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Franchise Roundup: Marketing, Failure, and Lessons Learned

I spend a lot of time blogging about marketing a from-scratch small business, but less blogging about marketing a franchise. Which is funny, because I used to own one. So let’s look at some marketing tips, as well as lessons I’ve learned from the failure of my ice cream shop.

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Lesson 1: The Franchisor Will Not Do All the Marketing

That’s probably the biggest thing I needed to learn. Just because we were a part of the Marble Slab Creamery family didn’t mean they would hold our hands in the marketing. Yes, they sent promotional material, but it was me contacting the local Little League and pitching them on hosting an ice cream social at our store. Or placing ads with coupons in the local paper. Read more

Event Marketing on a Shoestring

Whether your small business sells goods or services, marketing events can be an ideal way to get in front of your audience because you literally get in front of your audience. Marketing events can encompass a variety of events; from tradeshows to roundtables to cocktails, meaning any business with any budget can pursue event marketing, even on a shoestring.

Event Marketing on a Shoestring

The Open House

Don’t underestimate the power of relationships. Inviting customers, clients, business partners and other interesting guests to your office or store will create a touchpoint with your audience and an opportunity to put a face to an email address or voice on the other end of the phone. You only have to provide some wine (there are four glasses per bottle and people usually have two glasses max), and something to nibble on, to host an event.

To take your open house a step further, make it a charitable event and encourage guests to bring cans of food or donations and watch your guest list grow. Plus, you might be able to write off the expense. And you can add your open house to local community events pages for free PR and advertising. Read more