Thursday, February 18, 2010

Steps for a Better Golf Management Business, Step #4

By Michael Vogt, CGCS

Like construction of a building the foundation for a great management scheme begins with solid, proven business practices. We have already formulated a plan to ascertain what the members desire (survey) we have dovetailed the memberships desires into a set of standards, the standards have been quantified into the time it takes to carry out the tasks. The hours needed have been rolled in dollars for labor.

To formulate an all encompassing golf maintenance budget a tally of needed supplies must be added. The supplies needed to carryout the golf course maintenance have to be gathered; chemical controls, fertilizers, equipment parts and other amenities to carry out the business of maintaining the course.

Putting all of these known factors into a concise budget, which in mathematic terms will describe your maintenance plan, is the next and final step. A budget that explains the time, motion and supplies needed to provide the desired playing conditions is often very difficult to generate. Each line item needs to be explained in a language designed for the layman.

A list of each budget line item should be addressed and at minimum should contain the following:

Labor                                                                                Fertilization
Water                                                                               Chemical Controls 
Power                                                                               Maintenance and Repairs
Seed, Soil and Plants                                                         Gas, Diesel, Oil and Lubricants
Materials and Supplies                                                       Leases
Travel and Education                                                         Uniforms and Laundry
Projects (Non-Capitalized)                                                 Cultivation Schedule

A sample of a budget template can be viewed at;

The culmination, recording and assembly of this information will demonstrate that sufficient thought and consideration went into this portion of the business plan for your golf maintenance programs. Presentation and defending the budget and your programs will be much easier for the simple reason that everything you will present has a purpose based on the desires of the membership, the actual hours needed to perform the desired tasks and the need for the supplies to fulfill the maintenance and projects desired. Obviously, the more information supplied to the budget approval persons the better chance your plan will not be scrutinized and approved as submitted.

If and when the maintenance operation is relegated to saving expense items a well prepared budget will make the savings decisions easier by the virtue of the documentation process. An example; if you know how much it costs each day to rake bunkers an alternate plan can be devised and the savings amounts can be discovered much simpler.

Plan Your Work, Work Your Plan

The more homework you do and the better your supporting documentation the more credibility you will carry with your board of directors or general manager. If you follow these steps to create a solid business plan you will begin to manage the golf course maintenance department more like a business, with less unexpected surprises, and more control over your golf maintenance business environment. That farmer just had a bad plan!            

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