If You Build It They Will Come is the Biggest Lie Ever Told
Of course, location is important. Do you know what is also important? Effective marketing and advertising are extremely important. Unless you are opening a McDonald’s or Burger King franchise, you need to advertise. Actually, even McDonald’s and Burger King franchisees advertise and market their individual stores. One corporate candy franchisor employee actually told me, “In our type of business, advertising just doesn’t work.
You need walk-by traffic.” Really? If advertising does not work for candy, why does Mars, Inc. spend millions of dollars advertising M&M’s®? Because it WORKS! We all know about M&M’s®. We all know the Green M&M® is the sexy one. We know we can buy them just about everywhere. But unless they are “in your face” all the time, you may “forget” about them and pick up a Heath Bar®.
It is your responsibility as a business owner to let people know about your product. And once they know about your product, it is your responsibility to get them in the door. In the end it is YOUR business.
Tell people what you are doing. Run promotions and advertise them. Have a weekly or monthly special. Start a customer newsletter, offer a senior discount, pass out coupons, offer employee incentives to tell your customers what you want them to know, offer bounce back coupons, cross promote with another business, join a BNI group (www.bni.com), or have a sale (clearance, end of season, sidewalk, tent, back to school, firecracker or whatever will call attention to your business). I saved my favorite one for last, because so many people undervalue its effect. Get involved in the community your business is in. If you have a business association other than the Chamber of Commerce-join it. Becoming an active volunteer in your community will get other business people knowing who you are right away, and you will win their business. Once you win the support of other business owners they will tell people about you. You have to take charge of your business.
When we bought our first existing franchise, it was ranked in the bottom 3%. Yuk! As a positive person, I figured the only place to go from there was UP!It is no coincidence that that is exactly what we did. I started running monthly specials, advertising in the local paper, I started a customer VIP Newsletter and did dozens of the “guerilla marketing” tactics that are vital to creating awareness and exposure for my company.
After being in the business for five years I became involved with the local Business Association, and chaired an event. I started getting to know other business owners. It was then my business made a huge jump. I wish I would have taken a little time from my business those first 5 years, but I felt like I needed to be in my business, and it couldn’t survive without me. Don’t make this mistake! Don’t simply join your chamber and sit around. Be active. Get involved. Become a leader.
In a small town, the residents love when business owners get involved. It usually means the businesses are providing extra value to their community. Maybe it is bringing a carnival to town, or planning a craft fair, etc. By bringing people into town, it is a win/win for everyone. The businesses provide more value to their community, and the business owners get more people in their doors.
I have a volunteer attitude. By not working in my business all the time, it does free up some of my time so I can volunteer. I volunteer mostly in business organizations. I don’t want other business people making decisions that affect my business. Sometimes I have to sit on my hands to keep from leaping up, and yelling, “I’ll do it.” (learning to say “no” was vital!)
How much should you invest towards this part of your marketing? Plan on spending a minimum of 1% of your total annual gross sales. If you are just starting, plan on a minimum of $5,000 your first year, and make sure you don’t use that for cost overruns. You are going to need it. It will be one of your best performing investments of your precious marketing dollars.
McDonalds has been running their Monopoly™ game for several years now. What a brilliant
marketing strategy. What is your brilliant marketing strategy? You don’t have to be McDonalds to come up with a fun strategy that people want to participate in. The key word here was “fun.” If you would like to find out how McDonalds’ Monopoly game has become so ridiculously successful read this article from The Business Insider. http://www.businessinsider.com/mcdonalds-monopoly-facts-2011-10
Could you use some marketing help with your business? Reach out and ask for my 30-minute complimentary More Clients/More Cash in 3 East Steps call. Email me at: Jean@JeanKuhn.com