Several years ago, Justin and Brie Henshaw saw how the self-serve frozen yogurt shop concept was taking off and thought they could bring it to St. Simons Island, Georgia. Since then, the couple has learned a few lessons about how to make a successful small business run even better. One of their biggest takeaways: sometimes there’s great power in simplicity.
Many times when small businesses get started, there’s a period where proprietor’s eyes can be bigger than their appetites when it comes to technology investments.
This was the case for Justin & Brie Henshaw at their business Fuse Frozen Yogurt in St. Simons Island, Georgia. While it didn’t take long for the couple’s original concept to take off with customers, the first point-of-sale system they tried was way more than they needed.
For small businesses, there is power in simplicity for business technology
“We used to have a very in-depth, very complicated, very expensive system that we used to use, and I wanted to find a better way,” said Justin of their first point-of-sale.
After seeking a much simpler solution in Clover, things began to run much more smoothly.
Often, the problem with many enterprise-scale point-of-sale systems is that there is just too much functionality. While it might be able to do everything under the sun, they can also be a beast to manage, requiring more overhead from already-strained small business owners and managers.
But with a much simpler, streamlined solution, small businesses can focus on the one or two features that really make the most sense for their business, allowing them to focus on the functions that are most important to their growth.
Fuse used gift cards to build both a following and loyalty
At Fuse, that meant focusing on gift cards.
After looking into the gift card options available with Clover, Fuse found out just how important gift cards could be to bringing in new customers and bringing old ones back.
“The more research we did into gift cards, the more we realized having a gift card option allows us to reach a lot of new customers, but also we have a lot of really loyal customers that it brings back in more regularly as well,” said Brie.
In addition to the new customer marketing that gift cards can accomplish, and the added bonus of word-of-mouth marketing that will almost always follow, there’s an additional way that gift cards can help market a small business: loyalty marketing.
Just as Brie said, gift cards can be instrumental in bringing in regular customers more often–they’re a way to reward regular customers on the spot, and can also be used in lieu of cash refunds, ensuring that even if a customer leaves without a purchase, they have an incentive to come back to spend again another day.
For Fuse, the keys to unlocking success at their shop were simplification and focus. By paring down functionality in their point-of-sale, and then focusing on the most beneficial elements for their business, Fuse was able to expand their customer base, bring regulars back more often, and offer customers more ways to pay–making this St. Simons small business a sweet success.
The lesson for small businesses: pick one or two tactics to get new customers or bring existing ones back, and master the ins and outs of those tactics.