Newsletter - 2012 05

May 2012

Business Success

Brought to You By BMA Marketing


Three Steps to a More Organized Business Life

The fiber of our business being is our ability to multitask to the point of strain and exhaustion. But in trying to "do more" are we're really just "doing less"? Studies show a correlation between multitasking, high stress and stunted potential - leading to a scattered and unfulfilled business mind. Behind this dishevelment is a workload with multiple projects and deadlines.

Rather than treating every task like a fire to extinguish, try following these tips for a more organized and effective business life.

Prioritize: Manage your workload by realistically calculating deliverables based on existing priorities and available resources.

Manage: Supervisors should work with team members to seek out new ways of assigning projects and determining priorities in order to craft a more productive system.

Focus: Eastern philosophy emphasizes focusing on the present moment. Apply this common sense rule to each new task. Focus on what's in front of you; give it your complete attention.

The goal in creating a more organized business mind is training yourself not only to be more productive and focused, but also to improve your handling of the inevitable challenges that arise.

So avoid that panic, and the associated meltdown, that could cost your business dearly.

Make organizing your business life a top priority this year.


Using 'Big Data' Can Net You Big Payoffs

Chris Swanson, Owner

BMA Marketing

Wolcott CT 06716

(800) 603-3985

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Why Not Pass Me On?

If you've enjoyed this newsletter and found its information useful, please forward it to another business owner or a co-worker.

In today's world, it's impossible to get away from data. Bits of data are everywhere - in the grocery store and in historical crime data. They are also behind the gadgets we use each and every day. In fact, there's so much data, it's hard to know what to do with it all. But there is a silver lining on the horizon. There's a Big Payoff when you learn how to analyze the Big Data that's out there for your benefit. So what exactly is Big Data? In short, the phrase refers to dynamic trends in technology that help the world make better decisions.

Think of the microscope - a tool that allowed the world to measure things like never before, says Erik Brynjolfsson, an economist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management. Learning how to analyze and measure data is the equivalent of the profound effect and opportunities the microscope created.

Twitter hashtags, Facebook wall posts and Google queries are all types of data now being used to measure people's behaviors, feelings and desires in real time.

For example, chains like Wal-Mart analyze everything from sales to demographic and weather data in order to tailor the kinds of products they put on the shelves at individual stores.

Some police departments now use data such as historical arrest patterns and weather forecasts to gauge how many officers to send out in advance to so-called crime "hot spots."

And this is just the beginning. Our data universe is doubling every two years, and the not-so-distant reality is one in which decisions in business, economics and a variety of other fields will be based on the analysis of data rather than on experience and intuition, says Brynjolfsson.

Big Data is a large task, but the gains appear to be just that ... big.


How Online Calls to Action Translate Into Offline Sales

All businesses need an online storefront that shifts visitors into customers with a decisive call to action. A call to action shakes your site visitor from a passive web surfer to an active participant interested in your business.

And with online shopping positioned as one of 2011's market success stories, despite the tough economy, it's clear that competitive businesses need a solid online strategy that includes a call to action.

Engage customers proactively

A call to action isn't just about selling online. It's about understanding that most customers research their purchases on shops' websites before they buy, either online or offline. Small businesses can take advantage of this by engaging prospective customers proactively.

Instead of just having an informative website, have your site work for you 24/7 by baiting customers with irresistible hooks.

People are attracted to free items (even if they don't want what's offered). Tap into this desire by offering visitors a free trial membership or a free newsletter subscription.

You can also offer free 15-minute consultations and let visitors book you then and there with online tools such as SuperSaas, Clickbook or BookingPad. Even if something is already a gratis service, adding a sidebar feature with the word "free" draws in visitors and gets you one critical step closer to a sale.

The same principle also holds true for coupons and special deals. The rule is: give them something and ensure that they recognize its value. You also risk losing a sale if your website has poor navigation. So use an easy-access FAQ page and a live chat feature such as that offered by top-rated Volusion.

No matter what route you take, offering multiple calls to action does work to secure offline sales.


Great Online Tools to Keep Projects on Track

If you are responsible for large, complex projects involving far-flung teams, overlapping deadlines, and many tasks and activities, you have definitely outgrown physical project management solutions such as to-do lists, sticky notes and whiteboards.

Fortunately, there are many online project management tools that can help you plan, manage, monitor and coordinate large, highly complex projects.

These tools offer tracking mechanisms so that you can keep track of all the moving parts and ensure that everything is going forward, as well as organizational and monitoring capabilities that enable the project team to deliver a successful result.

Many online tools have robust planning and assessment options. Their powerful interactive communication and feedback capabilities are especially useful for projects with variable, indeterminate or risky outcomes. They generally include reporting, budget and expense tracking, resource allocation, people management and customization features. Pricing is often based on the number of users and monthly usage.

That makes them affordable for small and midsized enterprises, startups, and solopreneurs. Most offer free intro packages and a range of tiered options.

Here are a few of the more popular project management tools available. Note that these and other online project management tools differ in that each has specific advantages for different types of project management challenges.

Basecamp: ( Basecamp has an array of dashboard tools that give the project manager a bird's-eye view of a project's various moving parts. The Basecamp website provides videos that explain the tool and show how businesses have used it.

Central Desktop: ( This is a wiki-based online collaboration suite that allows users to open, save, edit and co-author files stored online. Central Desktop for Office allows users to collaborate directly on Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. Videos on the site describe the tool.

AceProject: ( The tool is a cloud-based service that includes project management, document management, time tracking, reporting, HR management, budget tracking, invoicing and more.

ZOHO: ( ZOHO has more than 20 add-on features such as customer relationship management, collaboration, business and productivity applications. The applications are delivered over the Internet. ZOHO maintains and secures your data on its servers.

Quickbase: ( QuickBase allows you to create custom applications for your own business processes and integrate them with your existing systems, thus enabling business teams to collaborate efficiently.

Google Docs: ( Google Docs is a suite of products that lets you create various kinds of online documents, work on them in real time with other team members and store the documents online. The data resides in the cloud so you can access your documents and files from any computer, anywhere in the world.


New Merchant Coupon Client Centers

We are grateful for the new opportunities to fill lanes at...

Worth Reading

Selections from the best articles seen online this month.

Why Morning Routines Are Creativity Killers

from Time

Nearly everything about the way we start our day inhibits flexible, creative thinking. Except drinking coffee. Caffeine makes us more alert and increases the brain's level of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that rewards us when we hit on a great idea.

Negotiating for Wimps


If you're a negotiating sissy, Jeff Hardin offers tips to make negotiating less stressful and more successful. Make the first bid and set the anchor with your initial offer, he advises. Always get something in exchange for taking something off the table. Use silence as a tool. And don't discount the value of listening. Finally, know that high expectations typically lead to high outcomes.


This Month: Data Backup

If you don't have your business data backed up, you are one disaster away from not having a business at all.

However, there really is no reason to not secure your data; there are several services that offer online backup:


( offers robust services for small businesses. 50 GB of storage costs $99 per year, and installation is a simple process.


( is more focused on business and offers secure encrypted backups with unlimited retention and historical snapshots for data recovery.

Amazon S3:

( is for those who want to roll their own backup service. Amazon's Simple Storage Service offers unlimited distributed low-cost data storage.

Online to offline


Quotes on...Technology

For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, please press three.

Alice Kahn

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Arthur C. Clarke

I have witnessed a whole succession of technological revolutions. But none of them have done away with the need for character in the individual or the ability to think.

Bernard M. Baruch

We make our gadgets our own by the way that we use them, with or without the permission of the manufacturer.

Laura Moncur

Technology is a way of organizing the universe so that man doesn't have to experience it.

Max Frisch

Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons.

R. Buckminster Fuller

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. - 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.