Almost everyone will have been asked by now “so, what are your New Year’s resolutions?” Typically, they involve “exercising more”, “taking more time for yourself”, “spending more time with family”, “travelling more”.  Besides these personal resolutions, now is the time to think about the New Year’s resolutions for your club.  A resolution after all, is a decision to do something differently to bring about positive change.

Each club will have its own unique resolutions for the year, but to help you we have compiled 6 resolutions that every club should be looking to make;

1. MAKE YOUR AUDIT EASIER!

Audit can be a daunting time, but there are steps your can take to make audit easier for you and your auditor.

It doesn’t matter what cash register software you use, you will have till tapes for each day’s sales.  Utilise those till tapes to prepare a simple summary sheet that suits your club, itemising each category of deposit and total them at the bottom.  Deduct any Eftpos and/or ATM settlement and clearly show that day’s actual banking.  As each day’s banking may be made up of two or three separate deposits it is critical this gets done as it is extremely difficult to reconcile banking’s from bank statements, especially after a weekend when there are so many deposits.

If your club has gaming machines it is important you do the same for your Gaming Account Banking. It doesn’t matter if you use EMS print outs, or your own templates, it will make life so much easier not only for yourself when trying to track discrepancies but also the club’s and DIA’s auditors.  Take time now to familiarise yourself with the DIAs Class 4 Gambling: Audited Financial Statements information. The DIA have prepared templates and guidance to help you through presenting your financial statements – so there is very little excuse for getting it wrong.

2. BECOME A GAMING HARM MINIMISATION CHAMPION

We all know that the DIA is planning on launching it’s rolling Mystery Shopper Campaign, which means at any time your club could be subjected to a visit from a mystery shopper.  Aside from the fear of a fail it is in your club’s best interests to be proactive around harm minimisation – clubs are known as safe places for members and guests to enjoy, and being able to not only say that you take harm minimisation seriously but show it is something every club should be striving to achieve.

There is a plethora of harm minimisation information, tools and resources at your disposal, however, it is up to you to build the culture of care in your club which sees those resources and tools used daily.

3. WEEKLY STAFF CATCH UPS

Nothing is going to get your year off to a cracking start like having everyone on the same page!  One of simplest ways to ensure all staff are in the know is to have regular catch ups; put a basic agenda together covering upcoming events and functions, promotions, new or retiring products or any other number of discussion points such as harm minimisation and compliance matters – set a time and get the conversation going.

The benefits of this are endless, your staff will know what’s going on and be confident in up-selling which will lift your customer service game.  They are more likely to be proud and take ownership of their responsibilities and you are subconsciously opening communication channels so that staff feel comfortable in approaching you to discuss ideas, suggestions or concerns.

If physically meeting every week is not practical due to shift work, other commitments etc. start a weekly staff memo, set yourself up with a template covering main points that need to be raised each week and simply update them where needed.

4. TREAT YOUR DATA LIKE GOLD!

2018 is the year for your club’s database to shine!  Every club should be looking to implement a data strategy which will encompass ensuring you are collecting the data you need to be collecting, that it is stored accurately and updated regularly.

It does not matter if you are using an excel spreadsheet or the latest technology, identify your source of truth, the one point of entry for all your membership data – then use this source of truth to feed your membership draws, your email campaigns your mailouts your loyalty system etc.  Take time to manage your database and clean it regularly.  Little data entry errors like incorrectly entering an email address can result in lost opportunities – but a well-managed database can open up all kinds of possibilities.

5. GET YOUR EMPLOYMENT DOCUMENTATION IN ORDER

Start out by confirming that ALL your employees have employment contracts and that your record keeping meets the legal requirements.

Good record keeping protects the employer in the case of a dispute and ensures that an employee’s entitlements are correctly met.  The key requirement in the legislation is that employers should be able to produce a record of the number of hours worked by employees each day in a pay period, and the pay for those hours. This should be in an easily accessible format on request from an employee or from a labour inspector.

Employers must keep wage and time, and holidays and leave records that comply with the legislation and, in particular, be able to show that they have complied with all minimum employment entitlements such as the minimum wage and annual holidays. 

Good record-keeping makes sure that an employee's pay and leave are correct, prevents misunderstandings and protects the employer and the employee if there is a dispute. Your employees have the right to know everything you are recording on their file and have the right to see these records.

6. SHOP AROUND

We have a tendency to become loyal to the companies/suppliers that we have used for years, sometimes that loyalty is born out of a relationship that has formed over the years, the supplier is a member etc or that loyalty is born simply out of convenience – its easier to stick with the status quo than get quotes and fill out paper work and make a change.

The world is becoming far more competitive and the benefits of shopping around could save your club thousands which is of course brilliant for your bottom line.  It is however, not always about money, you may find that a change in supplier may result in a far superior product and/or service that increases sales, saves you time and generally makes your life easier.  Take the time now to look at what contracts are coming up for renewal in 2018 and start shopping around.  Find out who/what other clubs are using, visit www.membermarket.co.nz and start the conversation, you may be pleasantly surprised.

These six resolutions can present a lot of work, however once that ground work is done you enter the maintain and monitor mode and club managers should not be shy to delegate.  By reflecting on the year just been and setting some reasonable resolutions you may just find that new opportunities may present themselves.