Stale Muffins

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I enjoy a good muffin.  A soft, chewy muffin with hot coffee can make for a great morning.  They are a reward, once or twice each month.  All muffins look great in a case or on the shelf, and we trust they will taste as good as they look.  However, the past three times I purchased a muffin (at three different locations), I received very hard, very stale, and very dry muffins!  Since I had already left the locations, my only recourse is to never return, tell everyone I know, and don't know via word of mouth and Twitter.

Long term business success is as much about consistency as any other business standard.  It is also about hiring better people, and then empowering these hires to treat people as if they were their parents and friends.  There are many poor golf operations today, and many poor positions within these locations.  Bad jobs are those where we come to work and perform tasks, while leaving our brains and personalities at home.  In 2013, it should be about allowing your people to make decisions, to drive new golfers, new revenue, and new friends.  Today, I am providing 5 thoughts about how to improve the operation, with or without muffins!


You realize by now that this blog is not about my stale muffins, but about business practices that will not allow a staff person to make a very poor business decision.  It is about the decisions made each day in the operation by you and your team.  Each decision will either bring us closer to our customer, or help to drive them away.  With social media and word of mouth in use 24/7, I believe it is vital to teach your team where the foul poles are, and then empower each to make the best decision, at that moment for that individual.   Decisions are part of the day.  How are they being made at your club?

  1. Do a full scale staff review.  Every staff member should be included in the review.  What does each person know?  What do they need to learn?  Does information get to the entire team?
  2. Build a complete people development program.  Keep it simple and assume nothing.  Everything matters from the telephone, the web site, the words used in conversations, etc.  Begin with amazing basics.  Set up testing, role playing, and if possible job exchanges.  Empathy can be a strong team builder.
  3. Take the team to play the competition.  Every operation does some things well.  Have your team do an audit and look only for the things done well.  Review these visits during the next development session.  These team trips can also help build a more cohesive unit.
  4. Once a team member has passed the class, assign them a mentor (no matter their experience) and allow that person to begin making daily business decisions.  Make certain they are not selling bad products or in any way, harming the long term value of the business.  Failing is a part of success, so allow for fast failures.
  5. Manage, measure, recognize, and reward the team members who are succeeding.  This is the real world, and not T-ball where all kids get a trophy.  Reward wins: small and big wins and then watch the wins pile up.  Building a strong business is about having very good people operate your business.  Not every employee is a winner.

Stale muffins are a sign of a bad business in many ways.  As you plan your next budget, remember that each day, decisions are being made in your operation.  Work to build a team confident and knowledgeable in serving golfers each day.  I hope these thoughts will keep your muffins fresh, your team excited, and your golfers coming.


This is good practice no matter what field you're in. Thanks!

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