Local Store Marketing (LSM) Part 2

OK so what works and what doesn’t as far as LSM goes. That is a question that is impossible to answer with the variables that go along with our business. Those variables include but are not limited to:

Current economic climate:

Customers are looking for value for money and with most concepts giving them exactly that, they are learning fast that they don’t have to look far to get great discounts on most products. What you have to work out for your business is what will attract more customers and what is cost effective for you.

The type of concept:

What you sell, what your cost structure is and what your average check is will do a lot to guide you in what type of LSM you can do.  For example a high cost of goods product will probably lend itself to a value added promotion. That added value should cover what your customers want, but try to utilize some of your low cost products. For example, restaurants can offer free soda refills, free coffee, etc. with full priced meals.

Low cost products such as coffee houses can go for it with BOGO’s or buy one get one for a dollar. The dollar should cover most of the cost of the give away.

Your franchisor:

Your franchisor, in their opinion, has invested a lot of time and effort in putting together a full year of promotions so it is in your interest not to do LSM that will be in direct competition with your current media promotion. Do something that is totally different or compliments the promotion.

Your franchisor should have a bank of LSM ideas that have worked in the past over a number of different demographics and economic climates along with the art work to go along with them. Just ask, it’s what your franchise fees are paying for.

If your franchisor does not have that information or you are an independent business owner then talk to other franchisees in your business or even other businesses that don’t compete with you but draw from the same customer base. Ask them what has worked for them, share ideas and past LSM wins.

Hey that is what this blog is hoping to do, share ideas and best practice among franchisees and small business owners to the benefit of all.

What can you afford:

With most franchisees and small business owners caught in a vice grip of rising costs and diminishing revenue, no one can afford to not do some local store marketing. Those that do not do everything they can to keep or increase their customer base during tough economic times will lose that customer base to those that do. Proven time after time!

The trick is to work out how much you can afford to give away, discount, or spend on LSM versus the gain in total customers that you need to ensure your business remains viable. Only you can do that. Sit down with a piece of paper and a calculator and work it out. If you have an idea for an LSM idea cost it out and be 100% sure about what increase in customers you need to break even, if you don’t meet those objectives then either drop the promo or don’t run it again but do come up with something to take its place. Again you cannot afford to sit there and let other businesses take your customers!

A bit long winded again. Someone shut me up by letting us know what LSM has worked for them and sharing it with us. I think I have one more LSM post to go….watch this space!


Better Lighting – More Business For Your QSR

A few weeks ago I was pondering why a cafe on a busy city street, in an area that is bustling with nightlife, was dead at night. I mean dead, no business to speak of despite being open until 11:00 PM. I walked across the street from the site and waited and watched. There were lots of people strolling past after having had dinner or heading to the local night spots. None of them so much as glanced into the cafe/coffee house. Then it hit me…the outside lights were the same wattage as the shops on either side – which were closed! Additionally, the lights inside were also too dim to make people realize we were open! Bingo…we installed brighter down lights outside the store and brighter lights in the window and voila…a 15% increase in night time sales the first week! What a simple fix.

If you have a location in a busy area that is surrounded by businesses which close before you do – try it! You may be surprised at the increased traffic you will generate.

R Stevens

Fast Food and QSR Same-Store Sales

With Quarter 4 2009 well over and done with,  most of the large Franchisors have released same store sales figures for last year. Mostly what everyone expected with McDonalds and Yum! Brands being held up by China and the Asia Pacific region and the US still in the grip of the global financial crisis.

Well it is all self explanatory so have a look and let us know if you are bucking the trend.

Same Store Sales Trends Fast Food and QSR

Thanks to NRN for the informative report!

R. Stevens