3 Tips to Increasing Your Franchise's Sales & Boost Company Value
For successful franchise leaders, sitting back and taking what that economy brings is simply not an option when trying to increase sales or get out of a slump. We create our own destiny, and are forced to make decisions that can positively (or negatively) impact the business. Sales is always top of mind in any business. Sales makes the world go 'round after all, right? So how do we position ourselves to boost our franchise's sales when there's doubts or a shift in the market? Let's address 3 quick starting points that can get you going in the right direction.
1. Survey your industry, your peers, and your competition, and take note.
2. Helping customers spend money - NOT discounting or slashing prices.
3. Creating new ways to provide value to your customers.
Survey your industry and take note:
Whether you're in a slump, feeling the pain of the global economy & challenges it presents, or doing well but just looking to stay ahead, understanding your industry landscape and your competitive environment is a necessary first step. In any given market, the consumer base defines an industry for the most part. If the market's telling you they're not interested in a particular product, you need to be aware, and act swiftly. We typically call this 'product market fit'. How well does your product or service "fit" in the market and are your customers buying or using it enough to spread the word and create a buzz? Is it still being well received? Is there high demand for what you're offering, or have things tapered off due to a new technology, shift in consumer behavior, or other companies with a competitive advantage? Being aware, and remaining curious as to "what's happening around you" will help guide you toward necessary action, and allow you to act swiftly in making strategic moves to position yourself more favorably to your consumers. Things may not be as grim as they appear, so use the data from your findings to make short term and sustainable improvements.
Helping Customers Spend Money - NOT Discounting
In a lot of cases, the first thing that pops to mind when sales have dipped is "price cut", "discounts", etc. That should never be your first thought. This is a quick way to impact your COGS and margins for something that could have otherwise had a different, and more creative first approach. First thing's first, ask yourself WHY? Why are your sales down? Why aren't your customers spending like they were last quarter, or last year? Why aren't you bringing in as many new leads or first time customers? (using the data you collect in step one can help you get to these answers). Uncovering the potential reasons as to why things are the way they are will allow you to at minimum, diagnose an issue before irrationally prescribing a solution. Discounting is a zero-sum game. And eventually, if you condition your customer behavior to expect this, your business will be slower to rebound when things turn around and traction picks up. Make it easy for customers who want to actually spend money, and then if anything, along with great service and added value can result in price increases, not price cuts.
Creating New Ways To Provide Value To Your Customers:
Just being present to welcome a customer that walks through your door doesn't cut it. In today's increasingly competitive market, how can you provide more (and better) value to your customers to keep them engaged, keep them coming back, and increase that customer value to your business?
Creating events to engage your community - Whether this is putting on a special event at a local restaurant to generate new leads, a happy hour, or a customer appreciation special at your place of business, getting your customers and prospects more active and involved in the community will encourage a more dedicated customer base (and likely build some brand advocates in the meantime, which is your best form of marketing!)
B2B Partnerships - Get to know your local community and business owners (in particular the ones that share your common consumer). How can you get creative and partner with the local businesses around you? Don't be afraid to knock on some doors and get to know your neighbors. You'd be surprised how supportive other small business owners are when it comes to partnering together.
Reciprocal Marketing - Similar to the above, with business that share a common consumer, reciprocal marketing efforts become a win-win. Own a boutique salon? How about building a reciprocal marketing campaign with the massage place down the road to help increase traction together? You're not selling the same product or service, but you're servicing the same type of customer.
As you continue your journey in franchising, consider your opportunities to increase sales and not just 'weather the storm'. Stay tenacious, and proactive and put yourself in your customer's shoes to understand how you can provide more value to them, and your business!
For more franchise ideas, wisdom, and strategies, come hang out with the many bright minds that are a part of the Franchise Common Community, where we contribute to the mission of support, ideas, advice, and growth! "There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about."