My premise this month is simple. If you’re stuck in a dead-end cycle of paying for mass-marketing with credit cards, running continual discounts to keep your head above water and don’t have a clue as to how to mobilize your own customer base to spend money … stop it. There is a door to freedom. And it’s very close.
Working smarter starts with assessing what does work and what doesn’t. Then, do more of the first and less of the latter. Even in an area of fierce competition, a few pizzerias stand out as the “big dogs” and make most of the money. So don’t let competition frighten you to the point of using it as an excuse as to why you “can’t ever get ahead.”
And, if (and that’s an “if” that only you can honestly assess) you have good food, a clean restaurant and smiling, friendly service … there is no reason you can’t build your sales.
Finally, keep in mind that you tire of your marketing long before your customers do. Don’t assume that you need to roll out a “new” thing every month. What worked in the beginning? What was the best promotion you ever ran? What offer made the phones ring? Return to your successes. What worked then will most likely work now.
Once you’ve returned to the stuff that works, it’s a simple matter of:
1. Capturing customer data.
2. Staying in touch with them. (Just give your own customers reasons to return. It really is that simple.)
But many pizzeria owners get so caught up in running a day-to-day marathon that they never get this simple system in place. And without it you end up working harder, longer and losing potential sales. By setting up a systematic data capture and customer marketing program, you work smarter, faster and make more money.
Don’t trudge through confusion. It’s most likely that doing more and more of what got you to the point of constant frustration is not going to take you to where you want to go. ?
Kamron Karington owned a highly successful independent pizzeria before becoming a consultant, speaker and author of The Black Book: Your Complete Guide to Creating Staggering Profits in Your Pizza Business. He is a monthly contributor to Pizza Today.