Play Business Like Golf

One of my dreams is to play the top 100 rated golf courses in the world. Often these courses are private country clubs that hold professional golf tournaments. To date, I have been fortunate to play over 30 of them. Every year, I look forward to "Golf Digest" magazines' new rankings to look for new courses I may be able to play.�

No Targets?
Imagine getting invited to play golf at a brand new top golf course. You plan your trip for months and finally arrive excited. On the first tee you hit your first shot right down the middle around 240 yards. Not able to see the green yet, you hit a three wood down the left side of the fairway 215 yards. The green should be close now.� As you approach your ball, you still can't see the green so you ask your playing partner for directions. He then informs you this course is unique as there are no greens, pins, or holes to aim at. Only a long fairway meandering through the beautiful countryside. The object of this four hour round is to enjoy the scenery and try your best. No score will be kept. Just golf all day until it's time to quit.

Can you imagine wanting to play golf without greens, targets, pins, holes, or a scorecard? Just hit the ball down the continuous fairway and keep playing. Seems absurd doesn't it? Look at your business. Is it like this game of golf?� Are there clear targets for everyone to shoot at and do you keep score of important milestones and results you want to achieve at every level?

Why Golf?
Think about the game of golf.� It takes four plus hours to play in the hot sun fighting the elements. You hit a little white ball into the rough, lakes, traps, and out of bounds. You miss shots and look for lost balls. Every once in a while you hit a good shot, but you can always do better. What makes the game of golf so attractive or appealing to millions of crazy people?

Golf is a competitive and challenging game. There are lots of different shots, club selection is a personal choice, and the game is enjoyed with friends working towards a common goal. No matter what you shoot, you can always improve. The targets are clear and the greens are easy to see. Everyone knows exactly what they're shooting for. Par is a good score and everyone knows the rules and what's at stake.

Give everyone a scorecard!
Do you play the game of business like golf? Do all of your employees, project managers, supervisors, foreman, field crews, business teams, departments and divisions know the rules and have clear targets to aim at? Is their game competitive and fun? Do they know when they make a par, birdie or bogey? Is there a reward for hitting a good shot or being successful? Most employees don't have clear targets or a scorecard to track their score. Without a scorecard or targets, there's no competition, no game or incentives to work harder, improve, or do more than the minimum. Work becomes the same old thing, month after month, year after year. No new terrain, targets, holes to play, or anything different.

To make your business more like the game of golf, give everyone a scorecard with clear targets to hit and track. Try keeping score with some of these target ideas to measure the results you want:

Project & Field Management Scorecard Tracking:

  • Targets for work quantities installed per week
  • Crew days versus the budget
  • Crew-hours saved versus the estimate
  • Projects on or ahead of schedule
  • Final job profit versus the budget
  • Subcontracts awarded under budget
  • Materials purchased under budget
  • Change orders approved
  • Number of service call-backs or punch-list items
  • Safety results or accidents
  • Accurate on-time job cost reports

Sales & Proposal Scorecard Tracking

  • Customer sales calls or appointments per week
  • New sales leads per month
  • Customer referrals from existing customers
  • Leads from marketing or website
  • Number of proposals versus awards
  • Bid or proposal volume per month
  • Number of new customers versus repeat

General Business Scorecard Tracking

  • Number of invoices processed or paid
  • Innovative new ideas implemented
  • Number of new employees recruited
  • Total sales
  • Gross & net profit
  • Accounts receivables collected

Add A Wager!
As a golfer, I always play better when there is a small wager on the game. The stakes don't have to be very high to keep my mind on the game. A $5.00 bet keeps me focused, improves my concentration, and lowers my score every time. Try adding small prizes to your business targets to get the team excited about winning the game. Simple and fun incentives work as well and often better than cash. For example, try betting a lunch or dinner to complete a task within a certain date. Other wagers can include dinner for two, two hours off early on Friday, a new winter jacket or sweatshirt, tools, tickets to games, or anything else that keeps the competition exciting.

The list of ideas to target can be endless. The key to a good game of business is to shoot for something! Any target is better than no target. Keep them simple and clear. Align them towards your top business priorities. Involve everyone and have fun. To get your copy of a �Business Targets & Goals' template, send an email to Playing business like golf is the perfect shot towards shooting par. Keep your head down, tee it high and watch them fly!