Getting A Small Push In The Right Direction

Well, I’ve been here for a couple months, mostly reading. Took over a shop on contract with the owner in October while my finance people worked on getting the money together. They ended up dropping out last weekend. It worked out ok for me because the owner offered me a 2 year contract that will allow me to pay it down a little and get some money saved up. Plus, I get 100% ownership instead of a 30%-50% deal.

The problem is that now I’m not starting with a marketing budget like I had expected. The shop is right at break even right now, so I only have a couple hundred dollars to start with. Generating some sales with that will snowball and allow me to build and get other projects (website, POS, etc.) in place to help build even more. Basically, “it takes money to make money” situation.

I really don’t do that much in sales and the shop does fine anyway, so the potential is amazing here if I can just get a small push in the right direction because my product is excellent and I have my operating costs in check. My biggest day of deliveries in the last 3 months was 11 (lunch AND dinner on a Friday), so 2-3 more deliveries a night is all I’m starting with as a goal.

So, how do I hit some high value targets quickly, effectively and at a lower cost?

My thought was to track down addresses from every delivery ticket I can, as well as businesses in our area (we’re downtown in a 25K pop. town) and print up a personal looking post card with some good coupons and spend a couple hundred bucks on stamps.

Visit 3 business a day no more no less everyday. Give them a card for a free medium pizza and some menus. Dont give them any coupons dont start down the coupon road. This WILL give u what u desire. Do this forever once u have hit all of them do it again. After you have done that for a few months implement a mailing of a postcard that is redeemable for a free medium pizza to one carrier route a month (that will be about 400-500) at the same time get real menus done have them designed by the same people who do your postcards so u start getting some branding contact CFM they do a great job. After u mail the postcards mail a menu to the same carrier route. Also continue this forever. Get the black book also it will enlighten you on the concept of marketing. Read about word of mouth marketing and try to coop with other business people you pass out there stuff they pass out yours marketing does not need to cost much. It just needs to be effective. Have fun and make lots of money.

Thanks Scott.

Last week I started a program where I would call one member of our Mainstreet Association Wednesday morning and offer to send them lunch for their staff, my thought being that they would think of me first that weekend when they’re getting pizza for their families. Would you recommend doing this every day, or maybe Monday-Wednesday? My concern is the size of our town in relation to your suggestion (more with the mailers though).

Who is CFM (website)? I do want to switch out the black and white single fold menus the previous owner was using ASAP, I can see the value in using the same company to do that and direct mail.

I’ve found that using those dreaded coroplast “yard/political” signs has been successful…many people tell me “oh, I saw your sign…”

yes, we door hang as well, but for a few hundred $$$ you get 100 signs…place 25 every Friday afternoon, around busy intersections &/or into select neighborhoods/apartments…

pick them up Monday morning & they’ll last longer

A good idea, except our community banned these signs about a year and a half ago. The corners were littered with “cheap life insurance”, “debt consolidation” and “money for scrap gold” campaigns.

Yes, many of those signs are not “up to code” in many communities, but still highly effective when used Fri-Sun & picked up b4 Monday…best “bang” 4 the buck 4 those on a shoestring…

the “cost per exposure” is great and the media is reusable - the trick is 2 pick them up!

couple questions, do you have dine in and just how many businesses are in your area during lunch?
first it seems that the your best and least exspensive way to market will be the free pizza. I always focus on the receptionist or the secretarys as most of the time they are the decision makers.
second one of the best tools I have used is … 5&Itemid=9
they have drastically increased our lunch time traffic and built a solid client base.
I think if you start with those two items you can work your way up to direct mailing, which will be significantly more on the front in.

Yes, we do have dine in space for 55. It is a very, very clean and nice dining room with lots of windows. So, it should be a nice spot for people trying to get out of work for a little bit.

We’re at the East end of the main East-West road in town and half a block from one of the two main North-West streets. So we can quickly (5-7 minutes) get to about 250+ businesses. Again, full of potential here, but the place kind of fell into my lap and I don’t really know what I’m doing yet. After reading Scott’s post, I made a list of about 150 businesses that I thought had employees making at least $10/hr and were not going to be affected a lot by the economy. Doctors offices, HVAC, lawyers offices, etc.

I like the pizza idea and think I was planning on doing it on to small of a scale and I’ll take a closer look at that company Rockstar suggested. So, I’m going to start going all out this week and next week. I’ll report on how it goes. But, if anyone has other ideas, please pass it along. This forum has been a godsend for me these last few months.

with out a doubt you MUST take free pizzas and a couple magnets (very important) to all the closest doctors office. I cant tell you how many times that a pharm. rep calls and places an order for a doctors office, pays with cc and never even sees our store, one thing when you do get this order go all out, I print out little cards that says this lunch was brought to you by…Eli Lilly’s or who ever…and a little note that says thank you from the 2 of us

get something printed up quick with a calender for next year and some coupons, I have worked for several different pie shops where this worked like gang busters. if you have a newspaper in your area that goes out via mail advertise in that. I have found that this works better than the news papers that are delivered. also mail drop coupons work well. you could also print up some door hangers and have your staff go out to neighbor hoods door hanging. Also, take samples of your product to local businesses along with some menus and coupons. find some way to get involved in community activities like sponsoring little league teams or something.

How does the rep chose you over you competitors? Are the doc and employees requesting your food because you’ve been able to make them fans, or is it something you’re doing with the rep directly?

I called 8 businesses from my “hit list” and delivered medium pizzas to them during lunch. I think I’ll do the same tomorrow, although I’m not sure how many will be open. Expected it to be a slow lunch day with businesses closing early but we actually had a really big lunch crowd.

I also found out that a new Pizza Ranch store opened here this week while I wasn’t paying attention (I thought they were opening in the Spring). Haven’t noticed any decline in sales, even though they’ve been giving away free buffets, etc. So, that’s encouraging. We have the best pizza in town, I’m certain.

Yikes. I stopped by the sore tonight to have them leave me some extra shells so I could sling some slices at the big downtown bar tonight and…dang it, missed a big opportunity. We are less than half a block from the city auditorium and they have a big “teen” NYE event that I failed to capitalize on. Our DI was rocking, but we only had 3 deliveries on NYE. Still good for a Wednesday, but I think I missed the boat big time. Grrrrr…I’m going to get this all put together at some point! Stay tuned.

Keep pushing it Indie! The advantage of my SMALL town I suppose is it’s that type of place where you have to want to NOT know everything that’s going on! You’ll do just fine, make yourself a time to pour over the local paper(s), bookmark the school’s websites and glean all of the local stuff you can for “what’s happening” info.