When Business Sucks Don’t Cut Back On Marketing
Business is slow; budgets are tight. So what usually gets trimmed first? Marketing. Do you know what the results are? Disaster!
When you conduct marketing, you are not selling yourself to generate business today or even tomorrow. Marketing is an investment in your business’s future. In fact, research has shown that most marketing efforts don’t pay off for at least six months.
So think about that. Let’s say you cut back on marketing in now and you weather the economic down cycle, what’s going to happen in 6 months from now…..Absolutely nothing! Because all of your potential guests have been won over by the marketing efforts of your competition who is continuing to market.
- Instead of cutting back, a slow down is the time to boost marketing. Get back in touch with past guests, make contact with churches and schools to set up fundraiser nights (set one up each week), pass out fliers. After all, if work is slow, what else are you going to be spending your time doing?
- Double, Triple or Quadruple your business card fishbowl efforts. Chose a card each day if necessary. Get folks in your restaurant, it will make it look busier plus spread goodwill with a lot of business folks in your area. Encourage more folks to drop their cards in the bowl as well. It will create buzz and word of mouth advertising with only the cost of food!
- Spend an hour each day outside of your store passing out Be Our Guests cards and to-go menus to nearby banks, medical offices, and retail stores. Go in pairs if it makes it seem easier.
- Every afternoon from 2 – 3 take food samples and menus to nearby business. Start nearest your restaurant and work your way out. Look for lawyer’s offices, car dealers, real estate offices and construction sites.
- Make arrangements with a nearby office building or large employer to station yourself in the lobby with a coffee urn and pass out regular or specialty coffee samples to workers first thing in the morning. Remember to have menus and business cards on hand.
- Using your fishbowl contacts, plan a free pancake, pie, or happy hour party for an entire office. Deliver the pancakes in the morning and appetizers or pie in the afternoon. Make sure to bring along plenty of butter, syrup, utensils, business cards and to-go menus.
- Place helium filled balloons outside your restaurant everyday, it makes people think that there is something special going on inside
- Invite church groups in. Tell them you will give them something free in exchange for that week’s church bulletin. It could be any low cost menu item. Watch them stream in after service, and they are sure to order, drinks and extras to go along with the free offer……..plus you are creating new guest for very little money.
- Create a coloring sheet and tell kids if they return with it finished you will give them a free kid’s dessert.