For small businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic has meant thinking creatively to engage customers and keep them curious, interested, safe and buying. Here are 6 tips for small-business success during the pandemic.
1. Increase Advertising
Now is not the time to be reducing your advertising and marketing budgets. As some areas reopen and others remain in a state of lockdown, it’s time to reinforce that you are open for business, providing a safe shopping environment and still providing excellent products.
2. Host Virtual Events
Some customers may continue to be wary about participating in in-person shopping. And other opportunities to engage with potential customers – festivals, farmers’ markets, fairs and conferences – are still virtual. There’s no reason why your business can’t host its own virtual event, too. It’s a great way to engage but returning and new customers.
3. Boost Social Media Presence
Social media is an ideal way to find and engage audiences. Make sure you consider your channels carefully. For many businesses, Facebook is an ideal channel on which to have a presence. But there are other options, too, including Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. The beauty of using multiple channels is that you can repurpose content and cross-promote, driving people to your website.
4. Demonstrate Safety
Customers may not be fully ready to shop in person. That means you need to show the steps you are taking to ensure a safe shopping experience. Post your safety guidelines, photos of your employees wearing masks, and reassure people that they can have an enjoyable time in your shop without endangering their health and safety.
5. Engage Your Employees
Your employees are consumers, too. Be sure to ask them about ideas for helping to promote the business, keep customers feeling safe, and improving the in-store experience. Also be sure you are aware of their needs, worries and feelings during the pandemic, to help with retention and maintaining a positive company culture.
6. Connect on social media
This, too, shall pass. It’s important that as a leader and business owner, you exude a sense of confidence, clarity and hope during these challenging times. Being clear-headed and optimistic is going to help your employees and customers.
The coronavirus has thrown many small businesses for a loop. However, when it comes to opening a candy franchise, now is an ideal time to explore options and see the benefits of this unique business opportunity. To learn more about River Street Sweets franchise opportunities, contact us today.
No matter how delicious the sweets are at your confectionery franchise, you’ll need to market your business in order to attract customers. How can you get the word out about the tasty treats your franchise offers? Keep the following ideas in mind when you’re working on a marketing plan for your business.
When customers come into your shop to buy candy or other treats, hand them a business card before they leave. Instead of a plain or standard business card, make sure yours stands out with a vivid color scheme or an eye-catching image. Set a holder filled with these cards at your counter and invite customers to take a few and hand them to family members or friends.
Being active on social media gives you an opportunity to reach a wider audience of potential customers for your confectionery franchise. You can post on a regular basis to let customers know about new treats your shop is offering or current sales or discounts that are available. Your social media account can also be used to post interesting articles or snippets of information on candies and other sweets, which can prompt comments from customers. This gives you a chance to engage with customers and build a rapport with them while letting them know more about your products.
Attending local events is an effective way to gain new customers in your area. Watch for upcoming fairs, food festivals or other relevant events that you can sign up to be part of. Set up a booth with samples of your best candy and other products for locals to try and have business cards handy to pass out at these events.
Tying marketing into upcoming holidays is a great way to encourage customers to visit your shop. Whether they’re looking for sweets for a holiday party or to give as gifts, let customers know which products are ideal for these occasions. If possible, offer gift basket arrangements or holiday party trays or platters.
If you’re looking into investing in a confectionery franchise, contact River Street Sweets. Our franchise opportunities give you a chance to delight customers in your area with homemade ice cream, candy and other sweets. When you buy one of our franchises, you have the advantage of being part of a company that has a well-known reputation for making world-class treats.
If you’re thinking about opening a confectionery franchise, knowing how to market your products is a crucial part of your business planning. Here are 6 unique marketing tips for 2020 for your candy business.
1. Hand out samples
Give potential customers a taste of what you have to offer! Handing out candy samples, along with a business card, coupon or brochure, can generate interest. You can also get creative, sharing samples at amusement parks, carnivals, festivals, parades and other community gatherings.
2. Find the Foodies
Food fans are passionate about trying new flavors. Consider participating in local food festivals and community events, purchasing a booth and increasing your exposure. Give passersby a taste and special incentives. Farmers’ markets are another ideal spot to set up shop and give people the chance to give your products a try.
3. Attract foot traffic
Your candy shop is going to have passersby, whether it’s located in a mall or on Main Street. Make sure that potential customers strolling by your window see something to catch their eye. You can consider hiring a professional artist or local art student to paint colorful images in your windows. It’s also a great venue for calling attention to new products, specials or sales.
4. Become a Sponsor
Whether it’s a local youth sports team, a school event, a business mixer or a community celebration, sponsorship opportunities are ideal ways to boost your exposure. Sponsorship opportunities often come with special perks, such as access to attendee contact lists, priority exposure, free advertising and speaking portions of programs. Be sure to get the most out of your sponsorship dollars.
5. Focus on Holidays
If you’re a confectionery franchise, you have plenty of built-in sales and marketing opportunities. Holidays provide seasonal chances to roll out new candies specially tailored to celebrations. Religious observations, kid-centric holidays like Halloween and special occasions such as Mother’s Day and the Fourth of July are all great chances to help your customers get into the spirit.
6. Connect on social media
Your potential and repeat customers are on social media and your business should be too. That means making sure you have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other sites that appeal to your target audience.
River Street Sweets offers candy franchises with a proven brand, operations guidance and marketing support. Learn more about selling handmade Southern candies and other sweet treats in your very own business by contacting us today.
Are you thinking about buying a confectionery franchise? As the holiday season arrives, confectionery retailers know it’s an ideal time to boost revenue and consumer loyalty.
Here are 5 tips for helping your confectionery franchise be merry in the holidays:
1. Create a Calendar
Defining “the holidays” and what promotions you want to run requires some careful planning. There are lots of “days” to consider and you should decide in which sales days you want to participate, including:
Small Business Saturday
Free Shipping Day
New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Day
2. Think Early
Once you’ve determined your calendar, you need to work backward to make sure that your promotions are scheduled so that you can fulfill orders in time for special occasions. You’ll also need to schedule emails, social media, print media and online advertising so that you hit your customers with offers several times in the lead-up to the holidays.
Continue working backward for your customer acquisition strategy. A multichannel approach to acquiring new customers may include paid advertising on social channels such as Facebook and Instagram, paid search on Google and other search engines, and organic search engine optimization strategies.
3. Be Different
Know that all of the strategies for acquiring customers and making sales are ones that your closest competitors are likely also using. That’s why it’s imperative that you have a strategy that differentiates your confectionery franchise site from your competitors. Here are a few suggestions:
Buy traffic well before Black Friday to build product awareness and prime your audience for holiday sales
Focus on keywords and phrases that focus on intent, such as product-specific searches, “buy [PRODUCT],” “best [PRODUCT],” and “best deal on [PRODUCT]”
Create customized offers for your confectionery products that bring customers in the door and online
4. Celebrate Loyalty
Be sure to make your existing customers feel special. Early discounts, special promos or refer-a-friend discounts help to boost your return business. Cultivating your existing relationships is a much easier, and less expensive, way to generate sales.
5. Segment Your Emails
Today’s savvy customers want a relationship with the brands they use. They expect brands to have a complete understanding of their products, interactions and needs. That means you need to segment your email marketing to target past behavior and desired future behavior.
River Street Sweets is a great franchise opportunity. Our popular lines of pralines, saltwater taffy, cakes, pies and gifts are a popular opportunity to own your own business. Learn more about our franchising opportunities by contacting us today.
When you own a confectionery franchise that includes ice cream, sales can be a bit slower during the winter months. Cooler weather means that fewer people are looking for a way to beat the heat with a bowl of ice cream or an ice cream cone. However, you can make sure your franchise stays as busy as ever in winter with the following ideas.
Customers might not be in the mood for traditional ice cream flavors during winter, but seasonal flavors can be a big hit. Consider offering special flavors for the colder months that tie into the season, such as peppermint, gingerbread, apple cider or even egg nog. Highlight these seasonal flavors in your marketing plan for winter to draw customers to your franchise. Keep in mind that only making these flavors available for a limited time can encourage customers to come to your shop, so that they don’t miss out.
Holiday Gift Offerings
Since the holiday season occurs during winter, this gives you a great way to attract customers to your confectionery franchise. Offer homemade pints of ice cream or jars of homemade ice cream toppings in addition to candy holiday gifts. You can also sell holiday gift cards for your franchise that customers can give to loved ones, which helps you gain new customers.
Ice cream on its own might not be a cold weather treat, but hot toppings can change that. Hot fudge, caramel, blueberry sauce, glazed apple slices and other warm toppings can entice customers to stop by on a cold winter day, even if it’s freezing out. Draw attention to these toppings by offering specials on hot fudge sundaes and similar ice cream treats.
Ice Cream Cakes
If you don’t offer ice cream cakes already, consider adding them to your franchise. Customers look for these cakes for birthdays and other special events even in winter. Having a selection of ice cream cakes available that can be personalized can boost business for your franchise all winter long. If your franchise offers homemade candies, keep in mind that you might be able to use these as special toppings for ice cream cakes.
If you’re interested in purchasing a confectionery franchise, please contact River Street Sweets. Our franchise provides you with an opportunity to sell ice cream, homemade sweets and other treats in your area throughout the year.
If you’re considering becoming a confectionery franchise, you need to know what sets a candy franchise apart from other potential business investments. The magic of candy is, in many ways, that it can sell itself. Most products will stimulate the sense of sight when someone sees it. However, with candy and other sweets you can stimulate the sense of smell and taste. In fact, few other franchise opportunities allow you to offer out free samples to potential customers. The ability to capture the attention of not only their visual senses, but their taste and smell receptors, gives you a distinct advantage over all other business types.
Take Advantage Of The Senses
People window-shop. This has been going on for hundreds of years. There’s a reason why stores pay designers big money to craft window displays. It’s designed to attract the attention of customers passing buy and draw them in. However, this is completely dependent on visual stimulation. While you can place great looking sweet treats in a window display, it is your ability to attract the other senses that will draw customers in.
Having the door open on your store will send out tantalizing aromas of sugar, chocolate, and fresh made ice cream cones. This will help bring in customers. Once a guest is inside your store you’ve already increases your potential of making a sale.
However, there will be some who can fight the urge to see what’s making such a delicious smell. But chances are, they will not be able to turn down a free sample.
Everyone loves free stuff. So handing out free, freshly made chocolate or other sweets, can seal the deal and instantly draw the customers in. Ideally you’ll want to use something that is freshly made and matches the aroma they are already smelling.
You’ve already connected with their sense of sight and smell. The small free sample is enough to attract the sense of taste, which may be the last push you need to give to send them into your store.
Well Worth The Cost
Your product is the best form of advertising you have. Even if only one person ends up buying something from a full tray of samples you’ll be making money, spreading brand awareness, and creating a customer for life. It is also one of the main benefits of opting into a confectionery franchise. No other business type has a product like this that can sell itself to customers walking by.
Investing in a food franchise gives you a great way to be a business owner while offering tasty treats to costumers. During summer, certain food franchises tend to thrive, whether they’re selling treats to help people cool off or providing delicious and convenient meals for a casual lunch or evening, The following food franchises are among the best types to consider investing in for the summer months.
From hot fudge sundaes and banana splits to traditional ice cream cones, ice cream franchises have a lot to offer customers. These sweet treats can provide instant relief from the heat. Some franchises offer a wide range of ice cream flavors, as well as toppings, cone types and other options.
Walking into an old-fashioned candy shop can make adult customers feel like kids again while delighting younger customers. A confectionery franchise can bring back summer childhood memories or give customers a way to create new memories with kids or grandkids. Homemade treats, such as chocolate-covered nuts, or traditional summer sweets like saltwater taffy can offer sweet-tooth satisfaction for customers of all ages.
Smoothie franchises offer a way to help customers cool off with a more nutritious treat. Fruit smoothies, especially those made with real fruits and lower amounts of sugar, are a good summer treat for more health-conscious customers who are craving sweetness and looking for an escape from the heat or an afternoon energy boost.
Shaved ice provides a simple yet satisfying treat when it’s hot out. These franchises typically mean you’ll be dealing with fewer ingredients overall compared to ice cream and other franchises. Customers can enjoy cooling off with a cup or paper cone filled with shaved ice and their choice of flavoring.
Barbecued foods go hand in hand with summer. Having a barbecue food franchise means you can provide customers with an easy, seasonal meal when they don’t want to fire up the grill at home. From barbecue chicken and pulled pork to traditional side dishes, such as baked beans or mac and cheese, these franchises can hit the spot when customers want a filling yet quick lunch or dinner.
If you’re thinking of buying a confectionery franchise this summer, River Street Sweets® gives you an opportunity to sell homemade candy, ice cream, chocolate-covered strawberries and other sweet treats. Contact us to get more information on our franchise opportunities.
As a candy franchise owner of River Street Sweets • Savannah’s Candy Kitchen, word of mouth and foot traffic both play critical steps within your marketing approach. However, gone are the days where you can simply rely completely on potential guests discovering your storefront based on location. Now more than ever before individuals in search of sweets turn to Facebook, look up images on Instagram, and investigate how toffee is made on YouTube. With the importance of social media, it is critical for your overall success to fully take advantage of the power of social media.
1. Instant Answers
Modern consumers want instant answers. They don’t want to pick up the phone and call in hopes of a knowledgeable representative answering. They also don’t want to email and wait days for a reply. If they are unable to receive a quick reply they will turn to the competition. With social media you give guests the ability to connect and communicate with you instantly. Whether through comments on posts or through direct messages, this is an easy way to ask you questions and to begin the guest experience long before they enter your doors. You just need to make sure and reply quickly. You never know when someone will need last minute treats for a party or wants to know if the candy contains nuts.
Posting pictures of fresh candies, as they are made, is a great way to draw attention to locals and potential visitors to your city.
2. Your Pictures Sell
People love food photographs. There are entire social media accounts based completely on snapping pretty pictures of food. As a candy franchise owner that’s essentially your business. Sharing photographs of sweet treats, snacks, new creations, and anything else you sell is a great way to highlight what sets your candy shop apart.
Your pictures can also highlight the fact that you hand make a number of your treats in-house. There’s a good chance no other candy shop in the area does that. Guests may not have known this before you posted the images, which will draw them into your store.
3. Another Search Engine
YouTube not only is the second largest social media platform but it’s also the second largest search engine as well. By creating videos and posting to YouTube you can share the images on Facebook, share video links in email ads and on your homepage. You also will improve your Internet footprint as now users will be able to find you on both Google and YouTube as well as many other search engines.
Updating followers and connecting with potential guests through social media gives your candy franchise free advertising. It increases the potential of a new client discovering what you have to offer. So from answering questions posted on Facebook to highlighting your latest creations on Instagram, by using social media in your store’s marketing approach you will drive brand-new traffic to your brick and mortar location. If you’re not yet a franchise owner now is the time to act!
Our Franchise Marketing team is on your side with support for all your social media needs. We set up social accounts for your location and assist in monitoring and posting!
If you’re seeking to buy into a franchise, you owe it to yourself to consider a candy store franchise like River Street Sweets • Savannah’s Candy Kitchen. Candy making and selling is a multi-billion dollar a year industry, and there’s no better time to invest in this lucrative and rewarding business.
1. Market Demand is Always High
The Strickland Family has been consistently successfully successful with their two candy businesses, River Street Sweets and Savannah’s Candy Kitchen for over 40 years. Market demand is always high when you offer premium candy products and superior guest experiences, as you would be able to do with a River Street Sweets • Savannah’s Candy Kitchen franchise. While other business markets ebb and flow according to the ups and downs of the economy, the candy business retains its demand. If anything, the public flocks to quality candy stores to find familiar and soothing comfort when times are tough.
2. Diversity of Product Offerings
With a River Street Sweets • Savannah’s Candy Kitchen franchise, you would be able to deliver a diversity of product offerings that is unique to the industry. As a savvy businessperson, you know that diversity is essential for long-lasting success. This has been part of the recipe for success all along. You would never be relying on just one style of candy to sell in your candy store franchise. Instead, your customers could choose from a wide variety of candy flavors, textures and combinations to satisfy their sweet tooth. You will also be able to offer more than just candy. With our successful addition of an ice-cream model, as well as fresh popcorn in a variety of flavors, you’ll be able to appeal to an even wider audience as your guests delight in trying something new each time they visit.
3. High Profit Margins
The candy store business offers investors the potential for high profit margins on every product sold. When you invest in a River Street Sweets • Savannah’s Candy Kitchen franchise, you’ll be advised on tips for finding the best sources for all your supplies and ingredients like chocolate, sugar and more. Through careful measurement and proven recipes, you’ll know exactly how much profit is made on every single piece of candy you sell. And, due to the unique nature of candies made and sold with a River Street Sweets • Savannah’s Candy Kitchen franchise, your customers will be happy to pay premium prices on specialty candies. After all, the candies are freshly made, right in-front of your guests as part of the River Street Sweets • Savannah’s Candy Kitchen experience.
4. Joy in the Product
Finally, making and and selling candy is a joyful business. Customers are always happy when they purchase and consume candy. It’s a joyful product that you’ll be proud to stand behind! A candy franchise is a smart investment for these four reasons as well as many more.
Why not contact us today to learn more? We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have, and to send you additional information.
Are you thinking of starting your own business as a candy franchise owner? The opportunity to use your experience, skills and expertise in new ways is an exciting, enticing consideration. For would-be franchise owners, questions can arise about how to best prepare for franchise ownership.
Here are 6 questions to ask before buying a candy franchise.
1. What expertise do I need?
Successful candy store owners bring drive, energy, commitment and enthusiasm to the table. At River Street Sweets, we’ll handle the rest! No experience as a candy-maker is required to start your own franchise.
2. Will I need to make my own candies?
When you become a River Street Sweets candy store franchisee, you’ll receive hands-on training on the time-honored tradition of making River Street Sweets candies. You’ll learn to make our gourmet southern candies in your franchise’s onsite location using our tried and true proprietary recipes.
3. What training will I receive?
When you become a franchisee, you will spend some time in our Savannah flagship store, learning about our history, operations, and management, in hands-on training sessions. You’ll learn about our policies and procedures, concept and brand values. And when your store opens, we provide at least 7 days of on-site support and training.
4. What funding options are there for franchises?
Like with any franchise, there are many options available to finance your small business. While River Street Sweets does not offer direct financing, we can help refer you to qualified lending and financing options.
5. How do royalties work?
When you become a River Street Sweets franchise, you will pay an initial franchise fee of $40,000*. This does not include the costs of acquiring a retail location. Franchisees will pay 5 percent of gross sales for the preceding week, a monthly technology fee of $250*, and up to 2 percent* of gross sales from the previous week for marketing. These fees help River Street Sweets provide our franchise owners with ongoing support and training, system improvements, and the creation of new products and services. Our marketing strategies help you promote the brand and build and execute local marketing campaigns to drive more business and sales to your retail location.
6. What products should I sell?
We have decades of experience delivereing high-demand products to our customers. Our signature pecan pralines, chocolates, ice-cream & gelato, pastries, and popcorn, offer something to satisfy every sweet tooth.
To learn more about what it means to become a candy store franchise owner, contact us today to get started
(* Values and percentages are accurate at the time of this post. Any future changes that may occur will be noted in your agreement prior to signing.)