9 Lessons to Take From Businesses of the Past
Owning a business today is undoubtedly different than it was years ago. Aside from obvious changes like technology, online sales/bookings, or capabilities of the brand itself, there are changes in culture. People want, need, and expect different things than in years prior. That's a natural adjustment of society. Wants and needs adjust with the times, and in order to keep up and remain in business, brands change. They offer new services, market themselves in different ways, and more.
However, even as we constantly evolve in our business settings, there are still things we can learn from brands of the past. Including those who are still in business today, but have simply adjusted their way of doing things.
To give your franchise its best chance, and yourself the best level of education as a business owner, take a look at these important lessons.
1. Creating a Relationship With Your Customer
Mom and pop shops have long been known for their ability to be personable and create a lasting relationship with their shoppers. It's often why people come back: the storeowners know and take care of their tribe. It's also a trend that's making a comeback. Even on a larger scale, consumers expect their brand to be honest with them and to treat them kindly, to have their best priorities at heart. Take a note from Mom and Pop on this one, to create a loyal following by showing your customers you care.
2. Sales Sell
You don't have to put yourself in financial danger in order to intrigue customers. However, a discounted sale of any kind is something to get excited about. It's a great reason to hype your brand, and new and repeat clients sill have a reason to stop in, view online, and to give you business. It might sound simple, but don't overlook the power of a good sale.
3. Build Trust
Don't be afraid to be honest with your customers. Tell them when you can't help them, and offer them someone who can … or a date by when you can have X product. This used to be a branding norm, but has been avoided in recent years. Consumers can pick out a lie, but by creating that honest rapport, they'll gain your trust and continue to frequent your franchise again and again.
4. Market to Your Best Client
Any customer is not always your best customer, especially in a specialized market. If you're looking for a specific type of customer, go out and find them. Spread your franchise by word of mouth, mail out flyers, and of course, look to more modern advertising methods, such as social media blasting. Your best shoppers are out there, you simply have to take the time to show them you exist.
5. Put in the Hard Work
Growing your franchise won't happen overnight, and putting in the necessary work is the only cure. Hard work is a definite remnant from businesses of the past, and it's a great motto to hold onto. Know you will need plenty of effort in order to grow your brand. It's a long-term goal that happens one step at a time; invest in your brand by putting in the time and proving you have value. That is a practice that will create far more value than with shortcuts, and it's a mindset that will spread to your employees, and eventually, your customers.
6. Never Stop Learning
There is always room to grow as a business owner. While you shouldn't undercut your own knowledge, it's a good idea to remain humble at all times. Meanwhile, read books, take classes, or simply keep your ears open for better ways to operate your franchise. It's a simple process that allows you to grow in your abilities and to become a better informed business owner.
7. You Can't Do it All
In this light, we look at small businesses from years ago and what might have caused them to fail. When a business owner takes on every responsibility, their tasks suffer. There is simply too much for a single person to do. Outsource your weaknesses and ask for help when you need it. This will allow you to focus on what you do, all while letting your brand thrive through a well-rounded team.
8. Brand Imagery
Promo materials are not dead, in fact, they're a great way to remind people of your franchise whenever they need a pen, an insulated mug, or a sticky note. Consider giving away "swag" in your marketing efforts to spread your logo, while also offering your customers items with a purpose.
9. What Works for Them Might Not Work for You
Business is not one-size-fits-all, it's a custom fit each and every time. You don't have to do what your competition is doing, in fact, you don't even have to do what other branches of your same franchise are doing. Find a method that works for you. This move will allow you to grow authentically, without forcing steps that might not be a good fit.
Are you ready to take your franchise to the next level? Let us help. Get in touch with us today!