30 January 2014

Selling and Ski-ing

Well we are in to the New Year now and as forecast January from a sales point of view has been difficult but the Christmas sales have maintained an even keel!. I had some luck towards the end of last year with my packaging dilemmas and how best to appeal to retailers. Whilst buying some wonderful macarons in France I noticed how well they were packaged and being sold at 1Euro each thought that the packaging must be cost effective ( they came in a lovely tin with a clear lid). After some research I found a company that sells them here in the UK and then sourced a company in Nottingham which kindly made a temporary mold for an insert to allow me to fit twelve keyings in. This should provide a cheap alternative to the one I was previously offering if I can sell the idea to the retailers after an initial investment it should provide an excellent alternative!

 I feel that this year the emphasis has changed again and after doing a five year business plan I am in a position to apply for some funding and competitions that I wasn't in a position to do so before. I still plan to attend a trade show this year and although I may not be able to afford to go to the Spring or Autumn Fair at Birmingham the Fair at Harrogate in July is a great place to display and attract sales.

One of the most difficult things to do is to find buyers and get them to look at your product or service, I have now started using the internet to find head buyers and then phone the company and then email the person, I have not had any luck so far with this but it is not time consuming and relatively easy to do, whether it brings any results remains to be seen.

I still continue to use all social media outlets available and there is a wealth of information out there. Recently taking part in my first Tweetchat it is absolutly fantastic that you can ask direct questions that are important to any startup business straight from people who have had and dealt with most of the dificulties you face, where else can you get one to one information so personally answered?
Customer service is still very important to me, I like to offer a good, pleasant personal service and definately put myself out to promote and make sure that a great impression is always given.

Oh I have tried something new!, after receiving a book for Christmas called  "The 4 Hour Work Week" (I wish!) it talks of Definition,Elimination,Automation and Liberation anyway I have tried outsourcing some information I needed for my business plan on Elance to a Virtual Assistant in India but I have not received anything as of yet so I feel that maybe you should do a little research before hiring a person or maybe go off recommendation , I'll let you know how this pans out watch this space again!

So some money in the bank, stock in the shed!  (joke) and a clearer pathway ( in my head at least) to follow this year, with my following and interacting increasing on Facebook and Twitter I would hope this year to expand my online and wholesale sales with continued effort and developing whatever new skills necessary.

BTW I did attempt my first YouTube Video it is a bit lacking to say the least but as ever once you try something it never seems as difficult as you thought and makes the second one easier and I would hope better, in fact looking at someone else's website gave me a great idea for producing another video using drawings with a voice over so I plan to think about going about take two
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AhZh-2xhXo&feature=youtu.be  lets face it , it can only be an improvement !!

So with the weather turning icier here I am taking my son who was recently 18 away on a ski-ing trip for his birhtday  hopefully to return fully rested and motivated to go out and and sell sell sell.

Bye For Now Sue

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