Looking to grow your franchise? Building your business starts with growing your sales numbers, and we’ve got ten tips to help you get there on a local level.
1. Build a relationship with your customers. This is crucial to boosting sales. Customers want to feel a personal connection to a brand and its employees. Don't make business all about the business - it's important to get to know your clients as people and earn their trust and respect. They'll be more likely to work with you in the future and recommend you to others.
2. Give out free samples. Before people buy into something, they want to know it's worth the cost. Try giving out free samples or demos on special occasions to get paying customers through the door. Philly Pretzel Factory and Dunkin’ Donuts are known for doing this on National Pretzel Day and National Doughnut Day.
3. Get involved in the community. If you want your business to do well in your area, you need to show your customers that you're not just after their dollar. Customers will invest in you if you show that you're invested in them and the things they care about. Sponsor a local sports team or partner with a local charity for an event, like Pita Pit did in Chicago earlier this year with the Bryan and Amanda Bickell Foundation.
4. Reward your existing customers. If your customers feel like they're getting a good deal, they'll be more likely to keep coming back. People feel good about buying if they're rewarded with points programs, sweepstakes or discounts. Last month, Christian Brothers Automotive, an automotive care franchise, saw huge success with their sweepstakes contest. Each customer who purchased a service was entered into a sweepstakes to win a $1,000 gas card.
5. Highlight customer testimonials. Existing customers can be your best marketing tool. Find the customers and clients you've had the longest, and ask them to write a review or help create a short video testimonial. People want to know your business is good, but they don't want to hear it from you. Customer testimonials highlight your brand's strengths without sounding too promotional. Rosetta Stone utilizes customer testimonials very well.
6. Pay attention to what people are saying about you. Negative feedback is just as important as positive feedback. If someone had a negative experience with your brand, make sure you understand why and do your best to remedy the situation. If you’re not already, start interacting with customers on Yelp and tune in to your Facebook reviews.
7. Utilize social media effectively. With Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, businesses have the capability to target users in their local markets. Integrate local happenings into posts to cultivate brand awareness. It never hurts to check out other brands’ social media pages for ideas. For example, Famous Toastery, a breakfast and brunch concept based in North Carolina, tailors its content to brunch-lovers in its area without sounding overly-promotional.
8. Check in on the competition. If your competitor is taking away potential clients or customers, find out why. Monitor their social media pages, be aware of promotions or sweepstakes they run, and learn about their business model. This will help you stay one step ahead of them and stay relevant.
9. Remember that PR is your friend. Don’t turn down a PR opportunity because you think it’s too small or unimportant; take advantage of any opportunity that comes your way. Get to know local journalists and influencers. Keep your ears pricked for interview and story opportunities.
10. Don't be afraid to try something new. Every brand needs a face lift now and again. If you feel like your sales are low or you just want to get to the next level, consider changing things up. This is exactly what Buffalo Wings & Rings did in 2013 with its rebranding, and it has grown tremendously since then. If you’re not looking to rebrand your franchise, even subtle changes in your strategy can make a huge difference.
Start following these tips and you’ll be on your way to boosting those local sales numbers in no time.