Newsletter - 2011 06
Brought to You By BMA Marketing
BMA interviewed by InformationWeek
Chris Swanson, Owner
Founded by Ray Tuttle
We were thrilled to share on our experiences with the web hosted database system we use to provide our client centers with an effective coupon marketing service. Click here for article...
New Marketing Projects
We are grateful for the opportunity to fill lanes in our client centers...
FL... Beach Bowl
KS... Ranch Bowl
IL... Ross Cottom Lanes, Salem Bowl
IL... S.I. Bowl, Sunset Lanes
IN... Hi-Way Lanes
KY... Eastland Lanes, Southern Lanes, Southland Lanes
MA... North Bowl Lanes
MI... Northern Lanes, Novi Bowl, Waterford Lanes
MO... Crest Bowl, Oasis Lanes, West Park Lanes
NC... Country Club Lanes West
NV... Silver Strike Lanes
NY... Whitestone Lanes
OH... Rollerbowl Lanes
OK... Playland Lanes, The Lanes At Coffee Creek
PA... Delmor Bowling Lanes, Sproul Lanes
TX... Emerald Bowl, Flamingo Bowl
WA... Atomic Bowl, Daffodil Bowl, Kenmore Lanes
WA... Paradise Bowl, Prairie Lanes, Spare Time Bowl
WI... Paradise Lanes
WV... Emerson Lanes
Should You Go into Business with Friends and Family?
A business partnership, especially with a friend or family member, is like a marriage. It's important to maintain open lines of communication; to listen actively to your partner's ideas and concerns; to respect the partner's opinions, input and comments; and to be willing to compromise and make concessions.
Before embarking down this road with a spouse, friend or relative, you need to be open and frank about each other's strengths and weaknesses and discuss who will contribute what to the business. Try to consider any and all contingencies. Create a written agreement describing:
- Who owns what percentage of the business.
- Who is responsible for what tasks.
- How profits will be split.
- Whether you will form a partnership, an LLC or a corporation.
- What will happen if someone cannot, or will not, continue contributing to the business.
- What happens if someone wants to leave the business.
- What happens if the arrangement goes south.
Have your agreement reviewed by an attorney, and sign it together. One of the major reasons partnerships fail is because the partners don't understand the roles they should be playing in the business. Yet, statistics also show that partnerships are four times as likely to succeed as sole proprietorships.
How to Boost Sales with Online Review Sites
Each month I’ll give you a new question. Just reply to this email for the answer.
What is the most common element found in the universe?
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.
Selections from the best articles seen online this month.
How to Add Social Sharing Buttons to Your Website
Adding social sharing buttons to your blog or website is a simple and effective way to boost page views and sharing stats. Unfortunately, it can also clutter the pages, confuse users and cause bugs and layout issues. Jolie O'Dell offers some best practices.
Nine Things Successful People Do Differently
Decades of research on achievements suggest that successful people reach their goals not simply because of who they are, but by what they do. For instance, successful people set specific goals and focus on exactly what they want to achieve. They seize opportunistic moments and act on their goals with planning and forethought. Halvorson suggests that if you are able to identify those factors that have derailed you in the past, you can use that knowledge to achieve success going forward.
No B.S. Business Success, by Dan Kennedy
As the title of this book suggests, Dan Kennedy tells it like it is.
And because he's got huge experience at the sharp end of marketing, you'd be well advised to listen.
This isn't a book full of business theory. Instead, you'll find what Kennedy calls Eternal Business Truths learned from running businesses and advising thousands more.
For example: Live by price, die by price; You cannot trust your own judgment. Test, test, test. Then test some more; and No one will ever be a bigger expert in your business than you.
Although written with humor, this book is still a tough read. You might not want to hear some of Kennedy's advice.
But if you are interested in hearing what works (even if it's counterintuitive) and you're willing to put Kennedy's advice into practice, then you're likely to profit well from reading this book.
Online review sites such as Yelp, Citysearch and Google's local search make it easy for customers to spread the word about your business.
Some business owners have found these sites to be a great way to attract new customers and help the owners gain insights about their current customers' expectations and experiences. But other businesses have been damaged by vindictive or fraudulent posts.
Following are some things you can do to make review sites work for you:
- Set up a complete profile on all the review sites.
- Actively monitor your listings on the sites.
- Encourage your customers to write honest reviews and post them in the directories.
- Make a big deal out of your positive reviews.
- Learn how to dispute reviews that are fake or false.
- Respond to reviews that you can explain or clarify.
- Mine the sites for insights about your business and about your competitors.
- Become an active reviewer of the companies you patronize as a consumer.
You can monitor the review sites to see what customers are saying online about your business by subscribing to an RSS feed for your review profiles or by setting up email settings that notify you when a new review or comment has been posted. Consumer reviews can be a terrific source of leads and referrals for small businesses. After all, word of mouth is still the best kind of advertising and the hardest to get.
How to Get the Most from Your Admin Assistant
Quotes by...Edward de Bono
We may need to solve problems not by removing the cause but by designing the way forward even if the cause remains in place.
Traditional thinking is all about "what is." Future thinking will also need to be about what can be.
Sometimes the situation is only a problem because it is looked at in a certain way. Looked at in another way, the right course of action may be so obvious that the problem no longer exists.
Edward de Bono, a consultant, is the originator of the term "lateral thinking."
A capable administrative assistant - one who truly understands your expectations and is in sync with your policies, processes and preferences - can be an invaluable asset to your business.
A good administrative assistant can boost the productivity of your business, protect your time and enable you to concentrate solely on things that truly require your expertise.
It is up to you to train and manage your assistant so that you can perform effectively as a team.
Following are some ways to do this:
1. Commit to meeting with your assistant daily to review your schedule, go over the workflow and address any questions or concerns that either of you may have.
2. Train your assistant to sort and prioritize the office workflow. You will have to do this jointly at first, until the assistant can independently identify what needs to be elevated to your level and what can be offloaded, delegated or simply sent to the trash.
3. As you gain confidence in your assistant's judgment and ability, give him or her authority to process your inbox. A competent assistant should be able to purge the garbage, handle the routine and forward only those things that require your personal attention.
4. Allow your assistant to handle routine correspondence. Armed with prewritten templates and form letters, a capable assistant can easily handle these routine items.
5. Have your assistant sit in on working meetings, teleconferences and brainstorming sessions. He or she will be able to take care of many action items right away, leaving you to deal only with high-level areas of responsibility.
RFM: Three Letters That Can Grow Your Business
Recency Frequency Monetary (RFM) modeling is a technique that uses customers' past purchasing behaviors to segment and target them for marketing offers that are most likely to be effective. RFM corresponds to the three key customer attributes that help increase business revenues. They are:
- Recency: How recently has a customer purchased from you?
- Frequency: How often does that customer purchase?
- Monetary Value: How much does that customer spend?
RFM measures customer value based on the premise that a customer who recently spent a lot is usually the most valuable type of customer.
To create an RFM analysis, assign categories for each attribute. For example, the Recency attribute might be divided into customers who purchased in the past 90 days; customers who purchased between 91 and 180 days ago; and customers who purchased more than 180 days ago.
Once you have defined categories for each attribute, you can create segments from the intersection of the values, and the segments can be ordered from most valuable, or highest RFM, to least valuable, or lowest RFM. This information can then be used to focus marketing efforts and improve customer retention.
Advocates of this technique point out that it is simple and easily understood and has been shown to lift marketing response rates. Critics contend that the method is descriptive only and it assumes that customers will continue behaving as they have in the past.
Nonprofit organizations have employed RFM analysis for many years to target their mailings to customers most likely to make donations. The rationale is simple in that it assumes people who donated once are likely to donate again.
Catalog and direct-mail marketers were also early adopters, using RFM techniques to determine which customers got which catalogs, how often and with what special pricing or incentives. Today RFM analysis forms the basis of customer loyalty and shopper rewards programs.
RFM can be used by small businesses in various ways. First, it can help you identify customers who are of little worth and should be dropped from your marketing lists. It can also tell you who your heavy hitters and most promising customers are, and this knowledge empowers you to allocate marketing and promotional dollars in the most effective way. You can even use the data to target specific customers with custom promotions and offers to generate more predictable revenue.
Although RFM analysis is a useful tool, it does have its limitations. When used as the primary targeting method, it may lead to overmarketing or oversolicitation of the most attractive RFM segments and neglect other segments that should not be neglected but, rather, cultivated to develop into better customers.
The metrics of RFM value by themselves don't give a complete picture of groups of consumers. But when you combine recency, frequency, behavior and costs, you can identify your best customers. What's more, there may be some surprises lurking in your RFM data. But you won't know for sure unless you measure your customer analytics.
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.