Question :
Evening. My name is Isabella Dalleston and I have a small business called branching out and we supply Manuka and Kanuka tea tree,we are a  sole trader,just starting out with a few good customers and a few interesting inquiries about our business supply. We were trying to get regular clients, like panels company that use tea trees, firewood companies and cooking companies like the ASB meat festival and slow cooking companies that use tea tree. Or even export. We know there a market but don’tknow how to tap into it, we have 2 trucks and our own supply of tea tree and we know we can meet the demand of orders. Were working from home as I have a big back yard and we get our tea tree supply from our farm up north. So I am asking how can I brand and market by business and expand and get funding and finance support for bigger trucks,digger and a yard ect and a portable cabin,to go to our farm (work site,when we pick up tea tree supply).were kind of hit rock since the covid-19

Question submitted 16/05/20 @ 07:24am
Industry: Business Growth
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    Hi Isabella, Sounds as if you have an interesting opportunity ahead of you. There have been some great answers from other experts on a similar question of business development so I thought I would grab and share them with you here…

    I’d start with the lean canvas which can help you to determine what your unique value proposition is. What your unfair advantage is. How you’ll price your services to be competitive and sticky. https://leanstack.com/leancanvas
    Once you’ve had a crack at the top line canvas I’d then suggest developing a more detailed plan using an old marketing framework: SOSTAC, which stands for Situation, Objectives, Strategy, Tactics, Action, Control.
    * Situation assesses where a business is presently (Where are you now? Who are the competition? What’s the market size? who are your target customers and where are they? Are there any gaps your business could fill? Etc). What skills do you have to go through this process internally or do you need some help from a business advisor or mentor
    * Objectives sets the mission or goals for the business (Where do you want to be? What are the 3-5 objectives you have for the business? E.g. For the first year: To grow revenues from $x to $x with a profit of x%. To achieve a product sales target of $x. To grow our customer base to x. To drive brand awareness in our local community by x%.)
    * Strategy is an overview of how to achieve the objectives (How do you get there? What are the high level strategies you’ll deploy to reach your objectives? E.g. Target customers and drive acquisition through onboarding offers. Raise brand awareness in the community using targeted comms, etc etc).
    * Tactics are the details of strategy (e.g. the marketing mix. These are the specific initiatives you’ll employ to deliver on your strategies. E.g. Targeted FB ads, join local business networks, conduct door flyer drops, write articles for local press, offer a recurring revenue bundle such as a subscription for service that comes with associated products (this will assist with managing cash flow and provide some predictability on revenues), raise your own profile in the community through social good etc etc).
    * Actions how do you ensure excellent execution of the plan. (E.g. Using simple planning tools you can plot your tactical initiatives across a calendar).
    * Control establishes how you know whether you are getting there (What do you need to monitor? E.g. Put in place simple measurement tools to allow you to understand what tactics are achieve if the best outcome for your business. Use A/B split testing with your ads on FB, monitor if there was a spike in website traffic or sales after an article was published in the local press, after promoting your subscription based offer via, say a member get member offer, did you see a significant uptake? Etc etc).
    By systematically working through each of the areas above you’ll land on a clear direction and the tactical efforts you need to take the business forward.

    And remember you dont have to do this alone – there are lots of good people are service providers who can assist. Haere pai


    kia Ora

    contact me pere@libertypostco.com



    Thanks for sharing my previous advice @Vicky-Taylor. 👍

    A couple of builds.

    Firstly I struggled to find any information online about Branching Out or your own credentials so as a number one priority I’d recommend promoting your business via the usual digital channels, e.g. your website, local community boards and networks, tapping into any govt/local council promotional support, get onto Facebook, Insta, LinkedIn, email marketing, etc etc.

    In addition to the canvas and SOSTAC model the thoughts below are a couple of practical tools to help you and your team collaborate, generate ideas and push you to consider new ways to drive the business forward.

    Firstly, have a crack at an empathy map for each segment of your customer base. ( https://miro.com/templates/empathy-map/ )

    An empathy map gives you the head space to really consider what your customers are thinking, feeling, hearing, saying and doing at this time. As much as this will be an assumed exercise, i.e you won’t have conducted qualitative research, it might provide you with a different perspective, territories to explore and raise some key questions.

    Cluster these questions into a series of how might we (HMW) statements. We call these statement starters. e.g HMW offer businesses that are ‘thrivers’ at this time with tea tree services? (See Andy’s LinkedIn article describing the thriver segment – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/covid-19-response-some-thoughts-how-business-economy-can-hamilton )

    Consider these types of businesses and target them with fresh thinking, a fresh perspective and a fresh pricing strategy.

    That’s just one HMW. Come up with 5-6 per customer segment. Once you’ve created your HMW statements get your team together on a call and using collaboration tools such as Miro come up with as many ideas as you can for each HMW. As a rule articulate your idea as a single sentence. Run these as 5-10 minute sessions with your team. You could use Google Sheets which we’ve found can work just as well as Miro for live ideation.

    After each session you’ll have generated a significant volume of ideas. Now refine them.

    As a group discuss the ideas and vote on the top 3 per segment you’d like to take forward.

    These are a couple of simple tools to help you to think differently and generate fresh thinking.

    Once you’ve got your refined list of ideas you can explore ways to bring them to life with your team, generate simple storyboards or prototypes of your ideas and test them with customers in your current segments and perhaps some new segments you’ve identified. See what gets a nibble and iterate your thinking until you hit on an idea(s) that gets your customer buying again.

    All the very best of luck.


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