There are so many cliche phrases thrown around these days. The one that needs to die right now “this economy.”
When a small business owner isn’t doing well, that’s usually the go-to excuse. “There aren’t enough customers coming in because the economy is so rough right now.” “People are dining out a lot less than they used to because of the economy.” “Once the economy picks up, maybe I’ll have enough money to think about marketing.”
I know, the last thing you want to think about when the bank account is near empty, is spending money. But your business needs attention, it needs revenue, and the road to revenue is proper marketing. While your restaurant sits empty, just up the road are a TGI Fridays, Olive Garden, Texas Roadhouse, and a shitload of other chain restaurants with a line of customers waiting to get a taste of overpriced microwave meals. Their food isn’t better than yours (well, if it is you have a serious problem), but they’re out-marketing you. People know who they are, and what’s on their menu. They flock to them because they’re familiar, and frankly it makes people nervous when a place is empty.
People need to eat, and they’re going to dine out. The difference between these diners choosing your place or that craptacular place with the cheesy decorations on the wall is whether they know and remember that you exist. I’m not talking about putting banners out on the street, and stop sending your employee out to wave a sign to attract drive-by diners. It’s time to get people in the door and dazzle them with something better than an awesome blossom.
But you can’t afford to outspend them on television ads? You don’t need to. You just need to swallow your pride and admit you aren’t a marketing expert. Get some help now! You need a message that compels the public, you need to have your name recognized, and you need to tell your neighborhood that you are delicious!
Don’t wait for the economy to get better, make your economy better. Invest in your business. No one ever cut costs so deep that they became profitable. Spend money to make money, or call it quits.