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View Full Version : What should my next move be?


bigmamajules
17-05-2007, 09:48 PM
Hi all

I have spent the last few weeks making crumbly butter fudge in a variety of flavours and selling it at my local market.

The fudge has been a fantastic success and I can't keep up with demand (I make it in small batches using only a few ingredients - it is quite time consuming) I generally sell out within two hours of setting up my pitch

I took some to the local deli and the owner asked me to supply them. As we live in a seaside town, quite a lot of people are looking for a locally produced gift to take back home.

The deli owner wants 40 - 50 % return which is do-able really but it would obviously be much more profitable for me if I sold it myself and re-couped all profits.

I'm just wondering what would be the best way to 'grow' this business. I'm not sure whether to try to get it into more shops or whether to set up a website and try to market it that way

I have got the certificate from the environmental health and all is above board

It's a bit like, shall I really push it or just sell a bit at local markets and make a small amount of money

I'm sorry I am not being more articulate but if anyone has any ideas I would be really grateful

Thanks in advance

Julia

absolutedesign
17-05-2007, 11:29 PM
Sounds like a great little business Julia!

Why don't you do all three. I can't see whats stopping you? Sell it to shops, thus ensuring you make a steady (but small) income, then sell online and in the local market so you can make a better profit.

You could also package the fudge differently - maybe a more professional look for the shops and a traditional home-made look for the web and market.

If you need any help setting up a website or package design drop me a line.

info (at) absolute-design.info

Best of luck with whatever you decide to do.

mediaroots
18-05-2007, 12:08 AM
Hi Julia

I'm currently working with Fraser Doherty:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/edinburgh_and_east/6380399.stm
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/article1415473.ece

As you will see, he started out like you, selling his jam at local farmer's markets etc. recently secured a £5million+ deal to supply Waitrose.

Maybe take a look at the business decisions that he made and you might be able to make use of them in some way with your similar business.

Sunee
18-05-2007, 01:07 AM
I will order some from your website once it is set-up :)

Best wishes with your venture.

Rhys
18-05-2007, 08:27 AM
I agree - I would go with all three options. You can always pay one of your friends or family to do the farmers markets if it gets too much.

In regard to the Deli owner taking more business then you - I really wouldn't worry about this. You're never going to saturate the market with this product so the more outlets you've got the better.

The one problem you will have by the sounds of things is your production levels. I would look at two things -

1) Short term increase. How can you increase your production in the short term, without cooking all hours. Employee? Invest in equipment?

2) Long term increase. Looking at the possibility of getting a food manufacturing company to make it for you. The most impotrant thing would be to check their minimum order quantity. Easiest way to contact these companies would be to look at existing products to see whether it says on the label where it is made. But remember to protect your recipe before giving them the information.

Sound like you have yourself a very good, sale-able (sp?) product there. Good luck.

jdbtelecom
18-05-2007, 08:56 AM
As others have said I would go with all three but also seek out other shops that may want to buy your product.

Remeber that supplying to shops means less selling-work for you which could actually save you money.

You also have to think about where you want your business to go. Do you want to continue to sell it to consumers? or become a supplier to food shops?

If your business grows then eventually you will not be able to do both and you will have to concentrate on one part, selling it to consumers or supplying shops.

James Smith
18-05-2007, 09:32 AM
What a great story.

I would suggest the first stop is to think hard about what you want to do and where you want to go with this.

There is no point starting on the road to large scale production if you are just enjoying having a small business and selling to the public. So decide what you want to do (cook, sell, manage others etc) and let that drive your plans. Growing can be very painful, but enjoyable too if you like that sort of thing.

NB if you are selling out within 2 hours, donít be afraid to increase your prices a little. If customers want it that much they will pay!

Also as above donít get too hung up on the fact the deli is ďtakingĒ your margin. Think about what is the best use of your time. Ie the pitch is probably costing a fair amount of £££ and time that could have been spent on production. Ie how many units could you have produced and passed to the Deli in that time? Which is more profitable use fo your time? [Taking into account what you prefer doing of course!] I personally would probably get someone to come in and make all the dull bits and just supervise and come up with new recipes myself.

Hope that helps.

damion
18-05-2007, 11:30 AM
Hi there,

I'd just like to say good luck with whichever way you decide to go with your venture. It sounds a really good business you've got. And seems a great idea to expand it further, it's got a lot of potential.

I'd definitely get in touch with Fraser regards to his Jam venture. I've spoken to him a few times on here and in email and he's a great guy. I'm sure he will offer his help :)

All the best and if you ever need any help, just drop us an email (in my sig) or start a thread on here. This forum is great for advice etc

Good luck and all the best.

Damion.

bigmamajules
18-05-2007, 05:22 PM
Thank you all for the awesome responses - so much helpful advice

i will definitely check out the links and maybe contact Fraser as he does seem to have done incredibily well on a similar project

Rhys you hit the nail on the head, production is fairly limited due to the 'hands on nature' of the fudge (I have to beat the fudge for ten minutes after it has boiled so can only do so much at a time)

This limits production to about ten batches a day, about 60 -70 250gm portions

thinking how to maximise production without losing the hand-made badge is a bit of a problem

Also , very good points about long term aims. I would like to see the fudge in national outlets but I guess there is an element of selling your soul (also, production would have to be massively increased and wonder if I would cope)

I suppose these things don't happen overnight so would spend a lot of time building up production in the hope of getting a deal with a large outlet

I'm rambling - thanks for the input, been really helpful

Julia

mediaroots
18-05-2007, 06:07 PM
Fraser is very busy buy he supports young people's projects and I'm sure may be able to help you out (new site launching on monday and will be able to contact via that).

with him, he used to make the jam in his kitchen, but when he signed the distribution deal with waitrose, he found a factory to reproduce what he did in the kitchen on a mass scale.

freeform
19-05-2007, 10:14 PM
As a few people have said there's no reason you can't do all three - more routes to market is almost always a good thing and would be the natural course in growing your business.

As James said though, I'd first sit back and ask yourself a few personal questions about what you want from this and what you are, and aren't, prepared to do.

Market, shops and website all have advantages but they also carry time and financial costs. The right answer(s) may have more to do with what you want out of it.

Finally, in agreement with James again, the first thing I'd do is look at raising your prices to maximise the return from what you're already producing. If you're consistently selling out, a 10% (or more) increase in price may have no effect on your sales but would increase your profit by much more than 10%.