With franchisees, in particular newer franchisees, I find that marketing is the big topic because it is always ‘How do I get more customers?’. The challenge I find with most franchisees – new and existing – is that their marketing efforts are very much start and stop. They go out and do a big push and then don’t do anything, they stop. This means you create what I call a feast and famine cycle in your business. For a period you are feasting, things are great and then all of a sudden, a switch is flicked and you are in famine and there is no or little business.
The reason for this is that marketing is a process that takes time. Often a 90 day cycle on a marketing strategy. Many franchisees spend their time chasing the work and then they flick over to doing the work and once the work is done, they wonder why there is no work to do so they start the cycle again of chasing the work, then doing the work, chasing the work, etc.
This is tiring for a franchisee and will not lead to long term success. They keys with marketing are momentum and consistency.
For a start you need to build momentum with your marketing. Don’t market for a week and then wonder where all your customers are. You need to build up enough momentum in your marketing for it to produce results. That means doing multiple strategies for some time to build up enough momentum to start getting results. Then the next step is you need to consistently continue to do those strategies over time so that the momentum is not lost.
I see this happen all the time when a franchisee decides to go on a holiday in the first six months of purchasing their franchise. They have built up some marketing momentum and they are just about to take off to a place where they can then just sustain that momentum ongoing and then they leave their business. They go on this holiday they had to go on that was booked prior to starting their business. All momentum is lost. If you don’t do your marketing for even just one week, you will lose all momentum, especially in the first year or two of your business.
Really it is better to do less marketing, but do it consistently than to do big pushes every now and then. Find the rhythm of marketing that works for you. Put time aside to do that marketing week in and week out. Be consistent and you will see the results in your business.
The analogy I’d use for this is watering a garden. Firstly, you have to connect the hose to the tap. Now when you turn the tap on, you don’t have water instantly out of the end of the hose. You turn the tap on and the water has to travel down the hose and then you will have it out of the end of the hose. This is the building of momentum in marketing.
Now you don’t just hose the plants on full blast forever. Once they have had enough water to soak the ground and get them ‘drinking’ water again, turn the tap down. Not off, down. You might even turn it to a trickle. Just like in your marketing in your business, if it gets busy, don’t turn your marketing off, but you can turn it to a trickle.
Why do we turn it to a trickle and not simply off? Well, remember it takes time for the water to get through the hose, but if there is already water in there, then we are not starting from scratch. We can turn the hose to increase or decrease the water flow at any time and it will give a faster result than if we have to turn it totally on or totally off.
Don’t turn your marketing off, but you can turn it down.
If you want to see results in your marketing efforts you need to first build momentum and then you need to keep it by being consistent in your marketing efforts. There is a saying in business that is ‘Never stop marketing’. Simple as that.
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