Buzz. It’s something everyone in the business world wants. Whether you’re a franchisee or small-business owner, buzz can make the difference between success and failure.
Chip Paul, founder and chief executive of Palm Beach Vapors, the first e-cigarette retail franchise, has been on both sides of .....
Chip Paul, founder and chief executive of Palm Beach Vapors, the first e-cigarette retail franchise, has been on both sides of the coin as franchisor and franchisee.
In his new role leading an emerging brand in a brand-new industry, Paul relies more than ever on local-store marketing spark consumers’ interest and create the kind of buzz that drives traffic and sales.
He shared the following local-marketing tips with 1851 Magazine.
Coming in all shapes and sizes, events can be extremely useful when trying to get the word out about your business. The most common business event is the grand opening.
“A well-thought-out local event can make all the difference,” Paul said. “For us, the overarching goal is to capture and retain a radius of 15,000 to 20,000 people per store, and working on this starts very early on in the process. You simply can’t accomplish that without a solid plan of ways to get people in the doors.”
Your opening isn’t the only way to promote your business through an event. According to Paul, the more often you can host customers at your location, through classes or other smaller events like that, the better. It’s a great way to show that you’re the expert in that space.
Use the tools that you have available to you. From a franchisor perspective, using public relations and gaining organic media placements is one of the most crucial pieces of the local-marketing puzzle. The significance of a trusted third party is a tremendous help when growing a local fan base. He recommends always using PR to try and get your story out.
Signage is another tool that is simple and often overlooked.
“People often forget to put up ‘coming soon’ or ‘grand opening’ signage,” Paul said. “Your whole marketing plan is about visibility and letting as many people know that you’re there and having something to offer. Why wouldn’t you use your own space to its fullest potential? Make sure everyone that comes by knows what you have to offer or anything you’re planning.”
Paul also says that people and networking should be taken advantage of as often as possible.
“I would encourage everyone to join their Chamber of Commerce, or other local business groups, so that they can pull ideas and best practices from other business owners in the area,” he said. “They’ve been where you are and might be able to give advice that can help you avoid mistakes they’ve made and overcame.”
“Get out and knock on doors and get to know the community,” Paul said. “Talk to people. Get their feedback. Let them know that you’re a part of the community just like them.”
If done correctly, your customers will become your greatest marketers and will generate the most buzz about your business.