Question :
Hi we have a business growing and making Manuka oil. We have had very little success in growing our business and now we basically have zero money for advertising or anything else. How can we grow without an income?

Question submitted 24/08/20 @ 05:40am
Industry: Business Growth
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    It is hard to answer your question without knowing more about your business. Are you selling your oil direct to consumers or to businesses? For both there are lots of free/cost effective ways you can drive demand.

    Direct to consumer:
    – do you have social media pages? If not maybe set some up on fcaebook and instagram. Can you encourage your friends to like and share these pages? Maybe include a free giveaway to get your following up so their friends do the same. Utilise imagery from your farm and processing on the pages – you can takes with your phone, download free apps to colour correct and improve the quality of the images.
    – utilise these social pages to provide education on usage of your oil, offer promotions and provide offers to encourage people to buy.
    – target influencers who have large social media followings who could use the oil. Follow their pages and see if they have a problem that the oil could be useful for. Reach out to them and offer to send them free product to help them with their problem. Perhaps give them an affiliate code so their followers can get a discount on the product they purchase if they share your product with their following.
    – make a list of media outlets that could feature your products, send it to them along with an overview of the benefits of the oil. Make sure you follow up and see if they are interested in writing something about it – you need some persistence.

    Direct to business:
    I am not as experienced in this area, but maybe write a list of all the companies that could use your oil in their products. Get the names of all the key opinion makers in these companies; product development, marketing managers, General Managers and Owners. You can call the head office reception and ask for these details also look on linkedin. Call them and ask if you can send them some product; provide them with some ideas for new products that they could develop that they could use the oil with. Why should they use your oil over others? Why is Manuka oil more beneficial than other medicinal oils? Provide them with this information. Follow up the phone conversations with an email detailing all your product benefits. Structure pricing so they get discounts for greater volume purchased….

    Basically hustle, get word of mouth out there!

    Good luck and hopefully this was of some help and provided you with some thought starters.



    Hi Goodsport,

    There are lots of things you can do with little/no money, some of the things I did that were succesful when starting my business:

    PR – Have you got a good story to tell? Contact a couple of journalists from the Herald or Stuff (or wherever your target market are) and pitch your story. I find an uplift in sales usually happens in conjunction with some PR.

    Target Market – Where does your target market usually hang around online. Engage with the community online, send out free samples.

    SEO – Undertake SEO on your website. Create content around common questions that your target audience is looking for.

    Network – Depends where you are based if you can physically network at the moment. But meet people and engage with people, you will likely make sales and learn things in the process.

    Get a mentor – Get a mentor with a sales and marketing focus. Things like Business Mentors New Zealand and very inexpensive.

    Regional Business Partners – Sin up for the Regional Business Partners Network and apply for some of the Covid-19 funding. This will give you 100% funding to use with their service providers.

    Hope this gves you some ideas. Make sure you do something every day to progress the marketing of your business.



    Kia ora Good Sport,

    Marketing on a budget can certainly be a challenge! Here are my thoughts for your situation.



    Maree made a great point about targeting influencers. Particularly on Instagram and YouTube.

    Influencers often are incentivised by payouts to promote your product, but small-time influencers don’t cost much (from $50-200 per shoutout) and some of them will promote a product for free samples alone.

    If you don’t like the idea of researching and finding influencers yourself, you can use a tool like https://izea.com/.


    **Content & Social**

    I can see that you have a fair amount of blog content on your website (I’m assuming http://www.wearegoodsport.com/ is your website) and post a lot on Facebook. Facebook can be very profitable for products like yours but to accelerate progress on FB you really need a budget for a FB ad campaign. So your efforts could be spent elsewhere until you can put together a budget for a Facebook ad campaign.

    Since you seem to put a lot of effort into content, search engine optimising your product pages and blogs could be beneficial but would be a slow-burn before you see results. The key thing to focus on is trying to find out what all the keywords and questions the public are asking Google and incorporating those into your content. If you can answer those where others don’t then you can get a lot more search traffic. A great resource for finding those questions out is https://answerthepublic.com/



    One important thing is that if you’re planning to have your website as the main source of revenue; it could do with some improvement. It appears to be a WooCommerce website utilising a very basic template. I understand that you may not be able to afford to pay for professional help at the moment, but it would be worthwhile investing a small amount in a better premium WooCommerce template. You can turn your website into something a lot more professional with a theme for under $80 and a bit of elbow grease (there’s a huge range at https://themeforest.net/category/wordpress/ecommerce/woocommerce).

    Otherwise, you’ll be spending a lot of time, effort and/or money on driving people to a website that doesn’t convert.


    I hope that helps!

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