One of the things I am proud of with my business is how I seem to be able to market myself better than my competition, including the big chains. I often get asked how I seem to be able to grow my market share in a city of just over 12,000, so I want to share a couple of ideas with you as to how I do it.
One of the easiest things I can do is partner with my local charity/nonprofit groups. I have found they are great partners to work with because they want you to succeed and will do whatever it takes to help you raise money so they can receive more. Our last fundraiser with one of these groups was this: for every pizza we sold, they would receive 20 percent of our sales in free pizza. We sold $1,500 in pizzas on the day they picked to do this, so they received $300 worth of large pizzas to use however they pleased. They did all the promotions. Because it was for a nonprofit group, they had free radio advertising and free newspaper ads — all of which mentioned my name. They then took the $300 worth of pizza and sold them at their next event, which got my name out again. And all it cost me was the food cost on $300 worth of pizza.
My other partnership that has worked well over the years is a fundraising coupon for one large pizza and a two-liter of soda that schools sell for $20. For every coupon the school sells, they keep $10. The thing I like about this one is the fact that I have 200-plus kids selling my product door to door. And, again, all it costs me is the cost of the pizza and the two-liter pop. The other good part about this coupon is most people will add another pizza, wings or another menu item when they redeem the coupon — and I make full profit on those items. When is the last time you had 200 kids running around the neighborhood promoting your product? Not only are they promoting my product, it also lets people know that I am giving back to the community. And because the actual value of the coupon reflects what they would pay if they came in and ordered it, many of them will buy three or four coupons. I also have a 30-day expiration on them so that it gives customers a sense of urgency. I make sure I give each school a different month so that it is spread out throughout the school year and it keeps my name out there.