- Work hard to find your niche and unique selling proposition
- Your product and staff need to be great, otherwise you won't get repeat customers
- If you're going to send out press releases, it helps to have beautiful photos to go with the idea
- Be true to your brand, don't try to make everyone happy
Owner Timna Fried opened her cafe, Sweet Crumble cafe and patisserie after realising her hobby of baking for friends and family was her true passion. Within six months of opening for business, Sweet Crumble had already featured in the press, including This week's must do/see/buy in the Saturday Herald-Sun's Weekend magazine.
Have a unique selling proposition
Timna attributes part of her success to doing lots of thinking up front and having a strong marketing plan, 'Before we opened the café and while the brand was being developed, we worked very hard to find our niche. Without a unique selling proposition (USP) you can't even develop a working strategy. Then we had to be very clear who our target customers were and so how best to communicate with them. We spent a lot of time networking and spreading some hype before the opening. Once we opened, we relied heavily on social media and press. We were fortunate enough to have the story picked up in the media.'
However, Timna is firm it's not enough to just market your business, 'Once you get people through the door, you have to make sure your products are consistently great and your staff are friendly and helpful. That is what makes a new customer a repeat customer. The best form of marketing by far is word of mouth, so making sure the customer has a great experience is the first priority!'
Use current events to promote your business
One arm to the business is hampers and gift boxes, 'I think people like the idea of picking out all the goodies they want and having the staff package it up beautifully,' says Timna. 'It was a natural progression to offer hampers for the races.' It also presented a perfect opportunity to highlight the service to the media and capitalise on the spring racing buzz. 'We sent out photos to the media outlets for the hampers, as well as emails and social media,' says Timna. 'We ended up in the Herald Sun through a contact we had. It helped having beautiful photos to go with the idea.' There was an immediate increase in enquiries following the article. 'We're hoping that will reflect in the sales!'
For Timna, keeping a clear vision of what her business is about and which customers she is trying to reach is important, 'I think many small businesses try to make everyone happy by adding more products and changing things up too much. And then they don't represent anything.'
By building a good reputation with customers and networks, actively promoting her business to media outlets and having appealing photos, Timna secured a free editorial spot for Sweet Crumble cafe and patisserie in the Herald-Sun. The free editorial led to many enquiries and sales opportunities, without a large advertising cost.