Claire of Breckland Orchard, maker of posh pop, has all the freshness and zing of one of her drinks, and here she is to share her Four Things with you, in her words:
1. SHARE EVERYTHING YOU KNOW
"Sam Walton, the founder of Wal*Mart, had a great saying: ‘Share everything you can with your suppliers. The more they know, the more they'll understand. The more they understand, the more they'll care. Once they care, there's no stopping them’.
I was the Mars Account Director for Asda for several years, and although Sam’s words kind of made sense then, it’s only when I started my own business that they really hit home. I’m pretty open about the plans I have for Breckland Orchard – I want my suppliers to help get me there. The more you share, the more information and help you get back! If you don’t trust your suppliers with your future plans, then you are working with the wrong suppliers.
2. FLATTER YOUR BANK BALANCE, NOT YOUR EGO Start as frugally as you can – only spend on the essentials. It’s easy to think that you need sign writing, headed letter paper, a completely glitzy website, umpteen leaflets, etc. It’s very easy to spend money that you don’t have, and there are lots of companies that will help you spend it. What you actually need when you start is sales – outlets and consumers. Spend your money on things that will drive sales, not on things that will only flatter your ego.
3. DRIVE YOUR BUSINESS FROM A DASHBOARD
It doesn’t sound very sexy, but time planning is the best time you can spend. Have a business plan and monitor progress against it. Review your spend and results in areas such as sales and marketing. It’s fine to take a chance and try something new, but if it doesn’t work then the worst crime you can commit is to repeat it, just because you didn’t evaluate it first time round.
4. START A STAMP COLLECTION
With small food businesses it’s personal! You put your heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears into the product, and it’s hard to take any kind of setback without feeling it personally. For days like that you need a stamp collection!
My stamp collection is an email folder with all kinds of lovely emails that I have had since starting – emails from customers with their wonderful feedback on the product, awards, etc. If I am ever having a low day, then I cash in a few stamps and remind myself why I started."
Thank you very much, Claire.