News in the bowling world has been on a bit of a downer lately with Brunswick exiting the retail part of our industry, new reports that sanctioned league bowlers are now 1.7 million down from 9.0 million in 1980, just 4500 centers or less are still open (down from 9600 centers in 1980) along with the constant bombardment of new entertainment options from competitors with deeper pockets hammering our customers with new offers, new enticements and proclamations of fun, fun, fun…like they have never seen before!!
But not necessarily deeper minds, eh? (That was for you Canadian folks :)
OK, we may be feeling a little down, a little blue, but we have a new season to work with, a whole new ball game and a new determination that this will be the best season we have had in a long time!
Why is that? Well, here are four (4) reasons why you can do it
First, you have already planned your September starts and bringing back last year’s leagues and hopefully adding to those leagues.
Please re read some of my earlier blogs on this topic; they're pretty specific or if you want my power point presentation, please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Second, you have to start planning for mini leagues NOW for October starts; at least 3 or 4 new ones to get you to your goal of 100 NEW bowlers targeted at some of these segments:
1. non bowlers
2. company or organization people
3. dropout bowlers
4. learn to bowl beginner bowlers
5. youth bowlers
6. adult/junior bowlers
7. mommy n me morning bowlers
8. senior bowlers
9. fund raising organizations
10. some 21 to 34 year old “party time types”
Now candidly, I don’t care which ones you pick or what ideas you have to get these leagues participants motivated. I just care if you check the idea out with the target group; create a communication plan that is more than “flier on front desk and email/facebook; that is less than 12 weeks and in some cases 6 or 8 weeks or every other week!
And that you take the idea outside to the target group. Work smarter, not harder. GO to organized groups first instead of trying to patch it together.
And here’s the deal – make a promise with yourself to get 100 NEW bowlers on the floor between September 25th and November 10th or so.
100 new bowlers will give you some wind in your sales for new company parties, birthday parties, fund raising events and best of all; continuation of their short season program in January and February.
Third, it’s not too early to start planning for holiday parties. Develop a great offer, find a graphic artist whose first name is Picasso and get your first direct mail postcard and email out in September. Start phone follows up, re email again with testimonials.
Target big companies by dropping off a bowling pin with the slogan on the pin, “Pin down your holiday parties at Happy Lanes.” and continue phone follow up.
Be brave and get Picasso to create some beautiful static ads and use one of the BPAA TV spots and tag it with your holiday messages so it appears on your local Comcast spotlight or other digital media.
C'mon they're maybe $10 to $25 a spot. $1,000 to $1,500 could be just two or three parties to break even. And it could mean $10,000 to $15,000 in new party revenue.
Buy Facebook ads, 10 miles from your center and target it to males and females 25 to 55 who own businesses. (Read Facebook ad instructions or ask your kids how to do it :)
Fourth: Get your staffs’ heads on straight. Put them through more customer service training, enforce your dress code, show them the proper way to handle customer complaints, how to answer the phones, how to be engaged with customers and teach them how to bend down to pick up a scrap of paper on the carpet.
If you don’t have the staff to do it, go out and hire new staff…hire athletes like HS football players, baseball players, basketball players; anyone who plays or played on an organized team. They’re more dedicated, competitive, goal oriented, understand rules,want to win and understand the concept of “teamwork.” Are you ready for them coach?
Promise me you’ll do this and go out and do it because it will be good for your bowling sole…not to mention your cash register.
As always, I’m here for you if you have any questions.
kaploe marketing group
516 359 4874