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|Topic subject||needs a fresh idea|
284, needs a fresh idea|
Posted by Duenchocolates, Sat Feb-17-07 03:24 PM
I have a chocolate & ice cream business in a small town. May 07' Will be my one year anniversary. So far we make about 30% of our total bills. I took on a second job to cover the rest. the town is somewhat a tourist town and Nov to march/April things are slow. I've tried having a couple of events, I also went around to my neighbors with samples. I went to several meetings. Money is tight. My local major newspaper spot lights new business they ran a half page with photo, we ran a press release for our grand opening. I bartered air time with a radio station for a valentines promotion. We still get people who come in and say we didn't know you were here. The town holds about 4 events & 1 parade from may to sept.(thoses days were financially great)
Several weeks ago I contacted score and she told me since my lease is almost up I should close and do it from home. I can but I want to at least try another year. I make my own creams, fudges, chocolate and caramels. When the customers walk in they like the store and the product 9 x's out of 10 they buy its just getting them in the door.
286, RE: needs a fresh idea|
Posted by BizConsulting, Sun Feb-18-07 11:13 AM
Sorry to hear about your business challenges. That first year is difficult for most.
I would encourage you to read the book, "9 Lies that are Holding Your Business Back" by Steve Chandler and Sam Beckford. www.smallbusinesstruth.com
This is an excellent book and is "spot on" with the challenges new business owners face. The man who wrote this book failed 5 times before he realized what was keeping him from becoming successful. He now owns a very profitable business.
In addition, I would recommend that you invest in a consultant or coach who can help you.
Best of Luck!
E-Course for Business Start-Ups
292, RE: needs a fresh idea|
Posted by lisasgourmet, Mon Feb-19-07 05:48 AM
Ah, yes... the slow months.
My advice would be to partner up with your local Chamber of Commerce for advertising, etc. Look in your local phone book for associations, organizations, etc. and send them promo materials. Do this weekly. Marketing and advertising are the two most important methods of getting yourself out there. If you have an employee or two, have them go around to some of the local office buildings and banks and deliver promo items and samples.
The SCORE person, I think, gave you bad advice. Talk to your local Small Business Development Center. They have a wealth of resources and contacts to help you out!
296, RE: needs a fresh idea|
Posted by bizconsultant, Mon Feb-19-07 09:37 AM
I think there may be several factors which are holding you back and instead of giving you any generic advise, I would like the opportunity to give you some more in depth insight into what the problem(s) could be. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can send you some information for a free business evaluation. You'd be suprised....sometimes even though it seems like alot of things are going wrong, it usually turns out to be one thing that if you fine tuned it can make the diffrence between business success and failure.
> I have a chocolate & ice cream business in a small
>town. May 07' Will be my one year anniversary. So far we make
>about 30% of our total bills. I took on a second job to cover
>the rest. the town is somewhat a tourist town and Nov to
>march/April things are slow. I've tried having a couple of
>events, I also went around to my neighbors with samples. I
>went to several meetings. Money is tight. My local major
>newspaper spot lights new business they ran a half page with
>photo, we ran a press release for our grand opening. I
>bartered air time with a radio station for a valentines
>promotion. We still get people who come in and say we didn't
>know you were here. The town holds about 4 events & 1
>parade from may to sept.(thoses days were financially great)
> Several weeks ago I contacted score and she told me since my
>lease is almost up I should close and do it from home. I can
>but I want to at least try another year. I make my own creams,
>fudges, chocolate and caramels. When the customers walk in
>they like the store and the product 9 x's out of 10 they buy
>its just getting them in the door.
297, RE: needs a fresh idea|
Posted by BizConsulting, Mon Feb-19-07 10:49 AM
As when getting any service, I would encouarge you to interview a few different consultants and go with the best fit for you and your business. You will get a feel from a conversation if they are a good fit for what you need. Ask for their background. Make sure they have done plenty of this kind of work before.
300, RE: needs a fresh idea|
Posted by BizConsulting, Tue Feb-20-07 10:47 AM
I love quotes and therefore have collected many over the years. I came across this "sales fact" in my collection that I thought you might appreciate. Here's something that will make you think.
Bill Gates has a net worth of over $50 billion from selling software.
How did he do his first year in sales? Sales were $16,005 in 1975. Good thing he stuck to it. . . .
305, RE: needs a fresh idea|
Posted by Pepperfire, Wed Feb-21-07 01:10 PM
Suzanne, I love that quote!
Stephanie, our business has been on the same spot on the main street right in the middle of our town since 2004. We've gotten lots of local press, and media, and most of our neighbours know who we are via town events, etc. where we set up sales kiosks. We live in a town of less than 2500 people and just last week someone told me they didn't know we were here. People will still be surprised, I believe even a couple of years from now.
You've gotten some great advice from the others. I can't offer you anything but good wishes, we finished our first year with a small loss caused by depreciation.
Tina Brooks, VP Marketing
Brooks Pepperfire Foods Inc.
419, RE: needs a fresh idea|
Posted by imageworkbook, Mon Apr-23-07 07:23 AM
Hello! I owned a bakery and coffee bar in a relatively small town, and I know how difficult it is to get people in your door. It sounds like you are doing some great things to promote business, and I agree with a previous reply that moving your business home is not great advice. I looked at your website, and noticed a couple of things that might help right off. I couldn't find your store hours listed. People use the web to find out the "who, what, where and why". If you can give them that info easily, you'll make an impression. In addition to that, you have an events tab, but it is pretty general. If you had monthly events going on, it would entice people to make return visits to both your site and store. You have a very powerful tool in your hands-- offering sweets and coffee to your customers! Get one good ongoing event that is geared toward people's sweet tooth- and believe me you're in! We had great success with opening up at night once a month. We sent invitations to our guest book and posted the event online every month. The evening hours brought in a crowd that didn't know us before, and the crowd grew every month until it was standing room only for the best desserts in town! Hang in there! You can do it!
422, RE: needs a fresh idea|
Posted by LisaPR, Tue Apr-24-07 07:06 AM
You are doing the right things keep them up.
Some additional ideas:
-sell chocolates online (Mail order)
-Monthly promotions - special flavor of the month on ice cream, half price on certain items during off-peak times
-Various Holiday promotions - Thanksgiving, Christmas, St. Patricks, etc.
-Contests - partner with radio and newspaper - crate a new flavor/dessert, etc. best recipe wins something worthwhile.
-Institute a can food drive during the holidays again partner with radio and newspaper
-Promote your chocolate workshops to senior centers, after school programs, area clubs, etc.
-Promote party space for adult events (currently you only do childrens parties).
-Partner with local eateries to sell your chocolates or swap offers of discount coupons to each others customers.
-Create news - identify a trend and send out a press release on it to local media. Do a survey and announce results in a release. Position yourself as an expert in chocolate/desserts, etc.
Think of different ways to engage all the demographics in your town. Different things appeal to different age groups as well as to men and women.
Stick with it.
452, Where are you geographically?|
Posted by CyberHost, Sun May-13-07 06:06 AM
Where are you located? Maybe we can send friends there, or maybe your location will prompt some new ideas from the savvy people who have already responded to you.
Cyberhost at Idea Cafe
The Fun Place for Serious Business(sm)
453, RE: needs a fresh idea|
Posted by iws, Sun May-13-07 09:20 AM
I understand how tought it can be but if you believe in your business (and can afford to) try it one more year. You will have to do something different or things will stay the same. Try buying some ad space on various billboards.
Do you ship your products? Put it online to supliment your walk in and it may even take off there.
Stick in there!