May Day review time

With the season only just underway there’s no time to bask in any early glories, now is the moment to review and plan ahead to ensure you stay ahead of the game. TGI Golf Managing Director Eddie Reid discusses the importance of self-assessment.

It might only seem like yesterday that the clocks went forward, the warmer weather and lighter evenings brought people back to the fairways and Sergio was slipping into his nice new jacket.

However, as young as the season might be and, hopefully, as busy as your Pro Shop has been, there is no time to sit back and assume people are going to beat a path to your door. These next few weeks are a critical time for your business as you review how the year has gone so far and start planning for peak times.

Now is the time to print off your reports from your EPOS system – if you don’t have one, I cannot recommend strongly enough that you get one, it’ll become your best friend in retail. These reports will give you an insight into what products are performing well and which may need a push with either a mid season sale or, preferably a move to a more prominent position in-store or more eye catching marketing material.

Your Autumn/Winter products will be arriving soon, so you need to know where you are in terms of stock turns for apparel. If it’s not been a great year so far there’ll be certain lines you’re carrying too much of. Similarly, if it’s been a good year, you may not have enough, so you may need to adjust your order.

With Spring/Summer 2018 pre-books just around the corner too it is vital you see what has worked and what hasn’t so you can make an informed decision on what to order. If certain brands, colours or styles didn’t sell particularly well this year then there is no point in flogging a dead horse and placing orders for similar products again next year…even if you’re offered a good deal!

One Major is down but there are still three to go, so make sure you have a promotional plan in place for the weeks of those events. Prior to each Major the big brands will announce what each of their star players will be wearing on every day of the event. So why not dress mannequins in what Rory/Jordan/Dustin/Rickie will be wearing? Sweepstakes are always good to drive the membership into the Pro Shop, give the top three vouchers or money off certain products; the world’s your oyster when it comes to prizes.

Continuing the theme of planning, the summer holidays will be here before you know it and the kids will be off school. If you’re planning on hosting junior coaching camps during the school break now is the time to start promoting them, giving parents plenty of notice, and maybe even welcome relief, they can get something sorted in advance.

Talking of holidays, are your staff adequately trained and competent in all aspects of your business so you can take a break at some point later in the season? If not, make sure you have a staff-training programme in place to ensure you feel comfortable taking time off. Similarly, make sure you have all their holiday or tournament dates in place so you can plan ahead.

While it’s vital to your business that you analyse your own stock and performance, it is also important that you look outside of your four walls too. The job of the PGA Professional can be very insular, so it’s important to look outside of your business too to see what’s happening in the bigger picture.

This is where companies such as Golf Datatech and SMS are invaluable. Take a look at their research and at the marketplace in general. What are consumers into? It may influence and enhance your buying strategy for later this year or even next. The life of a PGA Professional never stands still, so make sure you are constantly planning ahead to make it as smooth as possible.