Our top 8 tips to keep busy in the off-season

We collected our best tips & hints to make sure you’re sufficiently busy in the cooler months, too.

September 4, 2018

Autumn is officially here: schools have started and the weather is getting a bit cooler week by week. A perfect time to take a longer term look at the season ahead.

Off-season is a struggle for many Pros. Make sure you’re not the one struggling, and focus on filling your calendar well in advance with smart service packaging and proper marketing to your existing customer base. We collected our top tips for you to get ready for the cooler season.

1) Aim for longer-term programs

Individual lessons seem to have been the norm in golf tuition in many parts of of the UK, but if you stop to think about if for a while, how many golfers truly benefit from just a single lesson? Wouldn’t most golfers see better results if they committed to a lesson series instead?

Our number one tip for the off-season is to focus on longer term programs that take commitment, bring better results to the golfer – and bring you more sales. Instead of selling individual 30-min or 60-min lessons at a time, why not set up a program for 6 weeks, 3 months or even 6 months including a weekly lesson, bi-weekly lesson or a monthly lesson. What better way to prepare for the season of 2019 (or for that yearly golfing trip to Spain or Florida) than a well-structured program designed to make a difference.

Many of the Pros we speak with are looking into designing longer-term programs, and many are successfully selling programs worth over £500!

2) Offer packages directed to solving a problem

Think of the challenges, problems and goals that your customers have told you they have. What are they?

Hitting 15 yards longer. Holing more putts. Getting out of bunkers. Becoming a single digit handicapper. Learning game strategy. Winning the Club Championship next year. Learning to play golf for the first time. Learning to hit with new irons. Becoming a tour player. Sound familiar?

Instead of selling a product (a lesson), consider how you can really help your customers, and sell a solution that solves their challenges or helps them realize their dreams.

If many of your customers have a desire to hit longer, why not design a program for that? If many are struggling with their short-game, maybe you can design a lesson package that only focuses on that.

You most likely have all the tools and processes available already to help out your customers, but the key is to package your services in a way that speaks to your customers and what they like to achieve.

3) Group lessons and camps are a win-win

How many of your customers have seen a difference in their game after just one lesson? How many golfers in your club would like to improve their game but are intimidated to come to a private lesson? How many golfers find private lessons too expensive? How many golfers would prefer to train in a group (as they do many other hobbies)?

Group lessons are a great way get golfers commit to longer-term programs and to encourage golfers to practice on a regular basis. Let’s face it, most Sunday golfers are too lazy to practice (we definitely are!), and need clear motivation and structure to practice enough to improve. Offering a well-structured program with a clear program and schedule offers them a clear path and makes it easier to reserve enough time aside for practice. And most people find training in groups fun and social, too!

For you as a coach, group lessons make financial sense too! Consider this: Let’s assume your 60-min private lesson costs £45. You design a 6-week program consisting of six 6o-minute lessons, set the price at £90 and sign-up 6 participants. Your total sales will be £540 for a total time of 6 hours of teaching. To earn the same teaching private lessons, you would need to get 12 bookings for a full 60-min lesson. And not only do you need to teach less, you will also enjoy watching your golfers improve. And to make it a real win-win, your customer gets 6 practice sessions with you for a total price of £90.

4) Review your pricing

You’ve spent significant amount of time and money on your education, gained years of teaching experience and lately invested in a new studio and the latest teaching technology. Are you certain you’re getting paid enough for what you’re offering?

Certain golfers are very price conscious, and are always on the look out for the cheapest deals. But, that’s not to say all are. Many golfers are more interested in quality and results, and for them, what you offer and how you can help them is what matters, and they are willing to invest significant amounts in improving their game.

Off-season is a great time to make changes to your pricing and to design your programs differently. Make sure you review your pricing each year, and see whether you can launch new services or packages that help you increase your sales.

To give you a bit of reference, the average prices within the Birdietime network are currently £45 for a 60-min lesson and £26 for a 30-min lesson.

5) Set up your online booking

As the temperatures drop outside, so does the weekly footfall into your Pro shop. Hence, having the tools and processes in place to enable you to serve your customers at a distance becomes even more important.

An online booking system lets you easily a) sell and manage packages and longer term programs b) manage registrations to groups lessons, clinics and camps c) easily direct your customers from your marketing to a page where they can find all the necessary info and purchase service whenever and wherever it best suits them.

6) Try out seasonal campaigns

Autumn is the time for new beginnings and hobbies for many, and the same goes for January when most people make great promises to get fitter and stronger. Make sure you don’t miss out on these potential sales periods, and remember to promote packages designed for those looking to commit to longer training programs during those times.

The Holiday season is the season of giving, and what is a better way to remember a fanatic golfer than a gift card to a Pro? Get your gift cards ready on time; Christmas promotions start as early as Octobers so be ready in time! And digital gift cards are a perfect last-minute solution so remember to promote them until the very last minute.

7) Market your offers to your existing customer base

It is always easier to sell more to an existing customer than try to convince a new customer to buy from you for the first time. Hence, if you don’t yet have a proper list of your customers and their contact details, make sure you start building up a list now so you have a warm audience for marketing your off-season offers.

Email is a cost-effective way to market to your existing customers. If you don’t have time to do it yourself, find someone to do it for you as it definitely pays off. Design emails that you would like to read yourself, and create a rhythm for them so your customers learn to expect them over time. You don’t want to spam people but don’t be too shy either – people do appreciate it when you have useful information or services to share.

8) Repeat, repeat, repeat

You’ve designed your programs and sent our your first email blast and the result of all the hard work: 5 bookings… Not great, eh? You’re only at the very beginning.

If you’re using an email marketing software that allows you to see the statistics of an email campaign, you probably already know that you’ve done really well if 20-30% of your mailing list have opened your email. Not everyone is going to open your email, and even if they do, the timing might be wrong even if they were really interested in your offer.

So, remember to repeat! And repeat! And repeat! Communicate your offers several times throughout the season in different ways, with different angles, and in different communications channels to make sure your customers have a chance to hear about your services, and to find the info easily when they finally get the urge to buy.

So here they are, our best tips for you for the off season. What would be your number 1 tip for a golf coach looking to boost his or her business in the slower months?

Looking to learn more?

If you’d like to discuss these or see how our online booking system might boost your business in the coming months, please reach out and we’re more than happy to help you out.