So you’ve got the business plan. You’ve got the finances sorted out. I presume you have the premises ready too. What you need to do now is tell people about what’s going on.
Each business has a story. Each business has a story about how it came to be. This is your story. Get out there and tell it because if you don’t, no-one will. Tell people about special events. Tell people about new menus, new members of staff and new ventures. Just tell people!
Local papers are always looking for human interest stories. Get to know your local reporter. They are often really dedicated to your town and will always try to promote the things that are going on. If there’s a local parish magazine, have a look at that too. Also see what’s available with your local radio and TV station as well. Opportunities are rather more limited but you might just be lucky with your timing.
When we launched we knew that we had to have a really good presence on social media. Not many other cafes were taking it seriously when we started but now you have to be on Facebook, Twitter, maybe Instagram and the like. Video clips, Youtube and Pinterest are all ways you can get your message across. We have people who live miles away in other parts of the country who keep up to date with what’s going on and love to keep in touch until their next holiday up in the area. Keep the message positive. Keep it interactive and let your personality shine through. Without our social media strategy being in place, we simply would not have grown as quickly as we did and we wouldn’t have gained such a dedicated following.
Always assess the benefit of paid advertising. Make sure you know that it’s going to make a difference. Otherwise, you can waste hundreds and thousands on adverts that don’t make a single difference to your bottom line. Sometimes, we’ve done this and we’ve wasted money. Having said that, a good, well-targeted advert can really hit the spot and boost sales.
Just be careful and never miss an opportunity to sell your story.