Opening a frozen custard franchise in a good location can yield excellent sales, but finding a good location isn't the only factor to a successful establishment. Sometimes an area may seem inundated with other franchises, and the competition can take a big bite out of your daily sales.
However, the right marketing plan can make a big difference. By focusing some of your efforts on advertising locally and using the right tools and resources to market your franchise, you can attract a larger share of customers and retain a strong following.
Use Social Media to Interact With the Local Community
The percentage of consumers who utilize social media for discovering new and existing businesses is growing exponentially. A strong online presence through social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, can yield excellent results and a strong ROI, as it costs virtually nothing to create and maintain online profile pages.
Simply devote time to post consistent updates, as well as interact with followers. This will increase online visibility and brand recognition. Successful establishments often post beautiful pictures of their delicious treats to entice consumers. Starting conversations with your customers also helps, such as asking your followers about their favorite flavors or garnering input on what flavors they'd like to see next.
Promote Seasonal Flavors
Most franchises have one or two seasonal flavors. It is a wise idea to focus heavily on promoting these before and during the months they are available. Consumers love getting things that are only available for a limited time, and promoting before they are available builds buzz and anticipation. And if you happen to have a flavor unique to your franchise, you'll have a better chance of attracting new customers.
Encourage Your Customers to Hang Around
If you've got outdoor seating, you're already ahead of the game. Play music, put out games for people to play, such as a bag toss game or checkers, and consider hiring local musicians to perform outside to encourage more crowds to interact. Whatever you can do to keep a crowd outside will not only increase sales, but also attract passersby.
Use Coupons and Loyalty Programs
Coupons give regular and potential new customers incentive to come to your establishment, so advertise your franchise in local papers or online. Loyalty programs also keep customers coming back by promising them a reward for their continued patronage, such as a free frozen custard after they've purchased five, or an additional discount on their next purchase.
There are of course many other ways you can market your establishment, but the above ideas are some of the most effective and least expensive, and they are sure to help your franchise gain a solid foothold in the community.