If you saw your best friend sitting in a police car, what would you assume was the crime he committed?
The judgment we make about this situation, we reason, is based upon our life experiences, what we know about our friend, what we have always thought about our friend (but never told him), what we perceive the circumstances to be and our basic “gut” feel. Our answer is now firmly planted and we take a stand on the new “truth”.
Sometimes we act the same way in our business. We see events in our business and rush to judgment based upon what we think we know. We base our judgments on our experience, our knowledge of the business and what we have seen with our own eyes. Right?
How close are we to young adults; to the key teenagers that populate our center? How much do we know about their tastes? Or for that matter, their motivations. The BPAA produced a good study a year or two ago about various groups of bowlers and what motivates the “social” bowler to bowl. While you need to get a copy of that study, its even more important that you do some research on your own.
Thinking of some new league concepts? Get a bunch of them into flier form and show them to open play bowlers. Oh, they’ll criticize the art and the type, everyone is an expert, but get them to focus on the CONCEPT. Now if you speak to enough open play bowlers you will find that there are probably a dozen or so that are interested in one or more new concepts. Not only have you gotten feed back from which to base your decisions, but you have also created a few interested people who just might be willing to bring a few more friends and start a short season league.
If we don’t ask what people like we will always assume we know what they want. And like our friend in the police car, who was just asking for directions, we might be wrong.