10 Business Lessons I Picked Up At Topgolf

If you’ve been tuning in over the past couple of weeks, you’d be aware that I’ve recorded the last two podcasts in Vancouver and Powell River. This week I travelled from Canada to the United States to attend one of my favourite events of the year, Business Black Ops in Arizona, organised by Dave Frees.  

You may recall the name Dave Frees as he’s been a guest on my podcast twice already, Episode #2: Communication, Persuasion & Influence and a Bonus Episode Force Multipliers.

This year's Business Black Ops them was Awareness and Alignment.

On the second day, we did a field trip to Top Golf in Scottsdale.

Now if you’ve never heard of Top Golf, I’d like to point out that it’s more than just a driving range. Top Golf, as described on their website, is a global sports entertainment company, and I have to agree it’s a pretty amazing place.

Our Mission 

Our mission was to identify as many strategic and tactical marketing ideas as we could in an hour and a half.

Now it’s impossible to try and explain everything we observed, but I can share are ten things that really stood out to me as a small business owner.

Top 10 Lessons 

  1. When you're aware you see more: I visited Topgolf in July this year, and even though I thought it was a fantastic place back then, I never stopped and considered all the subtle marketing that was taking place right under my nose. But, as soon as my reticular activating system was kicked into gear and I was told to look for marketing strategies and tactics, it was a completely different experience.
  2. As soon as you arrive you are greeted with signage about coaching lessons for adults and juniors, and on each level, they promoted College Night for students. So immediately you know this venue caters for all ages.
  3. Never assume your clients and customers know about all the services and products you offer: The signage at the front also mentioned group lessons and corporate events. Of course, we were there for a corporate event, but not everyone that visits is, so sometimes it’s important to point out the obvious.
  4. Apparently, a simple message repeated numerous times is a good idea: In their entry, or as they called it Guest Services, there was merchandise for sale, billboards promoting food items (burgers, ribs and beers) and how much it was to play at Topgolf, and this information was on multiple walls so it could not be missed. 
  5. Memberships are powerful: They also had membership options so you could become part of the Top Golf family. If you’ve ever been part of a club or association, you’ll appreciate that memberships, when done well, can be a powerful thing.
  6. Up-selling is a key ingredient: Each bay only cost $25 - $50 per hour for up to 6 people to play in the same bay, depending on the time of the day, which is cheap, but apparently they don’t make their money from offering cheap bays, it’s all the add-ons and up-sells, that’s where the real money is.
  7. Well trained team members: Every team member that knew their roles, right from the guest services to the people taking the food and drink orders. So training their team members must be a high priority.
  8. They openly shared their core values: They also displayed their five core values in plain sight on large billboards. (fun, one team, excellence, edgy spirit, and caring). These core value billboards were clearly displayed throughout the complex, which is beneficial for both the customer and their team.
  9. Branding is important: No matter where you looked the Topgolf logo could be seen. Even when you reached for the sauce, Topgolf was on the tray, and if you happened to visit the bathroom, they got you there as well.
  10. Marketing and brand alignment: At no stage did any of their marketing look cluttered or feel tacky or out of lace. Every inch of Topgolf has been well thought out, and it goes to prove you can market what you do extensively throughout your business and still look professional, as long as it aligns with your brand. At no time did I see a laminated sign or sheet of white paper stuck to a wall with adhesive tape.

Increasing Your Awareness

This article is not about promoting Topgolf; it’s about expanding your awareness towards your own business, the people you work with, your customer and client needs and also the businesses around you.

The next time you walk into a business that you know is ‘crushing it’, don’t just walk in and take what they are doing for granted, instead kick your reticular activating system into gear and start observing why they are doing well.

What can you learn and can you use this information in your own business? 

But don’t stop there, be aware of the business that are doing things poorly and makes sure you’re not doing this yourself.

Use Your Smartphone

It’s easy to become complacent, so here’s a strategy you may find helpful. Grab your Smartphone and add an alarm that says ‘Be Aware’ and you could schedule it to go off multiple times per day.

Every time it goes off, stop and become aware of what is going on around you, you may be surprised by what you see.

If you have any questions about this article, please send me an email at email/tf)(tysonfranklin.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank">email/tf)(tysonfranklin.com or you can listen to my podcast episode Top Golf Marketing Awareness Challenge.

I hope you get something from today’s podcast and if you have any questions, please send me an email at email/tf)(tysonfranklin.com

If You Liked This Episode

Make sure you check out the two links above to previous episodes with Dave Frees. 

And lastly...

I've added a new event to my Events page that you may want to check out. 

Also, you can Sign up for my newsletter if you want to be kept in the loop about what I'm up to, and believe me; it's a small loop.   


First 16 Pages of My Book – It’s No Secret There’s Money in Small Business.

12 Secrets to Get More People Through Your Front Door. This was written to get you thinking. 


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