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Small business and Golf.

Golf courses vary. Some are magnificent landscapes, some are undulating links on cliff tops and some are an expanse of mixed grasses, with bushes and trees, just like business environments. How would you describe your trading conditions in golf course terms? As a small business owner, letís pretend you are the golfer, playing a round in your niche market (your golf course). You start at the clubhouse with your Business Plan, Marketing Plan and Operational Plan. A few competitors, wearing designer clothes, arrive in expensive vehicles and park. These are just diversions.

As you approach the tee-off for the First Hole, you notice other golfers dotted around your market. As you struggle to stand your golf bag upright and remove the large wood you notice an electric buggy nearby. ďMust update my business tools,Ē you murmur. The small business must have goals. Youíll know how many actions in your Operational Cycle.

Your business places an advertisement, sends a brochure, processes an order, banks the money, delivers the goods and initiates the customer care plan. In this example, there are just six processes on your course. After your first tee-off, your next actions follow the previous until you reach the Sixth Green. Should any stroke become jaded, your game plan hits you with increasing overheads. You need different skills with every stroke. Do you go over the clump of trees, unsighted, or do you play to where you see the ground conditions? Placing advertisements in a new media is like going over the trees, you're not too sure of the outcome, whereas choosing to encourage existing customers to increase their spending or to repeat another purchase is definitely on the fairway. Your literature must feature your skills and knowledge and how effectively you play this course, not highlight all the challenging hazards. Donít be indecisive about which club to use. Record important information on your score card before moving to your next Green. Your USP is to deliver throughout the course.

Youíll benefit from upgrading old equipment but youíll play more effectively when youíve regular access to the Club Professional, however briefly. Playing golf alone is not recommended, so one person businesses must talk with an understanding partner. It regenerates your business thinking on the key issues and helps you to solve problems. There is a concept that new knowledge must be verbalised to another before an individual links it into memory. Thatís why talking sparks new ideas. Donít blame the course designers, the weather conditions, your old clubs or your state of mind if your game is not as good as your competitors. Be positive, improve your knowledge and skills of the game and be aware of what other golfers are finding effective. At the end of each round, look at your scorecard. Identify where you could improve. If you just improve 5% of your stroke play each week, within 20 weeks your business has changed.

Written by Mike Lindley Mike holds an Advanced Professional Diploma in Business Innovation. He is the first person in the UK to complete the Edward de Bono Thinking Course with WHC College. Subscribe to launch of new newsletter.Show me.


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