Monthly Archives: January 2007

Business Golf: Winter Golf

If you are like me, iced into the house and stuck watching the Bob Host Chrysler Classic hosted by George Lopez, then you may be doing what I am doing… climbing the walls from golf fever.  Nay, I am not going crazy or anything with climbing the wall, I was just up there getting a golf ball that stuck in the sheetrock from when I squared a 7 iron while I chipping in the living room.

But, seriously, this is the time of year where 90% of the golfers here in North America, probably the Northern Hemisphere, are stuck indoors for the winter.  Being a true avid golfer a little ice and snow is not going to get me down.  

Us rabid golfers will break out a putter or some training device to keep our minds on the fundamentals until the temperatures gets above 40 degrees where we can get on the course wearing all of those golf sweaters our family feel we should have each year.

Again I digress from the point I want to make, and that is the same goes with Business Golf.  Too many times business people who need business golf or should be using business golf to improve their business shut down here in the northern hemisphere from October until around April.  And with that seasonal shutdown they miss out on the perfect time of year to be working to get a fast start on the New Year.  The first of each year is a missed opportunity if you are not playing Business Golf. 

It is when everyone in business is in a joyous mood and starting out to make those New Year’s resolutions become a fact.    Most business people, golfer or non-golfer, are missing out on some great opportunities to play business golf out of town in places that are warm during the winter.  Like Florida, Southern California, Palm Springs, San Diego or even further south by going down under if you are so bold to make a long trip.

In other blogs I have addressed the plus side of inviting a client, gathering up all of your employees or vendors, to join you in a location out of town.   The advantages of taking this action are many and improve upon those valuable business relationships each business person should be making everyday.

Take advantage of the winter instead of just sitting around getting over your New Years Eve hangover.  While your competitors are sitting in their office talking to people in Palm Springs, San Diego, Phoenix or Orlando, you could be getting a step up on starting a great year by playing some Business Golf in these locations. 

Learn to play business golf; it is one of the best investments you can make for your business.

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Business Golf: Coming to a Town Near You

So, you are out on the internet since you can’t get out of the office to play golf.  Though you would take a break from that two day conference meeting you are conducting in the conference room and needed to find something to take your mind off things for awhile.

Or, you are snowed in sitting with your laptop in your Lazy Boy recliner watching the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic while surfing the golf tags you have on your FeedReaders.

Either way, you are wondering what this Business Golf stuff is all about.  And if you have been to my site before you know I have been talking about Business Golf for sometime now…and why?

Well, I wrote a book on it.   But you probably already know that since you have probably already been to Google to find out who the heck am I.  Good move…

Business Golf is something that every business person, which would be anyone working, retired from working or independently wealthy wondering what working is all about, should use to improve themselves professionally; enhance their companies revenue horizons or to just play more golf.  It is good for non-golfers and naturally the golfer.   Yes, Business Golf can address all of this and more.

So, check back frequently, I will be talking much more on Business Golf right here and will be letting you know in a few days on where you can learn even more about Business Golf.

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Sony Open: Golf Channel Coverage????

OK, I can officially say that I am going to miss the Network coverage of GOLF. The coverage the Golf Channel provides…well I can’t think of a better word…but it Sucks.

Last week it was so dark you could not see anything, this weekend the coverage was so overexposed I was having to put my Oakley’s on just to watch the play and it still did not improve the glare.

And talk…talk, talk, talk, about everything but golf. Like golf to non-golfers is not boring enough, Nick and Kelly have to spend time talking about a parachute surfer…this is golf ladies and gents…not the wide world of sports…anymore.

OH, and we have another week of nothing but Golf Channel coverage at one of my favorite tournaments, the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic….what will it be this time? Too dark, to overexposed, shaky camera or……

Will they finally hire a production crew that knows where to place the camera and how to set the camera’s up to deal with lighting and will they bring in golf announcers who can be funny while talking about golf… The GC can afford it because as far as golf goes…they are the only show in town.

Hey, we can only hope, because it can’t get any worst…or at least I hope not.

Scot Duke is President of Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC and author of How To Play Business Golf. Mr Duke uses his 30 years of business management experience to help business owners and executives develop their business to be more successful and mentor business people on how powerful of a business tool Business Golf can be towards solving many business challenges. More information on Mr Duke and Business Golf can is available at the Innovative Business Golf Solutions web-site.

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Business Golf: Playing It by “The Numbers”

I have had a number of bosses over the years tell me playing golf with clients or as part of doing business does not produce ‘The Numbers’ needed to make it worth while.  I am still hearing this term used today from some of the people I speak with who are skeptical Business Golf is any different.

So, what are “The Numbers” these people are talking about?  In most cases the term “The Numbers” refers to a certain amount of money that needs to be made to produce a significant profit after paying for the costs.

Sometimes “the Numbers’ are the number of sales.  Or they could be the number of savings to a business…all have something to do with a goal.

So why doesn’t golf produce “The Number”?.  Well if golf is used as a six hour sales pitch, no “the numbers” are not going to be met.  If Business is the only focus while playing golf, no, again, “The Numbers” are not going to be met.

But if Business Golf was played, “The Numbers” have a much better chance of being met.  How?

Well Business Golf is not just a round of golf with clients, or something that is thought up an hour before calling the client or customers to go play a round of golf.  No, Business Golf is a purposeful round of golf where something is set to be accomplished.  But, even with that, if not done right it can fail.

The problem arises from not understanding golf and how it can be used as a business tool.  Lack of understanding results in a natural pull back from using golf and a move towards something more traditional, or in some cases doing nothing which does not help product ‘The Numbers’ either. 

The misunderstanding of golf or lack of knowing what the benefits golf can have to producing “The Numbers” results in proclaiming golf as not something that can produce “The Numbers”. 

Business Golf is not just playing golf.  With business golf there is though put into from the beginning on approaching something.  If accomplishing ‘The Numbers’ is needed in order for golf to be used then don’t just let the term ‘The Numbers’ justify running away from Business Golf, find out what “The Numbers’ are and then use Business Golf to attempt to make “The Numbers”.

I have found over the years that using words like “The Numbers” or “Appearing to be ferriferous” are ways weak managers and executives approach explaining away something they don’t want to do or don’t understand.  What takes place when using these terms effects productivity and develops morale issues.  The fun of working is diminished and the energy spent to make things happen wastes away.  All of this effecting there being any chance in the bosses from meeting “The Numbers”

Again, understanding Business Golf and how to play it will solve more problems than the need of making “The Numbers”.

Learning how to play business golf can produce “The Numbers” if done correctly.

Scot Duke is President of Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC and author of How To Play Business Golf.  Mr Duke uses his 30 years of business management experience to help business owners and executives develop their business to be more successful and mentor business people on how powerful of a business tool Business Golf can be towards solving many business challenges. More information on Mr Duke and Business Golf can is available at the Innovative Business Golf Solutions web-site.

 

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Golf: Round Two

It is the second week golf and second PGA event for the season.  The venue is still Hawaii, kinda a paid vacation for PGA Tour Players…that is for those who make the cut, or it just becomes a vacation for the ones that don’t.

But I am excited to say with he second week of golf nearly over the reporting of the golf in the Dallas Morning News sports section has moved from page 11 to page 5.  I would like to be able to report this as being a promotion by the sports editor of the Dallas Mornings News, but I can’t since the sports section was only 11 pages this morning compared to the 14 pages previously reported.  OH, yes the DMN did put a big spread in on page 4 for the Byron Nelson sponsorship drive starting Wednesday…and I only mention that because my friend David Feherty was featured speaker at the Sportsmanship kickoff luncheon.  It will be April or maybe March at the earliest before golf will be up closer to the front of the print media, with the Masters and the Byron Nelson being the only reason for those promotions.  Then as the LPGA starts golf will again move back to being reported in a three inch square on the page after the championship rodeo stats. I’ll continue to provide you with my look and others on the disrespect the print media has for golf as it progresses.

Back to the second PGA event, yes… Michelle Wie struggled to a respectable 8 over during the first round of the Sony Open,  respectable if you were a 10 handicapper.  I still think that there are some hyperventilation issues she is having from being back on the tips where the fairway looks like a razor blade standing on edge.  Those 7000+ set-ups are a long way from the 6000+ courses played on the junior circuit.  Yes Michelle can hit it a long way, but when it is taking everything she has to keep up with the men, not boys, she maybe just a few bench presses short from having the endurance, nerves, and mental strength to hang in there…but, hey, the money is good for her even if she posted my score for what I would shoot from back there.

It is just week two, and Tiger and Phil will show up soon.  I am sure they are in back to back meetings with their financial advisors discussing the goal for this year and I know how long it takes to get to see my FA, so they may be having to be on call to be worked in their schedule…yaw right.

 It is cut day for the PGA Tour, so I will cut this one off here and hopefully be back to report on the latest in golf tomorrow.

 

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Van Halen: WTF Rock-n Roll Hall of Fame

 

eddie-van-halen.jpgThe report in the Dallas Morning news from Thor Christensen as it that Van Halen is going to be inducted into the Rock-N Hall of Fame…as they should be. But the question is…which Van Halen? Will it be Roth, Hagar, Cherone, Hagar again, Roth again, or….Wolfgang Van Halen…Yes the 15 year old son of Eddie Van Halen is now playing bass in place of Michael Anthony, one of the original founder of Van Halen….Give Me A Friggin Break Eddie and Alex and get it all together for this honor that is being put on ya….

Read Technically Speaking Story

 

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Business Golf: Stay Ahead

I was playing golf with a golfing friend a few months ago and when I asked how his business was he said they were having problems “Staying Ahead”.  When I asked about what it was they needed to stay ahead of he said “Everything”.

Since I didn’t want to get into the twenty questions mood, we played on and we just had small talk for the rest of the round…then my Business Golf instincts kicked in while we were in the Grill having a cocktail and paying off the bets.  I asked my friend “How can I Help”.

He first looked at me with a puzzled look and then, being a savvy Business Golf himself, he remembered what we talked about in our greeting on the first tee and said…”I’m not sure you can.”..

Of course I was not going to let him brush me off that easy and I quickly bantered my reply, “Try me”… He said “OK” and waved the waitress over to instruct her to set us up for two drinks each…a good indicator that this talk was going to be a good one when he ordered four $20 martinis.

Now I was not out after the drinks, I was out to do what I do best and help out a fellow business person, and better yet, help a fellow Business Golfer (One of my first students).  He obviously was letting whatever he was dealing with bother him and I was hoping if nothing else he could use whatever it was off his chest…and I was right.

He owned a landscaping business for 15 years and was doing real well with it until corporate America dumped a lot of high salaried executives in the market who had the resources to buy up franchises for landscape businesses.  This was causing him to deal with a lot of cut rate competition, which lead to his employees starting to jump ship for the lure of higher salaries and cooler benefits.   Plus his customers hounding him to cut his rates to compete with the mega-crew companies was starting to affect his bottom-line.

As we started on the second round of martinis he was explaining that he had played some business golf with some of his customers recently.  He reported that his customers want to stay loyal and keep him in business due to his quality.  He figured that his trustworthiness he provided through the rounds of golf he has played with them was a contributing factor.  And he has been able to keep a few of his key employees from taking them out for a round of golf, but all of the shoring up was causing him from staying ahead of his competition.

Instead of him playing offense he spent all of his time on defense and was scoring only because the mega-crew yard companies (as he called them) could not hold up to quality. So he would loose a customer and then get them back in a few weeks, but it was causing huge gaps in his cash flow.

As we sucked on the last of the olives I provided my thoughts.  I suggested that he pull back to a core and look to adjusting pricing for customers who would commit to long term contracts of a year or more.  Plus, concentrate on building the loyalty of employees and customers. I didn’t have to tell him how or what to do…he was my star pupil.   So he agreed that he would look into it and we left each other for that day.

I ran into my friend the other day at a meeting I was speaking at and I asked him first what he was doing there and he said “Staying ahead”…Now it was my turn to look puzzled and he smiled as he put his arm on my shoulder remarking “I think it is time for another drink”…as he ushered me to the bar.

As we sat down he said he sold his business…which was a little shocking, but not nearly as shocking as the finish to this story.  He went on to tell me that he had me to thank for it…because he went back and did what I mentioned.  He cut back his 16 crews to 6.  He did the processing of the operations for a 6 crew to be profitable and then called his employees all out for a round of golf.  Whether they played golf or not, they were to be at the club for the day…NO Work…that got them there. 

After the round of golf he laid out the plan which he said made everyone squirm in their chairs because to them cutting from 16 crews to 6 meant layoffs.  But he said he would be interested in hearing if anyone had any better ideas.

He said the turning point of what caused him to be sitting with me that evening buying my drink came next when a little lady stood up and asked if he would let them meet amongst themselves so to gather their thoughts.  She asked for a week.  He said “by all means”.  He said “tell me where and when you want to talk”.  She looked around at every who was look at him and she said “OH, we will let you know”.  My friend told me that those words still bring a smile to his face.

He continued by telling me that the next week he got an email from the lady inviting him to a fiesta at her house where they would provide him their ideas.  He was very excited and rightfully so because at that fiesta he was provided a plan, not an idea, which blew him away.

All 80 employees were there sitting quietly as the lady presented him the plan on how they will turn the business around.  The plan was every employee would be a sales person.  Each crew foreman would take upon him or her self to solicit residence and businesses in their areas for business with each foreman committed to having his crew do work for free for potential customers facilities for three weekly visits so they can demonstrate their quality of work…and they do this on their own time.

Now it went back to is office committed to let them know in three days if this was something he wanted to do.  After three days he said, “What the heck, lets fo it”.

Within one month his crew foremen hired three more crews.  He started getting contracts coming in for two years from customers he lost months ago.  He wsa finally staying ahead.

At the end of three months he got another email from the same lady who presented the plan inviting him to another fiesta to ask a question.  He naturally accepted and this party proved to be his retirement party because at that fiesta he was presented a proposal to buy his business for a figure he never would see from anyone else.   Being blown away he asked to think about it.

He checked the deal out and it was real and he countered with wanting to continue to be a minority stockholder in the new company.  The new groups who is now the owners countered the offer with making him Chairman of the Board.

Now, I was stunned not by the stiff drink he bought but from the turn of events. When I asked what he thought was the biggest factor for them to pool that kind of money to buy him out he said with a big smile as he got up to leave…”Trust…they trusted me and I trusted them and we found away to Stay Ahead”.

Believe me folks, learning how to play Business Golf can make a difference if you let it.

Scot Duke is President of Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC and author of How To Play Business Golf.  Mr Duke uses his 30 years of business management experience to help business owners and executives develop their business to be more successful and mentor business people on how powerful of a business tool Business Golf can be towards solving many business challenges. More information on Mr Duke and Business Golf can is available at the Innovative Business Golf Solutions web-site.

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