The Micro Market Design Newsletter, sponsored by Fixturelite, is entering year three, and looking back, we see that while so much has changed, so much has stayed the same.
That is particularly true of micro market installation pitfalls and how to prevent them.
We have given plenty of advice on this topic over the years (even before the newsletter) and one general piece of advice still holds true for micro market operators. Gain the client’s trust.
Establish Trust from Day One
“From the first time you meet with a client, it is critically important that you establish yourself as the micro market expert that you are,” said Steve Orlando, an experienced operator of 10 years who co-founded Fixturelite, the leading supplier of micro-market retail displays, seating and design features.
“While your client is certainly knowledgeable about their own location, you have a wealth of experience regarding micro markets. As an operator, you know what works and which of your client’s many ideas could be potentially problematic,” he said.
Orlando points to just a few examples to establish your credibility as a micro market expert:
• Do your homework – understand the work culture of the client before your first visit.
• Present multiple design plans using the Fixturelite Design Tool.
• Assume the business and jump right into the installation planning.
• Assure the client that your experienced team will take care of everything once you have a clear understanding of the rules and challenges associated with the facility. Have your questions ready.
"Fixturelite offers checklists, guidelines, and best practices tools to their clients. Our clients' closing rate during new micro market interviews and opportunities proves the effectiveness of these tools," says Orlando.
Preparation is Critical
According to Troy Geis, Fixturelite CEO, “There are plenty of lessons learned that apply to every installation.”
Geis is a firm believer of preparing for installation challenges and offers the following advice:
1. You cannot do enough planning for an installation.
2. Interview the location contact and get a clear understanding of their expectations pertaining to the installation.
3. Communicate with all parties involved, giving a comprehensive summary of your installation plan, your understanding of the client’s expectations and any concerns that you have.
4. Have a contingency plan. If we can’t finish today, then what?
A New and Chronic Pitfall
Steve Closser of Translucent said that internet access is something that should be carefully considered and tested at a new location. With over 30 years of foodservice experience, Translucent offers a broad spectrum of business coaching services for operators, usually initiated by micro market consulting.
“We have gotten to the point where we can’t always count on connectivity from clients. We now use an encrypted cellular ethernet capable device, which is what ATM’s use, and it works for kiosks. When a client isn't cooperative about internet access, this type of system overcomes the problem,” said Closser.
“Everyone on our team now carries this device with us, and nine out of 10 times, we use it. At $50 a month, clients are often willing to make that investment, so they don’t have to share internet connectivity with the micro market,” he said. “Using a cellular device also means no internet issues to overcome during the sales process.”
Still Jumping Through Hoops
“Sometimes, in a fantastic account, you must accommodate the client’s installation requirements, without waiver,” said Geis. “In those cases, preparation and realistic allocation of resources are critical.”
Is it worth jumping through those types of hoops for a client?
“For an account that generates high six figures or even seven figures in sales – you bet it is,” Geis said. “That is why Fixturelite is ready to support our clients on challenging, high volume installations. We continue to work closely with our clients to ensure that our designs, products, and support network will help them sell the account and operate profitably.”
Design and Succeed!
Learn more about the Fixturelite Design Tool at www.fixturelite.com