Marketing Tips To Increase Home Business Franchise Success
One of the profound differences between home based business and other business opportunities is marketing methodology, which is somewhat more difficult for a home entrepreneur than for most other business owners. Like so many other areas of home business, the root of this difficulty is that business is done at home, where there is no outdoor signage, no storefront, no parking lot, and no customer visitation, all of which means that the place of business does absolutely nothing to put the franchise in the public eye. And as most entrepreneurs know, being in the public eye (i.e. being well marketed) is one of the most essential pieces of business success.
The question, then, is how a home business owner is to go about making up for the lack of a physically commercial presence in the community. And the answer is simple: funnel more effort and funds into other forms of marketing.
In most cases, when you buy even a home franchise, the franchise packet includes a time-tested and successful marketing system that is often already at work nationally and is then applied more specifically to your area. Even when this is the case, long-time business owners and consultants agree that there is nothing to lose in adding your own advertising ideas to that plan. Particularly in an economic slump, one of the major keys to staying afloat is marketing, though knowing exactly what to add to the franchise’s existing strategy can be a tricky matter.
If you’re a work from home entrepreneur looking to boost your local advertising but are unsure how to do that, here are a few ideas that may get your creative juices flowing. Not all will work for everyone, so pick and choose what looks most profitable for you and your operation.
Use The Yellow Pages
It’s a simple, effective plan that many overlook in the information age. Though more and more people are heading to the internet to collect data on products and services they need, there are still many people who, when looking for a plumber or a private eye, head to the phonebook. Print as big an ad as you can afford, and it is certain to produce client calls.
Send Direct Mail
Once again, this method may sound archaic to the email-addicted, modern businessman, but direct mail is a viable advertising strategy, mostly because people respond much better to mail than to spam or telemarketing.
Paint Your Name On The Company Vehicle
This won’t work for all businesses or for all homes, but putting the company name and information on the sides of your car, truck, or van gives you free advertising everywhere you go, even when the car is simply parked outside the house. This is particularly effective in home repair franchises and other businesses that spend a good deal of time out in the town.
Send Promos With Invoices
This is a seldom used tactic, but it makes sense. Invoices, and anything included with them, only go to clients, who are people that you already know are interested in the service or product that you provide. Sending clients promotional discounts or coupons increases the likelihood of return business, and if the advertisement that you send is something like a two-for-one deal, the client may well bring a friend, which expands your client base. Don’t be afraid to use your current clients to help find new ones.
Get Web Marketing Assistance
The internet is undoubtedly the greatest marketing tool a business has today. Studies indicate that the average American is more likely to use the web to research and purchase goods or services than he is to use any other informational avenue. Not everyone is a pro at leveraging online advertising, though. If your franchise doesn’t come with as much internet advertising as you think is possible, it may be worth your time and money to hire a consultant to help you establish a fuller web marketing system for your franchise business.
Use Promotional Trinkets
Print your name on a large quantity of pens, paper pads, calculators, key chains, bottle openers, and anything else that is small, useful, and likely to be passed around. There’s no telling whose hands each item may wind up in as they’re unintentionally passed around town. In no time, you’ll have your advertisements in restaurants, bars, coffee shops, doctors’ offices, and even other people’s businesses.
Have An Open House
This is a good choice for a service-oriented home business like tax preparation or business consultancy in a smaller neighborhood. Send out flyers, serve some hors d’oeuvres or have a backyard BBQ, and simply welcome people into your home/office to get to know you and what you do.
Business opportunities don’t come around every day, and rarely do they come in pursuit of you; it’s the entrepreneur’s job to go out in search of them, and marketing is the primary way that that is done. Though that’s a hard thing to do when you work at home, it’s not impossible. Take and apply any marketing systems that your franchisor has for you and don’t be afraid to also put into practice good advertising methods that you discover from other sources as well. Both you and your franchisor are interested foremost in the success of your franchise, so achieve that in any way you can.