When you produce a specialist product you want it to reach the
market for which it is intended and it is worth taking a lot of
trouble to make sure that it does.
Many retailers enjoy buying
from 'the chap who makes it'. We produce a wholegrain mustard
and however many different people we have used to sell it, it is
always when we go out ourselves that the sales go up. It is natural
after all. We can comment on how it is made and it means that the
shopkeeper can tell his customers that it is a special product that
came straight from the mixing bowl to the jar to the shop. This is
another piece of essential self-analysis before you choose an enterprise.
If you simply cannot bear the thought of going out and
selling your produce yourself, then choose something which has an
established market. Sheep, cattle and pigs can be sold through a
local market and you do not have to be there at all. With more
involved produce such as cheese and fudges, someone must actually
sell it for you. Advertising for salesmen for this kind of small-scale
project is a nightmare. Very few people want to start up an operation.
Established delivery rounds are quite a different matter. .
have tried agents who actually advertised for small lines but
unfortunately most of them hang on to your stock for ages and
certainly do not put much effort into selling it. If you are lucky
you may have a friend who is the ideal person, in which case
approach him before you produce anything, then if he says 'no' -
at least you are not left to eat half a ton of fudge yourselves!
Quite often you have potential customers all around you. If you
work in an office or have family and friends that do, this can be an
excellent source of business. We sold pork joints to a factory for
years. It became a routine on the last Friday of every month that
legs and loins and the occasional half-pig were avidly disposed of.
Unfortunately that factory is now closed but if you can find a
contact like that, you do not have to go out looking for the business,
it comes to you.
Farm gate sales are another way that people come to you to
buy. With a delightful property in the country, on a busy road, a
nicely worded sign will have you instantly in business. If the road
is busy enough you can even dispense with the delightful property;
if the property is delightful enough people will beat a path to your
door if you encourage them enough. In a suburban setting you
may have the planning officials beating a path to your door if the
whole approach is too enthusiastic. At least in suburbia and in
town you do not have to go so far to find potential customers..
use agent or market to sell produce