When budgeting for the coming year, you have to take into account how your previous year was and what the sentiment of your clientele was at the start of the year, in the middle of the year and at the end of the year.
Things won’t change this year because of Alberta’s economy, the falling price of oil, the plunging loonie or any other factor that you’ve read about.
Is your clientele saying, `You know what, we’ve been in this downturn for a year or so and we’re getting used to it. Let’s just deal with it?’
On the other hand, maybe at the start of the year, they said, `It won’t last that long’ and at the end of the year, it seemed as if the sky was falling.
I’ve seen a bit of both, but as I’ve said in the past, I’ve found Albertans to be very entrepreneurial and see they have to carry on with their lives. They might be a little cautious and change their spending habits a little, but if the economy drags on as it is, I don’t see a lot of them hanging up the clubs.
I don’t think Alberta is overbuilt when it comes to golf. I don’t see a ton of discounting. There is some, but it’s not like everyone is in coupon books.
The golf business is still strong. I’m sure everyone has lost some rounds and want to recover them, but I don’t think it’s dire or a perfect storm.
Good operators and good service people – whether it’s auto mechanics, restaurants or golf operations – get through highs and lows.
I have great friends in the restaurant business who have said in an economy like this, it’s always the fringe restaurants who close their doors or realize the business they’re in isn’t for them.
I think at the Windmill Group, we have something special, first of all with our database and with the number of golf courses we have, the special offers we can give.
We’ve got marketing people and graphic artists, so the stuff that comes out of the company, I’m proud of because it’s cutting edge and that puts us into people’s minds, which is what you need in this economy.
To be honest, we’re looking for a little bit of an uptick in our sales compared to 2015 and see no need for alarm.