Operating a successful multi-location business is easy… but only when you have the right local marketing strategy! Today, businesses and brands have an opportunity to expand their reach beyond local customers thanks to digitalization. If you are a brand owner or a business owner in the United States (or any other country) with the right strategy you can pitch your products and services to potential customers across the globe.
Imagine a multi-location business as a campfire where you have one big hub (or bonfire) and several smaller connected local marketing hubs. Using this structure, it becomes easier to reach the customer exactly where they live.
How do you manage a multi-location business without burning out your teams?
- Organize – To keep up with daily-tasks, employee breaks, and customer requests, you need to take a systemized approach. You must standardize operating procedures and not just for one location – but in all your business locations.
- Management (S)kills – You have built a strong workforce who can either run the multi-location business or ruin it. It’s important to take the time to hire skilled managers to ensure that your stores run the way you want them to. Do not underestimate the power of good managerial skills.
- Communication – The key to handling situations, expanding your business vision, and sharing value with customers is communication. To maintain connections you can leverage town hall meetings, bi-weekly meetings, and zoom calls. Regular and relevant meetings can help to keep things in a rhythm.
- Priorities – Setting the right priority is equal to the completion of 50% of all projects. According to research, multi-location businesses spend as much as 18 hours a week in repeating and clarifying communication.
- Comradeship – None of us is stronger than all of us. That’s a wonderful quote and it can be your motto, too! When you are running a multi-location business, things become much easier when everyone knows their roles and responsibilities. Build a strong team spirit by instilling values.
- Keep It Simple – Use the right technology, leverage online tools, and simplify your operations. You can save a lot of time, energy, and resources when you have a clear milestone map.
Challenges Of Multi-Location Business
Going multi-location is challenging. It’s easy to underestimate the resources needed for projects and tasks with a multi-location business. Moreover, failure to prepare a business system and marketing strategy for expansion can also negatively affect the company’s overall performance. Some of the most common challenges faced by multi-location businesses and brands are:
- Engagement – Unregulated business decisions and unstructured interaction can take their toll on the business. If your manager doesn’t give the same weight to the concern as you do, chances are your employee will start missing out on opportunities.
- Tribalism – In a multi-location business, it can be challenging to share the bigger picture. In other words, there can be a lack of cohesion between teams and offices. Later on, the same ground becomes the place of tribalism; you might think that there is one team working in an office. Yet, in reality, there could be four-five mini teams. Keep everyone on the same page or else it can lead to wastage of useful resources.
- Performance – One of the hiccups for multi-location business is clarity on how the work is done! Since employees are less visible, the supervision can challenge. Without regular motivation, communication, and interaction the employee performance can decline.
While running a multi-location might seem daunting, it is possible to succeed. You can create a local marketing strategy as well as keep up with each of your locations running smoothly. There are quite a few platforms that are specifically built to manage multi-location business operations, sales, and marketing efforts – be sure to do your homework to ensure they support, aggregate, and automate the strategies you’re executing across locations.
In this article, I’ll share some strategies you can adopt to take control of marketing your multi-location business.
Ten Local Marketing Tactics To Take Your Multi-Location Companies To The Next Level
- Geotargeting – Whether it’s data about customer habits, work, and use of social media platforms – by turning to data analytics you can leverage geolocation to build actionable insights. By geo-targeting your prospects and customers, you will boost your overall revenue. Moreover, you can use the same local marketing tactics to discover customer overlap with other local brands.
- Local Events – By organizing a local event you can encourage customers to engage and interact with your brand. Local events are a great way to not only promote your business, but also open the opportunity to do good for the community.
- Online Reviews – Reviews are transformative for local businesses. Even a negative review plays a role in brand positioning. How you reply to a negative review can help you to transform a potential customer into a paying customer.
97% of consumers first read the online review about the product and service before making an order. Around 80% of individuals trust an online review from previous customers.
- Reputation Management – Today, more and more businesses understand the importance of managing their online reputation. Social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram are helping businesses to connect with valuable customers. The connection between brand and customer serves an important role in reinforcing what is best for a specific location.
- Email Marketing – Email marketing continues to be the most effective local marketing tactic. It is supported by big brands to smaller startup businesses. An effective email campaign can strengthen your brand/business position on the market. Furthermore, email marketing also offers a chance to deliver customized services to existing customers.
- Text Message Marketing – The SMS marketing channel is growing at a handsome rate and local business leads the engagement pack. There’s nothing like a timely message on your mobile device to draw your attention to a local offer or discount.
Compared to 2016, 23% more people will opt-in to receive SMS messages from companies in 2020. 82% of text messages are read within 5 minutes, but consumers only open 1 in 4 emails they receive.
- Local Directories – Many consumers have a trusted directory they look for businesses on. Whether it’s a search of Yelp, Google Maps, CitySearch, or another service, keeping your business location and phone numbers up to date will drive more customers to your business.
- Search Engine Optimization – Maintaining a fast, mobile-responsive website that incorporates the regions and landmarks you serve at each of your locations will drive more attention from search engine users seeking your products or services. Invest in a platform that can assist you to monitor your local search rankings for each of your locations.
- Social Media – Maintaining a targeted presence and building a local following on social media can drive local traffic to your business. Take advantage of all the channels and styles of social media posts – from tweets, hashtags, videos, photos, and stories!
- Advocacy – Offer referral discounts and be sure to partner with other local organizations and businesses to help drive word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing to your business. Nothing is more trusted than a colleague’s recommendation when it comes to local business.
And, of course, you can entice your existing customers by delivering relevant, personalized, and local offers. Digital marketing platforms are great at helping you to re-target existing customers.
To run a multi-location business you need to develop hustling skills and learn how to do more in less time. I hope these tips provided you some direction!