Our process is customized to the specific, unique circumstances and goals of each Private Club and client. This begins with facilitating a Planning Charrette with the Board which helps us to crystalize a united vision for the club; that we can then use to build out a project scope of work. In many cases, an outcome of our work with the membership is securing a favorable vote to support a vision for the club and/or a dues increase (or capital raise) to fund a major capital project.
While we build each financial model based on the specific needs of each Private Club, over the few years, we have developed several internal assets that can assist the Board and Management in effectively communicating with the membership. These are designed to provide everyone involved with the assurance that the requisite level of due diligence has been performed.
The research necessary for assessing the positioning of the Club’s brand will utilize the following methodology:
- Engaging in personal interviews with a sampling of current members to understand their perceptions of the Club brand in the marketplace.
- Conducting in-depth interviews with members of the staff to understand the Club’s culture and challenges which may be impacting their ability to deliver an exceptional member experience.
- Holding Focus Groups to give members who have a variety of interests and concerns to share their views amongst their peers and provide their ideas on what they would like the vision of the Club to be, as well as garner feedback on the initiatives that the Club’s Board is proposing.
- Gathering of secondary research pertaining to the community and the surrounding Club market, in order to determine the market positioning currently held by the competitive set.
- Analyzing the findings to identify what positioning the Club currently owns and what opportunities are available to improve it.
Preparing a Strategic Plan is designed to ensure that the Club remains relevant and sustainable for current and future members. The following key benchmarks drive the objectives of the Strategic Planning Process:
- Establishes a framework for the planning cycle including boundaries for effective decision making
- Drives proactive investment based on member input versus a reactive repair and replacement mentality
- Contributes to providing the club a sustainable competitive edge
- Establishes realistic and attainable goals that can be used to measure staff performance and compensation
- Aids in facilitating wise investment and business decisions
- Provides management the ‘freedom to operate’, based on defined long-term plans and short-term operating budgets. Club benefits through retaining experienced and effective management
The process includes gathering information regarding current and future member expectations, governance, operations, facilities, and financial issues to set a good foundation for master plan creation. This should be established from survey results and membership focus groups.
We then undertake a Multi-Step Master Planning Process that includes working with the Board’s choice of design associates to develop a long-term vision for the Club’s facilities, services and amenities which will assist the Board in making significant decisions that are in the best interest of current and future members.
The steps begin with an Operational Assessment of current facilities and how they meet membership’s current and future needs and concludes with recommendation of improvements by project’s individual costs and priority.
Utilizing the input from all the above, we then prepare a detailed long-term Financial Model for the Club, including the potential impact of major planning recommendations in a 5-year Performa. Elements of this Financial Model are compared to best practices and key performance criteria of similar Clubs in order to confirm the recommendations.
Throughout the process, we assist in preparing communications and marketing to provide members with the information and assurance that the appropriate due diligence has been completed as well as gain their support for a positive vote for any proposed capital projects.
We have found that a Club’s governing principles may be “out of date” with the needs of today’s management and membership. Our work includes providing appropriate recommendations for adopting potential improvements to how the club is governed to ensure that operating procedures, committee structures, etc., as set forth in the current governing documents support the overall strategic planning objectives of the club.
The areas that we typically address include:
- Role of the Board of Directors
- Role and responsibilities of Committees
- Commitment to the GM/COO concept
- Defining the authority to vote
- Choosing good Board members and officers
- Creating an Accountability and Authority Matrix
- Establishing the Club’s Mission and Vision statements
- Producing a Board Resource Manual
- Club specific polices, rules and regulations
- Review of By-laws and related documents
Capital Improvement Financial Plan
In some of our projects we are often asked to develop a Capital Improvement Funding Plan that members will support to raise capital sufficient to fund a Board approved Master Plan project or renovation.
The following are some of the Deliverables that we provide:
- Utilizing the financial model developed during the Master Plan or renovation planning process as a baseline, we typically begin by analyzing the Club’s Capital Reserve Study to see what opportunities exist to reduce the overall capital required by identifying those assets which would likely be impacted during their normal repair and replacement cycle. These funds can then be shifted to the Capital Improvement Account (thus reducing the capital required to be raised for the project).
- Assist the Board of Directors in forming a Capital Project Task Force to spearhead the effort to raise the funds needed.
- Develop a benefits program that provides value-added recognition for certain levels of donation and contribution towards the capital required to fund the approved budget for the project.
- We then provide the supporting documents to communicate the renovation/ improvement plans and financial plans to be presented to potential donors, and other constituencies of the Club.
- Coordinate Patron/Benefactor or other forms of contributions to the Club and any other non-debt related funding sources.
- In the event that the Club decides to provide members the opportunity to support the Club’s efforts through bonds, notes, or other forms of debt obligations, we will recommend and provide support to the Club in their selection of a licensed broker dealer of securities to execute such funding or to provide underwriting activities.
- On a selective basis and at the request of the Club President or a member of the Capital Project Task Force, we will attend meetings with potential donors or financial supporters of the Project.
During the executive search process, the following are some of the activities and tasks we are responsible for performing:
- Assist in the creation and orientation of a Search Committee made up of several Board members who will be responsible for evaluating candidates sourced by Signature Group and recommending the finalists to the Board for approval.
- Prepare a Position Description that combines the Best Practices for Club Managers of comparable size Clubs and takes into consideration any operational challenges the Club may be facing as well as any prospective renovation/build out of the golf course, club, and amenities.
- Facilitate a Club Governance charette that will provide the candidate with a perspective on the Board and Committee’s respective roles and how they may impact the candidates “freedom to operate”.
- Prepare a profile of the Club to include a history of the Club’s legacy and overview of any proposed renovation project, to present the Club in the best possible light to potential candidates.
- Produce a high-level overview of the Club’s financial performance to date along with a forecast of metrics and revenues to serve as performance indicators of what the Board is expecting the candidate to deliver in the way of results.
- Research and recommend a comprehensive compensation strategy for the position, including certain incentive-based compensation tied to specific performance goals such as achieving agreed upon member service satisfaction ratings or budget goals…
- Pre-qualify all applicants, reducing the pool to a manageable level of candidates that can be considered for interviews by the Search Committee.
- Conduct a full suite of services related to qualifying the final candidate pool to include personality testing, IQ testing, background checks, and multiple business-related references.
Path Forward Options
We customize our proposals to address the specific needs of each our clients.
The following is a partial outline of the steps we recommend as part of our work flow process: • Introductory meeting for a download on Clubs goals and/or issues – looking for key insights from the Board/Committee/Management so that we can recommend next steps
• Initial site visit and assessment – a topline look at facilities, operations and financial performance in order to prepare a customized Scope of Services
Path forward options:
• Achieving Board consensus on Club’s objectives and goals during an interactive Planning Charrette (Board Retreat)
• Conducting a Brand Assessment - securing Member engagement and support Brand Assessment - Key Results:
• Unify a vision
• Build a Consensus
• Solidify an action plan
• Secure third-party validation
• Recognize the shared pride by members
• Identify willingness of members to support their club through financial commitments, increased club usage and introduction of new members
Looking for more?
We deliver solutions. If you would like to hear from a member of our team to schedule an introductory call or virtual meeting, please contact us today.