OMAHA, Neb., Oct. 25, 2011 // PRNewswire // -- Like any small business, franchises need to differentiate themselves from their competitors and continually reach out to potential customers in order to record growth and be successful.
One big advantage franchises have over other businesses is that they begin their enterprise with a solid brand name, and if you've chosen franchisors wisely, a great reputation and a receptive target audience. No business can rest on its laurels, however, and as the owner, you'll need to market your service or product.
The Maids, the residential cleaning company that stands out from competitors because of its exclusive 22-Step Healthy Touch® Deep Cleaning System, understands the importance of continuous and targeted marketing. It currently operates more than 160 franchises in the United States and Canada.
Let Others be Your Guide – Some franchisors may have rules about the types of campaigns you may use, and those stipulations normally would be contained in a contract. Barring that, most franchisors are more than willing to offer suggestions or even assistance with your marketing efforts. Talk with other franchisees, too, and find out what has worked for them. They can also tell you about failures and pitfalls, which will save you time and money in your own efforts.
Network – Join local business groups and strive to continually make contacts in the community. You are the face of your company: talking passionately about what you do is one of the best ways to market your business. Accept offers to speak at community organization meetings in order to raise your own – and your company – profile.
Sponsorships – Sponsor youth sporting activities or community events. Clients will soon learn to connect your company with these events, which will help you develop name recognition and a loyal following.
Let Others Talk – Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to market your business. While you might be the biggest booster for your company, employees and customers can be excellent ambassadors, too. Offer discounts or other incentives to customers who give you referrals. Provide employees with similar incentives. In addition, give employees coupons or other types of discounts to hand out to family or friends or organizations with which they associate.
Website – The Internet has changed the way businesses reach customers. Once, print or broadcast advertising was the prominent way to tell people about your company. All that has changed. A modest website – one you can easily modify – can help you gain maximum exposure and target people who need your products or services. Make sure your entries are accurate and links are working.
Go Social – Join Facebook and Twitter and write blogs to increase your company's presence on the Internet. Along with your website, these platforms can be used to tell stories, connect with potential customers and offer special discounts. Bloggers who talk about your company or "like" you on Facebook will help boost your brand.
Try It – Not every campaign will work for every business. Use different ways of communicating to your potential clients or of driving people to your website. For instance, try an inexpensive direct mail campaign then get feedback from customers and analyze the success of the plan.
Acknowledge a Sale – Make a new customer feel special by sending them a discount coupon or "thank you" note. This will help you develop repeat clients and track marketing effectiveness.
Newsletters – Send out printed or e-mail newsletters to customers periodically. Newsletters are a great way to introduce new products, special pricing or other offers, and announce sponsorships.
Known for its 22-Step Healthy Touch® Deep Cleaning System, The Maids is the only franchised residential cleaning service to clean for health, combining environmentally preferable cleaning supplies and state-of-the-art equipment with a methodical process to maintain the healthiest living environment possible for families. The Maids enjoys a 96 percent customer referral rate, distinguishing them as the residential cleaning service of choice. Visit The Maids at www.maids.com or call 1-800-843-6243 for more information.
SOURCE The Maids