Time flies when you're running a club.  Days can quickly turn into weeks as you focus on the day-to-day work.  Sometimes you can work so hard it's easy to lose sight of the big picture.  Making sure that you are checking off the below list will ensure that you keep your club on track.

1 Step back and do a financial overview

Your club won't survive unless you have a tight grip on your finances.  Make sure you carefully manage;

  • expenses and bills - pay quickly to ensure goodwill
  • invoices - chase all late payers
  • payroll - ensure all staff records are up to date
  • taxes - file your returns and pay on time, everytime

2 Review account statements from suppliers

Are your suppliers charging a price that's fair?  Are you still getting good value for money?  If not, it might be time to look for new supplier.

3 Review annual sales

Look at your year-on-year sales.  Are you doing better that the same time last year?  Are costs and profit levels where they should be?  Refer to your business plan and make changes if necessary.

4 Keep a close eye on inventory

  • carefully match stock levels to sales forecasts
  • make special provision for perishable goods
  • ensure storage is safe and secure
  • work with your accountant to find the optimum inventory levels

5 Make sure your customers remember you

In a crowded marketplace, customers are likely to forget your service and offering, so help them remember;

  • use your membership database to your advantage, are you communicating to them regularly?
  • use all available communication methods.  For example, email newsletters are a highly effective way of keeping in touch with customers - as long as they're well written.
  • drive members to your website using links in your email newsletters (read more links, "check out our new menu") - be weary of creating barriers such as keeping all information in a members only area unless it is absolutely necessary (e.g. a member has to sign into your website members only area in order to access the information through the "read more" links), there will be instances where information needs to be kept private for members only but this should be used infrequently.

6 Spread the word about your club on social media

Social media can be very effective marketing channel if you use it regularly.  Make sure your social media always has fresh content.

7 Review your website traffic

Google Analytics is a tool that makes it easier to understand your website traffic.  It will identify pages that are performing poorly and pages that are doing well.  Ask a web developer to help you if necessary.

8 Keep on top of industry news

Set aside time every week or every month to review industry news.  The Club Industry e-Newsletter is a great starting point, but if you wanted to take it further you could create your own Google Alerts and set an alert so that the news that interests you (particularly local news) comes to your inbox.

9 Keep your data safe

Use cloud-based applications to store data and ensure your information is always available and automatically backed up. Relying on your hard drive leaves you vulnerable in the face of burglary, fire or natural disasters. If you use your hard drive to store data, make sure you do at least one monthly backup online or to an external device.

10 Talk to your advisors

Arrange meetings with your accountant, committee, president, manager.  Meet them at the office or a cafe for a half-hour chat over coffee. Review business performance for the last 30 days and last quarter to check you're on track.

Set yourself up for success and get into the habit of setting aside time for monthly tasks. Business can move at a rapid pace. So make this checklist a priority to ensure your club is going in the right direction. This will keep things on track and in control – which can make all the difference.

(SOURCE: Xero Small Business Guides, retrieved from www.xero.com)