Newsletter - 2011 12

December 2011

Business Success

Brought to You By BMA Marketing


Newspaper covers Bowling center's coupon program

Chris Swanson, Owner

Founded by Ray Tuttle

Our client center Max Bowl East in Baytown Texas received extremely valuable press coverage when their local paper wrote about the center's Merchant Coupon Program.

The paper included the story both in print and also online on their web site after receiving the news release that we sent out as one of the many included marketing steps we perform... take a look


How to Raise Prices and Keep Customers

Generosity is a beautiful thing. But that doesn't mean you should give away money to business customers who aren't even asking for a handout. This is exactly what you're doing, though, if you charge less than the value people are willing to pay.

Business owners are always reluctant to raise prices. They worry that charging more will bring customer objections.

Whether you're an independent freelancer with a few clients or a small business with several employees and many customers, your concern about hiking prices is unfounded.

If you are raising prices, start a smooth transition with specific communication to customers about what your business offers. Avoid vague generalizations about your business that create difficulty in raising prices.

For example, most photographers present themselves as specializing in weddings and social events. Their websites and showrooms display photos from these activities. The specialty justifies higher fees, which they still charge even for simply shooting a portrait.

Your attorney probably focuses on a particular legal area, such as complex real estate law or employment law. He or she will still prepare a simple last will and testament for you, but the hourly rate will be the same as what he or she justifies as a specialist.

Bookkeepers who promote themselves as catering primarily to doctors and similar professions also generally charge higher fees. They still accept business from other industries, but at a higher fee because they target specialized services.

A simple method to justify rate increases is to make them a regular part of business. This eliminates waiting for the right time to raise your prices. Instead, you simply schedule increases as a cost-of-living factor. You remove having to explain sudden price changes, but you have a simple reason if anyone asks.

An especially easy way to change prices is by providing variations, depending upon the type of purchase. Retail establishments do this all the time by giving discounts at particular times of the day or a bargain price but a small unit size. Service businesses can copy the approach by charging not only hourly rates but also weekly retainers or creating monthly contracts for limited services.

A corollary to this approach is offering tiered pricing. Charge more for the first hour of service. Give a 50% discount for buying three items or give the fifth one free.

Offer home delivery or setup for an extra fee. Allow customers to decide if they want to pay more for rush service. Your good customers want the best and are willing to pay extra for it.

Innovative businesses offer differential prices to members of a special buyers' club. They provide discounts to visitors on the website or social media pages of the business.

This improves marketing exposure for selling new services or products.

Exposing customers to closely related items makes them purchase more. Your business increases revenue per person without really charging higher prices, because of the discount.

There is no such thing as a fair price for any product or service.

You can determine your value only by trying some of these price-raising approaches.


How a 'Big Idea' Makes a Big Difference

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Worth Reading

Selections from the best articles seen online this month.

Ten Critical Success Clues

By Leslie Fieger,

Fieger maintains that she can predict with 95% accuracy the likelihood that a person will be successful, using 10 critical clues. For example, a winner’s attitude, she says, is characterized by high self-esteem, a positive outlook on life, a feeling of gratitude, a sense of great personal destiny, a willingness to learn and the will to do what is necessary. Anyone can discover this through self-analysis and shape their destiny by design, according to Fieger.

Get Ready to Hire Generation Z

By Penelope Trunk, OpenForum

Gen Z is about to enter the workforce, and this new breed of workers calls for new recruiting tactics. For starters, forget email and plan your hiring strategy around smartphone apps and social networking tools. Ditch outdated views about college degrees, as Gen Zers have embraced do-it-yourself and alternative types of education on a large scale. Recognize that Gen Zers are independent thinkers, so pitch them projects rather than titles.


The Recession-Proof Business, by Victor Cheng

There are two ways a business can behave in a bad economy: the first way is to withdraw and hope to sit it out; the second is to step on the gas.

It's probably true to say that in most cases, option two is your best bet. After all, a recession can actually be the best time to win market share. While all your competitors are cutting back, you can grow.

Cheng's book will help you do just that. The book is a blend of good business practice (important at any time for winning companies; vital during a recession) and advice about re-inventing your business to make it meet customer needs during these times and therefore prosper.

A large chunk of the book focuses, quite rightly, on marketing as the key to growth and, unfortunately, the area where many businesses cut back during tough times.

This book is worth reading, whether you are booming or struggling right now.


Quotes by...Ted Turner

"As I started getting rich, I started thinking, 'What the hell am I going to do with all this money?' ... You have to learn to give."

"My son is now an 'entrepreneur.' That's what you're called when you don't have a job."

"The world and life have been mighty good to me. And I want to put something back."

"To be happy in this world, first you need a cell phone and then you need an airplane. Then you're truly wireless."

"Over a three-year period, I gave away half of what I had. To be honest, my hands shook as I signed it away. I knew I was taking myself out of the race to be the richest man in the world."

"I know what I'm having 'em put on my tombstone: 'I have nothing more to say.'"

Ted Turner founded CNN.

All businesses can benefit from a vision statement.

The best businesses always have something bigger than the pursuit of profit...they have an idea behind them.The unfortunate passing of Apple's Steve Jobs rekindled what it means to be a visionary. For Apple, it was superb design and flawless functionality. They then turned an idea into an empire worth more than the U.S. Treasury.All businesses can benefit from a vision statement. It keeps your business plan focused and it helps set you apart from the competition.

Coming up with the big idea can be tough. To develop your vision statement, consider what led you to start your own business. If it wasn't a desire to improve upon an existing idea, then consider what frustrations you have with like products or services. Ask yourself what you're going to promise, how you're going to deliver, whom you're going to deliver to. Remember to factor in how you meet psychological needs - a powerful selling point that keeps customers coming back.

It's just as important to know what your business isn't about. This is crucial if you're a small business just starting out, as owners tend to be eager to please and overspread themselves into areas they don't excel in and can't deliver on. Overreaching also compromises your business integrity.

A solid vision statement that gets across a company's big idea can really drive your business forward by offering a goal and communicating what benefits you offer customers. It also plays a huge role in developing your brand.


Would Groupon Help or Hurt Your Business?

Everyone loves a good deal. So it comes as no surprise that Groupon began as a small idea that quickly grew to encompass more than 150 North American markets with over 35 million users globally - and with rival companies quickly popping up to compete, like and Beget.

But are daily deal sites a good idea for your business?

The service has accrued a number of disappointments from business owners.

Merchants complain of having to offer steep discounts and paying Groupon a commission of more than 50%.

They've had to turn away full-paying customers to honor Groupon discounts.

Customers also become discouraged by paying full price and seeing how low you're willing to set rates, which depreciates value.

However, the benefits include increased visibility and repeat customers.

Psychologically, people can't resist a good deal.

We're hardwired to purchase even if we don't need a service or product - simply because it's a good deal.

But even with the drawbacks, the benefit in using daily deal sites is getting people through the door.

Deal buyers will often make a purchase beyond the initial deal.

A June 2011 study by Rice University showed more than 77% of deal buyers spent more than the deal's value. Another study reported 68% of daily deal buyers returning to the business that offered a deal - even without another discount.

It might be worth offering seasonal daily deals to increase your business visibility and attract new clientele that turn into repeat customers.


New Bowler Marketing Results

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

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


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. - 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.

Max Cook / Stardust Marketing - Over 45 years experience in recreation and entertainment facility operations. Multi-unit responsibility for the past 20 years. Experience in employee relations, contract negotiation, grievance handling, and conflict resolution. Development and execution of business plan and budget responsibilities. Strong marketing background with a proven track record of execution. - convert your website visitors into buyers by offering online scheduling and buying capability.