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Did They Give You a Power Plan? The Importance of Planning to Succeed

By James Cronk
Captain of ship looking ahead, symbolizing the importance of planning,

“If you fail to plan you plan to fail” 

….said Sir Winston Churchill and likely every other military leader in history!

Well, of course no one actually plans to fail.

And what is failure exactly? Is it missing budget? A decline in membership? Not achieving 100% of your annual KPI’s? The list goes on and on.

But what happens if you haven’t been given a plan?

Do you try to get things done without a plan? If you tend to do this, it may just be time to fire your old self and start developing a more critical eye of yourself and your business. (Don’t worry, I don’t actually mean fire yourself – see what I mean in this blog post)

The Importance of Planning to Succeed

Many successful people underestimate the importance of planning, as well as the importance of being Powered On. Being Powered On involves looking at your plan, looking at your people, and looking at your process.

It is crucial to have a clear vision with a plan that will help you achieve this vision.

I get the opportunity to work with many experienced, hard-working and skilled Club Managers across the country and beyond, and I am always amazed at how many of them struggle to get clarity from their Boards or their ownership on what is expected of them.

More importantly, they struggle to articulate the Board’s vision and plan for the Club.

They know what the fiscal goals are, for example:

  • Sell sandwiches at 1965 prices but maintain a 32% food cost
  • Increase capital replacement while discounting entrance fees
  • Reduce overall labour costs even though the minimum wage has increased by 15%.

…the list goes on

These goals and objectives are often clearly outlined and agreed upon during the budgeting process and are hopefully tied into the managers bonus program.

But what about the ‘other’ measurements? 

The ones that are more interpretive in nature and are often given much less credit when defining success?

Some of these often overlooked things include:

  • Member satisfaction
  • Employee engagement
  • Community awareness and the strength of the Club’s ‘Brand’ (ie. a strong brand that is necessary to attract new members)

There is often a financial plan, but no detailed operating or service plan to go along with it. And when there is a financial plan and a service plan, they are often not connected together.

Here’s a great example:

If our members/customers want white glove service, and our marketing promotes buckets of beer at half price, and the average age of our serving staff in the outdated cafeteria is 65…how can we expect to succeed?

As the Captain of the ship, it’s imperative that you know exactly what kind of ship you have, where the ship is going, what challenges you will face on your journey, and mostly, how you will know when you have arrived.

Create a POWER PLAN to Get Your Club or Business Where it Needs to Be

If you are unclear on where your Club or business is heading, or if you have an idea but are not sure how it will get there, then you might want to consider creating a POWER PLAN.

At Cronk Group we help General Managers, Boards and Owners like you create a plan for success.

Working with all stakeholders (Boards, Senior Leadership, Front-line staff, Members, etc.) we implement a collaborative and engaging process to identify a customized Service Strategy unique to that Club.

Executive reviewing 'power plan' documents

The POWER PLAN process requires four critical steps:

1. Gathering all the necessary and pertinent information

This can include but is not limited to:

  • Member Satisfaction Surveys
  • Employee Engagement Surveys
  • Review of the Club’s HR Toolbox (job descriptions, service standards, training documents, etc)
  • Review of the Club’s Strategic Plan (Mission, Vision, Values)
  • Site Inspection & Audit (a 100 point checklist)

Plus, we distribute a survey that we call ‘A Way Forward’ that is completed by the Board and the senior leadership team.

This survey identifies key issues within each group that relates to process, goal setting, communication and governance.

2. We review the information and complete a SWOT type analysis.

This analysis is used to identify consistency, irregularities, opportunities, and challenges.

3. We create the Club’s POWER PLAN

This is the most important step, and can include the following:

  • Improved Governance Best Practices
  • Updated Strategic Plan with annual Service Priorities
  • A list of Member Needs, Wants & Wishes
  • A list of Employee Needs, Wants and Wishes
  • Minimum Service Standards per department
  • Core Service Values
  • Manager Work Plans per Department
  • Designed Guest Experiences per Department

4. Ensure delivery of the POWER PLAN

This is done through bi-monthly coaching calls with each of the managers to review their work-plan, and updates as needed with the GM and/or Board.

The Result

The result of this process is a clear and measurable POWER PLAN that is based on the Club’s overall vision and mission.

This plan is supported by the right tools in the toolbox, with clear and measurable tasks and objectives for the management team, and a process that allows for accountability and support.

Don’t be the Captain of a ship that sails around in circles – or worse, is filled with holes. Contact us today and let us help you create your own POWER PLAN for success.

Never underestimate the importance of planning!

And don’t forget to take the Cronk Power of Ten Performance Plan training to educate yourself on creating goals, meeting goals, and preparing to achieve these goals.

Now that you know what you might need to change when creating a plan, see how else we can help.

Running a business is hard, and nobody is perfect at running every part of their business. That’s what consultants are for. The Cronk Group team can help you with your business, your plan, your goals, and more. We offer one-hour online coaching, full-service management services, and everything in between! Contact us today and let the Cronk Group help you reach success!

Want to learn more about planning for success? Here 3 of my most popular articles:

Are you managing your moments of truth?
Lights, Camera … Recognition!
Great Service Comes from Great People




Download and apply these 10 ‘POWER ON’ principles and see immediate improvements in the satisfaction of your staff, your guests and your bottom line!

James Cronk

For the past twenty-five years James Cronk has been helping business owners get themselves, their people and their customers powered on. He uses a unique blend of creativity, experience and proven systems to help golf clubs achieve their goals and increase their profits by improving their systems, their service and their people!
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