When first starting out in business, generating a client list and getting your brand’s name out in front of an audience is crucial in order to grow sales and, eventually, profits.
While franchisors provide support, marketing materials and perhaps even a third-party PR firm as part of a franchise .....
While franchisors provide support, marketing materials and perhaps even a third-party PR firm as part of a franchise agreement, no one knows a local trade area more than the franchisees who provide the product or service in their signed territories.
Sam Langer, a 24-year-old GYMGUYZ franchisee, has found the perfect marketing plan for his service area of Westchester County, N.Y. At the age of 23, Langer signed on to become the first franchisee with the at-home personal-training franchise and opened his business this past March.
Langer partnered with his longtime best friend, James Bonnavita, and soon the two entrepreneurs made a plan to begin collecting clients and train people full-time. But before they were able to start growing a loyal fanbase, Langer hit the ground running with guerilla-marketing tactics.
When marketing, a franchisee must leverage resources to plan and execute a well-rounded and effective marketing strategy. But, clearly defined goals are step No. 1. Though navigating a business at a relatively young age, Langer pursued creative marketing routes in order to start building brand recognition in his area. By putting money behind hyper-local marketing, Langer’s business began growing.
“We started growing by participating in street fairs and utilizing lawn signs in the area; that’s where most of our business leads came from,” Langer said. “Street fairs allowed us face time with potential new clients, which is important because people want to meet who they’re working with before they start employing their services.”
After investing in print advertising in local newspapers and not seeing the results he was hoping for, Langer turned to aggressive local-store marketing techniques to get the job done. Small display ads are a great and inexpensive ways for brands to continue getting the message out, he said. Langer chose transportation hubs in the area because of their proximity to New York City.
“A big population of Westchester County commutes to Manhattan, so we used train stations as a great resource to get our logo and brand name in front of locals,” Langer added. “We hung flyers and passed out brochures to tell our neighbors what GYMGUYZ was all about.”
Through these processes and trial and error, Langer learned some lessons to pass on to new franchisees.
“Be persistent, and do all you can do with the resources you have,” Langer said. “Utilize your friendships, gather referrals, and note all recommendations that come your way.”