As a business owner of 27 years and a keen student of marketing, I am often asked to provide free marketing advice with your label printing. If you are selling food, beverages, cosmetics or any other product, then I recommend you begin with the end in mind. In other words, how much do you want to sell, how are you going to sell your food and to whom?
When I discuss label printing with clients and potential clients, it is the minority that have this all worked out. One customer I spoke to recently initially concentrated on selling their food products to friends and relatives so she could get plenty of feedback to get exactly the right product. If you are selling food, then you will be encountering competition locally, nationally and internationally so you need to have something that will stand out. It is important to prepare well.
Do Your Research Before Printing Your Food Labels
Here are seven preliminary steps that you should do before you even begin printing your food labels or any label printing whatsoever.
- Is there a market for your product? This is the most important step. Don’t worry if your conclusion is negative. Now is the best time to get that information.
- Get the mathematics right. Can you sell your food products at a price that covers the costs of production, including the costs of packaging such as label printing? Do you have enough margin to spend some of your gross profit on marketing?
- Why should someone buy your product? What makes it better than current alternatives including the alternative of not buying your product at all?
- Develop a unique selling position and a compelling list of benefits for your product.
- Gather all of the facts, i.e. a list of ingredients for your food products. This is a legal requirement. You must understand laws governing your food labels.
- Then develop your brand. What are you going to call your food product? What colours, images and fonts will you use?
- Then you need to package your food product. How many sizes will you need. In order to keep your label printing costs and other packaging costs as low as possible, then we recommend minimising the number of sizes and even flavour variations. It is best to expand your range after you get established.
OK, so you have your research. That is just the beginning. Then, you produce your food or other products and manage your production so you print just enough to sell. Are you restricted by the use-by date? The last thing you want to be doing in the beginning is discarding too many of your products. If your food products need labels, then you should ask yourself this question. What printed labels should you use when you are starting out in business ? The answer will be a little different in the beginning than after you get established.
Then comes the challenging part – marketing and sales.
Use Multiple Marketing Methods To Sell Your Food Or Other Products
There are two big mistakes I see small business owners make. Firstly, they do not do enough marketing. They rely on just one method and if that fails, they can no longer get more clients. Secondly, a failure to measure is a big mistake. You must know what works and what does not. Here are seven ideas to get you started.
- Develop a pricing policy. Is it a high end product? Will your price cover your costs? What will the market handle? Price is determined more by demand than your actual costs.
- Sell at local markets. This is quite inexpensive and it puts you in front of your customers. You can get feedback and improve your offer quickly.
- Get a website. I am not a web developer but I can put you onto some good people including my own staff and business partners who offer great starting points. Your website should initially build credibility and ultimately help you get sales.
- Get online traffic. A website is no good without traffic so you can do search engine optimisation, Google adwords, Facebook and other paid traffic.
- Use social media. By all means use Facebook and Instagram and other methods as you should have plenty of pictures you can use.
- Use public relations. Apart from social media, you should actively seek publicity for your food products.
- Get others to sell your food products. You may not be big enough for Woolworths or Coles but there are numerous smaller stores that will be capable of selling your products. You can also do online joint ventures or use affiliates.