3 Tools Local Franchisees Can Use To Grow Their Business

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Andre Kay head shot

Owning a local franchise business is no simple task. Even with support from your franchisor, you’re still required to

manage operations, staff, budget, marketing and any unexpected expenses and issues.

The majority of small business owners wear multiple hats when it comes to running their local business. Business

owners are always searching for an easy and affordable way to manage customers, drive new business and increase sales.

Here are three tools local franchisees can use to attract and keep new customers to grow their business:

1) Constant Contact

(http://www.constantcontact.com/)

Email marketing is one of the most powerful marketing tools available for developing customer and client relationships. Constant Contact offers effective and professional email marketing for a small monthly fee, without set-up or support costs.

But before you can use Constant Contact or any email client, you will first need to develop a database of customers. Communicating with regular customers will help you to increase revenue without the cost of acquisition.

To start collecting your customer’s email address, you will need to offer something of value.

• Create and run monthly promotions through your social channels (e.g. Join our emailing list for a chance to win a

$100 Gift Certificate)

• Create and print small cards for customers to fill out in-store (e.g. Complete this card for a chance to win a

free dinner, product or service)

• If you offer online ordering, ask customers for permission to communicate with them via email. Now that you’ve started collecting emails, use the following examples to communicate with your customers to offer value:

• Send birthday, anniversary and special day (Mother’s Day, etc) emails

• Send exclusive coupons and discounts

• Send relevant local and community involvement news

• Do not spam their email inbox

2) Sociallybuzz App

(http://sociallybuzz.com/app)

Managing all your social channels and online reviews can feel like a full time job. But not moderating them effectively and consistently can instantly turn good customer service into a bad customer experience and having returning customers to going out of business. Franchisees can use the Sociallybuzz app to easily manage their social channels and online reviews in one place, on one mobile dashboard. Having an easy, affordable and convenient way to manage all your social channels and online reputation can save you lots of time, while helping you build a solid line of communication between you and your customers.

• Manage and moderate all your channels from one mobile dashboard anytime, anywhere.

• Anticipate a busy day or busy week?Schedule your messages in advance to post at a convenient time.

• Quickly receive notifications of posts or customer reviews, comments and complaints.

• Respond promptly to reviews, customer complaints, praises and comments.

3) FiveStars

(http://www.fivestars.com/businesses/)

Loyalty programs reward consumers for sticking with your business. FiveStars gives businesses everything they need to acquire, grow, and retain their customer base. It has an incredibly simple loyalty solution that takes care of everything. Once you join the FiveStars network, they will build a customized loyalty program that is optimized for your business. You maintain full control.

• Sign up all your customers right from your POS in seconds.

• Collect customer information

• Keep in touch with your customers via targeted messages

In conclusion, it is easier and cheaper to retain an existing customer than acquire a new customer. Many business owners do not have the time, resources or team to help with growing their business. With the three tools mentioned above, you should be able to get a better handle onyour business marketing, management and

loyalty initiatives.

Andre Kay is CEO and chief marketing officer of Sociallybuzz, which exists to help franchise owners grow their

business using social media. By helping them reach relevant customers, build customer loyalty, mange reputation

and increase revenue. We protect relationship with their customer, create effective campaigns, manage their social channels and online reputation 24/7. Read the company’s blog (sociallybuzz.wordpress.com), follow it

on Twitter and “like” its Facebook page.