Spring: time to grow your business!
Did your marketing go into hibernation this winter? Spring is the time to shake it up, get moving, and promote your business.
Spring is a time for renewal for all of us, but for some franchise businesses it really is the time to gear up. Spring is the time families start looking to get their swimming pool summer-ready, lovers contemplate marriage, we all look forward to some travel and tourism, gardens explode into life and with them nursery businesses, and people hunt for their gym clothes with a view to how their waistlines will look on the beach this summer vacation.
Even if you don’t have a summer-focused business, spring still is the season to reboot and relook at your business which through the dark winter was possibly just in survival mode. Depending on your business market, reports suggest some business owners have had a terrific 2018 so far, but for others at the luxury end of the market it has been arguably their worse period ever.
Cut every expense
Many franchise owners are looking closely at their costs to cut every unnecessary expense they can – and this is something you should look to do regardless. One franchise owner who inherited her operation for free from her father – but who continued to draw a substantial salary in compensation as a ‘consultant’ – had to slash her salary as deadweight. It was unpleasant, but she was in survival mode.
She also had a substantial electricity bill, being extremely well lit due to a high-profile location and selling top-end products, so she installed timers on her lighting to reduce that bill. You don’t want to cut costs – or skills – that would affect your ability to grow when the economy picks up, as it inevitably will, but look unforgivingly at every cost that is hurting your business. The attitude should be to only spend money which directly earns you more money – anything else is wastefulness.
Tips to market your business
If your marketing went into hibernation this winter, it’s now time to wake it up:
- Send relevant mailings by email, postcards or coupons with special spring offers to entice back shoppers. Make it personalised, relevant, and containing a strong call to action that gets recipients to respond. Consider seasonal offers for events and buzzwords such as spring cleaning, spring vacation, spring break and spring fashion. You may just find that people have waited till spring to make purchases and will be more amenable to check out your products and services.
- Offer seasonal promotional giveaways with your logo on – t-shirts, caps or frisbees. These are tangible forms of advertising that put your business or brand directly into the hands and in front of the eyes of your customers. Choose promotional items that make sense for your business and the season and give them away to new or existing customers.
- If your business is a spring-orientated one such as travel and hospitality, then really go to town with high-quality, full-color brochures and catalogues to highlight spring products, services, and sales. Send them to potential and repeat customers to bring in business.
- In the spring, people get outdoors more so than in winter – so outdoor advertising is another option to attract more walk-in traffic from drivers and pedestrians.
- Customer service is ultimately what separates your franchise from another. The most cost-effective marketing is repeat customers and that comes from how you treat your patrons before, during, and after their experiences. Furthermore, it makes your franchise feel localised, not simply an extension of a national brand. As you improve your customer service, your consumers will reward you by not only coming back, but referring your franchise to others.
Look ahead to summer
While your current focus should be on the season at hand, it is also a good idea to plan ahead to keep your customers engaged into the summer. Your redoubled marketing efforts can include a “Coming This Summer…” section.
Even well-known franchises need fresh, non-formulaic marketing to gain a toehold with their target audiences. Intelligent marketing tactics spell the best chance of long-term success.