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Getting Started on Club Turnaround

A few readers have been in touch over the last month or so to communicate their frustration at trying to get their club turnaround project going. It seems that there is a lot of inertia among other club and/or committee members at many clubs.

Of course every club is different and the troubles experienced in getting things going will be unique to each club. However, there are a lot of similarities also so here are my top 10 tips for getting things moving:

1. Quantify the current club expenditure and income accurately and document this clearly but in simple terms. This will help you when it comes to communicating the club’s situation to the wider membership.
2. Complete an initial cost reduction forecast using the “tweaks” method detailed in Bowling Club Survival and Turnaround and document this clearly.
3. Contact at least 10 local (non-bowling) clubs, societies or groups to discuss the possibility of them using your facilities for their meetings, trying out bowls or reciprocal arrangements where your club members can join in their activities (make sure that the benefits are clear to them). Document this and do a rough calculation of how this can help the club financially.
4. Using the concept of the 5 CSV’s detailed in Bowling Club Survival and Turnaround develop a rock solid plan for increasing the profitability of the club’s activities. CSV stands for Critical Sales Variable and the 5 key variables are: Leads, Conversion, Number of Transactions per Customer, Average Transaction value and Profit Margin.
5. Present the above to the full membership and follow this up with a documented report that details your plan as clearly and as concisely as possible.
6. Use the book as a guide to work through the 7 essential turnaround steps and create your own personalised version of the book containing all of your calculations and information.
7. DON’T talk to your accountant about producing the figures for you; just do a rough and ready calculation based on reality and the potential of your local community to support you.
8. After delivering your report, immediately grab hold of anyone who seems enthusiastic and co-opt them onto your new club turnaround working group. Leave room for one or two representatives from the local (non-club) community on this group.
9. Invite representatives of the wider community, local councillor, business owners, group leaders and anyone else who shows an interest to an open meeting or individual meetings if it works better to ask for their help and input and co-opt the most suitably qualified or enthused individuals onto your turnaround group
10. Create your first 3 month One Page Plan and deliver it on time. Communicate this back to the club.
11. I know I said 10 points but this is VERY IMPORTANT. You must communicate extensively with the club membership and all of those involved to be certain of success.
12. OK 12 points: You must become a bit of a Jack Russell with this; you just can’t be put off by set backs in your program, people not showing up at meetings and the general negativity you are bound to encounter along the way. Above all else be an “observer”, in other words don’t try to mould people to your ways; just observe what they do. Everyone has their own way of doing things and as long as it gets done that’s fine and you will have a much happier ship if you work this way. However, if you observe people not engaging or not showing up repeatedly; just replace them. Above all “observe” what’s going on and be consistent in dishing out praise and the replacement of no-shows and time wasters. Don’t waste time and blood vessels insisting that things are done “your way”.

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