Over the course of my career, I have heard proprietors say to me “Fred, our best promotion is rain.” And while it is true for us, it is also true for other industries that are dependent on weather, but I can’t think of one, maybe movies, that are as weather dependent to make the cash register ring as bowling.
This past weekend is was 103 degrees in good old Maryland and as I drove my 25 year old Saab, (with ice cold air conditioning may I add), around town, I noticed there was much less traffic and far fewer shoppers in the stores where my wife sent me to get “some” things for the barbeque we were having that night.
Heat might be almost as good for bowling as rain. So I called some clients where I knew the heatwave was taking its toll and was told that business was better than usual for a typical summer Saturday, but not as good as last year’s same Saturday because last year, yup, it rained!
But what if it never rained?
What would we do to create the kind of traffic that would make other days like rain days?
Here are “Five Fred Ideas” that can make you a rainmaker.
Just be sure to promote these weekends like you would a New Year’s Eve party, a holiday party or any other weekend special event. Facebook it and boost it and boost it again to different demographic groups and take reservations too. It will feel exclusive. And FOMO (fear of missing out) is a big motivator!
- Host a Special Weekend Event like “celebrate XYZ group” whether it be for a charity, a school or a local community endeavor. I had some clients do a “Celebrate America” weekend before the 4th of July and July 4th too this year. The result: They were pretty busy during that period of time, busier than they had been in years. YAY!
- Do A Silly Weekend. Everybody on the staff wears a funny costume like a clown hat, a cowboy outfit, a funny mask, etc. and play music for kids and families all day and all weekend.
- How About a Joke Night/Weekend? Tell a funny joke every ½ hour over the weekend. You, your staff and your guests can tell a CLEAN joke and the one who tells the funniest joke wins $100 in free open play bowling. (Only guests can win that.) Staff can get a dinner gift certificate from you.
- Friday Happy Hour Bowling for Companies. (From 5pm to ???) Can you get a local celebrity, newscaster, sports hero to come to your center one Friday night. Maybe tie in with a charity too? Everyone who comes to the center can drop their business card in a fishbowl and they could win a free party for up to 15 people. If you can run a “happy hour drink special” in your center than that would add to the festivities. Check your local liquor laws.
- Weekend Themed Bowling; not just 50s, 60s or 70s themes, but events that mark special accomplishments in our nation’s history. The Apollo space mission that just passed is one example. Woodstock is coming up at the end of August. Why not a Woodstock weekend with prizes for the best Woodstock outfit, Woodstock trivia contests and even dance contests?
What other ways can you think of to become a rainmaker?