Newsletter - 2011 04
Brought to You By BMA Marketing
My Marketing Mentor
I had the luck in 1996 to sneak my way into a wonderful little software company in Waterbury CT. The owner, John, was an outrageous entrepreneurial type who years later told me that he got a good vibe during our interview and loved that I submitted my resume via email - a cutting edge thing to do back then. Here's a goofy pic of John and I from the first company holiday party I attended...
Chris Swanson, Owner
Founded by Ray Tuttle
We worked together for 10 years where he shared all he knew about marketing...creating and managing a customer database and then attracting and developing customers using direct mail, faxing, telemarketing, video, email, web sites, PR, etc. He gave me a lot of access into what it takes grow a small business (he had been at 16 years when I joined). I absorbed the marketing knowledge quickly and took over most of those tasks in a short amount of time. It took me much longer to put those struggles I witnessed of building a business into perspective.
I thought about John and our adventures in marketing a lot this past month as I used the skills he helped me develop to assemble and mail our new 8 page Merchant Coupon Program catalog. Here's a link to an online 3D version and downloadable PDF...
Each month I’ll give you a new question. Just reply to this email for the answer.
What is the most common chemical element in the human body?
Why Not Pass Me On?
If you've enjoyed this newsletter and found its information useful, please pass it to another business owner or a co-worker.Click here to forward this email.
Thanks John for your mentoring and support. Thanks also to the many bowling centers who make BMA a part of their marketing team by filling lanes using our coupons.
New Marketing Projects
We are grateful for the opportunity to serve our client centers...
IL... Paradise Lanes, Ross Cottom Lanes, S.I. Bowl Family Fun Center, Salem Bowl
IN... Hi-Way Lanes
KY... Eastland Bowling Lanes, Southland Bowling Lanes
MD... Rinaldi's Riverdale Bowl
MI... Classic Lanes, Northern Lanes, Novi Bowl
MO... Crest Bowl, Oasis Lanes, West Park Lanes
NV... Silver Strike Lanes
OK... Playland Lanes, The Lanes At Coffee Creek
PA... Crafton~Ingram Lanes, Delmor Bowling Lanes, Paradise Island Bowl, Stanton Lanes, West Pike Bowl
WA... Atomic Bowl, Daffodil Bowl, Kenmore Lanes, Oak Bowl
WV... Emerson Lanes
Working Too Many Hours? Here's How to Cut Back
Selections from the best articles seen online this month.
How to Stop Being a Victim of Your Own Life
One of the hardest things about being an executive is managing your time. Conant offers a practical approach to taking care of the things that really matter.
To Succeed, Take Time Off
Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson was asked in a Q & A what advice he has about turning over responsibility to others and making time for family. Branson notes that striking the right balance between family and work is a perennial issue faced by entrepreneurs the world over. He says moving out of the office to a separate location was liberating. It gave him time to plot his next ventures and forced managers back at the office to own their decisions. Branson says that spending time away from work is important to helping you maintain perspective on the challenges you face, and thus to the future of your company.
Living the 80/20 Way, by Richard Koch
You've probably heard of Pareto's Principle, or the 80/20 rule, which states that 80% of the benefit comes from 20% of the effort, or that 80% of the wealth is owned by 20% of the people.
The principle was popularized by Koch in his book, the 80/20 Principle. This edition, Living the 80/20 Way, is designed to help you apply it to your life and, by extension, to how you run your business.
The basic idea is this: if 80% of the benefit comes from just 20% of the effort, then it makes sense to just focus on those activities that contribute to the 20%.
Anything else is inefficient. Less is more.
By doing that, you get better results, while making your life easier because you don't spend time on efforts that don't create big results.
The book provides a step-by-step guide to applying this approach by helping you think about your goals and your choices and then apply those to your day-to-day life.
Is it possible for a successful entrepreneur or small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) owner to work just 40 hours per week? The answer is yes. It is not only possible, it is prudent. Those 80-to-90-hour workweeks are not good for your health, your well-being, your relationships and your productivity. The number of hours you work is a choice, and you can choose to have balance in your life.
Start by documenting how you spend your time.
After a few weeks, you will begin to see where you waste time or spend valuable time doing unimportant things.
Plan out each day, allotting sufficient time for every task. At the end of the day, determine what you want to accomplish the next day.
Make a list of priorities. When you are making your daily to-do list, be sure the tasks align with your priorities.
Be smart about what you're good at and delegate or ignore the rest. Small-business owners have a propensity to try to do it all.
Learn to say no. Some projects are just not worth taking on.
Cut out busywork. Eliminate administrative work as much as possible and spend your time doing things that create value. You may have to blow some stuff off. Email, for example, is a notorious time-sucker.
Invest in yourself. In order to perform at a high level, you need to take care of yourself. Try to exercise daily, eat right, sleep six to seven hours a night and set aside time to indulge yourself.
6 Ways to Give Your Online Marketing a Local Boost
Quotes by...Dale Carnegie
"There is a certain degree of satisfaction in having the courage to admit one's errors. It not only clears up the air of guilt and defensiveness, but often helps solve the problem created by the error."
"Learning is an active process. We learn by doing. Only knowledge that is used sticks in your mind."
"The resentment that criticism engenders can demoralize employees, family members and friends, and still not correct the situation that has been condemned."
"Even in such technical lines as engineering, about 15% of one's financial success is due to one's technical knowledge and about 85% is due to skill in human engineering, to personality and the ability to lead people."
Dale Carnegie wrote How to Win Friends and Influence People.
People looking for professional services and many types of goods want to do business with local providers. Following are some ways to give your online marketing a strong local presence: SEO Tune-Up: Do a search engine optimization (SEO) tune-up. Be sure your website is optimized with plenty of local and regional references. If you are able to dominate the search engine rankings for local niche keywords, local people will find your website whenever they search online.
Use Google Places: If you are not on Google Places, you are missing out on one of the best online advertising options available.
Online Directories: Submit an article to an online directory. Article Marketer is a service that submits articles to various article directories, putting your article on steroids and boosting your Google rankings for local niche keywords.
Email Marketing: Reach out regularly to your existing customers with special local promotions, offers and tips. It's still much easier to sell to existing customers than to acquire new ones.
Launch a Local E-Zine: Publishing increases your name recognition and boosts your credibility. Publishing online delivers all the advantages of print communication minus the cost of materials and distribution.
Write a Blog: A blog is a great way to inform, educate, opine and, at the same time, promote your goods and services. Blog about topics that will interest your customers and position you as an authority. Be sure to sprinkle local niche keywords liberally throughout your blogs.
As with any marketing technique, it's important that your online messages be consistent and congruent with one another and with your overall brand strategy.
Secrets for Managing People in Their 20s
It's a manager's job to make sure all employees contribute to the company's overall success. But employees in their 20s may have work habits, social needs and communication styles that pose a challenge.
Many of today's young people are internally motivated. They want to know what is going on around them in the workplace and in the world - and how what they are doing fits in. They are hungry to learn and eager for affirmation.
This generation prizes fairness and respects accomplishment. They are disproportionately affected by seeing others slide by on the job or being accorded special favors. They resent incompetence.
When managing people in their 20s, it's important to be yourself. Don't try to be one of them or pretend to be someone you are not. This generation places great value in trust. It is therefore important to be genuine and authentic. They want you to trust them, and they want to trust you as part of belonging to the larger whole of their workplace. They can sense insincerity and are turned off by it.
Give these employees personal attention and recognize their contributions. Frequent, open, two-way communication, including honest feedback, sincere praise and frank dialogue, is part of the paradigm of the day.
Ask questions, solicit input and listen to the opinions of these young employees. Ask, for example, questions like "What's the dumbest thing we do around here?" or "What's something we do that's a waste of money?" or "How would you reorganize this project?"
The fact that you're asking such questions will show that you welcome input and value truth-telling. And sometimes the answers will give you real insights into your operations, your markets, your competition, your brand or other aspects of your organization.
People in their 20s aren't intimidated by authority, and generally they don't require as much structure as previous generations. They function well in a casual, relaxed work environment and prefer to be held accountable for the results they produce rather than the time they spend on tasks. A generation of multitaskers, they are media-savvy and highly connected with the world around them. Accept that they will be plugged in to Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and instant messaging at work. Just get over it.
Today's young employees also have short attention spans, so give them short-term projects and set weekly or even daily turnaround goals. It's amazing how productive someone in his or her 20s can be. Moreover, setting regular, predictable objectives will engender a high-velocity work environment and energize your entire workforce.
Consider giving people in their 20s decision-making authority on at least one mission immediately. If you set clear goals, timelines and target dates, they will usually deliver. If they need information or tools to do the job, expect them to seek out and find answers on their own or discuss the problem with you directly.
As a group, people in their 20s have been nurtured and encouraged along the way so they tend to be very confident. They often believe that they can do anything they put their minds to - which is great, even if it's not necessarily true.
Should Your Business Be Socially Responsible?
Economist Milton Friedman once wrote an article entitled "The Social Responsibility of Business Is To Increase its Profits."
He disagreed with those who felt that companies should have a "social conscience" and take responsibility for providing employment, eliminating discrimination, improving community health or promoting other social goals.
In recent years, however, businesses have come under attack for failing to recognize and address their role in creating social problems.
Today, most enlightened business leaders agree that they have a corporate responsibility to develop solutions that work for the common good.
Many companies extol the benefits of creating value for all stakeholders, including customers, employees, suppliers, investors and the community at large, even while admitting that the needs, desires and perspectives of these groups are sometimes at odds.
Maintaining a socially active and responsible business model is clearly good for business in many ways. In broad terms, what benefits society is good for business.
Moreover, a contented workforce is generally more productive, and perks such as on-site day care and medical care demonstrably reduce employee downtime.
What's more, consumers factor in a company's social reputation when making investing, purchasing and other decisions.
Of course, there is always some risk in associating with a particular cause or outside organization.
Their misdeeds, real or perceived, as well as their political/social/religious agendas may alienate members of the public.
What's more, all cause-related marketing (attaching a brand name to a charity to sell products) and strategic philanthropy (making charitable contributions with corporate interests in mind) should be closely aligned with overall corporate strategic objectives.
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.