Monday, November 24, 2014

Are You Planned Out?

This is a busy time of the year for all of us. I know i have been busy in my special client land helping them to plan their marketing programs.  And the holiday season has slowly come up on us. Hey,  Its here!  Cold weather, snow, holiday TV commercials and all the goodies that the season has to offer...including more customers.

And that's a good thing.

But we need to guard against working so hard in the business that we postpone working on the business.

So here's a few suggestions that you might want to consider getting "planned out" before long.

1. I will assume that whatever Thanksgiving promotions you have going, that you have already communicated it and your customers know about it. and this year with many stores starting 'Black Friday" on Thursday night at 6pm, you're late night Thanksgiving night may be a little softer. why not send out an email saying that "Thanksgiving is for families and after the Turkey and Football, why not come out To Happy Lanes for family fun and happy memories."

2. Christmas week is not the slam dunk it used to be. With gas prices down, lots of people going to Grandma's house or spending their discretionary income on presents and gift giving could just cut into Christmas week bowling.  Make sure you have some great offers for families and for the kids who are out of school (especially high school and college students).

3. New Year's Eve parties are usually a big hit at most centers and we sometimes take them for granted saying, "oh we will sell those out."  Start selling early. Start going back to last years party goers and get those reservations and deposits in as early as possible. and keep selling in center. Put those fliers out on the settees every night, weekends, birthday parties, company parties, etc.

4,January and February have become prime time short season league starting points.  Check your lane availability and wherever you have 6pm openings, start to develop programs for 8 to 10 weeks. Go back to have a ball programs, "Free 8 week bowling" with an option to get a plastic or inexpensive urethane ball, then roll them into a 10 week for $10 program. consider adult child programs for Saturdays or Sundays at about 3pm or 4pm.  Don't forget to check with the Kids Bowl Free folks for new "done for you" league marketing programs. They have been tested and tweaked and are proven winners,

5.  Martin Luther King holiday will also creep up on you. This three day weekend gives you the opportunity to contact church youth groups, boy scouts, girl scouts, school clubs and groups and invite them into Happy Lanes for a 'lock in"  You can charge $20 to $25 a head and give $5 or $10 back to the organization

So get up early, plan it out, practice it and then execute like the professional you are.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Time for Giving Excessivly

Years ago there was a popular bumper sticker that read, "He who dies with the most toys wins."

Of course, that is not so.

What the bumper sticker should have read is, "He who dies after adding the most value wins."

With the holiday season fast approaching its kick off date, you will no doubt be besieged by various charitable offers. Instead of sitting back and reacting to these requests, why not make a plan to be involved in X# of charities and special events. 

Choose those you feel passionate about or choose one that your community is passionate about.  Just choose one.  

Here's why it is so important.

By getting involved, your customer base will realize more than ever, how involved you are in the community and IF and WHEN they think about bowling, your center’s name would register very positively in their memory bank

Not only is getting involved in a community charitable event good for your business, it will probably be good for you, personally

So here is the (marketing) mantra for the holiday season:

“Be awesome. Take action. Attract others. Remember, other people want to be associated with positive people...people who are doing good things and allowing them to be a part of something bigger than themselves.”

And that's how you separate yourself from the competition...and do good things too!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Are You Making Enough Noise?

A baby makes noise to get his parents' attention.

A teenager makes noise by getting angry, perhaps acting out and slamming doors.

Your boss makes noise by standing over your desk and telling you in no uncertain terms that your work is flagging and there are younger people just waiting to take your place.

A politician makes noise by appearing at every public function he can as well as appearing on numerous TV shows.

But what noise does your bowling center make? Is the click of your computer putting out another "selly -sell" Facebook post or email loud enough for people to hear?

What about the noise you didn't make on Halloween by organizing a parade in your home town.

Or the fund raising and volunteer event you are trying to organize this Holiday season for homeless people?

Or maybe its the Thanksgiving promotion that will offer a "price special" (yippee) that will land like a thud without making any noise?

There are a lot of ways to make noise; you just have to be creative and think about it.

But if its not on your radar, you're going to miss the opportunity to get your name in lights and your center onto people's "choice lists."

And there are allot more entertainment choices (and competition) than ever before.

So c'mon, speak up.

Your potential customers may have forgotten you are there.