General Managers and Executive Directors must justify to their supervisors that programs are growing and member satisfaction is high. How do you know if you’re doing it right? Pay attention to every class, program, and revenue line. Don’t wait until sign-ups end to address challenges of low numbers; face them head-on during the current program.
Here are 3 relevant metrics for program evaluation:
#1 - Retention
In tennis, retention is everything. Retention allows directors to:
- Make solid staffing decisions
- Allocate the proper resources to a program
- Build the next pathway
- Have the right amount of supplies
The problem with using retention as your only gauge for evaluation is when you don’t retain. Players leave programs for crazy reasons. You never lose 1 at a time you lose 3. Three becomes 9 very, very quickly. In junior tennis, 9 players could be $90,000 in lost revenue. NOW WHAT?!
#2 - Surveys
You must pay attention to the details. Surveys have to be professional, with open-ended questions. “Yes” and “No” answers tell nothing. What you do with the information is up to you, but I present it to management staff.
#3 - Small Participant Meetings
In my opinion, this is the number one avenue for evaluating anything. In meetings, you can proactively gauge a situation. These people will tell you the truth, even when it’s not what you want to hear. High grossing programs, such as an Academy, absolutely must meet annually.
In short, use every tool you have to evaluate. Great managers do not solve problems, they prevent problems. If a situation becomes a problem, the process has broken down. Make sound, planned decisions; most knee-jerk decisions lose trust and therefore participants. Participation numbers show real long-term success. Pay attention daily!!