Running a franchise business means you get plenty of benefits that start-ups often miss out on – a recognisable brand name, a deep support network and plenty of tools for ongoing success. But growing your business often requires stepping outside the franchise’s constrictions. In order to reach a wider audience and tap into an internet-savvy customer base, you need a marketing strategy for the modern era. Here are four ways to get started.
- Find your niche and exploit it
While some might argue there are problems with focusing on a niche audience, the benefits far outweigh any negatives. The first step is understanding what it is you offer than none of your competitors can match. That is the reason a core group of your customers keep coming back to your franchise. So why not take advantage of it?
When trying to grow, the worst thing you can do is take a scatter-gun approach. So think about these three steps:
- First: Figure out your niche.
- Next: Focus all your marketing efforts on that audience.
- Finally (and most importantly): Offer them something they won’t be able to pass up.
Email marketing is one of the best ways to make this happen.
- Make your social media presence a priority
Similar to avoiding a spray-and-pray approach to marketing, it’s wise to focus on one social media platform rather than multiple. It’s fine to have general accounts on all the big players – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and maybe even LinkedIn – but you need to prioritise where your best audience is active.
Don’t waste your free time trying to juggle every social platform with daily updates. Instead, focus on the one that provides the best ROI – maybe you have far more followers on Instagram than Facebook, or perhaps your Twitter promotions deliver more sales conversions than LinkedIn blogs. Whatever you decide, spend 90 per cent of your ‘social curation’ time on the platform that will reach the biggest audience.
- Use tech tools to save time
Want to spend time with the family but can’t tear yourself away from the necessary admin tasks? Consider utilising workplace solutions that can give you back that much-needed downtime.
Need to organise rosters for next month? Struggling with time billing and wage compliance? An online tool can streamline all these tasks and more so you can focus on what’s really important: growing your business.
- Define your customers’ lifetime value
Falling into a day-to-day rhythm is a common problem for small business owners. After all, how often do you think about a particular customer beyond their most recent purchase? Recognising what your customers’ lifetime value (LTV) is can turn the sales funnel on its head. It allows you to restructure your business approach so you accommodate your customers over the long term, not just the now.
Consider your upsell process. What – if anything – happens after a customer purchases something from you? What are your online and offline communication strategies? Is there a system in place for referrals? If you answered no to any of the above, you haven’t considered your customers’ LTV. Once you understand it, you can turn them into customers for life.
Taking care of the heavy lifting is vital for independent franchisees, but it’s also important to take the time to think about growing your business. There are countless ways you can reach new audiences without being limited by your franchise. Something as small as an online workplace solution can give you the time to update your growth strategy and set the wheels in motion.