Historically club investment decisions have centered on facilities and capital equipment. Over the last several months, private clubs have had to be innovative to create new operational processes that balance member safety with the personal connections and experiences those members desire.

That has instantly changed the conversations about investment decisions to include technology. What hasn’t changed is the fact that clubs want to be smart about where their money goes and gain insight into the value it brings. 


Technology Enables New Perspectives

Using software and mobile-first technology is critical to delivering a safe and personalized experience. As it turns it out, applying this tech also enables data-driven decisions. These integrated systems spread throughout the club feed information from every touchpoint. With access and a focus on key metrics including revenue, sales, profit, engagement, attrition, utilization, and much more, clubs can shift away from making long-term strategic decisions using short-term information derived under stress. The result is a stronger balance sheet, more engaged members, and empowered staff. 


The Foundation: Data-Driven Decision-Making

So you have data – now what? It can be difficult to know where to start and what it all means. There are several ways to review your treasure trove of newfound information:  

1.  Peer to Peer

By comparing your club’s performance to other similar clubs, you gain insight into how you are actually doing. In some cases, it can reveal possibilities you never knew existed. Or you could be light years ahead. The point is you often don’t know what you don’t know. This is where services like Club Benchmarking can be invaluable, compiling your data and enabling you to compare to other clubs.   

2. Prior Performance

Are you improving? The saying that you can’t improve what you can’t measure could be historically perplexing for clubs because often the data just wasn’t there. Setting baselines across the club enables leaders to track changes across time and record how they are progressing on the path to maturity, from developing to the leading stage. (To assist clubs on their journey, Clubessential created the first maturity model for the club industry, outlining the steps to each stage.

3.  Specific Departments

Knowing how your club is performing overall is great, but it’s not the whole story. It’s possible that great performance in the majority of areas could mask the underperformance of some departments. Or poor results could be the impact of just one critical department. Looking at specific departments enables you to fine-tune performance.  

4. Groups of Members and Individual Members

This might be one of the most exciting parts for many clubs. For years it was difficult to understand who was really participating at your club and determine which members may be at risk of leaving at your club using real data.  Now with new data points and tools like predictive analytics we can determine member engagement, quickly predict and identify unengaged members, and take action before they leave. 

Broader Image, Same Big Picture

With all of these new capabilities we can’t lose sight of the big picture and why we’re doing this in the first place: to create the best member experience possible. The information must be quick, accessible, and actionable so that your team can spend their time focused on the members, not hours reviewing data and reports. That’s what leading clubs are doing today. These leaders have taken a growth position and know that their revenue allocations have to exceed the table stakes of obligatory expenses, what they have to do, to aspirational investments that move the club experience forward. For an in-depth look at how clubs can uncover and understand key financial metrics and member utilization trends we invite you to check out a webinar with Club Benchmarking Founder & Chief Innovator Ray Cronin and Clubessential President, Lynn Mangan