Selling more of your product around key events
For many of you I am sure January can often be a long, quiet(ish) month where you take time to recover from the busy Christmas, reflect on what went well last year and start planning in earnest for 2016.
There are plenty of “foodie” events coming up as soon as January finishes, starting with Pancake Day, Tuesday 9th February – a personal favourite in our house where each year seems to involve thinking of whackier fillings/toppings we can create on our pancake!
The next key event being Valentine’s Day – whether you love it or hate it, if you have a food or drink business it is certainly a time (depending on your food product) that you could have a surge in sales. Clearly chocolate, wine and champagne are all key favourites at this time of year, but any delicious food or drink item, especially if beautifully packaged can make a wonderful Valentine’s gift. Sometimes, looking for a gift that is specifically tailored for your loved one can really show the care you have taken and the thought that you have put in – which after all is what it is all really about.
Mother’s Day comes hot on the heels of Valentine’s Day on Sunday March 6th and again is another occasion for showing someone how much you care about them. It is often the personal touches that make a gift really special – so do have a think if there is anything you can add to your product that will make it extra appealing for people to buy for their mother’s for their special day. I’m not necessarily suggesting producing completely new packaging (unless your volumes and costs allow)- but maybe a little bow/tag/card – anything that will make it stand out on shelf or on-line as that perfect Mother’s Day Gift.
Easter is early this year with Easter Sunday falling on Sunday 27th March and modern custom is to gift chocolate eggs. Do you have a food product that could be an alternative present to an Easter Egg? It is all about how you position and present it. Easter is a time all about spring and re-birth so if you are thinking of doing specific Easter flavours/decorations on your packaging think flowers, herbs….spring colours.
Easter is a long bank holiday where people visit family and friends, entertain – can your food product fit in with any of these occasions? A lovely box of biscuits as a thank you to your host? Some delicious coffee/tea to share after your Easter dinner? There are lots of possibilities… People will be looking delicious food items and treats for this Bank Holiday so make sure your products are at front of mind. Think about speaking to your store managers to see if they are doing any Easter merchandising – and can you be included?
Don’t forget to remind your consumers about your products for these key events – think social media, blogging, email marketing, sampling in store….
Finally – enjoy all of the above events – as well as selling lots of your products!
Scaling up your Food or Drink Business
If I had a chocolate button for every time a food or drink producer said to me “But I don’t have time to do everything myself” – I would have a chocolate supply for life!!
It’s always a tricky situation, as in the early days you often don’t have the cash to pay people to help you, but also it’s when you need to invest lots of time in your business too!
Clearly there will probably come a point with your business where you will need to outsource – or at least get help with some areas – be it the manufacturing, accountancy or sales and marketing. It can be a scary time and finding the right person/people to help you can be a daunting task.
So here are some key things you should be looking at when thinking about getting marketing or sales help to take your business to the next level.
It is always useful to check out work they have done with other clients, particularly ones that are similar to your own business. Don’t be afraid to ask for their contact details so that you can call them directly to find out
Check that they practice what they preach
If they are going to be helping you with your marketing and sales it would be reassuring to know that they do a good job of selling and marketing their own business!
Are they listening?
Make sure they are actually listening to what you want to achieve and are suggesting solutions that specifically fit your business and not just what they have done previously. Whilst you do want tried and tested ideas, you also do want to know that someone is taking the time to really understand your business and your needs.
Do they know your specific industry?
Whilst people often say if you are good at sales and marketing you can sell and market any product – don’t underestimate the importance and value of people having experience in your particular industry – and also the passion for that area!
Are they a good fit with your business?
Do their interests and motivations align with your long-term goals? It is important to have a good relationship with whoever you choose to outsource to so it will be key that they are a good fit for your business. Would a massive corporate agency really be right for your start-up business for example?
As you grow your business you may find that you need to outsource