This post on the Friday before the New Year will center on resolutions some country club managers might entertain for their operation in 2014. These are inspired by various other blog posts on the Country Managers Association of America’s Back of the House blog. If you’re reading this as a country club manager and you haven’t known about the CMAA already, you owe it to your operation to learn more there.

1. Open the doors wider for younger members. A country club based in Orlando has found some success in welcoming younger members (i.e. those ranging in age from 35 to 44) with lower initiation fees, taking in 22 more members than expected. Whereas some other clubs imposed full initiation fees and dues on members in the same age range, the Interlachen Country Club instituted a progressive schedule of initiation fees for those younger members as they realized a real need to attract more. This particular club decided on a $25,000 initiation fee for members under 45, which can be paid in installments, and will keep the fee at that level until individual members passed their milestone. Member dues for this age range were also reduced to match. If you are facing a similar problem in your own membership scheme (and your bottom line), take a page from their book and incorporate it, especially if your program offers all privileges for one price.

2. Buffer your social media presence. You may or may not have an account on any of the big 5 networks, namely Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. If you don’t, open a few and have your social media manager seek out your club members to connect and share the best things about your club. If you do and already have an established social media presence in one or multiple networks, consider the following:Social Media

  • No matter the network, you should “incorporate visual elements that are consistent with your club’s overall online brand identity (e.g., same logo, same banners that are used on your club’s website, etc.)”
  • Ensure that your social network admins conform to the same standards and guidelines as your website admins, so that the networks don’t post anything that can’t be posted on your website. This will protect your members from any confusion that may arise, as well as your club from the effects of confusion.

For more detailed tips, read this handy article, which covers Facebook, Google+/Youtube, Twitter, and Pinterest.

3. Conduct an environmental management risk assessment. When assessing whether your property passes local legal requirements in any area of environmental management, ask yourself the following six questions: who, what, when, where, why, and how. Every answer to these questions should provide a clearer picture on your property’s environmental condition.

Once you have your questions lined up, follow these five steps:

“1) Identify the Aspect (Activities) – Think about all of the activities and practices that take place on any given day or week on the golf course, in the maintenance building, in the clubhouse kitchen, etc….

2) Uncover the Potential Impacts – Take a look at how each activity may impact the land, water, air, etc. Don’t forget potential health impacts to staff as well….

3) Consider the Frequency of the Activity – How often does the activity take place? Each day? Each week? This affects the overall risk profile. Generally speaking, the more frequent the activity, the more chances there are for something to go wrong.

4) Make Assumptions on Potential Scale and Scope of Impacts – Once you have a sense of how often each activity occurs, then the question of “so what?” needs to be asked….

5) Match the Frequency with the Impact – Use a chart…to identify higher risk activities worth special attention, by cross referencing the frequency and impact….”

If you implement these into your operation (and you haven’t done so already), you will see a difference immediately. Not only will your club be patronized by more people that couldn’t have otherwise, your club will grow more popular and more streamlined in practicing environmental safety (and spared from a hefty fine too!). If you have done so, congratulations! Enjoy the extra business with that well-earned peace of mind.

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