Strategic Planning – The Roadmap to Success

Male Boss Addressing Meeting Around Boardroom Table

The most memorable and fondest of my memories from childhood, was the summer my family spent exploring the United States.  In June of 1975, the day school let out, my parents loaded their three kids into their brand-new Ford Country Squire, with the fake wood paneling, towing a little pop-up camper. The adventure began and it lasted until Labor Day. That summer, we visited 38 states.

Forty-five years later, it is still the main topic of discussion at our family gatherings. The success of the trip, creating a lifetime of memories, was no accident. Before the trip began, my parents developed a plan.  

In 1975, not many Americans heard of the term “Strategic Plan” especially my parents, but they had one.

First: They surveyed their consumers, (their three children) it was a 70’s style focus group.   

  • What do we want to see?
  • Where do we want to go?
  • What is most important to us during the trip?

Second: They answered the question, “What do we want to achieve?”  Their Vision.

  • To visit as many states as possible, exposing their children to our great nation.

Third:  They asked these questions to create a Mission:

  1. Who do we serve?
  2. What will we provide?
  3. At what quality level?
  4. What will make our trip unique?

This was their Mission: “We will provide a memory filled summer for our children.  Camping across the United States. Visiting and experiencing, National Parks, exciting locations, all at the highest level possible while staying within our means.”

Finally, they set their goals:

  1. To provide an exciting and fun trip which meets the desires of our family.
  2. To create a “road map” which allows the most travel in an efficient manner.
  3. To be fiscally responsible.
  4. To reevaluate our plan periodically & adjust as needed.

Thanks to my parents, AAA and “Trip Tik” we literally had a “roadmap” which guided us every day. It, along with my parents preplanning, created a memory filled experience which has lasted a lifetime.

Although perhaps an over simplified description of the development of a Strategic Plan, the same concept applies to you and your club. Before you set out on a journey which has the potential to either be a great success or a disastrous failure, develop a plan.  Follow the four steps described and you will create memories which will last a lifetime for your members.

If you are thinking of taking the journey of facility planning, reach out to the McMahon Group to help develop your plan and guide you to success.

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About Christian W. Coulter, CCM, ECM

Chris joined The McMahon Group after 35 years in private club management, spanning 2 continents and 2 islands.  Chris provides consulting services for strategic planning, membership surveys, facility improvement programs, and general consulting expertise on club needs.  In addition, Chris also provides specialty consulting in operations, buyouts, capital fundraising, facility conditions and membership.

Prior to joining The McMahon Group, Chris served as the CEO of The Westmoor Club, Nantucket – a Platinum club. Prior, Chris served 20 seasons as the General Manager of Bald Peak Colony Club, a seasonal private club on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee in the lakes region of New Hampshire.  Prior to that, he held senior management positions with St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco – the largest yacht club in the world, Boodles of London – one of the oldest and most established city clubs, and the Harvard Club of Boston – a Platinum alumni club.

Chris earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, earned his CCM designation in 1999, was awarded the ECM designation in 2001.   He is an active contributor and prominent leader in the industry having served on the CMAA New England Chapter Board and multiple CMAA National Committees.

Chris is married to his college sweetheart and best friend,  Jennifer, and together they have 3 daughters, Sarah, Hannah and Abby.  When not working, Chris enjoys the outdoors in New Hampshire and producing boutique maple syrup, as well as rooting on his beloved Red Sox and Patriots.

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