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LETS GET DOWN TO BUSINESS.

Question :
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 

Question submitted 02/11/20 @ 10:27am
Industry: Digital & Online Marketing
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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. 

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    Awesome Gareth – there is some great advice for you from Rebecca – worth following that up. Andy

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    Hi Gareth

    It looks like you’ve got some great products there. Having recently built a path winding down a steep bank I can see the merits of your tools big time. I had to give up the MTB for a few days to recover after munting my back trying to stop the barrow getting away on me with loads of pebbles!

    If you’ve got a good market for your products it’s great that you are considering engaging some expertise to help you. Amongst our clients that are most successful online a consistent theme is engaging experts to help.

    When engaging experts its still good to have a handle on the main keys to success and I recommend checking out this blog and with a video of an online class here: https://www.rocketspark.com/blog/post/254/Ecommerce-secret-saucethe-9-simple-essentials-of-ecommerce-success/

    Some of the key essentials that I would focus on are:
    – Do the basics of search engine optimisation. As an example, some of your product headings just contain a single word when you could provide more keywords.

    – In the video at the link above I talk about the importance of blogging as part of your SEO efforts. I imagine you’ll have some expertise in trail building to have created the tool and I’d recommend writing articles and doing little videos about the trail building challenges that people face. When people search for a solution to a problem a blog with the answer is a great way to showcase your expertise and then introduce your tools. I’m sure you’ve recognised specific challenges to create your tools and you’ll have some great knowledge to share.

    – I recommend testing Google shopping due to the visual nature of these ads. It can work really well. If you contact our customer success team on 0800ROCKET or email via http://www.rocketspark.com/contact they’ll be able to recommend our digital marketing preferred partners as there are plenty of rogues in this space.

    – One of the experts you might consider is Hamish Conway and the team at Sell Global to help you get your products onto Amazon and other international market places. Check out the online class Hamish did with us here: https://www.rocketspark.com/events/.

    – Buy now pay later services such as Laybuy and Afterpay help to increase sales and also increase awareness as you get listed on their marketplaces.

    I hope that helps.

    Kind regards

    Grant

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    Hey Gareth – what do you think about setting up a Chooice store on http://www.chooice.co.nz – even though the group is 79% female, I figure it is another channel where you might get some reach and even sales – but you never really know? (I am biased, as I am a co-owner of the marketplace)

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    Wow, thank you everyone. Blown away by your feedback and it really back up some of what i was thinking.
    I’d love to take you up on the coaching offer Rebecca. What’s the best method for us to chat?

    Grant, you have given me the kick in the bum to get the videos I have thought about actually done. thank you

    I got my site confirmed for Wanaka Show next year and I have for some time been watching TJ aka Slammer man from the shadows. We spend a fair amount of time in Central so I will try and arrange a meeting next time we’re up.

    I have a friend involved with Farmlands management that is going to help put a proposal together to sell products thru them. we’ll start work on this next week

    I am also chipping away at getting products into FENZ but need to wait till after a restructure is completed…likely to be early next year before i can get this going.

    Right time to make a hit list of tasks to really fire this wee business up
    Thanks again team, have a great day

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    Gareth – I tried to use the contact form on your website but it is broken. My contact details are here (bottom of the page) https://creativeagencysecrets.com/about-us/

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    Good stuff Gareth. Thanks for the feedback. Tenacity is a key ingredient when you’ve got a great product and low awareness. We’ve seen clients chip away for a couple of years and then really crack it and ramp up.

    Hire centres may be another opportunity. For my project I could have done with a barrow like yours to do my path but it was a two day project by hand and the job is done so the barrow is not something I’d probably not splash out on to buy but might consider hiring. I did consider a tracked barrow / dumper like I’d seen on MTB trails in Taupo but it was a bit pricey to hire for a small DIY project. Your barrow might fit a middle ground.

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    Thanks Rebecca, i’ll get the link looked at. I’ll be in touch soon.
    Grant, nice thinking on the hire centre, we have a couple here in Dunedin. I’ll try hitting them up soon. The WheeledBeast came from a need to haul gravel on mtb tracks at Whare Flat. we’ve moved about 10t of gravel and it’s been a game changer.

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