What We Learned From Joe Calhoon at the CDGRA Convention
Our team just returned from the Colorado Dude and Guest Ranch Association Convention, and we left feeling particularly inspired after seeing Joe Calhoon speak on business growth plans. We felt like Calhoon’s thoughts were a direct reflection of how our team and our platform is working to help ranchers be more efficient and effective in their businesses, and we wanted to share them so that everyone would be able to take advantage.
Calhoon has six essential steps that go into creating an airtight business plan. We’ll highlight them below, along with how ranchers can apply them to their day-to-day responsibilities. The overall goal of a business plan that you create from these ideas is to enable your team to work together through a clearly defined plan that allows for input from everyone.
6 Steps to Improving Your Guest Ranch
These six steps enable you to build a high-performing team by keeping everyone on the same page to work toward your overall mission. For ranchers who feel like the back office management is taking over their life, trying these strategies could be the edge you need to put more focus back into the things that matter most to you and your business.
The first thing you’ll want to define is your vision. This is your overall inspiration and provides the direction for success for your ranch. Think about what you do best and what you’re passionate about, as well as where you want to go. This should be how you define your vision. For example, your vision might be “to be the highest-rated guest ranch in Montana.” A statement like this provides a measurable goal for your entire team to aim for, and lets you build a clear path to success.
Your mission should define how you provide value to your guests. Where your vision is showing your team how you want to be the best, your mission will show how your ranch improves the quality of life for your guests. So, for example, your ranch’s mission might be “to provide life-changing experiences for adventure travelers.” You’ll want your mission to be clear, concise, and short so that it has the most impact.
Next, you’ll want to define your values. Most businesses have about five to seven. Without clearly defined values, your employees might feel lost or disengaged with your business. Good values lead to trust, which allows for high performance from everyone on your team.
With your objective, you’ll want to identify what you want to measure and how to measure it. For example, if you want to be fully booked during the busy season, or have 50 percent more bookings than the year prior. The key with objectives is to have a clearly defined goal that isn’t too easy to reach, or too hard, so that you can track your process and report on it.
You likely already have several strategies at work within your ranch, but not all of them are producing a high amount of results for your business overall. Use the 80/20 principle to identify the 20 percent of your strategies that are producing 80 percent of your results. This is just a general term, too — for you it might be 90/10, or even 70/30. You can also choose your strategies by identifying which areas of your business need your focus.
The last thing you’ll want to focus on is your priorities. These are short-term goals that can be achieved in about 30 days. They should be clearly defined and assigned to one person. That way everyone is clear on what they’re supposed to be doing. You can create these by starting with an action, assigning an end date, and having something measurable in between.
Each of these steps can help you tighten up the processes for managing your ranch, and with our reservation management platform, you can optimize your processes even further. With Ranch Bookings, you not only have a place to obtain, track, and manage your reservations, but you can also report on and analyze your financial reports, guest information, and bookings to see how your ranch is growing over time.
If you’re interested in learning more about how our platform can help your ranch perform better, reach out to our team today.