Posts Tagged ‘going local’

How Franchisers can Cash in on the Benefits of Being Local

January 27, 2012

More and more people these days are making a conscious effort to patronize local mom-and-pop establishments. And while that’s great for local economies, the down side is that many franchise operators are starting to see less-than-positive effects on their own operations. But it doesn’t have to be that way.  Yes, there are some patrons on the extreme end who will avoid nationwide chains just because they are nationwide chains. But the majority of guests who have chosen to patronize local establishments more often are doing so to get more practical needs met. Local franchisers can court local business by paying attention to needs like trust, local community, and relationships.  Building Trust with Your Local Clientele  Patrons often trust local establishments more because of how well those establishments handle problems. If you want to develop this same kind of trust, make sure you handle any complaints as quickly as possible and with maximum attention paid to your customer.  It doesn’t matter whether you live in an urban, suburban, or rural area: friendly, personalized attention when a problem arises is something that guests associate with “down home” mom & pop service. And it is this kind of attentiveness will help you create the same level of trust with your patrons.  Sponsor Local Events Whenever Possible and Practical   Be a (visible) part of your community – just like (other) local establishments. This is important in small areas where the local mom-and-pop competition can be fierce. It’s equally important in larger markets, where all competition is fierce!  Finally, it’s also important in tourist areas. Locals who remember your community participation will recommend you to visitors. Combined with name brand recognition, this can be the “tipping point” that sends more out-of-towners through your door.  Encourage Relationships  Want to be seen as a local part of every patron’s life? Encourage your guests to create moments with family and friends – over and over and over again!  One of the best ways to do this is to offer two-for-one and similar specials. Two-for-one drinks are good with the right crowd, as are “half-price-when-you-bring-a-friend”.   In a more food-minded approach, you can offer specials on appetizers or even entrees to patrons who bring a friend during designated times of day.