One of the things which has perplexed me about our business (& indeed business in general),
has been the singularly grey area for us – that of sales. Whilst our natural enthusiasm for & thorough knowledge of our product has evidently proved to be a great advantage thus far I’ve never felt it is quite sufficient; & it costs a lot more than the odd denarius to keep this operation going – especially with so many mouths to feed (us included!).
Our military training has instilled discipline & dedication into everything we do: from milking the goats, to crafting the gelato, to ensuring our publicity material is accurate as well as inherently appealing, to making sure that we actually look the part – smart & consummately professional. Thankfully these aspects, too, have paid off; & certainly we received many favourable comments at yesterday’s Sales & Marketing Workshop regarding our ‘corporate image’ – so it looks like we’ve been heading in pretty much the right direction, all along. And the skills gleaned from the previous day’s training have really opened my eyes & given me much food for thought (‘scuse the pun).
However, there was still a foggy area on the radar – that of how to choose our target markets; & how to successfully pitch to prospective customers. So when it was unexpectedly offered to me yesterday the opportunity for an extra one-on-one session with our tutor (also a professional mentor) this morning, was just far too good an opportunity to miss.
So where before I felt we’d been a bit ‘in the dark’ I now have complete clarity; & can take things forward for Lovespoon, with vision & confidence. Once again I would strongly recommend any small or fledgeling food business in Wales, to attend True Marketing’s smorgasbord of sales advice – you certainly won’t regret it. It would have cost me a small fortune to have organised the same session with a marketing consultant; so to have been provided such a long & detailed discussion with someone of so many year’s practical experience who is also a Chartered Institute training professional – gratis – I feel incredibly lucky. I know many of my colleagues across the Severn, would give their eye teeth for a similarly valuable small business resource!
After the session I made the most of my time in Carmarthen to do a bit of extra ‘shopping’ at a couple of the larger agricultural merchants; plus I purchased some paint samples so that we can crack on & ‘spring clean’ the buildings, changing the colour scheme from deepest, darkest red & artic white (the latter of which after the last few weeks I’ve had enough of, by now); to the ‘Lovespoon’ colours of pale cream walls with darker beige window-frames & doors.
I arrived home by mid-afternoon; & of course the very first thing I did was check the on the goats in case someone had kidded (although I was highly doubtful as nobody appeared to be displaying any of the telltale signs, before I left – otherwise I’d have cancelled the mentoring session ‘just in case’).
However imagine my surprise to find proud mum Babe shepherding her two new arrivals over to the Maternity Ward! By the look of them (up, suckling & dry although still a bit bemused & wobbly) they’d been born at around 1.45pm & 2pm, respectively. Both very pretty, the little girl (Cranogwen or ‘Noggin’) is paler in colour than her brother (Cadan). Clutching the can of purple iodine spray I happily attended to their raw umbilical cords & checked them over – both delightful little kids. Pudding & Babe swapped notes whilst their offspring got to know one another; & all was well with the world as the sun set on another soulful day at the Dairy….
Busy times ahead, methinks. Best I get into gear & put these newly-acquired skills & knowledge into practise – to start earning some serious denarii for all these hungry new mouths….!