How festivals and community events can be a spring board for your small business In ...
If you are a fast food business or a slow food business you will need a website. Even if you don’t think you need a website, you do as your competitors have one.
First you should contact Web Design Surrey and see what they have to say. Their no nonsense approach will soon put you on the right track. But beware, if you think you can get an ultra cheap website then ask yourself, what does that say about how you value your business.
Many people start the DIY approach to websites, and that is fine and can be great if you have the aptitude and the time, but a good web designer will allow you to focus on what you are good at, your business.
So ask yourself these questions
- How much do I value my own time at? Minimum wage or more?
- Does my business need to convey a professional aire?
- What are my competitors doing?
- Do I understand inbound marketing, i.e. using the internet to get business to come to you?
Ponder these questions, and then contact a professional.
The Unquenchable Hunger
Being part of creation and having an appetite to satisfy, man has always been drawn towards food for ages and there’s no stopping it in sight. Today, the varieties, sizes and tastes of food are so varied it’s a mammoth task to decide which food is the best, biggest and/or tastiest. One thing is sure though, food is here to stay and starting a small food business is certainly a very good idea. Why? Because man will always have that unquenchable hunger deep down in the pit of his stomach that must always be satiated.
An Endless Variety of Food Businesses
If you combine, the land, ocean and sky, what you have is the entire resource at man’s disposal for creating food. Right now, it’s not difficult to count over 100 types of food businesses that can be started anywhere in the world, with capital outlays of between $2,000 and $100,000. Within this capital range, you can conjure up a small business on a bakery, bottled water, brew pub, chocolate making, cookie sales, deli and dozens more. The range of food businesses is endless.
But How do you Actually Run it?
Having said that however, the more important question is that after conforming to the rules, how do you in fact run a small food business? Believe it or not, many food lovers have tried and have fallen flat on their aprons trying to turn their recipes into a business. But others have met with outstanding success albeit for very different reasons. Some say that a realistic business plan and marketing strategy will offer the best chance of your business being seen and heard. Still others hold that practical advice, tools and confidence are the success ingredients needed.
What even SWOT for Small Food Businesses?
Analysts claim that the success of small food businesses also hinge on the determination, skill, knowledge and attitude of food entrepreneurs themselves. Others go further and suggest that so-called “foodpreneurs” should also involve themselves in SWOT analysis to give justification to their action plan. So in actual fact, the reason behind the success or demise of a small food business enterprise rests solely upon the entrepreneurship of the owner/operator of the business.
In closing it would be proper to disclose the alarming rate of failures that have plagued small food business start-ups during their first year of operations. The main reasons behind the failures are the lack of demand for their products; the lack of alternative plans in case of failure; poor forecasting and budgeting and above all, incorrect pricing either up or down. Incorrect predictions of cash flow and way too much start-up costs also contribute to the failure rate. So seriously, it looks like the best thing to do is to adopt the pros and avoid the cons and hope for the best!
How festivals and community events can be a spring board for your small business
In 2007, there were 496 music festivals alone across the UK; 5 years later this had increased to 929 and today, in 2014, estimates are that there are well-over 1,000 music festivals and other events hosted up and down the country. The likelihood is, there will be one or more near you.
And festival goers, as we know, need several things, including food and drink. Hiring a stall or pitch and simply opening the shutters will see you run of your feet in minutes, begging your support team for more supplies.
But the time has come to think outside of the box. These festivals and events could be so much more for any local snack business. But, how?
Branding and the power of social media.
Two words that small business owners roll their eyes at. On one hand, the small business entrepreneur is encouraged to focus on the services and products that make them money (after all, how else do we pay the bills and the wages?).
On the other, we are old we need to make every transaction count; every outing from behind the desk should be up there, sparkling with lights on and waving an enthusiastic hand at the passing customer, shouting ‘don’t forget me!’
Branding and social media, isn’t that all for the bigger brands?
Regardless of the product or service someone is buying, it is an emotional decision. It may be that your customer is hungry or thirsty. Or, you may offer a different kind of ‘fast food’, such as a selection of Mediterranean inspired snacks and the customer needs or wants to be ‘healthier’ in their food and drink choices.
But what can happen in a small business is the ‘doing too much at the one time’.
Just when you think you have this marketing and brand ‘thing’ licked, you feel it all unravelling. Marketing and PR experts suggest this is because small businesses try to do too much at once, hence the branding – how it feels to buy from you – becomes muddled and confused.
The moral of this story – choose one thing you do well and that you are passionate about, draw people in using this product or service and then show them what else you do.
So a snack bar at a local food festival, attracting young ‘city worker’ type folk and this is your ‘target audience’. What do you offer that is different to your competitors?
Pizza is done by everybody but your pizzas are ‘create your own’; your list of ingredients is extensive with the buying process simple. Choose the size of pizza, 4 toppings for one price and – boom! – within 5 minutes they have tasty pizza with all the toppings they like!
And then you show them all the other products you, along with the extensive range of drinks etc…
Get the picture? Hang your hat, as the saying goes, on one thing you do brilliantly.
But this branding and social media lark, how can I do that when I’m creating tapas?!
It is a long term approach. Think local festivals 2015 and think NOW about how you can really expand this marketing opportunity for your business:
- What it is not – offering branded key rings or a fancy deck chair, with matching umbrella
- What is it – running your social media alongside the selling of your product; inviting customers, for example, to load photos on to Facebook or Twitter, or any other kind of social media you use, to show how much they enjoyed their product or where at the festival they ate it etc. You may want to start a discussion – such as an ‘olive or no olive’ debate as a pizza topping – via your social media pages but, you also need to respond!
There are so many ideas –see http://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/9-fresh-and-effective-ideas-your-social-media-and-content-marketing-campaigns for some ideas on linking social media with on-the-ground service or product.
BUT, you must know your audience
Of course, suggesting that every local snack bar or business has a stand at a show, event or festival may not the wisest investment of the marketing budget, at this time. This is your own marketing decision.
Choose the ‘right’ event or festival too – will the festival goers be your target audience? Your brand, after all, is nothing more complicated that how people ‘feel’ about your product, and what it feels like to buy from you.
http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/brands-and-bands-make-music-festival-experience/3033914.article shows how some of the larger brands can be inspirational to small businesses, introducing quirky, yet practical and functional ideas. Looking and feeling different is the spice of branding.
Rolling on up, selling your snacks and drinks will make you money on-the-day but will people remember you? Will they want to seek you out? Try something different and see if you can ride the festival wave for weeks or months after…
Still not convinced brand identity is needed for your small business?
This clip talks about branding our products and services… what holds us back and why we feel that sometimes, taking a chance can be the most courageous thing to do!