On The Flip Side

Tricks Of The Trade

Ready And Waiting

What's better than picking up your adoring children after a long day at day care? Try the adoring children plus a steaming hot dinner. This was the premise behind Parents Night Off, a promotion cooked up by three Avon, Ohio-area entrepreneurs--Wayne Jablonski of True Connections concierge service, Jody Samanich of Diamond Child day-care center and Jim DePaul of the Savannah Bar & Grille.

The concept was simple: Parents dropped off their dinner orders with the kids and found their meals--and kids--waiting for them in the evening.

The real benefit of Parents Night Off was its promotional value. "It helped introduce people to Jim's restaurant, and it provided Jody with a way to enhance her day-care service," Jablonski says. "And I was able to pick up leads by talking to [parents] during deliveries." The trio also got a fair amount of press, including stories in Cleveland magazine and the Cleveland newspaper Plain Dealer, as well as local TV coverage.

After several months, Parents Night Off was phased out, but similar future plans are in the works.

"With a service like mine, print ads and conventional marketing aren't very effective," Jablonski says. "But if I talk with people one-on-one, invariably someone says `Hey, I can use that service.' And if I can help my business clients in the process of networking, that's a win for everyone."

Contact Sources

GFA Management Inc., P.O. Box 47024, Indianapolis, IN 46247, (317) 888-7156

The Mac McIntosh Co. Inc., (310) 376-1221, http://www.salesleadexperts.com

Savannah Bar & Grille, (440) 892-2266

True Connections, (800) 937-6217

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This article was originally published in the January 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: On The Flip Side.

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