One for single income traders (how do you manage?)

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Martin Cowley

One for single income traders (how do you manage?)

Postby Martin Cowley » Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:29 am

How do you manage ? we really need some advice ,i know its usual to be skint and it can take years to get going but yet again i have discovered a flaw in trading being my sole income.
If i have 2 or 3 crap shows i have to live of what ever we take that w/end which includes food,utilities and unfortunatly i cant always cover the stock sold,so basically im nibbling away at our stock whilst being unable to replace it.I have worked out credit with a couple of suppliers but im worried that if i have a run of crap shows (finacialy crap not actual crap shows lol)for what ever reason i will be able to get by ,but will have trouble keeping my supplies of jerky n scrolls unless i get into debt,which i really dont want to do.Are there any other traders who have to live and replace stock with what they earn ? if so how do you do it ? is there any form of goverment aid etc? ive tried looking everywhere,whilst most of the time i have an abundance of enthusiasm to see me through its feeling like we aint actually getting anywhere,i think the problem is its moving sooooo slow (business growth etc) that i dont see any advancment,though i found some labels n stuff from last year and when i compare them and the way things are now i can see a huge differnce in quality etc .This week suzi is going out with a suitcase of samples and a suit to go round deli's etc in cardiff to see if that can drum any business up (any suggestions or places in cardiff to try would be gratefully recieved :) )
Martin

p.s sorry for the mopiness of the post just been a long weekend and im to skint to go for a pint :lol:



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Postby Gothic-Haven » Mon Jun 12, 2006 12:30 pm

Martin.. although I have a f/t job to pay the bills and feed the family i do understand how hard you must be finding it.. There are many grants available to new business and you should also not rule out your bank manager and a business overdraft.. ( we have one and from time to time it has come in useful) you have some great ideas and your banner adds are a scream.. you need more exposure to be ableto supply local shops and deli's etc.. I know you mention you did supply some local shops and I hope that is going well for you.. exposure and advertising is the key though I feel.. I will ( as promised some time ago) put a link from our websit to yours using one of your banners.. #In Norwich we have NEAT which is the local branch of the DTI for small businesses.. they can help alot even after the business course...


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Postby Graham Cooley » Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:17 pm

Martin

Try your local Business Link and Training and Enterprise Council. If there are any grants or help out there they should know about them.

The Princes Trust used to do something but I think there are some age restrictions as it is aimed at young people. I'm not certain of their definition of young.

Even if they cannot help financially they may be able to help with marketing and hence improve your cash flow.

Graham



Martin Cowley

Postby Martin Cowley » Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:32 pm

I have been using Business Eye,and to be quite honest,though my advisor is a nice chap he is next to useless when it comes to advice,we arent elegibale for any grants or aid (as far as i / he knows) and my bank wont help cos my business account is hardly used,i have to put all cash into my classic account to keep it from going over the red,so no help there.
Just having one of those "whats the F'ing point in trying days!" :lol:



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Postby Gothic-Haven » Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:52 pm

Sorry Martin.. its very hard to make ends meet ( no pun intended) some times and I know what you mean about "what's the point" The Oyster Faire this year wasn't the money spinner it can be and its seems the public want more and more for less and less £'s. I still stick with the "more exposure" as word of mouth does wonders for sales... fingers crossed for you and hope it all picks up soon..


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Postby Kate Tiler » Mon Jun 12, 2006 4:34 pm

((((Hugs))))

Sorry you are down today - you are usually so up! The only thing that I can say is that you have to have many strings to your bow - I couldn't & don't make a living from selling stock, even from home, let alone going places to trade which cost me money. It's an age old problem - Jon is used to me saying 'If only I could find something that I want to make & that people want to buy!' & he always says ' Yes - you and everybody else!'

The only fresh avenues that I can suggest are the areas that I'm always getting asked for - people to give talks in the evenings to groups like historical societies and W.I.s, and for people to do 'have a go' activities with kids at historical events & arts events. If I could clone myself I'd make a fortune! But people don't seem to want to work evenings or think that there isn't enough money in giving talks, & they also think I'm mad for doing the 'have a go' kids activities because I work 10 times as hard as other people for the same money!

All of the artist/potters that I have gotten to know in the past 5 years have either gone bust or stopped relying on making things to sell because they can't make money at craft shows anymore, one has become a builder & the other is just doing more teaching. These aren't historical potters, just regular arts potters, but they are an indication of how things are heading - both had been full time makers for the last 20 years, one even had a shop.

The way forward I think is through services - either training/teaching, demonstrating, entertainment - anything that provides a unique experience and if you sell something you've made of the back of that then its a bonus. But in my case, making £200 a day plus travel & B&B to demonstrate, which is what I charge - to make that much profit a day selling something that I've made would have to cover all the time & expenses to make the things (however many they are), the cost of the stall, expenses to get there and whatever I decided to pay myself to stand there all day & sell the stock - I'd have to take at least £600 per day or probably more than that to make the equivalent money as I do demonstrating. So at £15 per tile, that is 40 tiles! At £12 a tile, which is what I've been charging up till now, that is 50 tiles... at an event that is open 11am to 5 pm, thats needing to sell over 8 tiles an hour.

I don't even have 50 tiles in stock, ever!

Jon (my other half who is very wise about these things...) says you need to decide how many hours a week you want to work, decide how much you need to earn and start from there.

I know that I can't work more than 5 days a week in any week because of the whole loading/unloading, travel & general tiredness, plus needing to restock and of course that there are only so many weekends in a year that people want to employ me on. So I have to charge enough to cover the days that I don't work & to cut down the demand somehow! Being popular & not being able to say 'no' means that charging a lot is the only way I can sort out where I'm going to be.

It's sort of a business plan by default. I did work on a big tile project last winter, didn't charge enough & underestimated how long it would take. (& therefore cost me to do.) It taught me that I'm not very good at staying at home by myself making things.

I don't wonder that you get fed up being at home in the week making stuff or not making stuff if you can't afford the stock - the only other alternative to being paid to do stuff instead of to make stuff is for you to do a Hugh Fearnley Whathisname and get your stock for free! Go pigeon shooting/corracle fishing/American crayfish catching/rabbit shooting like you see them doing on TV! It might even get you noticed....


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Postby Steve Stocker » Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:42 am

Keep your spirits up Martin.
If your business is not profitable you have to consider what the reasons are.
Is it because you are doing something wrong or are you in a business that has too small a market and will never give you the volume you need?
Is the business just too small at the moment - does it require investment?
These are difficult questions to answer honestly, especially if you are passionate about what you do and want to continue.
If you want to invest and expand then you will have to consider borrowing. I wouldn't recommend this though unless you have a firm business plan based on reasonable targets, including the repayments.
Proffessional advice is a must, see someone with experience and detatchment before you make any final decisions.
Good luck :!:


Usted no tiene prioridad

Martin Cowley

Postby Martin Cowley » Tue Jun 13, 2006 10:32 am

i THINK MY PROBLEM IS INVESTMENT,I DONT WANT TO BORROW CASH FROM BANK,FRIENDS ETC INCASE IT ALL GOES TITS UP,IF THAT HAPPENED I COULD WALK AWAY FROM IT NOW AND NOT OWE TONS OF (b**ger caps lock on lol) cash to anyone ,what we sell is a great product ,that when we are away is bought by mops and re-enactors alike ,at festivals it also is very popular ,i cant put my finger on the problem.
Ive put to much time and effort into it to walk away and i also know we have a great line of stuff that no one else is making so have limited competion,i just feel that there has to be something im not seeing (if that makes sense).We have grown quite quick and we are getting out there,just not as fast as i would like,ah well,keep on plodding as they say :lol:



Scraggles

Postby Scraggles » Tue Jun 13, 2006 11:52 am

ever considered a part time job, even if it is something like avon, betterware, delivery of newspapers or something to bring in ectra cash so jerkies is not only income source ?

will put in another order when my own bank balance is more healthy, currently less than £50 due to £500 of expenses owing from work



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Postby Nigel » Tue Jun 13, 2006 12:22 pm

http://www.northumbria-larder.co.uk/members.html

do you have anything like this in your area


Nige


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Postby Martin Cowley » Tue Jun 13, 2006 1:03 pm

ooh i dont know m8,i will have a look though,just where to find out is the problem now,i could contact them and ask if they have info about a welsh version i suppose lol :)



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Postby Tuppence » Tue Jun 13, 2006 1:10 pm

business link or similar might be able to help, although I doubt there are grants available, you never know (varies by industry and region).

the going around local businesses with a bag full of the stuff is a really good idea.
do that in as wide an area as possible, and be flexible.

you could also spend a couple of days in the local library hitting the phone books nationally (or hit yell.com), and look for specialist food retailers nationally that might be interested (although I suspect you'd have to send free samples, it may prove worth while).

It'd also probably worth taking an hour or so out at the events you're going to to hit the local town and visit retailers there (researching where they are in advance, naturally).

gothic haven's absolutely right that you need to spread the word further - internationally in fact.
hit every single thing like webrings and group suppliers listings pages, and sites like histrenact - anything where it's free to list (there are more about than you might think.

As to the finance thing, it's tough - very tough. Most new businesses go under in the first two years.

Trying to do it without finance is even tougher. (I speak from experience, and I had Nige's help).

Do go and talk to your bank. I'm pretty sure your business has the potential for serious growth - but I also think it's going to take capital to get it there.

To get them to listen you have to convince them of two things - 1. that it's worth them taking the time and effort, because the business will succeed. and 2. that you're a professional, and you know what you're doing.

Unfortunately, on one front that means you need to start putting the money through the business account (presumably you've got a free one).

If they only see (say) 20% of your money, then they'll assume the business is 20% of the size it actually is.

Further to the idea of getting a part time job - you could also look at temp agencies - it'll get you income through the bits when you don't have any. And if you explain the situation, most agents will understand.

Unfortunately it's one of the facts they never tell you that when you're first starting out you may have to work full time, then come home and do your business work full time. (Also been there and done that.)

It's why business books go on about needing 'stamina' - they just don't mention that it's cos you'll be dead on your feet!!

Oh- plus, if banks won't lend to you from their usual prducts, there's also the rent guarantee scheme (still need a business plan and all that, and the bank makes the decision, but it's underwritten by the government). I think you'd qualify as you're talking about expanding a business.

And if you need an overdraft from your bank and they aren't interested, go to a different one - they're falling over each other to get more business accounts at the moment.


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Postby Lord High Everything Esle » Tue Jun 13, 2006 4:38 pm

Keep your costs down.

When every business is growing you are putting more into stock/development/equipment. Therefore NO PROFIT. If no profit then you must lower your living expenses = less parties, more baked beans!! :twisted: :lol:

Or get a subsiduary income as said above.

At least until you have your business off the ground.

I am only now able to take a small income out of my business because everything has gone into stock/equipment and that is after three/four years of trading.

If you do not sell enough at an event with few re-enactors
HAVE SOMETHING YOU CAN SELL TO THE PUBLIC.


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Postby Kate Tiler » Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:12 am

Agree totally with his Lordship on that one!

Very good advice also from Debs & Steve, especially about looking to see why is your business not profitable - i.e look at how much you would have to make/sell to turn a profit & or break even - sometime horrifying but worth doing!

I think that you have to step outside of yourself everynow & then & treat working for yourself as though you were being managed by someone else, as though they were the one paying you the wage & getting you the gigs - I know from the thread you started about not being at Berkeley that sometimes Suzi handles the bookings but that's still too close to home - you have to imagine that someone you don't know well is managing you, paying you, making you work the hours that you do and that you have to report to them.

Are they a good manager? Do they treat you well or badly? Are they reliable? and are you working as hard as you think or say you are for them? (Not saying that you aren't! Just that it helps to get serious and impersonal for that bit!)

Sometimes it also helps to get someone else to go over it with you - which is what I assume the business manager type person has been doing.

The answers aren't always what you want to hear - the truth might be that in order to create a profitable business, you have to give up some of the fun side of it that you enjoy, in which case it comes down to what is more important?

It also helps to know what your weaknesses are - mine are bookkeeping and record keeping, which I loathe & hate! Also I tend to want to hide away from the phone calls & letters & emails & have to force myself to return calls or to pick up the phone, which can be a drawback if you are relying on phonecalls to get work!

So if I know I'm not feeling up to it I try to set myself little blocks of time in a week to get them all taken care of, the future bookings, sales etc. & then reward myself by letting the answerphone take care of the rest of the day!

I find that it helps if I think of myself as a manager when I'm speaking to people enquiring about booking me, who is looking after a client or an employee and that helps to protect myself & to insist on proper money, conditions, timescales etc & not to book too much & overtire myself.

Its like wearing lots of hats - you can be great at one side of your business but letting yourself down in other areas because it is hard to be equally brilliant at everything and there are so many sides to working for yourelf and running a business, as you know.


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Postby Tuppence » Wed Jun 14, 2006 1:19 pm

I am only now able to take a small income out of my business because everything has gone into stock/equipment and that is after three/four years of trading.


Obviously it varies with what you do (and have to admit that I'm lucky in that I don't have to have any stock if I don't want to), but that seems to be about the usual sort of timescale.

The other thing that struck me and Nige is do you have a sort of mini sample pack that you can send through the post to speciality shops world wide - and have you tried things like museum and heritage sites (they have shops, and you have a historical tie in). There's also the chef / food writer angle.

Admittedly, that'll take some money, but it'll probably generate some income.

Also, can you do postal orders, and do you publicise that fact?? That would mean you wouldn't have to be at a show to get the money coming in, and you'd make more money from each pack sold by mail order than at shows, because no show costs coming out of it.

And also - learn how to write press releases, and send them to everyone you can think of - even the national media (newspapers, etc - also rasio 4 food programme) - every time you have something to publicise.

Am afraid, though, that you might have to go the finance route - apparently its the fear factor (oh my god what if...?) that holds people back, and differentiates the successful entrepreneurs from the unsuccessful ones. (IE - the successful ones have the fear, they just don't listen to it.)

Debbie

Somebody above mentioned the princes trust - the age limit for that is thirty.


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Postby david smith » Wed Jun 14, 2006 6:04 pm

Martin,

If I'd sent you a sizeable invoice for "professional advice" you might have taken more notice of it the previous times, but here we go again ;-)

You want to find two or three local restaurants or gastro-pubs who would want a regular fix of top quality smoked chicken or duck or venison etc - look at the prices of the damn stuff in your local Waitrose, or at prices on menus at posh restaurants for "Smoked Chicken Saladette" as a starter, enough to make your eyes water. These places are all desperate for local sources of unusual top quality products, and you can provide this. It is year round, good or bad weather money, and you can then start offering them seasonal add-ons - smoked cobb nuts or something for bar nibbles, christmas pudding flavour fruit scrolls, ask them what they might like - after all, if they have any sense they'll be putting bowls of peanuts etc. out to encourage drinking, and they have to pay for them!

Consider punching out small rounds of Jerky using pastry / biscuit cutters so as to have handy "nibbles" suitable for this thirst-inducing "give-away (not for you, the pub / restuarant buys it from you to give away to their customers).

Get your web site sorted out properly.

Get some flyers printed to hand out with product details, contact details, mail order options, shows you'll be at.

Get a bit more business like as to where you choose to trade. Not for one moment knocking Templecombe, but was it a good business decision to be there with the restrictions on selling your stuff? OK Suzi was at Loseley, fine, but was there a third show or festival or market that would have been a better selling option (though no "bash" fair enough! - but, this is not a hobby it is a business, treat it as one)

Losing trading places at Joust is plain daft - phone Maurice Bacon and grovel.

Go through Dave Hewitt's show listing with a toothcomb and make sure you get into every worthwhile event.

Keep a record of which events were profitable, bearing in mind costs including fuel and time (time is a cost!) and people. Compare them when planning next year.

Use this forum and others and e-mail etc. to get advance bookings for delivery / collection at shows (you do this quite well, but up the ante and major on it - if you know you have £x-hundred of goods for collection at a show you start off with a smile on your face!)

Broaden the offering - not silly marmite flavours, but the product range. Do some Market Research - ask peeps what they'd like bearing in mind what your strengths are - smoking and drying, sourcing good ingredients. If you are too busy, get into bed (!) with local top butcher and use his sausages - trade them for smoking some for him to sell - saves outlay!

Who do you know locally who is game keeper or who shoots - pigeon breast smoked would be good line for restaurants, ditto smoked rabbit choice bits, all year round availability, pence for raw ingredients, the prep and the smoking adds the value. Wild Mallard etc.

Keep with it, but run it as a business :lol:

Best wishes
David


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Postby frances » Wed Jun 14, 2006 8:31 pm

All good solid advice. And here is some more. Think about who buys your stuff. Break it down into children, adults, people in costume, people with little money, people with loads of money and so on. Then offer something for each of those groups. eg bags of sweet-flavoured shapes for the children (not babies - warning small pieces can choke! label), bulk-buy bags for parties and picnics and so on. Goodies can sell by the packaging - pretty coloured bags, or maybe a scoop and big bags and a scales, like the yummy chocolate-covered dried bananas that I adore. Unfortunately the making of goods takes up only half your time. The rest is marketing.

Haven't you got your website up with lovely piccies of people enjoying eating your goods?

etc etc



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Postby sally » Wed Jun 14, 2006 8:43 pm

Definately get the website updated. I've been quite shocked at how big a difference having a 'proper' online shop has already made and its only been live a few days.



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Postby gregory23b » Wed Jun 14, 2006 10:15 pm

Agree with David.

I am self-employed as my full time job and I do the woodblock/painting thing - the latter was never intended to be more than a self-financing project, it looks more promising and will be more so when I get my finger out and market it better. However I need an income that is more reliable so concentrate on my core job, which is service led - design so have no continual outlay unlike producing stock for the latter escapade which does eat cash, ironically.

In your shoes Martin, get the cash flowing, get a 'day-job' ok knackering but it gives regular payments and can part fund the empire and be less stressful. I had to do care work for 18 moinths (in my first spell of self-employment a few years back) whilst trying to build up enough free lance work to dump the *rse wiping, ce la vie, has to be done and I would do it again without hesitation should the need arise again.

Best of luck Martin.
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Postby DomT » Wed Jun 14, 2006 11:28 pm

Consider going back to 'core values'.

What got you in this lark in the first place? As I recall it was reading the ingredients of stuff Daisy was eating. Ok. Well you arnt alone. Hit the schools. Schools need to make £ out of their pupils selling snacks and food. Thanks to Jamie Oliver they really dont want to sell them rubbish.
Bang. Another market. Schools. Try some of the independant schools first as they dont have to worry about the local politicians. And the kids have more cash as a rule.

Dont be afraid to play the Welsh card. Do some reasearch find out the Welsh language spelling etc for your products and blag some free publicity off that crowd. Heck if it has Welsh Language labels half of them will feel they HAVE to buy it to support you (or your delightfull better half who sounds that little bit more native than you)


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Postby Kate Tiler » Wed Jun 14, 2006 11:54 pm

And my final word on the subject for a while (thank heavens says M...) - when reading people's suggestions, just notice how you react to them. If there is anything you feel very resistant to & really negative towards, sometimes that can be more useful & interesting than getting a positive reaction. If it pushes your buttons, it can show you something that you are avoiding, & this may be what is holding you back.

One of my favourite phrases for challenging myself is 'if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always had' - in otherwords, if you are looking for a different outcome, you have to try a different solution.

Hugs xxx stay positive


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Martin Cowley

Postby Martin Cowley » Thu Jun 15, 2006 8:48 am

All good advice,i kinda got myself in a catch 22 as far as a day job goes as the work making jerky n scrolls is almost day long,i have to be here to empty dehydrators and refill at certain times ,there are long gaps in between but im usually making the next batch to go in,things like the scroll mix has to be made hours in advance so's it can cool intime to go in the de-hydrators.Next week me suzi n mark are going out in Cardiff,dressed smart with a selection of stuff each and we are going to hit every deli,pub and other place where it might be sellable to see what happens,
Soon as Mark sells his house and invests a few though things will be easier,we can get more equipment and supply more shops (hopefully) my biggest worry is that we will have to do less and less re-enactments,next year we will have to cherry pick the very best (dont worry smiffy ,thats all yours for a start LOL :D ) but i think we will have to look vey carefully at what shows we do,for example if Caldicot has the same advertising and mop turnout as last year then this will be the last one ,we are resigned to the fact we will have to go where the cash is not where we alaways wanna go.
Well off back to the cellar to take out the rather lush Cranberry Scrolls and replace it with Orange,busy busy busy lol[/quote]



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Postby Gothic-Haven » Thu Jun 15, 2006 9:24 am

Martin Cowley wrote:Next week me suzi n mark are going out in Cardiff,dressed smart with a selection of stuff each and we are going to hit every deli,pub and other place where it might be sellable to see what happens,
[/quote] thats a brilliant idea Martin.. should deffinately get some takers there
Martin Cowley wrote:worry is that we will have to do less and less re-enactments,next year we will have to cherry pick the very best (dont worry smiffy ,thats all yours for a start LOL :D )
Don't forget resellers.. I am sure that there are traders who would be willing to resell your jerky and strips for you at events you cant attend...


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Postby Nigel » Thu Jun 15, 2006 9:33 am

Martin

Good advice from Debs David Jorge Kate etc all of whom do the self employed thing and make a living from it. Basically its no longer a hobby its your job and that sometimes means sacrifices have to be made (less shows more trading).

I assume you have everything costed etc ? sucking eggs I know but I am constantly surprised about the number of people who cannot tell me what it costs to make something and then expect me to work financial voodoo on their behalf.

Another thing hit yell find one deli and one free house in every town and send them unheralded a sample pack with a covering letter. Would alos suggest the food editor of lots of local papers, CAMRA and the BBC food thingy.

This will cost but fills in the time between batches. I may be able to help on the stationary side (I work for Staples these days).

Have you considered the Game fayre too country types who like good food and are happy to spend.


There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

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Postby sally » Thu Jun 15, 2006 9:57 am

I definately think you need to be in the food hall at the Smallholders Show in Builth next year, the traders there were taking a fortune and whilst there were pleanty of sausages, olives etc no-one was doing jerky and only one person was selling smoked meat.

What about working out how much you need to take a month, getting a year planner for next year and pencil in first all those shows that took the required amount this year and that you have reason to believe will be consistent. Pencil in your rough take for those, its not for anyone but you to see and it qives you a quick overview of when the money comes in (so for example if you always take about the same amount at the farmers market on a sunday, go right through te year and pencil an average take in). When in doubt, slightly under estimate the take. If a show was a bit of a fluke or cost more than you took, don't count it, you are looking for patterns that are likely to be repeatable.

Now look at the gaps, can you compensate for them by doing more in high season, or are there a couple of more unusual events that you could target in the quieter bits? For example, a couple of days at an upmarket Xmas fair may be pricey to attend, but would it appear from other traders that the take will be a good trade-off?

If there are a couple of months when things look really bad, is there anything else you could do to boost sales. What about a 'special offer' on the website? What about running a short course for a select group in cooking with dried ingredients? Or do you not trade at all except for mail order in say January but build up stock so you can do an extra show in march?

Could you target the new film studios in the Valleys with a cunningly marketed high protein-additive free snack for all those hard working luvvies? Would need a totally different label and marketing strategy, but may be a useful niche?



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Postby Nigel » Thu Jun 15, 2006 10:05 am

oh please dont forget to put something aside fro TAX

Open a seperate account put aside enough to apy the bill and thats one worry done

Oh and don't be afarid to a make a tax loss.


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Postby gregory23b » Thu Jun 15, 2006 10:27 am

Dom has hit the nail on the head in respects to marketing your product, or at least a significant part of the marketing mix: the reason why people should buy your product, more precisely the reasons, plural.

As Dom says you can sell on ethics, as long as they are clear and easy to understand and beneficial to 'all' then you can hit schools for health benefits, get local resellers to promote Welsh produce etc, the same products but different emphases according to who it is being aimed at.

Didn't you have some items for walkers and hikers or was that a suggestion from someone that was discussed, something rings a bell along those lines, trail snacks wasn't it? How has that panned out?


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Postby david smith » Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:54 pm

You don't want to be making a profit - not while you can reclaim all tax paid in previous years against early losses!!!!

Product suggestions - chilli based chutneys, relishes, dipping sauces, pickles, cooking sauces etc. I must get though loads of these in a year paying through the nose down the supermarket. Your restaurant / deli / health food shop outlets might take them as well, and you could do a pre-order delivery type thing for markets and festivals so you don't load down the van too much.

Try being more specific on your "anyone want any?" posts, like PRICES would be useful, folk don't always want to ask in case they look silly or are embarrassed by the answer, found this time and again in antique dealing both buying and selling. Clear labels and prices really help make sales.

Is there a catering college local to you? Possible income from providing demos and lectures on dehydating / smoking recipes etc, also possib;e sales outlet (they're bound to have shop / cafeteria ) and promotional opportunity.

Get on the WI talk circuit - see Kate for details of what to charge, great publicity / promotion - and you get paid - and they'll buy the stuff, triple whammy.

Ditto Mother and Toddler Groups - it's why you started, don't you think other parents might be interested in "additive free" products and snacks / sweets substitutes?

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Postby Kate Tiler » Thu Jun 15, 2006 1:11 pm

OK - final, final last word!

As I mentioned earlier - I'm now doing talks, in the evenings mainly to W.I groups but I have had a couple of very well paid ones during the day.

Each county W.I has a 'speakers book', NB they are just coming up to finalising details for the 2007 one - I have bookings already until April 2007 through my two entries in the 2006 one. I was invited to submit an entry because I had 3 seperate W.I. recommendations from 2005 when I started, but otherwsie I think there is an interview process that you go through. Cost of putting an entry is tiny, about £10 or £15.

Standard charges for an hour's talk is around the £25 - £35 mark, plus travel expenses - though this works out to about 3 hours in total by the time you have arrived, set up, sat & waited, talked & had cups of tea, then packed away! If you sell stuff they do ask for a small percentage donation to the W.I, usually about 5%.

Because I work in schools etc, I have gotten usually one school booking for every two evenings talks, because Grannie has picked up my details & passed them on, or because there is a school teacher there.

I love doing them they are my favourite thing at the moment, even more than working in museums! You meet some very interesting people, but you do have to like performing!


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Postby Lord High Everything Esle » Thu Jun 15, 2006 1:37 pm

I have no doubt that a talk by Martin would be quite a perfomance in more ways than one. :twisted: :lol:


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