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Take a Business View for Club Success

image021Committees are difficult structures with which to run a business, but there can be no doubt in any bowling club official’s mind that the only way for clubs to survive and prosper in the future will be for them to be managed as proper businesses.

In the trying times we find ourselves in, both in relation to the falling uptake of the sport and the general financial climate in the country, the commitment to this approach could quite possibly be the only deciding factor between success and failure for many clubs.

Although the traditional committee structure employed by most clubs can make it difficult to consistently apply the strategic approach needed for long term business growth and improvement, this can be eased by the introduction of a club management policy document. Such an instrument is used to apply a consistent approach across personnel changes within the committee. Major changes to the policy can only be made by a full members meeting, but for the most part a well written policy will seldom require such a drastic realignment.

The main purpose of the document is to detail the business goals and ambitions of the club and to set out processes and policies agreed by the club membership for delivering this.

As part of this there will usually be a 3 or 5 year rolling management plan detailing the clubs targets for income, member numbers and investment in clubhouse and green maintenance and/or upgrading.

Bringing all of this together can take time and effort, but most of all it takes a firm commitment from the club as a whole to follow this path. It needn’t take the fun out of bowling. If set up correctly it should improve the club’s fortunes and make the on-going management of the club simple, assuring a bright future in the process.

The Main Components of a Club Policy Document are as follows:

1. Policy Objectives

2. Current position

3. Strategic Plan

4. People

5. Operations

6. Clubhouse Objectives

7. Green Objectives

8. Performance Measures

9. General Policies

10.  Advice and Decision Making.

Of course each of these headings will be split down into several other areas, but once written and adopted, this document will guide the  management of the club in the future, making decisions easy; allowing the members to concentrate on enjoying their bowls, safe in the knowledge that there is a long term plan for the management of the club which focuses on business success.

Some of the benefits of moving to a more business orientated club structure are:

1. Cost savings.

2. Effective Marketing

3. Steady Membership Numbers

4.  Potential VAT savings

5. Stronger Club Performance

6. Attract and Retain more members.

7. Clearer Future for Club

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