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Roadside signage Hugely important if you are by a busy road. Signs placed up to a half mile before your farm shop and a large one clearly indicating the entrance are a must. Drivers don’t have time to read long signs. Advertise what you offer with concision: ‘Lunches and Cream Teas’ ‘Deli Foods’ ‘Home Made Food’ will suffice - as will ‘Toilets’ for drivers with kids. “The road is really vital for us,” said Alison Parks, managing director of Low Sizergh Farm Shop near Kendal, “Having clearly visible road signs was a change I needed to make.”
Become a destination Think children to attract family visits. Converting kids is half the battle. Happy children help parents stay longer and spend more. Appease the ankle biters with grab-and-go snacks and confections, and a play area. Aim to please the family with a range of refreshment facilities, from wash room to café or restaurant. Giftware will add appeal to the less committed foodies.
Promote, promote, promote Encourage word of mouth promotion with superb, friendly service - see below - and value for money special offers. Devote a little time daily to updating your Facebook page and Tweeting your news and offers, and responding to messages. Display your flyers in businesses likely to attract your customers and reciprocate. Keep local press and radio updated with any news likely to get you a mention.
Remember people People remember good service and tell their friends when they have been impressed. Recalling a customer’s name or a preference leaves a good impression. This is only one aspect of super service, which should also include friendly demeanour, informative conversation and a willingness to spend time with customers when possible and guide them towards a satisfactory purchase.