- Posted by admin
- On July 26, 2017
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I have seen an increased number of insolvencies of business in the leisure industry. Cafes, restaurants, bars, hotels and other companies have struggled obtaining the capacity they need to survive as a result of the general public having less cash to spend.
So what can they do to survive and prosper? They have to think about numbers and aim for full capacity – or as close to it as is possible. So here are my ideas about making the most of the business you are in, and optimising your footfall.
- Who are your current customers? – What is your typical customer, their age, sex, where they live, why they come to the establishment, their interests etc? By finding out, you will be able to target marketing of the business to others like them who may also be attracted to the business.
- Get your customers to become members of the business. This is a good way of gathering information about your customers and it also gives them certain privileges to incentivise them to spend their money. An example of this would be a discount on food at the café that is within a leisure centre.
- Get your initial pricing right. Look at the profit margins of your services/products and ensure that if you offer discounts on these, there is still profit in them.
- Keep your current customers happy – Ensure that you offer a quality service/product at all times. Put controls in place to monitor this. Look at customer complaints and resolve these quickly.
- Get customers to introduce a friend and offer them a reward for doing this. This only works for some businesses, such as gym membership.
- Offer loyalty cards to customers, such as buy 5 coffees, get one free.
- Diversify and offer other services at times where capacity is low. An example would be for a swimming pool to have a mums and tots session in a morning at a time when older children are at school and adults are usually at work. But getting this wrong could scare your existing customers, which goes back to “knowing your customers”, make sure any new products/services do not clash with existing ones.
- Your shop window may be restricted by its physical size, but by embracing technology it could be enormous. Even if you are only a small coffee shop, have a website and/or get your business on the social media sites. If this is done in the right way, very constantly and regularly it shows potential customers the personality of the place and entices them in.
- Offer promotions or vouchers to fill a place at times when business is usually slow. If you are a hairdressers, offer a reduction for customers to have their hair coloured, chances are they will need it doing again in a month to six weeks and if they’re happy they will come back. Some charities sell voucher books within a community, think about having your vouchers in these. The circulation is usually very good, the people that buy these voucher books tend to use them and try new places and it helps local charities.
- Promote on social media. I often go to restaurants as a result of an offer that’s been promoted on facebook or on the recommendation from friends that they have posted on the site.
- Keep your ears open and make the most of any local events happening in your community, such as music festivals, sporting and charity events. If you’re lucky enough to live near an area that has an annual event which brings move vistitors to the area, for Doncaster a good example would be the St Leger Ferstival week at the Doncaster Racecourse you need to make what you can of this, where will your potential customers/clients be looking, can you get them the services they need for this bespoke event, where will they be looking for this service. This can be a great way of getting new clients as though the event maybe temporary you may attract new customers/clients for the rest of the year.
- Use other National and International events as the themes for promotions of your business, or to draw people in by offering the ability to watch these events.
Unfortunately, some companies in this area have got to the stage where historic debts weighs them down and they feel like they are flogging a dead horse. This may not mean the end is near, it may just indicate that they may need a little help to give them the boost they need, whether this is by obtaining finance, or looking at an insolvency procedure to prop it up until things improve.
If your business needs a boost, I would be happy to hear from you to see if I can help. Initial advice is free without obligation. Call Claire Foster on 01302 554925 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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