We have all been through so much turmoil in the last four months and we are now hopefully coming out of it but reminded of the seriousness of our responsibilities by the outcomes in Victoria which regrettably threaten all of us.
Over the next few weeks and months, we will get some understanding of what our businesses are going to look like going forward. Early trends suggest gaming may come to its pre-COVID-19 phase, but the early indications suggest that food may struggle, with beverage to a lesser extent. There will always be the exceptions as of course, there has been in the past.
We also have the unknown economic impact of the current situation in Victoria which whether we like it or not, will cause a national financial impact. The reduction or elimination of the job keeper assistance means the chickens will need to come home to roost off the back of the significant personal debt that has increased by credit card, suspended repayments and bank mortgage suspensions. All of these have the potential to impact on discretionary spending which is the lifeblood of our business.
Hence my question is; Do we know where we’re going now? Few clubs had significant reserves to sustain and develop during this period due to a range of reasons, the first one being good corporate governance in decision-making and investment, secondly, lack of constant restructuring of operation and facilities to maximise our profit to support our worthy causes, and the thirdly, structured planning process to manage the issues.
Whilst we had no forewarning of the COVID-19 disaster on our industry to prepare for, we certainly know of the pending casino in 2 to 3 years’ time and any club particularly in the south-east corner who believe they will not be impacted and not preparing properly, will be negligent on behalf of their members and their worthy causes. For many clubs, COVID-19 has weakened their competitiveness for the future.
All of the above issues can be managed by appropriate business plans, development plans, and/or strategic planning. But planning needs to be based on evidence, research, debate and time. The hospitality industry is littered with businesses that have failed; facilities that are no longer popular, services and product that are no longer profitable and worse still, broken dreams.
My passion for planning comes from years of experience working in the hospitality planning space and seeing dreams being achieved, and at times frustration when decisions are made with lack of foresight, limited research and poor governance, have led to failure. If you have dreams you want to achieve then I’d love to talk to you. Take a look at this short clip to see what strategic planning is all about.
John Dickson | DWS Hospitality Specialists & CTA Training Specialists