3 ways new franchisees can boost sales
If you’ve just started a new franchise business, you may find yourself focusing your energies on getting the basics down pat. While it’s important you stick to the plan, now is the time for new franchisees to kick into gear and start looking for ways to boost sales.
A proactive approach to sales can help new franchisees to generate a loyal customer base from day one.
Remember, just because you have bought into a franchise with an established brand, it does not mean that business will stroll through your door. It is your responsibility to take the lead and be an active business owner.
In order to boost sales, franchisees should implement a sales strategy that is in-keeping with the brand’s overall message. Throughout your due diligence process, you should have compiled a detailed analysis of your local demographic.
First and foremost, use this information to identify the needs and wants of your prospective customers. From here, the ball is in your court. Here’s three ways you can boost sales at your new franchise business.
We all know in the professional world, it’s not what you know, but who you know. You might be surprised to know that in franchising, the same principle applies.
Networking allows new franchise owners to get out an engage with their core clientele, while positioning them as a valued, approachable member of the community.
Crystal Petzer, award-winning Hire a Hubby franchisee believes networking is one of the most successful ways for new business owners to boost sales, particularly in the early days.
“If you’ve had your franchise for more than a week, you know that the best way to attract and secure new clients is by referral,” she said. “However, the limited circle of people you already know will restrict your opportunities to generate sufficient word-of-mouth referrals to create the new business your franchise will need.”
Petzer said building relationships with local community members can spread your message in a cost-effective way, providing much-needed visibility.
“It will take time to establish trust, and for others to fully appreciate your credentials,” she said.
“By sharing knowledge and experiences with your network, their relationship with you will grow, to become your most valuable marketing channel.”
Local area marketing
While networking does provide new franchisees with a low-cost method to boost sales, it won’t fully negate the need for marketing, in particular local area marketing.
Proactive franchisees will begin their local area marketing process long before the doors of their outlet open. While this may seem like an ill-thought-out plan, having an engaged following prior to opening can really help to boost sales from the first day.
Kelly Nikolakopoulos, director of marketing for children’s franchise Sport Star Academy said that in order for small businesses to succeed, they must completely immerse themselves in the local market.
“By understanding the local customer behaviour within the community, franchise partners have the opportunity to become a community hero, identify key market opportunities and from there, grow their business,” she said.
Nikolakopoulos said that just because your franchisor provides some marketing collateral, such as eDMs, flyers and social media content, it doesn’t mean franchisees can’t invest their own money to boost sales.
In fact, the marketing director suggested that more localised efforts, such as letterbox drops and sponsoring local sporting teams can play a pivotal role. Use the contacts you have developed through your networking efforts to find the best tactics to utilise.
“Franchisees should use their national marketing strategy as a guide and adapt that into their own local area marketing plans,” she said.
Create a sales process
Regardless of what kind of business you are in, the ability to create a predictable and scalable sales process will also be key to your success.
Generating interest from a new client is a win for every operator, however it’s what you do with that interest that will determine your long-term success.
Steve Rollings, Anytime Fitness international franchisee said that getting your sales process down early can help you avoid heartache later on down the track.
“Many new franchisees spend a large percentage if their time producing marketing, operation and financial plans, but overlook having a sales plan. It’s not until a few years down the track that they realise what a huge mistake they have made,” he said.
Rollings said one of the first steps is to ask yourself what your ideal customer looks like, and why they would buy from you. From here you can build a profile of who you want to attract and where to find them.
Whatever your sales process looks like, it should always leave the customer feeling confident that they have had a positive experience.
Boost sales with focus
Building a loyal client base is critical to your success as a new business owner, after all it is far easier to retain happy customers than it is to constantly seek new ones.
However you plan to boost sales in your business, an understanding of your franchise’s messaging is key. Before you embark on a comprehensive strategy, be sure to consult with your franchisor.