GOLF Business Solutions Metro Market Sales Manager, helps course operators become adept at pulling and examining these reports, so they can reset their strategy for optimizing revenue and profit performance.
“Eventually it becomes routine for a course manager—something they do with their morning coffee,” says Peers. “Any course that uses GOLFNOW for tee time distribution has access to a number of fundamental reports they can look at whenever they want, just by logging into GOLFNOW Central. The main report everyone wants to see is Rounds & Revenue – Course YOY, which also gives an average dollar cost per round for the selected period.”
Also in that group, “Core Platform” reports show year-over-year revenue performance for a selected period – most operators prefer a monthly look. “At a glance, you see that February 2018 gave you 2,000 rounds and $90,000 in golf revenue, while February 2019 gave you 10 percent less or 10 percent more,” explains Peers. “You’ll want to know this information as a historical trend that can inform decisions about tee-sheet management.”
Training and support are provided for the operator who is just starting out as a GOLFNOW report reader. “We make sure the operator can go through the reports knowledgeably – just a couple of clicks and very intuitive,” Peers says.
The portfolio of GOLFNOW performance-indicator reports goes far beyond the basic five that any affiliated operator can self-service. To obtain more granular reports, an operator would need to make a request with his representative.
The whole point of all this, in Peers’ view, is simple – “to help a course sell more golf.” Getting the staff bought in and responsive to the reports is also a clear goal. Once opened, they can be saved as either an Excel file or a PDF and forwarded to colleagues, ownership or anyone with a need-to-know status.
Obviously, a decision-maker in any business will be interested in data only as it guides their next move. “In the push to maximize tee-sheet revenue, you test out pricing adjustments then evaluate your results,” says Peers.
Recently, Peers was contacted by one of the operators with whom he works about revenue performance year-to-date and expressed some displeasure. Rounds played at his course for a particular period were down significantly. Revenue for that period was also down, though only slightly.
What happened? In this case, it was the rare case of a robust price increase. “He was irritated by the slight drop in revenue, but this operator had really pushed the envelope with his pricing,” Peers says. “But the real story was he discovered a lot of pricing power—going up something like $15 on average with very little revenue loss.” There is a risk even with small price increases, but this one delivered a lot of information about consumer demand and the price ceiling. The next logical step would be to ease off slightly and see whether a sweet spot had been discovered.
As a golf course operator in this current business climate, your customers can be somewhat less predictable than you might imagine. Don't underestimate the value of a set of tech tools that allow you to price-adjust with precision and ease. Soon, you will be optimizing revenue and profits reliably.