Backfield In Motion

It has been 5 weeks since my back surgery and what I thought would be a ten day to two-week recovery has turned into a long physical therapy program that still has about 21 more weeks to go.

However, what can you expect when you have an erector set implanted on both sides of your spine? Rods and screws make a good-looking train track. At least I am able to walk further than before and every day, I get a little better.

During these past weeks, I have spoken to and watched sadly, as my clients have opened with so many restrictions that it is difficult for them to make any money. Some very profitable clients are just happy, at this point, to pay their bills. Others with 50% restrictions are doing 30% to 40%. Those with 25% restrictions are really struggling.

Some, without any food or beverage restrictions, or even at 50% restrictions, are doing better. One client’s outside dining did 20% more this July than July 2019.

Others say business is slow while others are counting on league bowling, in late August or early September, to bring them back. 

The fact that there are so many different scenarios out there, it is hard to pinpoint or recommend all encompassing strategies; not that it was ever easy, but you could at least look at some universals. Today, not so much.

One thing is for certain, parks, recs, and day camps numbers are down as well as business groups. I would assume that is probably is your biggest hit from last year.

Below, I have created groupings of centers based upon open play activity and then recommended some ideas to build business up until your 50% or 25% restriction. I know that you may not agree with the ideas below, but even if you do not, maybe it will give you a different perspective at how to look at your center and what to do to fix, at least, part of the business.

Group 1: Very soft Open Play 

These centers have not effectively communicated their safe, sanitized and ready to roll message to their open play bowlers. To break that perception use your Facebook and emails as well as creating a short (1 minute) YouTube video. These communications MUST contain testimonials from people saying how safe they felt in your center. Repeat that message two or three times a week and OFFER A FIRST GAME FREE. Be prepared to sell these people on a short season program (have those flyers ready) when they come into the center. By short season, I mean 6 to 8 weeks!

Group 2: Teens and Young adults only; no family open play

The message to the families is a comparison between your safety and health measures against other places that might be open and places they might consider going. Do not bash the other places, just communicate what you are doing to keep families safe and then add a line saying something like, “Feel safer here.” If there are no other family places open then brag about what you are doing to keep people healthy and then offer them a $10 off certificate on a two hour (or more) bowling package. Use testimonials in your Facebook posts targeted to Moms, emails and You Tube videos. If you have seniors coming back for leagues; tell the parents that seniors are bowling too so it must be safe. A testimonial from one of your seniors wouldn’t hurt either!

Group 3: Heavy Cosmic Bowling:  

Lots of teens and young adults are going bowling on Friday and Saturday nights because many bars and clubs are still closed or closing early. Now how can you get these folks to come on other nights? Old school – hand them bounce back certificates for promotions on other nights or ask them for their emails so you can send them other offers and tell them that is why you want them. 
Try some new approaches. Maybe “speed bowling games” based upon how many pins they can get down on the first ball based on a 3 to 5 minute drill. If they hit the sweep, they are automatically disqualified.  Charge $10 and winner takes $100 based upon X# of people who are playing. If more people participate, you can give away more

Group 4: Families coming slowly but building daily:

Use this group to “bring a friend (I.e. another family). If they bring another family, they get $20 or $25 dollar gift certificates for use on their next visit. The new family gets a gift certificate also but for $10 or $15. Make these people your sales representatives. Get testimonials from them and follow up on Facebook (and post on your website) with these testimonials and pictures. Better yet, have them do a brief video for you;  maybe get the kids to talk and be videoed as well! Pay them $1 and get releases from them.

About Fred Kaplowitz
Marketing is in my DNA. I love to solve problems and meet challenges head on and I have successfully produced results for hundreds of clients. I love what I do and love helping to make my clients more successful and happier. I am a husband and father, consultant, a coach, a teacher, a motivator, a copy- writer, and a speaker. I look forward to working with anyone searching for a proven methodology out of mediocrity. May I assist you in taking your business to the next level. Please call me now @ 516 359 4874 to review your business goals and strategies.

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