Newsletter - 2011 03
Brought to You By BMA Marketing
The Day You Meet Your Own Marketing
My "little" brother Matthew has been in Los Angeles for a few years pursuing an acting career. Recently while attending a couples party at a friends house where the guys watched basketball and the ladies partied in another room, I caught a glimpse of my brother...on the 55" screen in my friend's living room! Turns out Matthew had landed a Buffalo Wild Wings commercial that is playing on ESPN - how cool! Watch it here - he's the guy at the bar with the beard...
Chris Swanson, Owner
On a related note, I had an exciting call with the Emerson Lanes' (46 lane center in WV) General Manager about how while visiting his local merchant (Kroger) they gladly offered him a coupon to bowl for free...in his own center...compliments of Kroger! Click here to hear the story in his own words...
Each month I’ll give you a new question. Just reply to this email for the answer.
How long did the Hundred Years’ War last?
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Now Every Business Can Look Like a Corporate Giant
Imagine having a prime business address in London to use on your company stationery, business cards and website. Or think of having your calls and messages handled to your exact instructions 24/7 in a dozen or more languages.
These days, a start-up, small or home-based enterprise can project a professional business image every bit as sophisticated as that of a corporate giant.
With a virtual office, even a solopreneur can hold meetings at prestigious business locations, engage multilingual office support and use high-tech communications to support global endeavors.
A virtual office offers a diverse menu of space, communications and address services. A full-service virtual office will provide Internet and advanced telephone services, video conferencing, business meeting rooms, and workspaces.
Following are other virtual services that may be included:
- A virtual assistant who performs administrative tasks using computer telephone integration software.
- Call center services with trained staff.
- A dedicated local phone number answered in your name 24/7.
- A professional mailing address for accepting, sending and forwarding mail. Receptionists at the address can receive and sign for deliveries.
As businesses look to trim expenses, virtual office services can help reduce overhead while keeping professionalism high.
How to Compete With the Big Boys
Selections from the best articles seen online this month.
How to Pick the Perfect Brand Name
Everybody wants a clever, memorable name for their new product/website/startup; however, the process of coming up with the perfect name is often onerous and you don't always recognize the golden nugget when you stumble upon it. Lexicon, which has created brand names like BlackBerry, Dasani, Febreze, OnStar, Pentium, Scion and Swiffer demonstrates that great names do not come from lightning-bolt moments.
The Persuasive Power of Opportunity Costs
When faced with a problem or a decision, people often passively accept the frame or characterization of the issue that is given to them. A decision about whether an expenditure is worth the cost can hinge on what the purchase is seen to be displacing. And how you define that can influence the way your customers view your value proposition.
High Margins, Groupon and the Magic Basket for Price Differentiators
The Internet makes it easy to find and organize groups of people. When you intersect aligned groups with high-margin products, you can create fascinating commerce opportunities. Priceline was a pioneer in figuring out how to segment customer types using the hassle factor. Groupon segments customers using what it calls the fun factor.
In today's competitive environment, it's tough to compete against the big-box stores and deep-discount retailers that make money by offering a limited selection of many products while cutting overhead and expenses to the bone. It's virtually impossible to underprice these big boys and it's futile to try to compete with the same merchandise selection.
Smart business owners know they must project an image that is unique and different from the big-box stores and add value that offsets the pricing differential.
One strategy is to offer a broad selection of a few products, something the big guys cannot and will not do.
Having inventory that is distinctive serves to set your business and brand apart.
You can also add value to your products by becoming a product knowledge expert.
If you become known as a reliable authority with a thorough knowledge of the products you sell as well as information about how consumers can get the most out of them, people will seek you out for your expertise as well as your merchandise.
Train your staff to ask probing questions and offer helpful advice, recommendations and suggestions even if customers say they are just looking. This creates goodwill and sets you apart from the shopping malls that focus principally on high-volume selling.
Thorough product knowledge, deep selection and killer customer service are attributes the big guys can not replicate.
By offering them such things, you are providing an experience to your customer that is worth paying a bit more for.
Letting Go: Secrets to Successful Delegation
Accidental Genius, by Mark Levy
For many of us, having to put pen to paper or finger to keyboard fills us with dread. Too much like school.
So the thought of using writing to spark our creativity and solve problems - well, that seems impossible.
But that's exactly what Levy teaches in this book. His concept is "freewriting," which - to put it simply - is dumping your thoughts onto paper, no matter how random they seem.
The concept is easily explained in the first couple of chapters, so the rest of the book is full of examples and further uses of the technique.
In essence, freewriting takes the fear out of writing. It makes committing words to paper less of a big deal. Instead, it facilitates our thinking process by allowing us to expand on and sort our thoughts through writing.
In many cases, most of what comes out is garbage. But in that garbage are precious gems of ideas that shake up the brain and lead to breakthroughs that can boost our personal lives and businesses.
Quotes by...Howard Schultz
"Risk more than others think safe."
"Dream more than others think practical."
"Expect more than others think possible."
"Care more than others think wise."
"Starbucks represents something beyond a cup of coffee. "
Howard Schultz is CEO of Starbucks.
One of the hallmarks of good management is being able to successfully delegate tasks. By entrusting others with responsibility and authority, you help them become more fulfilled and productive. At the same time, you benefit from greater efficiency and the freedom to focus your time and attention on the larger strategic aspects of your business. It's tough to let go of the reins of a business you started, nurtured and grew.
Delegation entails risk, and it forces you to relinquish control and share responsibility.
However, if you want your business to grow, you have to learn to rely on other people.
As a small business owner, it is wise to approach delegation slowly, starting with small tasks.
It is usually best to delegate an entire task to one person, as this increases their motivation to accomplish the task and leaves no question about who is accountable for its completion.
It is also important to delegate the task, and not the method of accomplishing it.
Specify clearly what you expect in the way of results and your timeframe for achieving those results, then give the employee or outsource provider sufficient authority and responsibility to achieve the goal.
You should remain available as a resource and coach, but not micromanage or undermine the process.
If you're not satisfied with the progress being made, don't immediately take the project back.
Maintain open lines of communication and offer support and guidance - even constructive criticism.
Continue to work with the employee and ensure that they perceive completing the project to be their responsibility.
Why Beliefs About Money Could Hold You Back
We all tend to have a weird, ambivalent relationship with money and wealth.
We want money, the things it can buy and the security it affords us. On the other hand, we feel uncomfortable about having it.
In fact, when it comes to money, we often harbor a paradoxical mixture of negative beliefs.
We think money is bad in some ways or that rich people are jerks. We have limiting beliefs. We believe we'll never have enough money or we can't manage money. We also have untenable beliefs, like money will buy freedom, happiness and love.
Many people don't realize that their beliefs affect their ability to attain wealth and enjoy success.
Oftentimes, our beliefs are deeply embedded in our subconscious or rooted in our culture. If the conversations we had about money during childhood were mainly tied to struggle or survival, we may have to work hard to overcome feeling guilty about spending money or having the income and lifestyle we desire.
A negative relationship with money can show up in one or more of three realms: earning, spending and saving/investing. Take, for example, the platitude: I'll start saving once I begin making "real" money. Of course, there is no threshold for "real" money, and this idea makes it all too easy to procrastinate about putting a savings or investment strategy in place. You stand a better chance of long-term financial success if you save on a regular basis, regardless of what your income is.
- Other beliefs that prevent people from achieving wealth include:
- I can never work hard enough to make enough money.
- I'm not deserving and will probably never become successful.
- Wealth is all about acquiring and having material things.
- I will never be able to get out of debt or stop living paycheck to paycheck.
The fact is that wealth has little to do with how hard you work or even how much you earn - and everything to do with how you think about money and prosperity.
Having access to more money without changing how you think about money will most likely only keep you in a self-defeating cycle.
Furthermore, it's hard to be in a position of prosperity while holding judgmental views about other people who have the kind of wealth you want. In reality, truly wealthy people understand the value of money, its place in life and the importance of being conscientious about it.
In order to achieve real financial success, it is necessary to replace negative money beliefs with a healthy, positive mindset about affluence, an effective strategy for acquiring and building wealth, a commitment to preserving the fruits of your labors, and an attitude that enables you to enjoy your good fortune.
It is important to acknowledge and challenge dysfunctional beliefs about wealth so that money issues don't become barriers to success.
There is no shame, guilt or evil associated with earning a good income or investing wisely to support the quality of life you want to live.
BMA's Industry Partners
Contact our Industry Partners for immediate solutions. Also, when you select BMA to assist with filling lanes, you'll receive an exclusive email from us containing gifts and special offers from our partners...
BowlingIndustry.com - an online magazine + social networking community for bowling center owners, operators and professionals in the business of bowling.
BowlingMarketing.com - a complete bowling center marketing system that contains a ready to run Marketing Plan loaded with proven programs, timelines and task dates, customized material and weekly conference calls to drive and manage the process.
BowlingRewards.com - The Bowling Rewards program is a revolution in open play/league marketing and includes comprehensive database building features with electronic gift, cash back rewards and fundraising inside a single card.
Partywirks.com - convert your website visitors into buyers by offering online scheduling and buying capability.