The Business Golf season is hitting its full stride..have you got started playing this year’s business golf? Oh, you did not know how to play business golf? Well, lets go through the Business Golf warm-up. I will be posting a series of blogs, starting with this one, that breaks down the process I have proven to work best for playing business golf. If you really want to learn how to play business golf and learn why business golf is the most effective business development tool in your bag..then do not miss this series of blogs.
First things First
One of the first mistakes a business golfer makes when starting out on the road they took to playing golf with clients, employees and vendors is to not taking the time to make a plan. Yes, a plan. Business Golf is not just a round of recreational golf haphazardly organized with a hope it turns out well. Business Golf has a purpose and anything having a purpose has a plan created to map out how to accomplish the purpose. This is why business golf is such a powerful business tool.
Now, lets get this straight. The plan for a round of business golf does not consist of attempting to close a deal, make a sale or pitch a product to the person while playing golf. So get that out of your numb skull now. Yes, the round of golf is for business purposes and doing business is the prime directive, if you are in business. However, the business part of business golf comes well after the round of golf.
A round of business golf it is not to be looked at as a way to capture an audience. Business golf is not an opportunity to spend 6 hours out on the golf course showing charts and figures in hopes of getting a contract signed before making the turn. Believe me, I have actually played a few rounds of golf with real live people who use this tactic during the round of golf. Needless to say these people are not on my ‘A List’ of people to play golf with again.
There are a large number of misguided desperate business people roaming the golf courses of the world who see golf only as a way to cull a VIP out of the crowd so they can pitch the crap-o-la (pardon my French) out of something while on the golf course. If that is your plan, then the result will be failure to accomplish anything outside of making an enemy.
So how do you put a Plan together for business golf? As is with any plan making process in business the first thing that should be thrown on the table is the calendar. The calendar is what keeps everything in business in focus and on time. Without marking a point in time to accomplish something business can run a muck and projects can get very expensive. Without a calendar the business is working its way into going out of business.
The first question to answer is to ask how much business golf does the business or business person want to play. Yes, Want vs Need is part of the discussion for the planning. There maybe budgetary or a time issue also, but these challenges should not be a reason to not play business golf. I have reviewed a large number of business plans and operations and have never seen one that did not have built into them ample time to use for business development.
Every business, small and large, should have as part of their plan a large amount of time set aside for New business development. I recommend to clients to set aside at least 40% of the business plan to focusing on the development of new business with the remaining 80% of the time be spend in developing and maintaining the standard operating procedures (SOP). For marketing/sales people the SOP is the holy cross that keeps them from selling something the business does not support and off the3 golf courses pitching someone while they are playing golf. If a business is not able to deliver what it is selling then it is setting itself up to go out of business. Having a plan on periodically playing golf with potential clients, loyal employees and valuable vendors gives the personnel of the entire business an opportunity to develop new business. This keeps both the marketing and operations side of the business happy.
For some businesses in region’s where the golf season is measured in minutes a weekly round of business golf may work best. For others who reside in a golf climates a monthly round of golf with a large number of potential clients is the ticket. I have consulted a few start up businesses who saw a weekly round of business golf for six months would help get their potential client base set quickly. Whatever the approach that fits the business needs should to be plotted out on the calendar.
Be detailed on when and where these rounds of golf will be played. There should be at least a three week period of time before a round of golf with an individual and four or more weeks before the round for a group of people. For large gatherings or company functions, 90 days before the actual round of golf needs to be when the planning for that event starts.
Once the season’s calendar has been plotted out the next step is to make it happen.
More to come…
I will be back shortly with the next steps of getting your business golf season started on a good foot. Until then, let me know how I can help.