It’s not uncommon for franchise and retail businesses of all types to slow down soon after the retail rush of the holiday season subsides.
January, February and March are traditionally slow months for sales and customer traffic, but there are ways to boost business before the brighter days of spring and summer.
Lengthen the holidays. Maintain the holiday momentum as long as you can. Customers may return gifts soon after Christmas. Sell them new products with targeted markdowns.
Step up your social media game. Get creative. Consider hiring a professional public relations firm to handle your social media platforms. Lure customers to your shop with one-day specials or other promotions you can trumpet on social media.
Keep advertising. Don’t let your brand fade during the winter. Start advertising now to ensure good spring sales and build toward a profitable year.
Plan ahead. You know when your business is up, and when it’s down. Prepare for the short-term financial downturn ahead of time with a rainy-day fund and possible staffing shifts.
Tout new products. If one of your vendors rolls out a new product, especially early in the year, promote it to get customers to your store.
Get involved. The slower winter season is a good time to step up networking with local chambers of commerce and other business or trade organizations. Attend conferences to promote your brand.
Get personal. Call some of your best customers of the past year and thank them for their support and invite them in for a cup of coffee. Based upon their prior purchases, gently pitch some new products they may be interested in. Some of our Tint World stores have had great success hosting or being involved in their local cars and coffee outfit.
The most important advice: Stay positive. Slowdowns are part of business, and should be part of your planning process. Remember: This too shall pass. Click here for more information about Tint World® franchises or download our franchise kit today.
Striving for new goals is a way to motivate yourself out of the current economic funk. For many people, these goals include the desire to start their own business and become the master of their destiny. Franchising can fit very well into that picture.
Here are the top 10 reasons to pursue a franchise opportunity if you want to own your own business:
Track record of success. Any good franchise company has developed a method of doing business that works well and produces results. Even better, they’re required to provide you with a great deal of information in their required disclosures so you can investigate and verify the results with existing franchisees prior to making your final decision.
Strong brand. One of the biggest advantages of franchising is that the company is building a brand on a regional or national basis that should have value in the eyes of customers you’re trying to attract.
Training programs. A good franchise company has training programs designed to bring you up to speed on the most successful methods to run the business. The company should also have reference materials to assist you in dealing with whatever comes up while you’re running your business.
Ongoing operational support. Franchise companies have staff dedicated to providing ongoing assistance to franchisees. You’re not alone when you’re building and running your business, and you can always call on experienced people when you hit a rough spot or want to share new ideas for growing the business.
Marketing assistance. The franchise company has marketing assistance to provide you with proven tools and strategies for attracting and retaining customers. Usually, the staff helps you develop the actual marketing plans and budgets for your grand opening as well as your ongoing efforts to market your business effectively.
Real estate assistance. Most franchises have manuals and other documentation, as well as staff, to help you find the right site and negotiate the best possible deal. This is a very important advantage that can hold costs down and provide the best possible chance of success in any site-driven business.
Construction assistance. Franchise companies can also provide a benefit in helping you design the layout of the business and selecting the right contractors to do your build out, as well as making sure you get the exact mix of furniture and equipment you need to maximize the efficiency of your initial investment.
Purchasing power. A good franchise can take advantage of the buying power of the entire system to negotiate prices for everything you need at significantly lower levels than you could achieve as an independent operator. This applies not only to initial furniture and equipment purchases, but also to the supplies, inventory, uniforms and everything else you’ll need on an ongoing basis.
(and 10) Risk avoidance. This one is so important that we’ll call it both 9 and 10! The biggest reason to buy a franchise is that, if you’re smart, it will help you avoid much of the risk of starting a new business.
Use your page as an advertising billboard. Make sure you utilize the space afforded your brand on your page. Make sure you have a dynamic cover and profile photo that mentions your business name. Change it up regularly. Research and take advantage of special business features and make sure all of your contact information is kept updated.
Post good content. Consider hiring a professional public-relations agency to provide relevant and plentiful content for your page. Original photos and videos are also popular on Facebook. Link wisely, and only follow appropriate pages. Update your Facebook presence as often as possible.
Give shout-outs. Tag good customers or products in posts; people like to be recognized, and individual brands and products you may carry can also be tagged in Facebook now.
Keep the conversation going. Make sure you engage your social-media audience. Post questions that prompt answers and can spark fun engagement. Don’t engage or further debate on controversial topics. Keep your content and posts neutral, and avoid plugging or linking inappropriate material.
Choose your audience. There are multiple groups and communities devoted to a range of topics. Join or engage with groups that might especially appreciate or be interested in your product or business. You can also build your own Facebook audience by following customer and employee Facebook pages.
If your business doesn’t have an active Facebook page, you are already far beyond the 8-ball. Get your page up to snuff and current. It’ll help you generate business and you may find you “like” it.