How to create customers: Start with your team

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Many decades ago, Peter Drucker, the #1 management guru of the 20th century, gave us the goal of a business.  That goal, he said in 1951 is to "create a customer."  I have owned that definition from the moment I read it.  It seems today however, that so many businesses, including golf course properties don't seem to own that definition, and may not even know the overriding goal. There are many directions I can take the next part of this post. Today, and for the next few, I will take it in the direction of people......the people that serve the golf industry at the club level. Building a team of employees is not easy today, and it was not easy decades ago. The idea of recruiting, hiring, developing, rewarding, and retaining people is a very tough business. As a manager or owner, it is one (but I believe the most valuable) of your many tasks, as you work to put golfers on your course daily.  

Because I want to cover this topic thoroughly, I will move slowly in this first post: The Mission. And although it is vital to know that creating many customers, who will become long-term appreciating assets for the property is absolute in the plan, having strong people to serve these people should be the overwhelming strategy.  Here are 5 thooughts in working to create a top notch team of people:

  1. Treat recruiting and hiring as a full time job and handle it yourself, or be involved in every last interview 
  2. Teach your team that recruiting is a 24/7 program, and good people do not always come through your front door.  Recruting during off hours is critical
  3. I believe people are their history.  Your job is to build a great business, not offer people 2nd and third chances to get their careers on track
  4. A workplace can be a team one day, but it can never be a family.  Know and truly understand the difference
  5. Treat your people unfairly!  A people are keepers because they are excellent in their roles.  They take care of your customers, your business.  What would your business look and feel like without them?

We began talking about the goal of a business.  I believe to grow and sustain long-term customers, you need strong long-term employees.  As a service economy, we do not do service very well.  I believe one reason is because we do not recruit, hire, develop, reward, or retain well.  It is all one circle.  We will not seperate the two.  I look forward to writing more about creating a customer by creating a smart, hard-working team who know how to drive FUN  while they drive sales.


Jack Dillon is the author of this highfives series.  Jack is a speaker, writer, and golf expert.  He is a Toastmaster who would like very much to speak with your team, showing you how he has built better businesses since the 70's.  You can reach Jack at 407-973-6136.  Jack lives in Orlando.  Thank you.


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