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Reply To: Hi there, I have a fledgling company here in Dunedin, thatproduces hand crafted high quality tools for trail building, landscaping,building, pest tree removal, concrete/asphalt laying and life style blockmaintenance.I have beenmaking trail tools for 15 years and started the business 5 years ago. It’sgoing ok but I would like it to be better. I am an engineer so my skills arelacking in marketing and business.I’m lookingto find a marketing person/ business coach to help me crank up sales to achievemore of the potential of my work and registered designs for 2 of the WMCproducts.I have Facebook,Instagram and a website… albeit basic as it’s run by an engineer, me. Thanks inadvance for your helpGarethHargreaves 

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Gareth – Sounds like you have a great nascent business.

I have followed another tool business (From Wanaka) for years and I’m friendly with the owner – The Slammer Tool. They started just like you – one tool for taking out wood stumps and bamboo. Now they have 2 products and sell via Mitre10 and big retailers in USA.

They started with two sales channels – online on their website and via independent shops where the owner and staff could recommend good tools to customers. I suggest you do the same to begin with.

Ways to grow your tool sales are legion, but I suggest you start with two – find a local hardware store who will stock your products. Do they sell? Who buys them? Are they price-competitive?

If they do well in one store, find other independent stores who might stock your gear.

Then approach each one in turn. You are the engineer and I bet you are super-enthusiastic explaining what you can do with your tools. So make some videos of you using the tools, talking about the design innovations, how you changed the designs over time.

Take these videos to Trade shows and to the lifestyle block media (magazines, website, podcasters) and approach them asking if they’d like to interview you to talk about why you developed the tools.

The rest of the tactical marketing I can coach you through. My method is similar to this suggested in another Manaaki forum answer. Basically we’d speak for 30 minutes a week and agree 3 things to do for marketing that week. I can guide you towards doing good work – and you shortcut your learning.

I need help with increasing traffic through my online store on my website. sasharougemiel.comI would like to add to more products but if there is  no interest on what I’ve already put up, then I’m unsure if I should proceed further. I would be also interested to find out if I would qualify for any grants as I’d like to design more products.