As part of our Franchise Success Stories we asked Les Pierce, franchisee and business owner with The Honeybaked Ham Company, to share a little bit about how he first became part of this incredible franchise system and what he has experienced as Honeybaked Ham store owner over the years.
Please tell us a little bit about your history with The Honeybaked Ham Company. How long have you been with the company?
I have been with The Honeybaked Ham Company for approximately 13 years. It is a brand I love and one that is highly respected. There’s nothing like the World’s Best Ham!!
What first attracted you to becoming a business owner with The Honeybaked Ham Company?
The difference between a Honeybaked franchise and a more traditional SMB is what I call the “kit-in-the-box”. This approach has allowed me and my team to open the “box” provided to us by corporate and build our own business. Additional positive aspects that I can note include the support that comes from corporate including branding and marketing, product development, sales leads, business consultants and more. All of these helps me and my team ensure we are focused on our goals, and they help to provide us an optimal opportunity for success.
Specifically, what attracted me to Honeybaked was their tradition itself. Honeybaked Ham is currently one of two franchises for which I am a business owner. It was the brand our family incorporated during our own holidays, since I was a child. Honeybaked became a family tradition and was thoroughly enjoyed. When I found out Honeybaked was franchising I began to look into it as well as other potential franchises. None had as strong of a reputation as the Honeybaked brand, which not only focus on its products, but on helping families to celebrate all occasions, make memories, and connect. In addition, Honeybaked’s philosophy centered on reasonable hours of operations to ensure the owners were able to be available to and with their families as a part of the business and everyday living.
What’s the biggest change over the past year that has impacted the way you market to prospective customers?
Recognizing that a singular or dual mode of marketing is basically obsolete. In today’s marketing climate, it is up to the individual consumer to determine how they would like to receive marketing or promotional information. Some people choose 2-3 different means of communication, whereas others may have a primary method. Therefore this requires all business owners to have a more sensitive pulse on the market and prospective customers in order to maximize any limited marketing funding.
From a digital marketing perspective, what role has online marketing played in helping you reach new customers?
The role digital marketing has played for our business is huge. From my perspective, when customers are seeking to celebrate a special occasion, and they use an online search engine during their own planning that ultimately features Honeybaked on the list or at the top of search results, that’s a win. Whereas the customer may or may not have selected us previously, they are now aware that Honeybaked Ham is local and can potentially meet their needs.
As you look forward, what are you most focused on when it comes to growing your business?
My current focus remains on branding. If I can continue to place the image of Honeybaked front and center to the customer – providing the World’s Best Ham and being top of mind – that will yield conversations with friends, family, co-workers, and others and we will ultimately benefit as a business.
How do you think the LOCALACT Franchise Support team handles your questions? Do you feel supported by the team?
I appreciate the Franchise Support team as they are readily available, have taken time to review metrics with me, provided suggestions, and have been flexible in testing digital online concepts that yielded positive results for my business.
Have you seen a growth in your sales outside of key holidays by keeping your budget and campaign live, ongoing?
We continue to see new customers daily, and based on conversations with our customers, many of their store visits are driven by finding us through online searches. In reviewing my metrics and seeing the numbers in LOCALACT, I have been able to conclude that there is value with the ongoing budget as it has been producing great results.