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What I am about to tell you might be painful
The flu season is coming, and many of us will go down to our doctor and pay to have someone stick a needle in our arm. Why do we do this? We call it protection and prevention, but it’s more than that. America has come to predict and rely on the results of that flu shot. We know that a little pain today will prevent being sick in January. It’s a proactive approach to our health.
Why is this important? Because the Bowling Industry has the flu. By some estimates in 5 years there will be 700 less bowling centers in the US than today. This, while new bowling center construction is healthy. League revenue is down and expected to decline rapidly. Soon, there will be only one “League Center” in each city. This is your flu, and many centers are already sick or dying. Does your center already have the sniffles? What’s that ounce of protection and prevention for your center? Converting to a Bowling Entertainment Center (a BEC).
First to the pain, if you take no action toward making your center friendlier to families, your revenue will decline, your access to the renovation funding will diminish, and eventually you will start operating at a loss. People simply aren’t bowling in leagues anymore, it’s no longer a habit they have an interest in developing.
But, the gain? If you invest in making your center more approachable to families, and you take that shot of reinvestment, most centers can expect to double revenue in less than two years. Why? Because not only do your league clients keep coming, you add an entirely new customer base who is willing to bowl on the weekends, and all summer. These families spend more, and if treated right, they will bring friends.
Does this sound exciting to you? No? Then consider calling my friend Sandy Hansell and get your bowling center listed for sale today. It’s only going to get worse if you don’t take the steps toward finding different people to bowl at your center.
What is standing in your way? I bet it’s the unknown, the risk, and the change. But even if you’re not ready to tear out lanes and order video games, at least, it’s time to look at your future harder than you are looking at your past.
Peter Starkel is a partner at Brand Champion. Call him a merchant of change, an advocate for your customers with a bowling average of 64. He lives in Traverse City Michigan, with clients nationwide.