Get organized

Bowling centers are thriving this time of year with league play in full swing, birthday parties, field trips, and other outings creating a constant flow of customers.

But the downside of being that busy is that it leaves little time for office work or for organizing.

Maybe you are a master of organization and have won awards for your organizational systems. If so, skip this blog post. But for the rest of us who need some help getting systems in place (or maybe just need some help getting motivated to tackle our organizing needs!), here are some of the tricks I have learned from my time as a bowling proprietor.

First, if you do not already have a system in place, determine if you will use a digital system or binder books, for your calendars. Personally, I use both – for different reasons. I prefer the “master calendar” to be a digital company calendar, with all of the daily detailed information, along with employee memos and updates. The important thing is to find a system that works for you.

Next, take the time to get your league book organized. At a minimum, the league book should include:

  • Team rosters and bowlers’ contact information
  • Set of this year’s rules
  • Standing sheets – at minimum current
  • Include league surveys, returning teams report and league correspondence
  • List the year-end events, as well as meetings, payoffs, and banquets
  • League program organizational meetings and start dates

When compiling your books and gathering information, operate with the guideline that it is better to include more information, rather than less.

Even if the house does not run the leagues, you should have all the information. This is your business, and your ability to succeed will often come down to the information you have in your books. Down the road, you’ll use information from data sheets to email and call prospective spring/summer bowlers, so gathering that information upfront is essential.

Next, it’s time to create (or update) your events book.

  • Go through this season’s events and organize all past bookings of any kind. Store all of the information in one section of the book. You’ll use this book for future sales, as well as for a resource to easily access information.
  • Create a section for upcoming events. Go through all company calendars and make sure you have a master book of events. This will ensure that you know what is going on at all times. This book will contain your master company calendar and all reservation sheets. Be sure that the reservation sheets are detailed, including times, dates, special instructions, and other information, and that all information is also entered into the master calendar.
  • Create a special section for your Spring/Summer schedule. If you have not already planned out your spring and summer, it’s time to get a jump on it. The more thought and planning you pour into these seasons, the better the results will be for your business. Start by gathering all data from last spring and summer bowling leagues. Organize all of that information so you can easily access it.

You will also want to use this organizing session to create a marketing awareness campaign. To do that, you’ll need to build your programs for the spring and summer. Identify all hours, dates, pricing, and customized packaging. Once these are defined, you will be able to segment the information for different email lists. Social media will be the next step. Be sure to discuss your upcoming events on Twitter and Facebook, and schedule website updates.

Your spring and summer planning will also help you craft a print marketing schedule. Have fliers made based on the schedules. (And this is a good time to build your social media schedule, too. Be sure the schedule for social media complements and reflects your center’s special events schedule.)

Finally, be sure that all of this scheduling you have just outlined makes its way into your master calendar.

At this point, if you have completed this process, you should now have at your fingertips:

  • All of the current league information;
  • All events and booking details;
  • And all spring and summer leagues set up, and the relevant information.

Getting organized is not all that difficult. The surprisingly difficult part? Getting started.

Yours for Better Bowling,