Congratulations! The paperwork is signed and you’re on your way to opening a new franchise. This is an exciting time. As you watch the branded decor go up around your new location, turning a building into a business, one thing might cross your mind – how are you going to get people through your doors on day one?
Sure, many people might be aware of your business simply by seeing the construction unfold, but how do you cast a wider awareness net? Here are five ideas on how to market your franchise before the doors open.
#1. Join Networking Groups
It might seem a little counterintuitive. You don’t have anything to promote quite yet, so why would you start showing up at networking events?
The truth is, networking takes time. Very few people are going to immediately start promoting your business or patronizing your business after meeting you just one time. Start the relationship building process now and you’ll have greater success when you open.
#2. Build the Buzz on Social Media
One of the most exciting things for a community is a new business setting up shop. People are already going to be curious about what’s going on and who’s coming. Now is the time to leverage that excitement and start building a strong following.
Create your social media profiles and post for your potential customers. These people want to hear from you. Keep them updated and keep the excitement hot by posting regular updates.
#3. Plan a Ribbon Cutting Event
Want to get people to your store on day one? Give them a reason to show up. Many organizations will help you plan a ribbon cutting event to promote your business in the area. Talk to your local Chamber of Commerce or other groups about co-sponsoring a ribbon cutting event for you.
#4. Hold a Special Soft Opening
When you’re almost ready to open your doors, welcome a few people into a soft opening event to give them first dibs on what your business has to offer. If you own a kid-friendly franchise, open up a special day for a few select families. Or, if you are opening a restaurant, roll out the red carpet to a few select guests. This is a great way to build brand ambassadors for you in the area.
#5. Send Out a Press Release
If the media doesn’t know you’re coming to town, they won’t be able to promote your business. Send out a press release to the local media in the area and watch the free publicity unfold.
Have You Started Promoting Yet?
The time to start marketing your franchise is before you open your doors! What other ways have you found to promote your new business prior to launch?