It’s time to think laterally about spring cleaning your business, says Cash Converters CEO Richard Mukheibir – convert this seasonal chore into an opportunity to market your brand internally and externally.
Building greater cohesion and motivation across the Cash Converters franchisee network has been an unexpected spinoff of their first network-wide promotion, the company now realises.
“Like any trader, we find that some goods move fast but other stock lingers so we decided to experiment with our first-ever Spring Clean Sale in early September,” he says.
“The idea of clearing some of our inventory quickly at discounted prices is a perennial, of course. But what seems to have made the difference was how we implemented it.”
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Franchising typically appeals to owner-operators who want a small business that combines independence and franchisor support. It was not possible to be absolutely sure how franchisees would respond to this first-ever promotion across the Cash Converters network.
“In the event, we were blown away that 100 per cent of stores participated,” Mukheibir says. “Overall we were rewarded with a strong spike in sales – from 25 per cent to nearly 40 per cent, depending on which period you use as a baseline. There is no doubt that we all ended up surprising ourselves.”
That is because everybody in the network, from head office to each of the 82 stores, tackled the promotion according to the Cash Converters values of passion, professionalism, integrity, respect and collaboration, Mukheibir believes. The promotion was driven by a team of 18 in operations, marketing and training at head office. They were reinforced by online motivational material, including a video message from Mukheibir himself.
Countdown calendars were devised to guide franchisees and their staff through preparations for the sale, from selecting items for markdown to submitting material for local area marketing. This was driven largely across social media, with paid ads in news feeds reaching nearly 1,2 million people of whom just over 28 per cent engaged with the ad. Meanwhile, staff at stores enjoyed getting creative with the promotional material, engaging enthusiastically with the novelty of a network-wide Cash Converters promotion.
“Because this was a first for us, we created a special Spring Clean Sale training module for staff that we could deliver through our state-of-the-art e-learning platform,” says Mukheibir.
“This was originally designed to assist with training new franchisees and staff and to deliver refresher training but we now see that we can capitalise on its potential even further in future.
“We ourselves were surprised at how quickly we saw uptake on the promotion and on the associated tasks and goals. We realise that this will be just the first of many and we have an excellent vehicle to launch future promotions, campaigns and initiatives.”
We are all familiar with the concept of using spring cleaning in a practical way to freshen, order and take stock at your business premises but the far-reaching impact of this Cash Converters promotion made him realise that we could be missing an opportunity as business leaders, says Mukheibir.
“We talk to our customers about benefitting from a spring clean to easily turn unwanted items from their homes into cash at one of our stores but we do not look at what spring cleaning can offer businesses internally,” he says.
“There is no doubt in my mind that spring cleaning allows businesses to capitalise on the team effort it mobilises to build greater cohesion and motivation among staff. It is a concept that you can employ whenever it suits your business cycle and is a rewarding opportunity that should not be missed.”