One key aspect of any franchisee’s business development or strategic management objectives is to make a plan for the development of the franchise. Running a franchise is not an easy feat. Competition is a mountain to climb. To have a significant impact on a local market one franchise is operating in, it must capture the needs of the buying public. This can be best done by empowering a franchise’s business strategy in general and sales strategy in particular.
A Better Sales Strategy
If franchise sales are beginning to show some signs of weakness, do not feel worried. If they keep on declining, never do the unpopular: cutting prices and cutting jobs. Stay cool. Gather yourself and your team, and do your homework.
1. Analyze Market Data
It is very important to know what is happening to the market you are serving. Do not get locked in on your business. The economy out there needs some blame, too. See if the franchise sector is experiencing the same as yours. Find evidence that the local economy is also being affected by potential business cycle downtrends. Data is powerful, so listen to what it says.
2. Let Customers Talk
It is also imperative that you hear what customers are saying. Make them talk. Listen to what they want or what they think your products or services should be. Talking to customers every day is a good first-hand approach to know their thoughts. Couple it up with a consumer survey that seeks to determine more pertinent customer demands.
3. Stimulate Customer Interest
Slashing prices may be the first thing one will think of if one wants to stimulate the customer’s interest and revive sales, but it is not a very sustainable solution. There are many ways to make customers come back. Two popular options are offering discounts on a future sale and releasing new products for a fundraising campaign. These incentives make customers look forward to such day or event, and hence, enliven the interest again.
A Better Business Strategy
Improving sales is a fundamental head-on solution in solving slumping franchise figures. However, it may not be enough as your whole business has to make adjustments, too. Double up your sales strategy with a sound overall business strategy.
1. Measure Performance Intelligently
A franchise that is guided by intelligent performance metrics is bound for glory. By intelligent, it means that it is focused on the most important drivers of success. Typically, this should be comparative monthly sales, average customer transaction, and total gross margin. They are simple measures, but they tell a lot about where your franchise is heading.
2. Boost Marketing Efforts
A franchise lives and dies in its marketing model. Unlike any traditional businesses, a franchise’s major social capital relies on brand awareness. If you do not keep on letting people know about your brand, no one will be interested, and no one will buy. Re-invigorate your marketing arsenal. Go for banners and posters. Get heard on the local radio. Be seen in local papers.
Making your franchise known to your market needs careful study. Customers are easily drawn to new products. The growth of more unique businesses and the presence of traditional competitors are serious threats also. To be successful, one must control such variables. Know them. Measure them. Learn from them.