Life has been pretty crazy in our household in the last three months. My eldest sister got married, Dad became promoted into an executive position, and I received my MBA. In other words, our family is in a more excellent place now than ever. Thus, a recurring question at home was, “What do we do now?”
One day, the answer came to my sister and me when we were out for a drive and looking for a cozy little café. We saw many of those during our last trip to Japan, and we found each one so unique in their own ways. My sister drove around the same blocks for at least an hour before realizing that such cafés did not exist in our town, so I said, “Hey, why don’t we open one in the backyard?”
Our parents were 100% okay with the idea. After getting the café designed, we only had to wait for its construction for six weeks. Then, the entire family gathered to help paint the structure and decorate it inside and out to make it as cozy as possible. In no time, we were ready to open the café and serve customers. Precisely three days before the launch date that we had in mind, my sister said out loud, “No one knows about our café launch but us!”
This reality threw all of us out of the loop for five solid minutes. Everyone tried to talk over each other, giving out last-minute suggestions on what we could do. I asked them to calm down because panicking won’t do our family business any good ever. Once the chaos was gone, and they all felt like sitting down, I gave each person 10 minutes to pitch marketing ideas. Luckily, everything they said was easy to do at the little window that we had, so our café opening became successful.
Considering you and your loved ones have zero clues on how to market your family business, we did the following things:
Create A Facebook Business Page
The first thing you must accept is that many people you know spend an unreasonable amount of time cruising through Facebook. Some stalk their friends; others use it to build their online presence. The latter should inspire you to create a business page where you can post the latest information about it.
Since we only had three days to promote the café launch, we created and published interesting posts and shared them on our separate accounts. Afterward, we invited our Facebook friends to like our business page in hopes of increase our reach. There was even a mini countdown to intrigue our followers and make them want to see the café.
Invite Friends And Relatives To Come Over
Since my parents did not understand the whole social media thing, they suggested texting or calling every person we knew to come to the launch. This approach was straightforward but not bad because it would ensure that there would be people in the café. We spent an entire afternoon on different parts of the house, coaxing friends and relatives to come over and support us.
I understand that some people may be too shy to do that. My sister even initially asked, “Aren’t we too thick-faced by doing that?” Perhaps, yes, but shyness had no room in the business world. The more individuals could be seen inside the café; the more strangers would want to come in and check out our offers. She got over her apprehension and ended up bringing more colleagues during the launch.
Prepare Samples Ahead
The café was in our parents’ backyard, but no one in the neighborhood had honestly seen the structure or tasted our products. Our original idea was to surprise everyone with how amazing the café looked; that’s why the construction took place behind the 20-feet tall tarp. But for marketing purposes, I urged my family to remove that cover and give samples to almost every house around the area.
When I mentioned it, I banked on the fact that gossip always spread fast in a small town like ours. If the neighbors could all see the café before the launch date, they would not be able to keep themselves from talking about it. And by giving them bite-sized pieces of our specialty items, they could help us with word-of-mouth marketing.
Everything happened in a rush, so my entire family did not manage to breathe before the actual opening. However, I must admit that it was a positive experience for everyone, especially since it showed us how great our teamwork could be. No one fought or acted lazily; we merely tried our best to do our part. And it worked—the café is six months old now, and it seems to continue flourishing and attracting more customers from other towns. What else can we ask for?