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  • #978435
    Jazzah
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    • Total posts: 193
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    I havent been on here for quite some time. We opened a kids party venue late last year after a protracted permit battle! We have noe been operating since August and ave been fortunate that a family member has covered our rent until now. They cant contribute any longer and we do not have enough bookings to cover the rent.

    We have been thorough with finding out how people have heard from us, feedback frmo parties is excellent. There is not issue on price and value. People just dont know we are here or what we do. We have an active Facebook page. We have utilised advertising such as the following

    Smart Savers
    Letterbox drop (small area)
    Local newspapers
    3 lots of 3000 flyers to local schools
    Active promotion at a huge local festival where we face painted
    Going out to kinders to fgace paint at their events
    Face Painting at local market
    School Calendar advertising
    Kids Safety Guide Advertising.

    Out of all of there I would have to say the festival and face painting have been the most successful. however they are not always available.

    What do we need? Help. is there anyone who could take us on as their test case? (we have no money!) Use us in your blog to show how you turned someone around who is facing bankruptcy in about 1 months time if we can’t secure more bookings……

    jazzah

    #1107081
    AgentMail
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    • Total posts: 1,741
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    Hi Jazzah,

    I am sorry to hear things not going as well as you had hoped. I know how much hard work and energy you have put into this, so there is no way anyone can say you haven’t tried!

    all of the activities you have done to generate sound exactly on the money. The question now is, why is that not creating bookings. There has to be something else that is stopping people from coming to you.

    With the amount of exposure you have covered, people will know of you now. What else have you analysed, other than where people have found you?

    Have you looked at profit per head, your most profitable products/services, use of space at your premises etc.?

    I apologise if I am teaching you to suck eggs – often when facing these situations, it is difficult to step back and analyse things from a non-emotional point of view.

    The first thing I would be considering is, can you sub-lease part of your space to a business in a similar field to you. perhaps kids clothing, or baby supplies etc. – something that wont take up heaps of room, but will also attract other customers in your doors?

    Just some food for thought for you

    #1107082
    Z4CHARI
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    • Total posts: 39
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    Hello Jazzah!

    This is right up my alley, well at least I think it is the whole ‘ OMG NO MONEY TO ADVERTISE! ‘ now what I want you to do, is first of all…. R-E-L-A-X just a little bit, I understand these types of situations very well..

    But yours is an interesting one, considering the amount of exposure you’re getting and not closing any bookings. Now you said you had an active facebook page, now do you regularly read your insights?

    How often do you use the Facebook Page?

    How active are your page fans?

    Is there competition in your area?

    Do you have printed promotional materials?

    #1107083
    NathanB
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    • Total posts: 775
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    Hi Jazz

    Shitty spot you are in. Here’s my advice.

    check out this link.

    http://www.allthedeals.com.au/deal-sites

    Call every daily deal website one by one until one of them says yes, they can run a deal for you. Don’t tell them you are near bankruptcy, they will avoid you (it’s not like the “deals” industry needs another Today Tonight story).

    I suggest starting with Cudo – They, unlike some of the other industry leaders still pay each business in a lump sum almost instantly after the deal is complete (I think). Some of the other big ones pay you in drips and drabs to prevent their customers suffering if you do go bust.

    Ring all the above sights, get a deal happenings. Make it a damn good one. Get instant cash flow. Be prepared to cop a fat 50% commission charge on each sale.

    Be warned. Doing a “deal” for you current reasons can end up hurting your business (not that you have much choice IMHO) but don’t become a deal whore bouncing from site to site, use what slim margin you might be able to attain from each sale to invest in a professional to bolster your marketing, no disrespect intended but that fact that you have been active, and have not succeeded is evidence you need help.

    On another note, I actually drive past your A-Frame sign on Dandy RD West almost every other day as I commute around Frankganistan (Frankston). I would be happy to stop in and help you out with some free marketing advice on making strong call to action promotions.

    The one piece of advice I always try to offer someone creating a “deal” / Call to action is this: Is the deal/special/offer you are delivering of enough value to either get

    1: A customer loyal to another business to give you go instead.
    2: A customer who has never used your service to get off their fat lazy bum and give it a go.

    if not, it will do the following.

    1. Attract penny pinchers, loyal to no-one
    2. Fail.

    Best of Luck

    #1107084
    Jazzah
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    • Total posts: 193
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    AgentMail, post: 118836 wrote:
    With the amount of exposure you have covered, people will know of you now. What else have you analysed, other than where people have found you?

    We have doen the following,
    – We record what items people arelooking for that they cant find at our shop (there is no consistency here other than people looking for adult items, when we are a kids party store)

    – We ask how people found us (again no consistency, this varied from internet, drove past, friend, smart savers a few times, festival)

    – We follow up on parties and the feedback apart from a few where the children were really difficult, is fantastic.

    – We charge $7 less per child than our competitor and they also receive more, for example our competitor does not provide any hot food. We do and we customise the food to the theme. Price wise customers are saying it is great value.

    The most common thing we hear is that people did not know we are here.

    AgentMail, post: 118836 wrote:
    Have you looked at profit per head, your most profitable products/services, use of space at your premises etc.?

    – We do have a lot of space here. We could let out offices, we have 3 that are not being used. We also have a larger are at the back that could be used for storage if we build a wall. I just dont know where to start on these though!

    AgentMail, post: 118836 wrote:
    The first thing I would be considering is, can you sub-lease part of your space to a business in a similar field to you. perhaps kids clothing, or baby supplies etc. – something that wont take up heaps of room, but will also attract other customers in your doors?

    Yes we could do this, but how do I find someone. I really wanted a cake maker in here as well.

    #1107085
    Jazzah
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    • Total posts: 193
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    Z4CHARI, post: 118839 wrote:
    Hello Jazzah!

    Now you said you had an active facebook page, now do you regularly read your insights?
    We post at least weekly, sometimes it might be about a party or a little detail on what we did to customise it. I plan to do more of that so parents see us as a resource as well. Yes I do read the insights.

    Z4CHARI, post: 118839 wrote:
    How active are your page fans?
    Page fans are really unactive!

    Z4CHARI, post: 118839 wrote:
    Is there competition in your area? Yes, however they cost more and do not offer as much as we do. They have been around for about 3 years now. They are the ones who cost us so much in appealling ourplanning permit! I secretly dream of throwing a bomb through their front door! Forgot to also say they regularly have friends sabotage our facebook page! and are very facebook heavy.

    Z4CHARI, post: 118839 wrote:
    Do you have printed promotional materials?
    Yes, we have tried 4 different designs.
    1, school holiday activities which was not bright enough and crammed too much info. Went to all the schools
    2, postcard type flyer announcing our opening. I dont think this worked well either. It was distributed to all the local schools. Witha discount, I think out of 3000 we got 3 back!
    3, Parties a4 brochure. to cramemd and not clean enough
    4. dl flyer, I like the design, it is clear and conscise but it does not have party details on it, we write them on the back when a customer asks.
    #1107086
    AgentMail
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    • Total posts: 1,741
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    Hi Jazzah,

    I hate to refer to old faithful :) but pick up a copy of the yellow pages (or of course just google it), find the pages for cake makers locally and just call them. I guarantee that a number will be working from home, and would love the opportunity to have a display etc. at your place. (They may not be able to bake onsite because of licencing etc. but you never know)

    Second, go to your local kids clothes/toy store and ask the question – could you use a display/storage space/office within an affiliated business premises.

    Until you ask the question, you will never know. If you have space, that is the first thing I would be looking to fix – don’t pay for any more than you need. At the moment you are trying to recoup the cost of this against your parties, and if your parties are not utilising that space, you are instantly on a back foot from a profit perspective

    #1107087
    Jazzah
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    • Total posts: 193
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    AgentMail, post: 118919 wrote:
    Hi Jazzah,

    I hate to refer to old faithful :) but pick up a copy of the yellow pages (or of course just google it), find the pages for cake makers locally and just call them. I guarantee that a number will be working from home, and would love the opportunity to have a display etc. at your place. (They may not be able to bake onsite because of licencing etc. but you never know)

    Second, go to your local kids clothes/toy store and ask the question – could you use a display/storage space/office within an affiliated business premises.

    Until you ask the question, you will never know. If you have space, that is the first thing I would be looking to fix – don’t pay for any more than you need. At the moment you are trying to recoup the cost of this against your parties, and if your parties are not utilising that space, you are instantly on a back foot from a profit perspective

    Mmm the thing is there are no specialist kids stores in this area. They only have Pumpkin Patch, Toyworld etc….unless I go to Mornington…I think they have 1 or 2

    #1107088
    AgentMail
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    But how many are selling online only? That could be the kind of home business that would want to branch out without taking on an entire retail lease themselves. Get Googling :)

    #1107089
    IncredibleCo
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    My immediate thought when I read all of what’s been said is that it sounds like you may be too cheap.

    Try to sell a VIP option for double / triple your usual rate. Whilst one of you focuses on selling your regular offers have someone dedicated who will just sell your VIP option. People instinctively think more money = better quality. An idea would be to try to market this option at Private Schools instead of government ones.

    #1107090
    JacquiPryor
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    Hi Jazzah,

    I agree with IncredibleCo

    We charge $7 less per child than our competitor and they also receive more, for example our competitor does not provide any hot food. We do and we customise the food to the theme. Price wise customers are saying it is great value.

    That is a lot less, no wonder your customers are saying it’s great value. Not sure what your total price per head is, but for you to be $7 less that closest competitor I am tipping it’s not much, and not enough…

    It’s hard to just up a price obviously, especially if you have found some loyal customers already who are banking on a particular cost… but, I think it’s worth thinking about – or, as IncredibleCo suggested, some sort of VIP option for more $$. This could be as simple as every parent receiving a free cuppa when they bring their kid in (if you have such facilities) or something relatively small/inexpensive that the parents will perceive as great value… extra 15 minutes play time than normal (depending on how you structure the kids party times), and ‘gourmet’ hot food option instead of the basic menu etc.

    Out of all of there I would have to say the festival and face painting have been the most successful. however they are not always available.

    Whilst full blown festivals may not always be available, local markets are! Or, semi-local markets. Just as an example, I know Cheltenham does a market every Sunday and it’s not too expensive- See: http://www.mymarketsvic.com.au/directory/cheltenham-rotary-market-and-car-boot-sale-113.html – so, if people from in between suburbs (Chelsea, Seaford, Mordialloc etc) go to the Market, you might gain exposure from those people who would be happy to go to Frankston for the kids parties etc.

    If you have found some success with face painting and markets/festivals, I would be looking for more of those to do – plus, you can make a couple of extra dollars in the mean time!

    Wishing you all the best with it :)

    #1107091
    Printerboy
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    • Total posts: 151
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    Hey Jazzah,

    I am happy to discuss your business on a private basis.

    Ideas for Implementation:

    1. I would look for businesses that match your businesses well. Find someone who does party catering but does not cater the same products as you. Example Company A. Might do Cakes and Company B might do jumping Castles. Once you find a list of say 25 to 50 businesses that match well with yours get on the phone first/ email second and make a proposal to them, and be open to offering them referrals from your end.

    2. Go back through all of your old jobs and give them a call and build a relationship. Possibly tell them business has been slow and ask if they have friends looking to have parties soon? Also ask for any feedback. Alternatively create an email campaign and send it out to all of your past clients. (Offer a Special… or something else you think they might like)

    3. Another Idea ( Not a short term one however) for this would be pinterest. I have created a basic article for you to read though here: Pinterest For Beginners.

    Hope this helps Jazzah, and like I said I’m happy to simply want to discuss ideas with someone who has no motive in the situation.

    #1107092
    TheGoldenGoose
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    Sorry to hear things have been so sucky :(

    I went to your website – clicked the Facebook link and wasn’t taken to your Facebook page, but rather to my page to promote your website? It was a bit weird…

    Your last post on FB seems to be on the 12th March.

    As Belinda from Green Chilli Marketing says – posting on social media is like having a rubber band on your wrist. Flicking it regularly reminds you its there – otherwise you forget!

    You should have some sort of social media strategy – posting at least 3 times per week. You are aiming for engagement and if you aren’t posting, well – there’s nothing to engage with! Belinda also comments that a person needs to see at least 5 pieces of marketing/posts from you before deciding to purchase from you… so another good reason to get posting!

    Know exactly who your target is.

    Be aware of your point of difference and project to your target.

    Think EMOTIONALLY too. Think like a parent – what’s in it for them? Why would they use you?

    Best of luck!

    #1107093
    bluepenguin
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    With all due respect to everyone, a facebook fan page is not the answer to everything. Personally, I’ve never purchased anything because of a facebook page and I know I’m not alone.

    Jazzah, you would obviously know better than everyone else what has brought the greatest response and should concentrate on whatever that is and forget about things that bring little response.

    I’d also concentrate on building referrals. You’re in a great position for this as your clients bring other potential clients to every party. You could offer an incentive for people who recommend your friends, or have a special VIP party only available if 3 mums book parties for each of their kids.

    I’d also look at simplifying your website or at least making it a bit easier to find stuff. There’s so much on there, that it’s a bit overwhelming.

    #1107094
    NathanB
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    I agree with staying away from FB at the moment. Stay away from any low yield strategies at this time.

    The immediate issue here isn’t “what can she do to build a long term success business” it is “what can she do to trigger immediate cash flow” which will enable the opportunity to build a successful business. As Jazz has said, she has a bout a month left.

    As I have already mentioned, Daily deals produce exactly that but as I have already mentioned that, here are some of my other thoughts that may help.

    1. Get in touch with some day care centres. Ask if you could come by at a time where the majority of parents will be collecting children (I assume that would be 6pm?). Hand out some flyers with a great offer and strong call to action, Birthdays could still be 364 days away but tell them if they book now they get X (X being a great deal) and they only need to pay 20% deposit. Give them a really short window to book (like 2 weeks).

    Also, why canvasing prospects this way, Don’t try to “sell” hand out the flyer and say, we are running a huge promo for early birds who book their kids parties in advance. If you would like, I can offer you a consultation to help you plan the most amazing party (take their number and call them later). You will have a very limited shot with these people and they will all want to get home for tea, so your goal is to plant the seed, capture their details and call them and make a tailored package from by appointment. The real goal is locking in deposits to cover your immediate needs and being able to create and forecast future work.

    2. Dig deep and call all your friends. Tell them you really need the business ASAP and ask them to host a party for their kids at “mates rate” thats just enough to cover costs and keep your business afloat, use these parties as a point of entry to meet other kids and parents in their social network that you can sell to. Do you have any family friends birthdays coming up? Be honest, tell them you need help even, good friends will come through.

    3. Partner up with people you can sell supplies to. Contact other people in your industry like Play House centres, day care centres… anywhere where there are kids. See if you can help them manage excess work (if they have any) or see if you can beat their prices on product purchase they require. You might get lucky and create a new long term revenue stream.

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