As everyone who has started their own franchise business knows, the start-up period can be a steep learning curve for a franchisee. The wait for that first deluge of customers can be stressful, but the key is marketing you and your new business. You may have had a few customers which incidentally makes you a business owner who is already experiencing some level of success! However, nobody wants to remain stuck in maintenance mode; it's imperative that the business itself grows and develops in tandem with your development as its owner.
Franchisees may become so involved in the logistics of starting up that they have no clear strategy for long-term growth. It's important that small business owners receive the correct advice when setting out to expand, as taking too many wrong steps early on could endanger the business. Many come from a employed background, which means sales and marketing can be a black art. It's best to aim for steady growth which is solidly backed by the correct financing, advice and support, and here are our top tips for achieving just that:
Network - grow your links and use them to generate business
Plan - remember that half the battle is planning!
Word of mouth - get existing customers to talk about you (both online and offline)
Exploit your website - it's all about the web these days, so make sure its updated and looking fresh
Your pitch - know your pitch inside out, because customers love knowledgeable people
Social media - are you tweeting, facebooking etc? If not, why not?
Marketing can be as simple as you want. Just make sure you do it!