Reflecting on my first 6 months as a new Business Owner…
In December, just 3 months on from starting my business and not long after I wrote my first Blog, the reality of being self-employed hit me with a BANG!!
I don’t know why I didn’t see it coming, I know the industry in which I operate, I understand my target customer and had written and rewritten my personal survival budget a million times.
Trouble is, my Clients are all mad busy in the run up to Christmas processing orders, meeting delivery deadlines and selling direct to consumers at Christmas Markets, Fairs and any kind of event which encourages the great British Public to part with their cash. This means their focus is on maximising existing business and not on driving new business.
So when faced with the prospect of no work and therefore no income, I had to change my thinking and call upon my transferable skills.
A friend of mine works for an agency and mentioned that they were looking for catering staff in the run up to Christmas. Whilst this was not a line of work I had every considered before, the prospect of some short term cash to invest back into my developing business was very appealing.
Why should I do this was the questions I asked myself? The answers were simple: I love being part of a team, I’m a hard worker, I get on with people, I can lend my hand to most things, I needed the CASH and the fact my son had broken his ankle playing rugby the week before meant my weekends were looking quite free.
When I turned up to my first shift on 14th December, I had mixed emotions and I’m ashamed to say, I felt embarrassed! The shift went well and I turned up again the next night for more of the same. This time, my head was held a little bit higher and I was able to smile when faced with the teachers from my children’s Primary School, my husband’s barber and two members of my running club who kept asking me to join them for a glass of wine.
4 months on and I am still waitressing on the side, not because I need the cash as my business is doing well but because it has taught me so much about myself and how resilient I can be. I have a deeper understanding of the catering industry, I can carry THREE plates at a time, I have met some really interesting, hardworking people and I have learnt that if you are prepared to swallow your pride and lend your hand to anything, there is always work available.
As for those shoes…as a waitress, the dress code is black and white. Those shoes are a silent nod to the non-conformist within me and I am complimented on them every time I work.
Thanks for listening
Sally Davis, Managing Director of Award Winning Field Marketing Agency, Logobrand shares her views on the importance of on shelf availability and how securing additional off shelf
feature should not be to the detriment of in aisle sales
Why is on shelf availability so important?
As consumers become more hungry for promotions and manufacturers negotiate more off shelf feature for these deals, the shelf and indeed the aisle can get forgotten about.
Ensuring a product is on shelf and available to buy AT ALL TIMES is important for the following reasons:
- Full value sales
- Improved product visibility
- Maintaining on going listing
- Improving ROS
- Driving repeat purchase
Does off shelf feature impact on shelf availability and if so how?
Absolutely!! Without question, the focus on off shelf display and ensuring Gondola Ends, Side Stacks and FSDU’s look good can have a negative impact on shelf availability. There are 2 main factors which impact on shelf availability during promotions:
- Stock allocation – not enough stock is allocated to store to fill both the off shelf display AND the shelf. The result of this is that the display takes priority and the shelf is left either with limited or no stock.
- In store merchandising – with 2 or more sites to merchandise, store staff will prioritise off shelf feature meaning the shelf is often the last place to be replenished.
This in turn leads to availability issues as a product can be OOS at shelf but available in other locations in store.
How can manufacturers help to improve the on shelf availability of their product?
- Check shelf capacity – how much stock is needed to fill the shelf and does the in store system reflect this?
- Ensure each product has an accurate SEL – this should include information that the customer sees such as price and an accurate product description and also information for store staff such as number of facings and shelf capacity
- Merchandising – make sure all selling space is fully merchandised
- Stock – make sure an accurate stock allocation has been agreed at Head Office, this takes into account promotional space AND shelf fill
In summary, don’t forget about on shelf availability when driving additional points of distribution in store.
If you would like more information about Logobrand and how they can help improve on and off shelf compliance for your brands in store, please give Sally a shout -‐ 07971 670 364
Trade Show season starts in a matter of weeks. As an experienced exhibitor, I thought I would offer some top tips on how to capture customer information at trade shows and what to do with it once you’ve got it. Most important is that you a] do it and b] use it!!
- Have more than one person on your stand
- To ensure you don’t miss anyone
- To enable you have time to enter into conversations
- To make sure your stand is never left unattended
- Decide in advance what medium you are going to use to capture information
- Barcode scanner from Event Organiser
- Pen and paper
- Mobile phone with camera
- Spreadsheet populated via computer
- Pen and paper works best in my opinion
- More opportunities to engage – ensure correct spelling, details, etc.
- Ability to add supplementary information, e.g. flavours sampled, existing supplier, RTM, range review timings
- Collate at the end of each day
- Input into a readable format and fill in any gaps
- Prioritise which ones to follow up first
- Take action if needed, i.e. did they ask for samples NOW?
- Follow up ALL leads after leaving the show
- Decide who is going to be in charge of following up
- Do it in a timely manner – leave it too long and they will have forgotten
- Decide how to follow up – email, phone, samples, all 3
- Do it more than once – preferably until a decision is made
If you are reading this before heading to IFE, please come over to stand N2977 and say Hi, I’d love to hear if these tips have been useful.
Thanks for listening