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Businesses get creative to keep customers

Proprietors offering buy-1-get-1 free bowling, cheaper child care

POSTED: June 16, 2009 11:21 p.m.
SCOTT ROGERS/The Times

Gainesville Bowling Center owner Debbie Love grabs a couple pairs of children's bowling shoes from the shelves Tuesday afternoon at the Browns Bridge Road center. Love hopes new price specials being offered will help draw in more customers to the sport, which she calls a bargain compared to other sporting and gaming activities.

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Most everyone knows that to have a successful business, you have to walk the fine line between supply and demand.

If demand is low, you don’t want to flood the market with product. But what happens when the demand and supply are still high, but personal finances are low?

Several local businesses have found the solution to just that problem — interesting promotions and incentives to bring in customers to support the business, but also save patrons a few extra dollars.

Gainesville Bowling Center is offering a free game of bowling to patrons who pay regular price for one game on Sundays and on Tuesdays through Thursdays after 6 p.m.

"Kids are out of school and parents are hunting for something for them to do," said Laquita Lunsford, who works at the center. "But gas is higher and with the economy being the way it is, people are having a hard time paying for stuff. This helps us bring in more people, but it also helps people to afford to do some of the things that their kids like to do."

As more people are out looking to replace lost jobs, Teri Farner, owner of Little House Academy in Murrayville, has also come up with an incentive to help out job seekers.

While individuals are out looking for a new job, Farner is offering child care for up to four weeks for a discounted rate of $35 per child.

"After they find employment, the tuition only goes up to $50 for another four weeks, which will hopefully allow the parents to get two paychecks under their belts," Farner said.

Although the goal of any business person is to make money, Farner says that she understands that parents may be going through tough times financially. She says she has reduced the rates at all of her day care and pre-kindergarten centers, including the Murrayville and Hampton sites and a new location opening in Griffin.

"I’ve always said that giving back to children and their families is the most important thing that God has asked us to do. That is our No. 1 priority; the money will come in the end. If there are parents at the centers who are waiting for government assistance or who are struggling otherwise, I tell (my staff) to work with them," said Farner. "It’s better to work with the parents than to have to take a student out of the center. If you have to withdraw students that just upsets the whole apple cart, this way the kids won’t even know what is going on."



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