How to manage a club, like a rowing or sailing or even flying club. It is important to allow paying members of those clubs to be able to gain access to them via a gate or door. Keeping tack of those members is also important. So we have a few tips to help you decide what is the best way of doing that for your needs.

What entrance is there to the club area?

What is the club area? Is it a field that has a fence around it? Is it a parking lot that has a gate leading into it? Do you have a building that has a fence around it and does that building need to provide access to other people other than club members?

If a gate with a fence is present you can use E.T Remotes and a gate motor to open and close the gate. Make sure that you set up the gate motor to close after a certain amount of time otherwise then members might forget to close it behind them. This idea works well if you have a small number of members. As an E.T remote can cost quite a bit and there are cheaper alternatives like a GateKeeper.

For instance, when you have many club members, and buying and keeping track of who has the E.T remotes can become very difficult. So with something like a GateKeeper this issue can be eliminated quite quickly. There is an online program that allows you to give people’s phone numbers permission to call and open the gate with dialling the unit. As not many people don’t have phones anymore, and a smartphone isn’t even required.

The newest improvement to the gatekeeper units as of now is that they work with pairing up E.T Remotes to them so they can be operated with them as well. This can work quite well in situations where your phone runs out of battery and you can’t get in, or maybe some club members don’t have a cell phone and instead could get a remote. But this would cut down costs of having to purchase many E.T remotes and would help drastically in managing the club members.

Do you have any doors?

Sounds like an odd question, but if the club has any members-only areas or even admin areas that are behind locked doors. Keys can be the answer, but they can also get lost and if the keys are opening an area where many club members have access, key ownership can be very hard to keep track of and it can be very burdensome to make sure that you take keys back from club members who leave the club.

A better option for an area where many people have access with keys is to get a Bluelock device. These devices connect to an electronic lock on doors, gates even and many other electronic devices that require a normal Normally open or Normally closed relay. 

Bluelock devices when installed can be used to issue tokens to other club members for instance and then using the app on there smartphone they can control the Bluelock device. The owner of the Bluelock can also issue times that the device can be opened by tokens issued. So certain or just all club members can have a specific time that they can enter the premises.

This can be incredibly useful when club members should only be able to access a specific area at a specific time. This can be even more useful when it is applied to admin offices at clubs, where admin club members should only be able to access the admin room at a certain time in the day on a certain day of the week. The Bluelocks can also tell their owner who opened the lock, so when for instance someone does access the admin room then the owner will know. This can be incredibly helpful for accountability. 

How do you keep track of your club members?

A very old method for keeping track of club members is by getting them to fill in their details on a piece of paper and then storing the paper away for when you need it. Now in these days, the internet is available and cloud storage and so many alternatives that make all of our lives easier.

One way that you can store club members details and record them without any hassle would be to create a Google Forms Questionnaire and get new club members to fill it out with their details. Now when you create a Google Forms Questionnaire, you have the option of exporting the data to a Google Sheets Spreadsheet, similar to Microsoft’s Excel. Now, this will allow you to share the  Google Sheet Spreadsheet with all the club members data on it with any other admin users and it will allow for safe storage, as Google stores the data on their online servers.

If however, you wish to keep local copies you can download the spreadsheet from Google and save it as a Microsoft Excel document or just as a Google Sheets document. Now, this can be very useful for keeping Club members data, but it can prove a bit of a hassle to find out if they have paid for that month etc. Now with smaller clubs, it can be very easy to see who has paid and who has not, but with very large clubs it can start being very difficult.

With capturing payments from club members, there are many different pieces of accounting software, but one of them which I have found is called Wave and it allows you to export to Google Spreadsheets the data that it captures, which can be very helpful to the admin members, as they can have all the information that they need in one place to manage club members that have not paid for that month, and the program can do most of what other accounting programs can do, with the added bonus of being free to South Africans.

How to allocate time to a club member

Now when it comes to allocating time to a club member to come into the club, in case you have a limited amount of resources to offer members. Then one of the best tools we have today is Google. As mentioned before using Google Forms and Sheets, we can now use Google Calendar.

Google calendar is a powerful tool that is cloud-based and can log in to practically any computer application on earth. And with being able to allocate time and invite people to different events it can really shine. 

For instance, if a club member is registered to come on a specific day of the week you can, using the information captured on the Google forms sheet as mentioned above.  Take their email address and send them a calendar invite for that specific day at that specific time and you can see if they accept or deny it.  This can be very useful if the member is meant to come every week on that day, but one week they cancel.  So instead of calling up the club, they can cancel online on the calendar, which helps admin members free up time on calls with members from the club.

This can also be incredibly helpful if the club charges on a time attending basis, which will allow you to add up the total amount of calendar accepted invites to the club and total them so that you can work out the total time attending the club.

Best way to reach out to club members

What is the best way for the admin team to reach out to club members about important things. Well, emails are possibly the best options for clubs, as most people already get emails and have to check them. But if your club is very big and you have many members that are needing to contact you for different things. 

It might be much easier to organise the problems into different categories, and for that, you can use Telegram Bots or even WhatsApp business which allows for the club members to message a bot, which is a computer, not a person. This will allow for the bot to give them options for their specific problem, like having a payment issue vs. an issue with the google calendar. This will allow the Club admin members to deal with problems that are much more serious than problems that don’t matter as much.

Another option entirely could be for you to get a Google Business account and to create multiple emails under the same club name, dividing the different emails into different categories, like accounts and general problems and management etc.

I hope that these tips have helped you in managing and running your club better, Let us know if you want more content like this and if you found it interesting!

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