Going above and beyond the call of duty is a great way to grow your battlefield business. These days just being adequate is not enough. Battlefield businesses are diverse, from stand-alone indoor arenas to being one part of the attraction line-up in a multi-activity outdoor park. One thing almost all of them have in common is the ambition to grow sales and boost profits. Here are seven ways to do just that.
To thrive as a battlefield business it needs to attract new customers and nurture existing customers. Sound simple? Connecting with both potential and veteran customers in a meaningful and organized way can be time consuming and sometimes thankless. Every battlefield business wants to grow its revenues and make more money. But this is easier said than done. Customers nowadays expect fast and personalized responses and great customer service. Customers are savvy. And as a battlefield business operator our job is to engage and retain them.
Every customer enquiry is a precious item. If your enquiries are not followed up, then those leads might go cold.
According to the Huffington Post, 50% businesses fail in the first 4 years. (source 1) But the good news is that if you make it past your start-up mode then you've got a better than even chance of coming out on top. If your battlefield business is prepared to face the trials and tribulations of expansion, then you are up for the challenge, and then I say "once more into the breach!"
All battlefield business need to attract brand new customers to continue to grow. Whether you are focusing on the Mom's of 10 year old boys who are organizing their kid's birthday party, or whether you are aiming at the Personnel Officer charged with organizing the corporate team building event, or targeting some other customer profile, no-matter what, customers are increasingly turning to the internet and social media to gather information. As a battlefield operator you need to have a good presence online and in social media. And that means Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and more. Find out more about this via our Social Media Masterclass, click here
A cool way to engage new prospects is to include a "lead-magnet" on your web site. This could be a party check-list or an ebook on how to organize a corporate function. Whatever you create, it doesn't have to be long and complicated. But it does have meet the need or answer a question in your customer's mind. Check here to see how Laser Skirmish, our local flagship battlefield which provides outdoor experiences for kids and their parents all sorts of fun events - from birthday parties to sports team break-ups - uses a "lead-magnet".
We call this lead-magnet the "7 Tips for Birthday Party Fun Checklist". This has worked really well to engage prospects. In fact, when we changed our web site to include this lead-magnet at the top of every page, and re-designed the site to be responsive (another word for mobile-friendly) our conversions rate jumped a huge 1,200%!! (Number of conversions in the last 30 days compared to the same time last year.)
Boosting sales is a top target for any battlefield business. Sustaining your growth requires more than just enthusiasm. Smart battlefield operators are ready to pull their weight on key factors that are important to their customers such as a streamlined booking process, and awesome battlefield props and in-game perks, your job is to make your battlefield the best it can be. The Battlefield Sports "Battlefield HQ" booking software, for example, enables a busy battlefield operator to track bookings and send email and TXT confirmations to each customer. The SATR2 technology, on the other hand, with is new in-game perks offer really special experiences - a party they'll never forget. Of course battlefield props are an important element to the mix. While not many of us can include a Chopper as a battlefield prop like Laser Gaming have in Oxford, it sure makes an impact if you do (read more about that here).
Consider ways to add more value to your customer. You know that old chestnut "do you want fries with that?" Well it can work well in your battlefield business too. Consider what other up-sells are right for your battlefield business. Does your customer want food and beverage? Do they want themed merchandise?
Instead of a headline price rise in your tickets, consider making the rental of your camo outfits an optional extra. Now it becomes "do you want camo with that?" At the very least it will help your bottom-line with less laundry expenses. And that segways nicely into the next way of expanding your battlefield business: managing expenses.
Keeping a handle on expenses is important to a battlefield business.
Some battlefield businesses want to really scale up and others want to remain a small part-time affair. Either way, both battlefield business need to be profitable. In other words your annual revenue needs to be more than your yearly expenses. Across the calendar business bills go up and down, particularly for a battlefield business.
Keeping track of all of your inputs into your battlefield business as well as possible seasonal variations in sales is vital.
You want them to keep comin' back for more. Increasing the rate of repeat bookings is important to battlefield businesses. After all you've worked hard to attract that customer, made sure that their battlefield experience was fantastic, and now you damn well want to keep 'em!
The cost of sales to an existing customer cost less than the cost of acquisition of a brand new customer.
As Entreprenur.com says "Customer loyalty is hard to win and easy to lose." (source 2)
Follow up each customer experience with a customer survey or email campaign, invite them to subscribe to your monthly newsletter (like "Lock n Load").
Your goal is to really nurture the relationship with your customer. We've found that many Moms book their older son into Laser Tag only to come back a year or two later, saying that their younger one has been bugging them to come back to Battlefield LIVE for their party ever since!
Go above & beyond by entering new markets. Sometimes the best way to expand your business is to focus on new markets. Even if business is great right now, you need to hedge your bets, and seek out new business opportunities. You might add another battlefield venue to your portfolio, or you might add a new, complementary, attraction to your current facility. Or you might consider tapping into a new tourist market, such as Chinese School Groups, after all, all SATR gaming guns can be easily switched from English to Mandarin with the zap of the Master Controller.
Whatever offspring you select it needs to be in alignment with your core brand DNA. Ask yourself: is it intrepid, is it thrilling?
Be confident in yourself and your business. Customers will be confident in you if they believe you will take care of their needs and wants competently and professionally.
Okay you probably don't have a full-time Marketing MBA on your staff, but nowadays you can outsource most marketing design works using web sites like Freelancer or 99Designs. If your business comes across strong and self-assured then you are half-way there.
Ever heard of the "fake it till you make it?" while, of course, I don't advocate lying about your business size, if you look bigger and act more professional than it is more likely that your business will eventually become so.
In summary, if your battlefield can face the latter half of the decade with confidence and capability, then your battlefield business will certainly expand.