This might be a business rant.
Just saw another post from an axe place on Facebook asking the best way to do Facebook ads. The first thing I do is go look at the persons profile. I have to dig and dig to even find what the name of the business is. Then I go look at their web page.. it’s Terrible!! I look at pictures from facebook or their page… their place looks like crap.
Drives me CRAZY!!!!
Understand the basics of business… an ad is supposed to have a call to action. A call to action is something like “Go to this page on our website and book your event now!” The problem is, I’ll see people with no way to book, or booking software that sucks, or adds on all kinds of extra fees. Do you like paying extra fees? NO! Do your customers? NO!!! So don’t use software that has add on fees!
Or the have some contact form… “Fill this out and maybe we might possibly get back to you one day… after your planned event is already past.” NOOOOOO!
Then I see web pages that suck! Terrible Search Engine Optimization. Lack of decent content. Crappy images.
Then I get looking at the pictures of the business and it looks terrible! If I see one more place that calls itself an axe throwing facility and they have bad white (and stained) drop ceilings and fluorescent lights, I swear I’m going to lose it!
So you want to have a successful Axe Business?? Step 1, have a decent looking place!
The business for axe places is probably closest related to a bar or a restaurant (even if you don’t serve food or booze). It’s a place where you go for a date night out, girls night out, guys night out, a company get together.
Have you ever been to a restaurant or bar with drop ceilings and fluorescent lights?? I see so many of these Axe places and they look like a high school cafeteria that someone converted into a dog kennel with chain link fence everywhere, some boards screwed to a wall and some torn up circles drawn on them. And these people wonder why they don’t get any business?!?!?! Really?!?!?!
So step one. Build a place that is comfortable, inviting, you feel welcome. If you’re place is already built.. take an honest look with impartial eyes. Does it seem nice? Place to go on a date? Or a place to go only if you are the 1 in 100,000 people who dream of becoming an axe pro? There are a lot more people in the world going a date this Friday than there are people that want to become axe pros. You pick your demographic.
Now that you have a nice place, then have a web page that reflects it. Show pictures of people having fun again, read the blog on Pictures. Tell people how much fun they will have on a date night, a company outing, etc.
TAKE ADS FOR YOUR COMPETITION OFF YOUR WEBPAGE!
I see people with links to other web pages.. And even right on their targets!!?? Like links to leagues and agencies… you follow that link they have a “find axe throwing near me” searches where guess what… the franchises they own pop up! Why would you run links so people leave your page so they can find the competition?!?! WTF?!
Did you see Zuckerberg at the congressional hearing when one representative asked, “Well, Mr Zuckerberg, if you don’t sell anything, how do you make any money?”
Zuckerberg kind of blinks in disbelief, shakes his head a little and then say’s “Um… Sir… we sell ads.”
That is why he has over 90 billion dollars.. he sells ads. To your competition. Their algorithms know the customers are leaving your site, heading to Facebook, they know what they might be interested in, they know that now they can blast that person with paid advertisements of your competitors. Why would you send your customers to competitors?!?!!
Use Facebook posts, and even ads if you want to send people to your web page… do not use your web page to send people to Facebook. Zuckerberg has enough money without your customers.. why don’t you try to keep them?
Make Sure Your Customers Have Fun!
Now, obviously, I’m a fan of the projected targets. It’s my business, and I have 3 locations of my own, inside my GatSplat Paintball & Axe Throwing Facilities.
When people come in, they can play different games. The games take care of helping with the score, giving them options, so your employees don’t have to sit in the lane the whole time. What does that cost in labor?! And really… your customers hate it! I have people tell me, “We like having our people in the lane the whole time.. they get more tips that way.”
So do the customers actually like feeling obligated to tip? Do the customers like someone there the whole time? Do you want your waitress to pull up a chair and sit at your table next time you have dinner reservations?
I hear this one a lot… “I’ve never heard anyone complain!”
I tell them the first place I went, they had some dude standing there the whole time, tipping signs about, and I felt I had to tip… and we left. I did not complain… I also never went back.
With projected targets I get to make facebook posts, or send blast emails that say… “Check out the new game we just got in! Throw axes at Cards to win at 21! New this week – check it out.”
Normal places say what? “This week we will paint the middle circle blue instead of red!” Yippie….
So I started this about someone asking on Facebook ads… Feel free do some, but if you do… make sure that ad takes them to your page, that page shows people smiling and having a good time. That inspires them to make a booking… they don’t abandon the cart due to add on BS fees.
They book in then show up, the place looks friendly and inviting. The staff is friendly but not hovering and looking for handouts. The bathrooms are clean, the tables are clean, the entire experience is above the expectations of the customer.
Look with different eyes
I was just talking to an owner that kept telling me, “Well, we want our customers to…” STOP!!! I don’t care what you want. Stop being selfish. What do your customers want?
Warren Buffett (he made a little money) likes talking about the number one thing is to make sure the customer has a “delightful experience”.
Steve Jobs had a great talk where someone asked why he scrapped an open source software that had a lot of great capabilities, and they had millions and millions into making it and he just trashed it when he came back to take over apple. He explained, it was technology that they could go try to find a use for.. but that is the wrong way to run a company. Instead find out what the customer wants, then develop the technology to fit that desire.
So look at your place with fresh new open eyes. What does the customer want. Build that starting with the location, then the page, then base your ads show casing what you have created for them.
Ok.. thanks for putting up with my rant… just had to get that off my chest.