PGA pros lose £9k per year due to cancellations

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 7, 2019 04:58

UK golf coaches are losing more than £9,000 per year due to clients cancelling their pre-booked coaching sessions, new research reveals.

According to fibodo, which looked at coaches covering a range of sports including golf, clients’ top three excuses for failing to attend a pre-booked session include tiredness (62 per cent), lack of motivation (59 per cent) and forgetting other commitments (52 per cent).

The figures equate to a loss of £239 million for the sports coaching industry as a whole.

“With lost earnings of more than £9,000 annually, many find themselves struggling to make ends meet, with their only option being to leave the profession altogether, despite their time and effort spent training,” said a spokesman for the Survival of the Fittest report.

Jonathan Lamb

“This is supported by the research identifying that more than a quarter (27 per cent) of sports coaches worry whether their business will last more than a few years.”

On average, coaches report five no-shows or last-minute cancellations every week. A fifth are even let down six to eight times per week by clients who had committed to a session. More than half, (58 per cent) of sports coaches believe this is having a negative effect on their business.

Jonathan Lamb, 53, a golf pro at Tehidy Park Golf Club, Cornwall, says: “Previously, around one in three client bookings would result in a late cancellation or no-show, customers would bail out with a weak excuse – or not even show up at all.

“It’s frustrating, both for myself and the genuine customers that weren’t able to book due to me showing no availability, which obviously also hurts me financially. People didn’t fully understand that our livelihoods rely on the sessions we deliver.

“The excuses were different every time; their car wouldn’t start, they had a dental appointment, or they were simply stuck at work.

“I realised something had to change or I was never going to make my time profitable. I’ve been using a booking management tool and when bookings are made payment is taken. This has meant that the number of no-shows has reduced dramatically, I can organise my days more efficiently and I can put more money away each day.”

Anthony Franklin, CEO and founder of fibodo, commented: “These cancellations are crippling for coaching professionals whose livelihoods rely on clients attending their pre-booked sessions. People wouldn’t expect to book a holiday without pre-paying so it shouldn’t be any different for people wanting to book coaches’ time.”

A number of people in the industry have been discussing this story and what they can do to prevent lost revenue from cancellations on The Golf Business LinkedIn page here.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 7, 2019 04:58
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  1. Nel August 8, 11:28

    A few issues here
    Take a deposit or payment up front using card technology
    , teaching costs are too high, is this really a genuine loss or just a “potential ” loss .Pro’s need to gear up to face the new challenges !

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  2. Peter August 1, 14:53

    Cancellations are often the result of a basic concept in sports marketing ! Knowing and understanding your consumer ! Really knowing who they are, where they reside, where they work even their mode of travel ! If a lesson is booked for Sat morning at 8am and the consumer lives an hour away…well? If a member works 6 days a week to afford membership and books a lesson at 9am on Sunday…get it ? Sometimes it is the basics that drive us crazy and most forgotten ! Knowing how they heard of us, helps too, another basic point !

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