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Bowls Club Survival and Turnaround

Bowling Club Survival and Turnaround

Our eBook Bowling Club Survival and Turnaround is now available.

In this much awaited text John breaks down the process of saving your bowling club from financial trouble and moving on to great success into 7 clear steps:

  1. How to stem the flow of cash out of your club starting today and how to prime a pump that will see more cash flowing into your club effortlessly.
  2. The remarkable 10 Minute MBA or how to build a business model that works for your club.
  3. An amazingly simple but powerful formula that will ensure your club stands head and shoulders above all of your competition.
  4. In a revolutionary take on the Marketing of your rejuventated club we turn the commonly accepted view and perceived “wisdom about Marketing firmly on its head! In this remarkable section we demonstrate  “paint by numbers instructions for achieving all of the members you want with a vastly reduced Marketing budget.
  5. Step 5 provides what can only be described as ABC style instructions and guidance to turn your club into a smooth, efficient and profitable machine.
  6. In step 6 you’ll discover a  remarkable system for adding 20-30% of your current income straight onto your bottom line profit!by dealing with waste in your club.
  7. “Step 7 is essentially a method for bringing all of the previous steps together into an automatic club improvement system. Even after you’ve applied the first 6 steps and have a thriving, profitable club; this step pretty much guarantees that even a very efficient club will improve bottom line performance by at least 10% every 3 months

The ebook is available now just click here

Club Turnaround- out of sight out of mind

Summertime and the Living is Easy

At this point in the season, when the club is buzzing with life and the match secretary is running around like a decapitated chicken, the bar is busy and there is a general air of optimism…it is easy to overlook the longer term planning needed for club survival and turnaround.

One of the main action points from the Club Success Manifesto was to:

Define your club’s unique position in your community


…there can be no better time to get started on this. If you were a prospective club user or customer or member what would you rather see? A buzzing hive of activity and sociability now, or an empty, poorly heated clubhouse with very little sign of life in the dead of winter?

If your club is struggling, if survival over the coming 5 years isn’t assured, you can’t afford to not be doing this; introducing your club to the wider community and making sure you start the transformation of your club’s fortunes through the softer, people focussed actions, long before you do the easy stuff with trowel and paint brush!

The Manifesto is still available for free here.

Bowls Club Survival-are you ready yet?

Yesterday we looked at one of the biggest barriers to a successful bowling club turnaround: procrastination;

Ok so it’s hard to get yourself motivated and started and ready sometimes, but there comes a time when you really do have to stop “getting ready”. Some people are even now getting ready to…”get ready”.

One of the biggest excuses I hear from bowling clubs is that they must have someone with proper qualifications behind them before they can tackle the turnaround of their “business” properly; and a whole lot of them think they need some guru with an MBA.

Now, the MBA or Master of Business Administration is a very useful degree and a lot of people spend a lot of time and a lot of money getting one and I admire those who do; but you know what? A lot of time and money spent studying what is essentially a very simple subject does not automatically make good business people.

I have created my own MBA program to help club committees get to grips with what they need to know about turning around their bowling club (business) in 10 minutes flat. I have imaginatively called this, (pause for fanfare and drum roll):

The 10 Minute MBA

My 10 Minute MBA is obviously a very short version of the original, but once it’s in your head, its in there forever and you can apply it to any business situation to get straight to what is important.

My 10 Minute MBA is essentially a diagram or a method for structuring your approach to club business and the actions you take within it everyday to make sure you are:

  1. always sure of what you should be doing and what your club is all about
  2. confident that you have covered everything you need to do
  3. certain that you are spending the right amount of money on the right things
  4. positive that you are reaching your intended audience with the “right” message
  5. delivering an experience that wows your customers, user groups and/or members
  6. making money

My 10 Minute MBA helps you to:

  1. define your club’s future business goals exactly
  2. tell your members, customers and prospects about your offer in the most effective and efficient manner possible
  3. Deliver your offering to the market in the smoothest, most profitable and most integrated way
  4. Develop and retain the very best staff and volunteers who ooze your club’s philosophy from every pore
  5. Innovate in a way that will leave your competition in a pool of sweat.

Is it expensive? It makes up one section out of 7 in my eBook Bowling Club Survival and Turnaround and at the moment you can pick up your copy for under £20!

How long will it take to learn it? Well there is a clue in the title; if you can’t work it out from there it maybe isn’t for you at this moment.

I do hope you can make the sacrifice in money and time to get your 10 Minute MBA. I promise it will accelerate your club turnaround and cast a whole new light on running your club as a long term successful business.

stop getting ready and get started

Starting off your club’s recovery process with too ambitious a plan can backfire on you early.

Making big plans is also a sure way to waste a lot of time; because the plan will just never be ready to roll out to the members, public, prospective customers etc.

The pursuit of perfection in this case would be a major hurdle to progress.

At its simplest the planning process can be a short meeting to decide what the 3 biggest issues facing the club look like, followed by a session on deciding the following:

  1. What Actions do we need to take?
  2. When will we have them completed by?
  3. Who will be responsible for each Action?

When those 3 issues are dealt with, then you simply repeat the process.

For a step by step process you can follow to turn your club around go here.

Bowling Club Survival and Turnaround
Bowling Club Survival and Turnaround
In this ebook we take you through a groundbreaking, step by step blueprint to save your struggling bowling club and reveal the 7 key steps that you can start taking immediately to start making a serious go of your club. more details
Price: £9.97

Club Turnaround: A Formula for Managing Change

“There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things” Niccolo Machiavelli.

Well, the last days of the season are upon us again and it’s a good time to take stock and get a feeling for where the club is now.

Many of you are in the thick of it with Club Survival and Turnaround projects on-going and this will be a worrying time for you as the obvious income diminishes now that the green is closing for winter and the members are heading off to their indoor clubs or other winter activities.

Trying to turn a club around isn’t easy, but it can be made a whole lot easier if you understand what is going on behind the scenes.

I know it can seem a bit like herding cats at times trying to get support and consensus, but there are distinct and identifiable components to the process of organisational change and if you know what they are and how they work together, life becomes a whole lot easier.

The implementation of change in well established organisations and clubs, even “at risk” clubs is a seemingly impossible task. Well meaning members might start a project only to be shot down in flames at every step along the way. Who can blame someone for giving up when faced with this kind of inactivity?

However, if you arm yourself with a bit of insider knowledge about the change process, it’s amazing what can be achieved. Simply by understanding a little more about what’s going on beneath the surface you can adapt your project to suit the requirements of your own situation.

There are 3 main factors at play in my experience and I have Read more

Kick Start Your Club Turnaround

Those of you who are working through my Bowling Club Survival and Turnaround eBook will know that I am a stickler for working to a plan and within that “ALWAYS” working on the top 3 issues that will move us closer to our goals.

Some readers have had a bit of difficulty getting traction with their turnaround plans through one problem or another; almost exclusively linked to apathy or inertia within the club or committee, a reluctance to get moving on big change.

For those of you in this category, who feel like they are trying to push water uphill, here is a little system you can use to organise your thoughts and maybe encourage those around you to engage with the plan a little more readily. Its really just about asking 4 simple questions:

What went well last year?

You can easily apply this question to your club situation and come up with

Read more

Growing Bowls Club Membership

Now that most of the autumn renovation work is completed on the green and the winter green maintenance program is well underway I want to take a week away from agronomic issues and focus more clearly on how your club is doing. Of course if there are any pressing, green related issues, we can continue to discuss these through the usual channels.

So over the course of the next few days I will publish a series of articles on Bowling Club Membership Retention and Growth. These will look at the following subject areas:

  1. The Importance of Member Loyalty (today)
  2. Where are you with Member Loyalty?
  3. Understanding your Target Audience and their needs.
  4. Fulfilling audience expectations
  5. Delivering exceptional service to your members.
  6. Perpetuating your club’s vision through training.

These articles are extracts from my forthcoming eBook, titled as you might have guessed Bowling Club Membership Retention and Growth, which will be available here from 14th November 2011 onwards.  This builds upon the concepts of the “customer” or club “user” as discussed in Bowling Club Survival and Turnaround.

So to start off the week I want to take a brief look at Member Loyalty. I hope you enjoy these articles and get some positive outcomes for your club from them.

Member Loyalty

Customer loyalty is the single most important element to retain within any business relationship and readers of Bowling Club Survival and Turnaround will know that the single most effective strategy for any bowling club that’s serious about survival is to start thinking and behaving a lot more like a business.

So, as in any other business your bowling club will derive a lot of positive benefit from a well established and loyal member base.

In business and increasingly in bowling clubs, large proportions of the available budget (or other resources) are allocated to Read more

Racing to the Bottom

Don't join the race to the bottom at your club

This morning I had to take my old jeep for its MOT.

We live in the countryside in upland Perthshire and it’s about a 10 mile drive to the garage in the nearest town, which in its heyday was a thriving market town and more recently a busy tourist destination.

Incidentally the town had two bowling clubs until recently, but sadly the public, council operated green has now closed.

This is in keeping with the town’s fortunes generally.

The arrangement was for my wife to pick me up from the garage, but somehow we got our wires crossed and I was left with enough time to have a coffee from the local shop and a leisurely walk through the town.

Its funny but when you’re driving you don’t see the finer details or get a feel for what’s really going on in a place.

The site I saw was quite a sorry one; I counted Read more

The Future of Lawn Bowls

Bowling Club Survival and TurnaroundThe future of the game of bowls as we know it has never been in a more precarious position; whether there are too many clubs or too few bowlers is immaterial and we need to avoid being sidetracked by these issues.

Instead, we should be looking at the long term future of the game and decide now what needs to be done to secure that future.

We also have to be brave and avoid being too nostalgic for the golden years gone by; the future will probably look a lot different from the past.

In my eBook Bowling Club Survival and Turnaround I lay out a detailed formula to help any bowling club turn around its fortunes.

You can find out more about this eBook here.

Where are you with member loyalty?

Being able to discern your club’s position with regards to its member loyalty ratio can appear rather tricky if not virtually impossible sometimes. When your member or customer base is made up of disparate groups with differing interests and priorities, which of course it should be, it can be difficult to keep track of how well you are doing overall.

This, unfortunately puts a lot of clubs off trying to find out how they are doing in the eyes of their customers and they only realise things aren’t going well when its too late to do anything about it.

However, thankfully there are some tried and tested methods that can be used to achieve this goal.

Working it out

Being able to retain a loyal member base has obvious benefits and understanding member sentiment is pivotal to achieving this loyalty factor.

Taking the time to focus on understanding the level of each member’s loyalty is both prudent and beneficial to the long term health of your club. Once you have a feel for this, the club management can then take the necessary action to try to prevent potentially loyal customers from just being casual visitors.

Here are the top 4 things to seriously consider in trying to understand the club’s position within the mindset of the various member and user groups:

  1. Gather the required data to assess potential members or users reasons for making the first contact with the club or for showing an interest in a service, product or facility offered by your club.
  2. Find out if members, users and customers would be willing or even happy to introduce the club or a specific aspect of your facilities to others. This is probably one of the best measures of how well you are doing.
  3. Canvas feedback about the level of user satisfaction derived from using your products, services or facilities; and indeed, the lack of satisfaction! Armed with this information, there should also be a proactive counter action to address any negative feedback. Keep this anonymous or you wont get the truth; nobody wants to seem like a moaner! Turn negatives into positives!
  4. With the information gained from existing members and users, you can make a concerted effort to introduce the necessary improvements to your offering to further encourage the commitment of the customer to stay loyal to the club.

This article is an extract from Bowling Club Membership Retention and Growth, which builds upon the concepts of the customer or club user as discussed in Bowling Club Survival and Turnaround.

Tomorrow I will introduce the concept of “a target audience”, maybe not something that comes naturally to most clubs.