Business and Operations
Making dough with Diane: 8 New Year’s resolutions
By Diane Chiasson
It’s that time of year again: New Years and all those pesky resolutions.
However, they are a great way to cement your commitment to making more
money. Here are eight ways to get your year off to a great start.
It’s that time of year again: New Years and all those pesky resolutions. However, they are a great way to cement your commitment to making more money. Here are eight ways to get your year off to a great start.
1. Build a marketing plan
Sit down with your team and put together a solid and viable marketing plan that you can both afford, and have the time, to execute. Be reasonable with your ideas. You should be able to do everything you want, with success, and stay within your budget.
2. Create a six-month events calendar
Your marketing plan should include at least one monthly event to mark an important holiday such as Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. If you want to do something out of the ordinary, go online and check out some more unusual holidays that your pizzeria can celebrate. For example, did you know that Feb. 9 is International Pizza Day? You could come up with several fun and creative promotional ideas for this day.
3. Reach out to your existing customers
Now that you have a plan and half a year’s worth of events to promote, you need to reach out to your existing customers. Bolstering your existing database or creating a new database must be a top priority for the New Year. Collect your customers’ e-mail addresses and other info any way you can to maintain contact with them, with their permission of course. By having the ability to send your customers timely messages, news and offers, you can build a closer bond, and get them to come back over and over again.
4. Give your website some TLC
Your website is now one of your most important marketing tools for reaching out to new customers. Over 90 per cent of people research online to find information about where they will eat or shop, basing their decision simply on a visit to your website. Your website should attract customers with up-to-date and well-taken photos of your food, a menu, coupons, delivery offers and a price list, as well as contact information, hours and directions, daily, weekly or monthly specials, events and promotions.
5. Improve SEO rankings
Making your website easy to find in Google and other search engines should be a major part of your operation’s marketing strategy. Review your keywords, page titles and meta descriptions, and increase your reciprocal links to your website. The more often you update your website, the higher you move up in the rankings. Your SEO ranking could help bring in a lot of extra business, so it may even be worthwhile to hire an SEO consultant if you don’t have the time or the technological know-how to do it yourself.
6. Stay on top of online reviews
A scathing review could tarnish your reputation for good, so make sure you stay on top of what the public is saying about your pizza place online. More and more people are basing their decisions about where to shop on online reviews, so it’s important to monitor what is being said about your operation, and respond quickly to negative reviews or criticisms. Consider online reviews a free comment card service, and make the changes to keep your customers happy.
7. Create a Facebook Fan page
Regardless of your personal feelings toward Facebook, it is a phenomenon that’s here to stay. Businesses should start embracing the tools it offers to help you expand your customer base. Creating a presence on Facebook makes it easier for people to recommend your pizza place. It is also a quick and simple platform where you can engage with your customers.
8. Register on FourSquare and Google Places
The growth of mobile marketing will continue this year, and play an even more important role in how people find you. Using location-based services such as FourSquare and Google Places will literally and figuratively put your pizza operation on the map. Paired with good online reviews, these online services could bring you a lot of extra business.
These tips will help you get your business off to a great start in 2012.
Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping restaurant, foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 25 years. Her company provides innovative and revenue-increasing foodservice and retail merchandising programs, interior design, branding, menu engineering, marketing and promotional campaigns, and much more. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.chiassonconsultants.com.