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Local RSA Club Reinvents Itself in 2019

Once a mainstay of the local community, RSA’s were a popular destination for families and friends to seek social interaction, however in the 80’s and 90’s the popularity diminished somewhat and the RSA’s struggled to find their place in a very changing world.

Some clubs closed and others struggled to stay afloat with a diminishing and aging membership roll.

Forward on to 2019 and we now see some very positive changes occurring within New Zealand for the clubs and what better way to show this than in our latest case study below on the Napier RSA.

Craig Williams the former manager of the Napier RSA explains.

“In the late 90’s the club was old and rundown, with a big proportion of the facility leased to outside organisations. The task was to bring it all back to the RSA to allow the club to expand.”

A strategic task force was established by Williams to place focus on creating wealth for the club. With selected individuals who had skills in a range of areas, the task force was charged with providing funding for improvements and to find ways of getting people back using the facility.

“We recognised that there was a need to have external income as the membership base could not support the plans for the future of the RSA”

The first step was to get the club looking good again and in 2003 it was fully refurbished and is currently undertaking a comprehensive refreshment to suit the Art Deco nature of the Napier area today.

Examples of changes made within the RSA facility

  • A new generation bar was built and now provides a wide variety including local boutique beers and wines through to internationally acclaimed beverages.
  • The Norfolk Lounge Restaurant serves carvery, smorgasbords, and has even branched out into home deliveries as part of the offering.
  • There is a comprehensive bar snack menu, cakes and freshly made sandwiches available during restaurant operating hours
  • The club also offers for those in a hurry, cold or hot meals from the display cabinet in the main lounge area during opening hours.
  • The main lounge bar is also the entertainment hub, with something different happening every day and night of the week. A comprehensive list of activities is promoted through the website, table talkers, notice boards and moving screens in the lounge and reception.
  • Events of interest range from “Travel Club” where trips away to interesting locations are booked through to daily activities such as Line dancing, Mahjong, Rock and Quiz nights, Roll dance lessons, local and touring bands playing and much more. Everyday there's something going on.

Williams summarizes the changes:

We have turned the RSA into a fun club, providing entertainment and activities for almost everyone of all ages, and we provide a warm welcome for national and international visitors”

More information here on what is currently happening at the Napier RSA: https://www.rsanapier.co.nz/events/

So what were the mainpoints? What we can we learn from the Napier experience to help achieve turnaround for other clubs?

In seeking more information, it was obvious that planning and a clear understanding of the goals ahead were paramount to the success. But, what other aspects were also important?

What better person to speak to than Graham Howard from Business Success Partners who specialises in helping clubs such as RSA’s make their breakthroughs and remain relevant and profitable in 2019.

Graham has been following Napier’s progress with interest and has the following comments about what others can learn from the Napier experience and the application of Business Success Programme tools.

  1. Have you got clear goals and a strategy?
    The foundation of any business strategy is having a customer centric view. You need to identify a target market and find out what hooks them into becoming a valuable customer.
  2. Does your plan ensure strategy prioritised and focused execution?
    Strategies are no good without accountability. Having skilled individuals held accountable for their task and actions ensures success.
  3. Is there an alignment of Governance and Management?
    The business still needs to keep running and its critical at this stage to ensure management and the Board are on the same page. Experience says, lack of alignment or even having a few key individuals within the organisation not keen on change can make life difficult for all parties.
  4. Are roles clearly defined between Governance and Management?
    Although more people helping is great, having blurred lines is not. Each role needs to be clearly defined and a leader needs to ensure the roles are being adhered to.
  5. Is the process transparent to the membership?
    Having existing members and parties of interest informed along the way is also critical. Bring them along for the ride and watch the progress develop.
  6. Are you willing to invest time and funds to rebuild your club?
    Transformations take time, effort and funds. Without those 3 components, the necessary changes won’t eventuate.
  7. Are you prepared to get advice to guide and assist with transformation?
    Getting good advice from industry experts is also critical. You can’t buy experience but you can buy good, independent, specialised advice.

I am happy to discuss any and all. Either contact me directly or enquire for a no cost and no obligation review by completing the form below

Graham Howard
Business Success Partners
027 304 0222
graham@bspnz.co.nz