Owning a company comes with so many options that are as exciting as each other — like branding, sales, marketing strategies and so on. Each new venture is a joy, and each task completed makes you feel so proud. But there are some things you could be doing to give your company a more personal touch which will make your employees happy and will, hopefully, increase your customer return.
Branding isn’t just about sticking our logo everywhere. It’s about being memorable. The more people are familiar with your name and logo, in a positive way, the better. You can do this in a few different ways; the first is to sponsor local events — but make sure that it makes sense with your company.
Like a beer company at a festival — it makes sense, and you are going to be surrounded by your chosen audience. The second is to make your own products — whether that’s merchandise or flavors. Most coffee roasters will tailor make a flavor unique to each coffee company.
Training up your employees is an integral part of running a business — but how you go about it matters. With a store that deals with a particular product, the higher ranking employees at least should have product specific training that goes further than the basics.
This detailed training will allow your employees to give more care and attention to your customers. Training like this can include going to the brewery, to the roastery, the bakery or wherever your product originates so that your employees will be able to know more.
Product Specific Software
Sometimes you need more software that is more geared towards your actual product. If you own a brewery, then beverage software would be perfect for you. This sort of personalisation will help you to organise different aspects that might not exist with another product, like where you source the base materials or ingredients from.
Whether you run your business from an office or a store, your customers are everything. Customer care and customer service is something that every business should have at heart — if you have a great product but treat your customers badly then you’re still going to fail. But more than just treating customers right, you should also encourage them to talk back.
Client reviews will help you to improve areas that you might not have realised need improving – sometimes things in theory in the office might not work well on the ground in a store. Customers will always shape your business and if you ignore them is the worst thing you can do.
There is also the opportunity to get your clients involved — if you run a coffee store then have an evening where your staff teaches the public latte art, if you own a vineyard then wine tastings are an avenue you should be tapping into.
Some people might start selling a product themselves after they come up with it. Even if you do choose to sell as well as make your own product, looking for retailers who will put it on their shelves (or in their online store) can help you to sell more. For some products, it makes much more sense for you to have other people sell them. Distribution is one of the best ways to drive sales. At the moment you might only have one or two products, so it might not make sense for you to have your own physical retail outlet. If your goal is to have other people sell your product(s) then there are a few things you need to take care of first.
Know Your Numbers
Before you start asking people to buy your products, you need to ensure you have a good head for the costs and figures.
How much does your product cost to make? What’s the cheapest you can make it, and the cheapest you can reasonably sell it? When you work out your cost per unit, you need to consider a range of factors, not just the manufacturing costs.
Don’t forget to think about packaging, shipping, and other expenses involved in producing your product. Work out whether it’s possible to sell more units for less too, as this can appeal to retailers.
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Make Sure It Looks Good
Your product needs to look good on the shelves, or in photos if it’s going to be sold online. You’ll need to think about its packaging and do some research into labeling systems to come up with a design for your product if you haven’t already.
You need to consider what your product looks like, how it might need protecting, and the costs of packaging. You should also think about it from the retailer’s perspective. They only have limited amounts of space, either on their shelves or in their storage space.
Packaging your product as small as it can be means they can put more on the shelves.
From Good Relationships with Retailers
Of course, you need to have good relationships with retailers if you want them to sell your product.
You might not convince them to do it right away, but having them in your contacts will help you. You might meet them by going to trade shows and even visiting stores, as well as networking both online and offline. You can also do independent research into the retailers you would like to sell your products.
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Sort Out the Technicalities
Make sure your product is ready to go on the shelves by taking care of all the official matters. It needs to be appropriately labeled within any regulations, and you need to think about whether you need to protect your product.
Sometimes, you might want to file a patent or perhaps register a trademark. This is always important, but could be especially so if you’re worried about retailers making their own version of your product.
Get your product out on the shelves by presenting it well to retailers. You need to show them your product is worth selling.