Newsletter - 2011 09

September 2011

Business Success

Brought to You By BMA Marketing


A Bowling web site offer I want to share with you

Chris Swanson, Owner

Founded by Ray Tuttle

BMA Marketing

Wolcott CT 06716

(800) 603-3985

Outside Sales Promote...

- Company Outings

- New Bowler Visits

- Birthday Sales

A lot of my client centers use the BPAA Web design and hosting service and are very happy with the results and low cost (a one-time $199 template setup, optional one-time $199 set-up-my-site customization service, and the $15 per month hosting).

The BPAA Web Services group is offering a limited special...they will set up your template for free (normally $199), and also waive the $15 a month hosting fee for the rest of 2011. This gives you a new web site at no cost if you handle entering your center's basic info (easy to do), or you can use the $199 set-up-my-site service and let the BPAA Web Team copy your info from an existing site to your new site. So, starting in Jan 2012 the only cost is the $15 a month hosting... More info...


New Bowler Marketing Results

We are grateful for the opportunity to fill lanes in our client centers...

Quick Quiz

Each month I’ll give you a new question. Just reply to this email for the answer.

What type of camera did Edwin Land develop?

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.

Worth Reading

Selections from the best articles seen online this month.

*ROI does not include Birthday Party or Corporate Outing revenue

More results reported by our client centers... Click here


Can You Turn Your Passion Into a Business?

Business is all about providing people with products, services and solutions that fulfill their needs and desires. To turn your passion into a profit-making enterprise, you must use and apply your passion in a way that impacts and satisfies others.

To make a living out of your passion, you must approach it as a business and be realistic about its market potential. Examine your passion carefully in order to see what the real source of it is. Think about all the possible ways you could pursue your passion and capitalize on it.

For example, if you're passionate about wine, you could buy a vineyard, open a wine bar or write a book about regional wines. The more business opportunities you consider, the more likely you are to find the right one that will transform your passion into a business model that has the potential to succeed.

Regardless of what motivates you to become an entrepreneur, being in business involves hard work, dedication, goal setting and sound financial planning. Many people are surprised by just how much effort, capital and time it takes to launch a venture and how much hard work and perseverance it takes to keep it going.

Whether it's obtaining financing, paying bills, handling bookkeeping, overseeing accounting and taxes, managing employees, servicing customers, dealing with vendors, or any of the myriad mundane tasks that occupy a business owner's day, you must be prepared to spend a lot of time in the trenches.

When dealing with all this nitty-gritty, the passion sometimes seems to evaporate.

Following are some tips for turning your passion into a viable business:

  • Understand what drives your passion.
  • Invest in a financial education. Take classes, read books or engage a financial advisor.
  • Work with a business mentor or coach.
  • Develop a comprehensive business plan and commit to it.
  • Be realistic about your plans and expectations.
  • Know your market and understand who your customers are and what they want.
  • Have a regular work schedule and an organized, uncluttered workspace.
  • Take time away from the business regularly to recharge.

Many good businesses fail - for all sorts of reasons - and you should anticipate setbacks.

Yet, almost all business concepts have the potential to succeed.

Success usually comes to those who stay the course despite challenges, adversities and distractions.

Launching a business is a matter of overcoming obstacles and getting past setbacks. Growing a business is a continuous process of experimenting to see what works, discarding what doesn't work and refining what does.

If you stick with the process and remain committed to your passion and your business plan long enough, you can succeed.

Know that if you're following your passion, failure is never final.


How Customer Comments Can Be Your Best Marketing

A Logo Is Not a Brand

from Harvard Business Review

Can you imagine seeing a crooked banner with duct tape in an Apple store? According to Dan Pallotta, brand is everything and everything is brand. In other words, a company's brand is embedded in everything it is and everything it does. Ultimately, brand is integrated into your business at every level and in every detail.

How to Take a Stress-Free Vacation

from American Express OPEN Forum

According to American Express research, a majority of small-business owners will not take a vacation this summer, either because of busy work schedules or lack of extra money. But it's important to take time off and de-stress. Jean Chatzky offers tips for getting away without increasing your stress.


No B.S. Price Strategy, by Dan Kennedy and Jason Marrs

In today's economy, prices are under enormous pressure. With customers harder to find, it sometimes seems the only strategy is to discount. On top of that increasingly (especially online) businesses are competing with products offered for free - just ask the newspaper industry.

Dan Kennedy and Jason Marrs argue that you don't need to discount. Indeed, by using the right tactics, you can actually raise prices and, by doing so, increase your profits.

This book offers some hard-nosed strategies to help you maintain your prices and your margins and gives you opportunities to win when your competitors are engaging in a destructive price war.

It also provides some very useful strategies for setting your prices in the first place - something that many businesses find quite difficult.

This book provides timely - albeit perhaps contrarian - advice.


Quotes by...Jay Abraham

If you're attacking your market from multiple positions and your competition isn't, you have all the advantage, and it will show up in your increased success and income.

Understand that you need to sell you and your ideas in order to advance your career, gain more respect and increase your success, influence and income.

The fact is, everyone is in sales. Whatever area you work in, you do have clients and you do need to sell.

You are surrounded by simple, obvious solutions that can dramatically increase your income, power, influence and success. The problem is, you just don't see them.

An amazing thing, the human brain. Capable of understanding incredibly complex and intricate concepts. Yet at times unable to recognize the obvious and simple.

Jay Abraham, a marketing consultant, is the author of Getting Everything You Can Out of All You've Got and The Sticking Point Solution.

Happy customer

Customer testimonials are a terrific way to promote your business. For small or start-up businesses in particular, positive comments from customers who are willing to put themselves out there for you offer proof positive to other potential buyers that you are worthy of their business. Testimonials add credibility to almost any marketing message, and in most cases they cost virtually nothing to obtain.

From the time you launch your business, you should aggressively seek feedback from customers and begin to compile a file of letters and emails with comments, anecdotes and case studies that showcase how your product, service or employees went beyond expectations or helped solve a problem.

If your business is mentioned favorably in the media, quote from the story.

Be sure to get written permission to use quotes from blogs, articles, letters, emails or any other comments you receive as testimonials.

The most powerful testimonials are detailed, specific and not too long.

It's best to use real names and titles, affiliations and locations.

In ads and on your website or blog, keep comments short and set them off clearly with quotation marks, contrasting colors or italics.

If the comments are worded awkwardly, ask if you can edit them so they read better.

Whenever possible, have photos to accompany the testimonials that are provided to you.

Social media is a great way to get testimonials and create customer/user-prospect interaction.

Spread your testimonials around on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

You can also upload video testimonials to a YouTube page or to your website or your blog.


When Was the Last Time You Said 'Thank You'?

Thank You

Thanking your customers lets them know you value their patronage. It's also a great way to build loyalty and encourage repeat business. There are lots of simple, inexpensive ways to thank customers. Just saying "thank you" is a good first step. Be sure to mean it when you say it. Face your customer and smile. Take five extra seconds to look the customer in the eye and say it sincerely so the person knows you are expressing a genuine, heartfelt sentiment. Make it personal by using the customer's name and mentioning why you're thanking the individual.

A handwritten note or letter is a good follow-up gesture. You can write "thank you" on an invoice or send a handwritten card or letter after a purchase or service. Address the note to the individual and be sure to mention the occasion for thanks. Sending a thank-you email can be effective, although it does not have the same impact as a handwritten note. Don't try to promote new products when thanking a customer. Including a business card with your thank-you note is fine, but making a blatant sales pitch is tacky.

Say thanks with great service. Following are some ways to do that:

  • Do something extra, and then note it on the invoice as "complimentary" or "no charge."
  • Give regular customers thank-you discounts with coupons or special offers.
  • Refer business to your customers.
  • Bring jobs in ahead of time or under budget.

Before sending a thank-you gift, know your firm's gift-giving policy. Many companies have limits or guidelines on giving gifts.


How 'Backlinks' Are the Key to More Website Traffic

Backlinks are links from external websites, blogs or online forums to pages on your site.

Search engines look at backlinks from credible, trustworthy sources as endorsements of your page.

Accordingly, they help optimize your site and boost its search engine optimization (SEO) rankings.

Following are some things you should know about backlinks:

  • The best links are from legitimate, nonspam sites. The more trusted and authoritative the source, the better.
  • Search spiders smile on links to quality content and topics relevant to your keywords.
  • The best way to attract backlinks is to create original, worthwhile content that others will link to.
  • Search engines are beginning to use Twitter and public Facebook data as ranking factors.
  • Reciprocal links that just point at each other are worthless. Search engines consider them manipulative.

In devising a backlink strategy, think about your entire site, not just your home page. Try to direct people to the most relevant page on your site. Take advantage of listings in online directories, especially those that are relevant to your industry. Not only do you get an SEO lift from the link, you also gain visibility where target customers will see it.

Offer content to other sites. One way to get a backlink to your website is to write a guest post on a blog relevant to your industry and add an anchor text or other link to your site in the post. Backlinks from contextually relevant, authoritative, trusted sites can improve your search engine results as well as increase traffic to your site from other sites.


BMA's Industry Partners and Resources

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... - an online magazine + social networking community for bowling center owners, operators and professionals in the business of bowling. - 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. - 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. - convert your website visitors into buyers by offering online scheduling and buying capability. - features rich web sites designed for bowling centers at a very reasonable cost. BMA is not affiliated with the BPAA, but our client centers tell us they are happy with their BPAA web site, so we are glad to pass along solutions that work. We like the killer features... email list manager, online party reservation system, easy to update on your own or have BPAA web masters update for a small fee...and more.