As a franchisee, how do you really know when you’ve reached success? Is it hitting your first-year goals? Finally reaching your ultimate revenue goal? From a marketing perspective, is it setting and measuring website leads, or, from the point-of-sale perspective, is it your lead-to-sale conversion rate? How do you really know when, and if, you’ve ever achieved ultimate franchise growth and success?
Within a franchise system, it’s the best of both worlds. Franchisees are able to run their businesses and, for the most part, decide on what tools they utilize in all aspects, from marketing, HR, finance, and beyond. And then they are able to converse with their peers within the system to find what works best for others and what doesn’t. It’s identifying the tools and tactics which mesh well together and those which continue to measure results, tweaking things along the way, if necessary.
In order to grow your business, ensure it isn’t stagnant but up-to-date with current marketing trends, set up a viable marketing plan heading into each new year. This plan should include measurable and detailed tactics such as the following:
Paid local search and Internet advertising
What’s your budget (monthly/annually) and corresponding goals specific to leads. What reports will you use to measure this and determine whether your goals were met or exceeded?
Determine what social media channels you’ll deploy. From there, add on how often you’ll post to these. For example, consider posting three times a week versus every day, and even go as far as creating these posts ahead of time so you’re ready to go. What goals can you measure for social? It could be an average number of shares per post, or fan increase. Regardless of these goals, it’s imperative to use available social platform reports to measure whether fans are engaging and if there are additional actions to implement which will improve engagement.
Have you thought about what paid advertising you’d like to implement? This would include direct mail postcards, print, billboards, radio, TV, and print and online directories. What works in one marketing area might not work in another. This is where being in a franchise system comes in handy! Having the ability to talk to marketing peers and weigh the pros and cons and best practices of each tactic is incredibly valuable and allows you to do a bit of research before implementing a plan. As with other areas of marketing, if one form of advertising is not yielding vast results, shift that spend to another one that is!
These are essential efforts which marketers must employ; executed consistently will get the word out quickly about your business. Grassroots activities can include networking at professional organizations or associations, dropping off promotional materials at apartment complexes/senior communities/real estate offices, participating in community service projects, sponsoring events, etc. Set aside money in your budget to execute grassroots efforts monthly, and have fun with it!
Begin thinking about public relations and how to get involved with media in your area. It’s best to gather contacts at all the large media outlets locally — TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, and newsletters – and research their websites to find the appropriate contacts you might reach out to for coverage of your business’ news. Once you have a solid list developed, it’s time to start planning what might be considered newsworthy in your business. A large amount of new hires from your community, a grand opening, revenue goals or growth after a certain number of years, a great story about an employee, think about what YOU would like to read and determine whether it would be worthy to share with the community. It’s also important to stay in tune with what’s happening around town. Read the local news, and become familiar with the reporters and what news stories are out there. Don’t forget, once you have a press release finished, upload to your website (perhaps a special news section) and be sure to promote via social media to get additional reads. The best thing you can do with a press release is promote, promote, promote!
Make marketing fun, engage in reports, and make changes when necessary to ensure marketing plans are working to their fullest potential!
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