The End (of the season) Is Nigh

The season is in full swing, you’re no doubt rushed off your feet, but don’t lose sight of the future, it could be very costly. TGI Golf Managing Director Eddie Reid discusses the importance of planning ahead.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Despite that being a Christmas song I think that, for the PGA Professional, it’s more suited for the summer time. I’m well aware these are the busiest months for a PGA Professional, especially if the weather is good (like it is at the time of writing, long may it continue).

Busy start sheets, rammed coaching diary and, of course, the school holidays, all result in extremely long and hectic days. It can often feel like you just don’t have time for a cuppa, let alone a planning session. However, at this time of year, believe it or not and no matter how hard it is to do so, it is imperative that you take a look at the future to ensure your business remains successful and profitable once the curtain comes down on the golf season.

July is the month that you’ll be visited by the brands’ reps looking to get your pre-book orders in for Spring/Summer 2018, so the first thing you need to do is be prepared. I don’t mean make sure the kettle’s on and you have some biscuits in the tin, I mean get on your EPOS system and have a look at what’s working for you.

Utilise your EPOS reporting system and analyse the ‘Supplier Stats’ report. Filter it via brand to see how each has been performing over the course of the season. From here you can go even deeper into the sub sections to see how each brand is performing in various categories. This information will allow you to build up a pretty detailed picture of what products from the various brands you want to look at as you go into pre-booking.

Planning your pre-booking is a two-step process for me, the above being one stage, the other is budget, something you should have looked at earlier in the year when it was quieter. Having said that, while forecasting targets and setting budgets is a winter-time job, you do need to keep an eye on it throughout the year so you can work out how you are going to grow your business. Which categories have been working for you this year? Do you need to adjust your budgets to benefit from these hot products?

Ready for the drop?
As we move into August you also need to have an eye on the fact that your Autumn/Winter 2017 drop will be landing soon. Go back over your orders to remind yourself what you have coming in so you can start thinking about where it’s going to go and if you’ve even got room for it.

You don’t want to start a summer sale too early, but you do need to start planning in case you need to shift stock to get the AW products in. While you’re planning where the new stock is going to go, why not take the opportunity to think about changing the shop around a little rather than just replacing like for like?

It’s a good idea to change things around continually to ensure your shop doesn’t get stale. Remember, many of your customers are repeat customers, so they get used to seeing how your shop looks and may not notice certain products in certain places. Mix it up a little and see if you can continually grab their attention.

And don’t forget to keep on top of the housekeeping and make sure the place is clean. While it’s busy at this time of year it is very easy to let the important things like vacuuming and dusting slip! Finally, while the sun is shining and everyone’s enjoying the balmy weather, playing in shorts and T-shirts, why not have a look at some potential winter coaching trips?

What’s more exciting than the potential of a week or two in warmer climates, coaching some of your best customers or closest friends while the nights are drawing in and it’s getting cold in Blighty? At the TGI Golf Partnership we have a team of Retail Consultants travelling the length and breadth of the UK and Ireland offering this kind of advice in-store and for free to our Partners.