Bunkers Indoor Golf Center is a great place for people of all golf abilities to enjoy the game of golf all year. Bunkers brings 42 different golf courses from around the world to the people of Spokane. Anyone can play the most popular courses in as little as one hour, if they are playing by themselves or about three hours if playing a foursome. In addition to the great courses Bunkers will offer professional golf lessons, professional club fitting, a nine hole putting green, and four soft white sand bunkers for chipping practice.
Bunkers is a great place to learn and enjoy the game. To ensure the business gets off on the right foot management has conducted a SWOTT analysis and a balanced scorecard.
Strategic Management and Planning
Strategic management is the process of creating and implementing decisions that will enable a company to achieve its long-term objectives. It is the process of specifying the company’s mission, vision and objectives, developing policies and plans, often in terms of projects and programs that are designed to achieve these objectives, and then allocating resources to implement the policies, plans, projects and programs.
Strategic management seeks to coordinate and integrate the activities of the various functional areas of a business in order to achieve long-term organizational objectives. (Wikipedia.org, 2009) To ensure Bunkers Indoor Golf Center is organized properly form the very beginning the company will utilize the four functions of management. These four functions are as follows, planning, organizing, directing and controlling.
Strategic Planning is a process for determining what a business could become and how it can achieve that goal.
It takes a look at the full potential of the business and tries to link the business’s objectives to the actions and the best way to achieve them. Strategic Planning offers a systematic process to ask and answer questions confronting a management team.
The first step to great management is planning. This is the most important step as it will set the stage for everything to follow. Because Bunkers Indoor Golf Center (Bunkers) is a new company it is still working out the bugs; planning is always an ongoing process. The company plans everything from the type of advertising to the way it handles employee performance evaluations and everything in between. During the strategic planning stage management is busy identifying goals, objectives, methods, and the resources needed to carry out those methods, including employee responsibilities and dates for completion of tasks. During this planning stage the owners have employed several types of strategies; the first being a business plan, followed by program planning and strategic planning.
In the business plan the owners will identify the growth of the business and set a plan for the first five years. This plan is the most important in the beginning because it is the one the banks look at to determine if the business has direction. It includes financial goals, hiring of additional employees, objectives, a mission and the keys to success. It is a large plan and is used as the blueprint for the other plans.
As leaders create the business plan, the company will concentrate on the programs and strategies it will use to gain and retain customers. The programs consist of a discount program, complementary items for customers, and many other considerations. During this planning stage Bunkers tried to find programs that would be beneficial to the company and its customers and help it to retain existing customers and gain new ones. At this point, its owners are making the decisions regarding employee dress codes, code of conduct, the employee hand book, and deciding on the way it should evaluate employee performance. The owners will also decide what steps they would use during employee discipline, and what they could offer employees. Each part of the program planning stage opens the door to another.
The strategy phase of planning is essential to the success of Bunkers. It includes the types of advertising, how to gain new customers, how to retain existing customers, how and where to market the business, as well as who to market to. The strategy phase is the most exciting because it offers a chance to be very creative and make new connections. This area of business is very competitive and requires a great amount of time and effort to acquire customers. This phase will be the most enjoyable and is one that can never be stopped, it is essential to continue growing.
Knowing how to create and manage a strategic plan is essential to the success of the company both in the beginning and during its continued success. The business owner cannot afford to ignore the planning stages of the business and it is something that cannot ever be stopped. The overall success of any business can be contributed to the effort and dedication put into the strategic plan as well as the management of the plan. It is an essential part of the business and must be maintained and revised as the company grows.
Mission & Vision Statement
An important function of the strategic plan is to create a mission for the company. In some cases this can be difficult, but rewarding to the company if done correctly and honestly. The mission statement should be a clear representation of the company’s purpose. It should incorporate meaningful information that addresses concepts such as the moral/ethical position of the company, public image, the target market, products/services, the geographic area and expectations of growth and profitability. (Center for Business Planning, 2009) The vision statement is a different concept altogether, although sometimes confused with a mission statement. A vision statement is a description of a desired outcome that inspires, energizes and helps the company create a picture of the target. The best vision statements for result areas describe outcomes that are five to ten years away, although some look even further out. (Time Thoughts, 2008)
To get the business off to a good solid start a mission statement was created. It was done so to give the owner, management, employees and the customers an idea of who the company is and what it wants to do. The following is the mission statement for Bunkers Indoor Golf Center.
Bunkers Indoor Golf Center (Bunkers) is an oasis for all golf junkies of all abilities, from low handicappers and weekend golf warriors alike. Bunkers is dedicated to providing enthusiastic customer service and support to golfers who demand the best golf experience possible in an indoor environment. Bunkers is also dedicated to providing the largest and broadest selection of virtual golf courses in Spokane. Bunkers brings together a team of dedicated people who love golf and believe it is their job to help its customers to enjoy this great game even more. Every employee shares the same commitment to excellence, a commitment that will assure that each and every customer has a rewarding and enjoyable golf experience.
This simple one paragraph mission statement sums up the company and its goals to help them better enjoy the game of golf. The mission statement gives the customers and employees a general guideline and can help them understand the motivation behind Bunkers. It is important that everyone involved with the company understand this and is ready to help meet and exceed the customer’s expectations.
The vision statement is a completely different process all together. This statement drives the company forward to achieve its long term goals. Bunkers vision statement is relatively simple and direct. Bunkers is committed to making people happy by providing a consistently high quality experience that emphasizes the complete golf experience in an indoor setting. This vision statement is short to the point and shows the commitment that Bunkers has to strive to exceed the golfer’s expectations.
Spokane is a small city and is home to several excellent golf courses. However, due to the logistics of the city, some of the more famous and exciting golf courses are difficult play. The owner has had the opportunity to play some of the country’s best courses and when talking to other golfers found that most weekend golfers would love to play these, but given their ability or finances they would not or could not play them. Bunkers has teamed up with the leading golf simulator company in the world (Full Swing Golf) to offer these famous courses to the golfers in Spokane. Without the cost or fear the golfers of Spokane can play 42 courses from around the world year around without leaving the city.
In addition to the low handicappers and weekend warriors, Bunkers would like to work with the local school golf teams to offer a year around practice facility to help develop their skills. The schools can reserve tee times in the same manner as the general public but at a discounted rate. The passion for golf runs deep at Bunkers and as such would like the opportunity to expose as many first time golfers to the excitement the game offers. To aid in this Bunkers wants to work with the Boys and Girls Clubs, Boy and Girl Scouts and Big Brother and Big Sister Clubs. There are so many children that would never have to opportunity to experience golf; Bunkers feels it is necessary to reach out to as many as we can in an effort to promote the game of golf and to broaden the experiences of their life. Golf teaches many life lessons such as patience, determination and perseverance as well as teaching etiquette and promoting health (when walking a course). Today’s youth can learn form golf and it is a sport they can play their entire life.
In an effort to meet the desires of all golfers, Bunkers will host virtual golf tournaments, complete with prizes, offer golf lessons, a putting green and soft white bunkers for chipping practice. The tournaments will consist of three rounds and golfers can play their rounds anytime during the week. This will give them the best opportunity to compete and enjoy the experience.
Golf is a game that can be fun frustrating, to say the least it is the only game the owner loves to hate. It teaches so much and can be so enjoyable, fresh air, clean environment, polite people, and exercise. This is why Bunkers want to promote the sport year around. Spokane has long winters and as such the opportunity to play is limited to only a few months. Bunkers will be open seven days a week, 12 months a year. With this schedule golfers can keep their golf groove all year and get better and shoot lower scores.
Understanding the wants and needs of the customers is essential to the long term success of any business. If a company stops valuing its customers or neglects to listen to their questions or concerns, the company will become stagnant and possibly end up shutting down. Having a road map to the follow in the form of a vision statement is essential to the long term grow and success of the company. The vision statement helps customers and employees see where the company wants to go and the tools it will use to get there and when it plans to do so. Just as important is the mission statement. It is the foundation on which the company is built. Without it the company would most likely not exist.
In an effort to create a successful business Bunkers management has conducted a SWOTT analysis. Management conducted the SWOTT and included economic, legal/ regulatory, technological, strategy, structures, resources and culture analysis.
Economic factors play a large part in building of any business. As a strength to keep business loans to a minimum Bunkers will lease the simulators from Full Swing Golf (FSG). The company offers lease with the option to purchase after 24 months. The simulators are the largest upfront expense; however, the lease gives Bunkers the opportunity to allocate funds to other important categories. Bunkers has found a location that will be convenient to customers, the lease a full service lease that includes garbage, water, electricity and snow removal, it is also a graduated pay format, beginning at the , lowest monthly payment and increasing yearly until the payment meets the full cost. This will be important as the cost will remain low while in the early stages of growth. The need to hire employees that have a passion for golf is necessary, as such Bunkers would like to offer a competitive wage to keep employees excited about work and excited about the game. Washington has a minimum wage of $8.55 per hour. Bunkers intends to pay a starting wage of $10.00 per hour and increasing after a performance review at the six month mark. The business loan will be needed to build the enclosures for the simulators, the platform for the chipping green, the platform for the putting green, and the sand for the greens. Office supplies will also come out of the business loan, computer for the office, cash register/computer, and general office supplies.
The weakness for the new business is the need for a business loan. The need to rely on outside funding is necessary; however, it can be a weakness as we will have to pay back a loan for several years. In addition the need for a loan to start, the economy will play a large part in the interest rates the business can get. The recent dip in the economy may force those that would be regular players to cut back or maybe not to play at all. This is the most frightening aspect of the business. To keep people playing we will offer specials and packages that will enable golfers to play regularly.
The opportunity portion of the economic SWOTT is the most exciting. This is where Bunkers can be creative and make plans for growth. The opportunity for growth is great. Spokane is a golf friendly community and has long cold winters. The need for a place to keep the golf groove is necessary and offers the potential for growth. Bunkers will also increase customer visits by hosting tournaments and prizes for the winners. IN addition to tournaments, Bunkers will offer golf lessons, swing analysis, club fitting, and a small amount of Bunker logo items, most likely hats and shirts.
The threat portion is the most frightening. To be realistic management had to think about the current economic situation and decide if now is the best time to open a business is. Management feels it is a good time. Other factors management took into consideration were will other similar businesses open and offer the same entertainment, will golf shops offer more simulators and simulator activities (swing analysis, club fitting), will employees offer free golf to friends and family, taking away from profits (we will set up family discounts to combat this), great summer weather will be large threat to the business.
Bunkers would like to develop relationships with the children clubs of Spokane as well as the local school golf teams. The legal aspects of this will be in the creating of a contract that benefits both parties. To avoid having a city business license that is very expensive, Bunkers ahs decided to open the first location in the North Spokane area, it is a growing area ( residents and business are all moving north) where business licenses are less expensive. Starting the business with only a few employees will reduce the amount of payroll tax, unemployment tax and work comp cost.
The cost of the permits as well as the time it take to obtain an alcohol permit is a weakness. This is time consuming, it include an in depth look into the past of the person applying for the permit. It takes months to obtain the permit and it is subject to random visits by the state. Bunkers will offer only beer and wine, however the permit is still the same for all businesses selling alcoholic beverages. In addition to the alcohol permit the state also requires the company to obtain a food handler permit. Costly and always requiring training for employees this is also time consuming as well as costly to the company as it has to pay the employees for the time they spend taking the tests.
The opportunity to build relationships with the children clubs and schools is a a great opportunity. The contracts will help the children expand their horizons and also give them the opportunity to learn a new game or improve at it. The contracts will include stipulations that state Bunkers is not responsible for the care of the children and a parent or guardian must be present to allow play.
The biggest threat to the Bunkers is injury to customers. All customers playing in the chipping area will be required to sign a release of liability. There is always the chance of sand in the eye or getting hit by a club or ball. Under aged drinking is another threat and will be dealt with according the state law. Strict rules will help elevate this problem. Parental guidance is also necessary to avoid injury and to keep the business from the liability of children.
Having a business that depends on technology can be exciting and frightening. Full Swing Golf offers the best golf simulator on the market. They are constantly improving the graphics as well as introducing new golf courses. To help increase revenue Bunkers will try to incorporate the newest courses, most recent graphic cards and the best projectors and screens available. As hardware is used it wears out and can slow game play. To combat this issue we will constantly maintain the equipment and run diagnostic test of the machines to ensure fast reliable use.
Technology is finicky. Depending on it can be a weakness in its own. Slow computers, projector bulbs, damage to sensors can all create havoc in the business and reduce profits. Full Swing Golf offers maintenance plans to protect against los in revenue. In addition to the maintenance plans Bunkers will contract with Networks Rx a computer networking company to ensure our cash register/computer, office computers and simulators all work and are connected using quality servers and materials.
Technology is always changing; this can be an opportunity and a threat. As technology changes we must change with it. New faster servers can create the best game play possible. New courses, new graphics and better graphic can help the company grow and will create lasting customers. Incorporating additional elements such as swing analysis, club fitting, and lessons can also be attributed to changing technology.
The largest threat is a down computer system. Bunkers is dependant on technology to function. Having down system will prove a debilitating factor, without it the company can’t function and will see a loss in revenue. This will prove fatal if it is a lasting issue. Having Networks Rx at our disposal will help alleviate these potential issues.
The biggest trend in technology is always changing computer systems. Faster processors, better graphic cards, more memory in servers and new golf courses will be a great trend. The need to keep up with this is essential and can also be seen as a threat, weakness, trend and strength if utilized. Bunkers will be the place to go in the long cold Spokane winters.
Strategy is necessary to compete in a competitive market. Spokane does not have a indoor golf center, and word of mouth advertising, strategic fliers and a radio spots will be necessary to Bunkers growth. Using the school golf teams and the children clubs will be necessary to the word of mouth advertising and the growth of the business. In addition marketing the business, utilizing golf tournaments to increase the customer base will be a great strategy. Bunkers would also like to incorporate professional lessons, club fitting to entice customers. Bunkers is a place a golfer of any age can enjoy a full round of golf, a positive aspect of the courses elderly golfer and young golfers can play a round with out the strenuous effort.
Bunkers is a ground up business and is in need of constant marketing and upgrading to keep people interested. That will be the most challenging portion of the business. The management team will need to be proactive when the weather changes and use promotions to keep player coming back during the summer months. Spokane summers are gorgeous and people will want to play outside. Management will need to promote the tournaments, climate controlled area, professional lessons to keep people playing indoors all year.
Opportunities will be numerous in the strategy area. Holding tournaments that golfers can participate in any time during the week, professional lessons and club fitting will also be an area that will keep people coming back. Bunkers will use the positive image of working with the boys and girls clubs and schools to its advantage and as a strategic opportunity to gain a hold on the community. To keep customer happy and excited to play Bunkers will offer discounted rates depending on the number of golfers in the group.
As always the threat of a new business opening and taking customers is always a threat. The perfect summer weather in Spokane can also be seen as a threat to the strategy Bunkers uses. As noted in prior sections the threat of golf stores using simulations in their shops may reduce the lessons and club fitting. The game play will always be a strong point of Bunkers as it is the main focus of Bunkers.
The use of technology to create customer email lists will be a beneficial tool. Management will create the list and email specials, promotions and tournament results. In addition to the above listed uses of email Bunkers will also use this portal for suggestions comments and reservations. The use of email will also fit into the technology strengths and opportunity portion of the SWOTT.
Bunkers management will seek the best most qualified employees possible. The strengths of this company is based on the golf experience of its management team. The owner and his family are avid golfer and have played some of the best courses in the country. To keep the business moving in the right direction nit is necessary to hire individuals that have a love for the game and like using technology. The application process will include phone calls to previous employers; letters of recommendation from school coaches (for students) and student must maintain at least a 3.0 gpa while employed. To maintain the best possible work force Bunkers will utilize regular performance reviews.
Weakness will include hiring students. This is not a weakness in the traditional sense; this will be in the sense that management will have to plan for students to take time off for extracurricular activities like golf tournaments and other school and family activities. Technology is a large part of the business and as such it is imperative to hire those that have a love for technology and passion to keep customers happy.
Opportunities to hiring students are to expand their knowledge of technology and to give them real world job experience. By requiring students to maintain a certain gpa will help them achieve long term goals and will help management create a positive atmosphere. Using student part time workers will help the company save money in benefits and unemployment taxes. In addition to broadening the horizons of the students we can help them learn technology skills and problem solving skills that will be beneficial to them as they mature.
Threats of having employees are normal to all businesses. Management can reduce these by educating employees, utilizing safety rules, hiring positive, motivated trust worthy people will reduce threats as well. Hiring students may cause an increase in employee turnover. To reduce this we will educate, train them and offer positive enforcement to maintain eh best employees possible.
Bunkers is owned by an avid golfer, and has access to country club professional golfers and high school golf coaches. In addition to the golf pros Bunkers has built in technology company in Network Rx, that can help maintain and trouble shoot office servers, and networks. Some of the funding will come in the form of bank business loan and personal holdings.
The need for a business loans is a weakness for Bunkers. The need to tech support professionals to keep the company moving and to keep customers playing is a weakness to Bunker as well. Every golf simulator has proprietary software that only their technicians can repair. Depending on vendor technical support is costly, time consuming, can reduce the profits, and keep a system closed until the technician can fix it.
Opportunities are great for Bunkers. Leasing the simulators on a lease to own helps the company save resource and still own the equipment at the end of the lease agreement. There are currently no indoor golf facilities in the Spokane area. An opportunity to grow and prosper is great in addition to give the people a great winter activity.
Spokane is located in the Inland Northwest, one hour east of the Idaho Washington border and two hours south of the U.S. Canada border. Depending on outside tech support it costly and can take a great amount of time to receive new parts or for the technician to arrive to install or repair new parts.
A positive trend for golf and Bunkers is the fact that there is always a new golfer. Everyday people try golf and Bunkers offers them a place to try it in a safe controlled environment. We will let children ages five and older participate with the participation or guidance of a parent or guardian.
Golf has a culture of its own and Bunkers will try and maintain it to the best of their ability. Bunkers will offer a clean safe, environment for people to learn or advance their game. Management will build relationships with the children clubs in Spokane as well as the local golf teams and schools. Teaching children the game of golf can teach them things the can use their whole life, patients, perseverance and dedication. Golf is a game that one can play their whole life and Bunker looks forward to helping them start the right way.
There are not too many weaknesses of this business from a culture standpoint. From a business standpoint, this business caters to only one demographic. By opening a business that offers entertainment to golfer only can be seen as shortsighted. However, golfers have the desire to play and in some cases it is a great place for good clean fun.
The opportunity to expose someone to golf is something that Bunkers is excited about. Golf is a great game that anyone can play not matter age, color, or athletic ability. There is the chance that someone would never play a round of golf at an outdoor course, Bunkers offers them a place to try the game in a reduced amount of time. A person that has never played may not be excited about playing a game for three to four hours and not enjoying the game. Playing a full 18 holes in one to two hours is more enticing to beginners and people that are short on time.
The threat of customers becoming bored with Bunkers is a threat management cannot take lightly. With technology constantly changing Bunkers can try to avoid this by updating courses as often as possible. Offering additional resources like lessons, club fitting, tournaments, snacks and beverages will help keep people interested and coming back.
The balanced scorecard is a strategic planning and management system that is used extensively in business and industry, government, and nonprofit organizations worldwide to align business activities to the vision and strategy of the organization, improve internal and external communications, and monitor organization performance against strategic goals. (Balanced Scorecard Institute, 2009) The importance of the balanced scorecard is to improve performance by focusing on what matters, increase focus on strategy and results and to improve the communication of a company’s vision and strategy.
This company has thought about for several years. He has jotted down plans, ideas, drawn floor plans and talked with bankers and even scouted out locations. Over the years, he has had time to think about the business and how he wants it to operate. The owner has spent a great deal of time trying to get ideas together to make this a place people will want to visit. The owner has planned for the simulators (the main focus of the business), the bunkers, putting green and even how to run a fun, convenient tournament. Before the SWOTT and the Balanced Scorecard, he never put a great deal of thought into the actual numbers and financial goals. Until five weeks ago this was just a dream. Now it is becoming a reality.
Over the years the owner worked for several companies and found some of them had great corporate values and it trickled down to the employees and made them feel like they were more than just an employee. That is a feeling the author wants to create for the employees of Bunkers. He found that by giving the employees some basic instructions and letting them make decisions makes them feel they are valued and they are not taken for granted. By doing these little things and not micromanaging a company can reduce employee turnover and reduce expense in training and retraining and utilize those fund in other manners. The long term goals are relatively simple, Bunkers wants to grow and open stores in cities nearby, thereby offering more people the chance to play in a convenient location. In addition to this he wants to link the locations for tournament play. The values of Bunkers are derived from various sources; some personal experiences and others are derived from other successful business models. The author is a business owner and feels he has created a strong employee culture, high employee retention, sound business practices and he feels these same qualities can carry over to Bunkers. The basic values the firm will use in this business are the same that many use in their daily lives: respect, patients, honesty, and integrity. These values have served the owner well personally and will do the same in any business setting. He has created a successful carpet cleaning business with these values and feels he can build Bunker with the same.
The mission of any business is to grow and prosper. Bunkers wants to do the same. The firm’s mission is to create a place where people can come to meet friends, play, learn and enjoy the game of golf. The company want to create a fun comfortable atmosphere where people of any ability can come to play or learn the game that they love. All too often the owner hears people say they do not want to play golf because it takes too long, they cannot walk that far, they are nervous to spend the money on a round and not like it. Bunkers can change that, There are no long walks, no galleries watching and making them nervous, It is a great place to see if golf is for them, and for those that play and enjoy it it is a great place to play courses once thought to be playable once in a lifetime. There is something for everyone young, old, high handicapper or low handicapper; there is a course for anyone.
The SWOTT analysis forced the owner to take a good honest look at the business. He was a little intimidated in the beginning, but soon found it to be a valuable part of the strategic plan. After completing the analysis he was even more excited to continue the process and change the weakness to strengths in an effort to build the best most efficient business possible.
Bunkers is dedicated to providing quality, safety and fun in a controlled atmospheres. By following the SWOTT and the Balanced Scorecard Bunkers can avoid some of the pitfalls of opening and operating a ground up business. The SWOTT is a necessary tool and should be utilized by the management team of Bunkers Indoor Golf Center. Golf is a great game enjoyed by millions of people and Bunkers want to bring the fun to everyone year around.