Allan Simmons is the MD of a Chem-Dry franchise which he has been running for the last 28 years. His franchise is one of the most successful in the UK. One of the main reasons for his success has been his proactive and innovative approach to marketing, expertise which he has always shared through his mentoring and support of other start ups.
Allan says ‘One of the biggest learning curves for anyone starting their own business (who has not had the benefit of sales or marketing training), is knowing what is needed to make sure the phone rings.'
‘The key to success is making sure you build and effectively market to your database whether by letter, email or phone. I've found that even in today's online world direct mail is still a crucial part of the marketing mix. One of the tools that has helped us to grow our Chem-Dry business has been using Docmail. It's a hybrid mail system that allows you to print and post letters, postcards and now folded newsletters directly from your computer. What's even better is that postcards and letters cost less than the price of a second class stamp, and that includes the printing and folding and stuffing. We use it for single mailings and also larger mailshots. By maintaining your database and setting up timed reminders to ensure that you contact customers when they are likely to need your service again e.g. have their carpets cleaned before Christmas or in the spring, we've built a large repeat client base.
‘Docmail is actually a massively useful service for master franchises to set up and cascade to their franchisees. It will add value to their proposition and ensure that their franchises are properly supported with the correct marketing templates "ready to go". It's an easy to use online service which will help franchisees make the most of their time and ensure they are not bogged down with printing and post. Importantly it costs nothing to set up. There is no minimum spend to maintain an account, no minimum quantity to mail, and it ensures professional delivery and no risk when you are starting up your business. We love Docmail so much that when we had our own software developed to help us run our business we included using Docmail as an integral part of that because of the benefits of Docmail. We now licence that software (GetBookedUp) to other businesses in many industries and in my mentoring capacity with users I speak to many small business owners. Many of those are franchisees in other industries and many of them are frustrated by the lack of marketing help and support from their master franchisee. Many were promised marketing support but found it lacking when they needed it. A master franchise offering Docmail set up and "ready to go" to their potential new franchisees, would have a benefit to their offering, and for those who looked to add it for their existing franchisees it could be the shot in the arm they need.’