Over the last few months I have been working with a number of clients and trying to help them get more people in the door. One of the clients was a bakery and the second client was a coffee shop/restaurant. The challenge for both of them was that they had virtually no money because their advertising was bleeding them dry and it really wasn’t working.
So what to do?
I was really concerned for both owners cause their businesses were really in a lot of trouble and their cashflow was being hit badly, so my plan had to be revolutionary and I needed to have 100% confidence that what we do would work.
The Plan – Give Something Away For Free to Get People In The Door
For both businesses we hatched a plan to get people in the door and most importantly get a boost for their cashflow. In both cases we developed a plan where they would give away a free item, in the case of the Bakery it was to be a Free Donut and in the Coffee shop a Free Anzac Biscuit.
We placed adverts in both the local papers and free buy and sell mags in the area they operated. There were no catches for the Free giveaway eg. the advert didn’t say buy a coffee and get a free Anzac Biscuit it was just a free give away.
Why did we do this? We simply wanted to get people into the stores and then have the staff upsell to the clients. For example in the case of the bakery, we trained the staff to ask them if they would like to buy a loaf of bread and in the case of the coffee shop the customers were asked did they want to buy a coffee to go with their Anzac Biscuit.
When the owners first heard of this plan they thought I was totally nuts. They fought me on it tooth and nail, so I made an offer to them. If more than ten people actually came in and didn’t buy something else then I would cover the cost of the items sold. With that offer the owners were absolutely estatic with that could they wouldn’t be out of pocket.
We ran the advert on the Saturday and the coupon in the paper, prospect could cut out of the papers would run for 5 days and then expire.
The potential costs to our clients was in fact minimal…. the cost of each of the items to give away was about 5 cents and we made about 200 of the anzac biscuits for the coffee shop and 200 donuts for the bakery. We ensured that on the coupons we had the start times and address of both locations.
We opened both stores early to see how they would go……
THE RESULTS …….
Well they were truly remarkable, before either store was open we had people waiting to get their free items. Here is the good news though, at both sites neither had more than 10 people actually just come for their free items. Everybody purchased at least one additional item as well with their free items.
Both sites gave away their 200 items and had to bake more before the end of the day. The sales results were that both stores had increased their sales between 50 to 80% for the first day of the campaign.
The long term objective of this campaign was to get people in these stores and to get them coming back. The campaign worked in that it did get people short term into the store and we found that over a period of about 6 weeks they had a consistent growth of 30% of the daily turn-over. This helped ensure in both cases that their cashflow was inline with their expenditure and they started to make money.
Whilst this campaign worked for these two clients, we can never guarantee it would work for everyone but at the least you should try it out to see if it will work in your business.Chris Le Roy