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Business Expansion and Marketing Strategies for food sector
Do you plan to do business in food sector? Looking for good business ideas? Want to open a sweets mart as a start-up business? If yes, then, you also need to sharpen your entrepreneurship skills and focus on marketing strategies, innovation, advertising as well as business expansion. Here, I have listed several tips to become a successful businessman in food sector by opening a sweet mart or restaurant or providing catering services.
Business in food sector
Business in various sectors see ups and downs not only in India, but across the globe. There are some sectors like food which remain evergreen i.e. demand for food will never diminish and there will always be consumers for food business. So, if you have a decent capital or plan to take loan for opening a new restaurant or food shop or chain of food stalls or sweets mart, then, you can safely go ahead. All you need is quality and some smart thinking. In this article, I focus on the businessmen who already own a small sweets mart or chain of sweets marts or plan to open a sweets mart. There is tremendous competition for all sweets mart owners, since the numbers are growing every day. Some of the famous sweets mart examples are Haldirams, Bikaji and Chitale Bandhu. It is important to think out of the box and outwit your competitors by attracting more customers to your sweets shop. People with strong entrepreneurship skills should be able to survive the cut-throat competition amongst sweet marts all over India.
A sweet mart owner needs to make sure that not only does he earn good profit on a daily basis, but also needs to plan well ahead for better expansion and reach. He needs to maintain quality measures and also try to target a larger consumer base. Also, a sweet mart needs to become famous for sweets as well as snack items. So, equal focus should be given to both.
Business Expansion and Marketing Strategies for a sweets mart owner
- Design a nice website(with all details about their products) and start online order taking/booking and home deliveries as well.
Getting the website approved by google adsense (thereby, opening up one more revenue possibility depending upon the number of visitors to their website who may click on other related google ads displayed over there). Also, they should provide their products at a small discounted rate when ordered online, so as to give a boost to their online sales.
- Go to schools/colleges asking them to send students on educational trip to one of their factory sites, so that the students get a chance to study the entire process by which the products (chivda,chaklee and sweets) are made. This would also increase the word-of-mouth publicity.
- Gradually, over a period of time, they should identify one factory site as the only one to be used for visitors. They should then try and develop some additional attractions on this site like having a big sweet shop (where you get sweets at less than MRP prices), 3-D animation shows demonstrating their actual growth since early days, creating an artificial innovative mini-world of their sweet mart (using caricatures,cartoon characters and decorations to attract kids) and having a mini-train ride through this world, having a small gaming zone, promoting a section where visitors can themselves get a chance to mix and match some ingredients to prepare a different sweet and taste it there, etc. Once this is done, they can then keep a fixed entry fee for visitors to enter this factory site. This would help in making the factory site in to a popular tourist attraction.
- Adopt better advertising strategies which won't cost a fortune like Radio, Magazines, Pamphlets(distributing them at colleges,schools,bus stops,railway stations, temples, etc.),Social Media (like Facebook,Twitter,Orkut, etc.),etc.
- They should always try to introduce new products in the market,especially, all kinds of dairy products. Some examples of new products are fruit custards, hot masala milk, apple pie, kheer, yogurts(in different flavors like orange,mango,cherry, strawberry, banana, etc.), buttermilk, lassi, etc. They should open relatively smaller shops outside colleges,universities, hostels, etc. selling their new products and slowly launch these products to all of their outlets.
- To attract the diet-conscious people, they should launch new sugar-free or low-sugar products.
- They can plan to tie-up with some famous food chain restaurants in different areas, and open up at least one big shop-cum-restaurant in all the major cities. This shop-cum-restaurant would be like on one side they have their shop (may be occupying only 30-40% of the space) and on the other side, the restaurant (occupying around 60-70% of the space). This type of alliance would be a unique one and is bound to attract a lot of customers.
- They should launch one new product every 6 months,which would have been suggested by the customers. For this purpose, they can announce two contests (one for sweets and one for snacks) in which the participants would submit a unique sweet/snack recipe and then the selected 20-30 finalists would actually prepare it in a grand finale which would be telecast on TV. The best sweet recipe and snack recipe winners would get instant fame on TV and they would be given fabulous prizes. Also, the new product would be launched with the winner's name on it. This would be a great motivation for people to participate in the competition and make it a success. Many of the other recipes,which didn't turn out as the winning ones can actually be posted on their websites with the names of people who suggested them. The two recipes that win should be launched in markets on Independence Day and another two recipes (after the other 6-monthly contest) on Republic Day, thereby dedicating these sweets/snacks as our national holiday specialities.
- They should tie-up with religious organizations and temples and similar places to get larger sweet orders during special days and functions. Also, they should try and become a specialist in preparing prasad for several temples, religious organizations/mandals and during festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi,Navratri and Dussehra. They should make sure that they have a sweet/snack dedicated for each of the festivals that are celebrated in India during the year. For example, Modaks during Ganesh Chaturthi, Chaklee/Chivda/Sweet during Diwali, "til gud" during Makar Sankranti, kheer/seviya during Eid, plum cakes during Christmas,etc.
- After some success with all the above steps/methods, they should start giving "franchise" to people at a premium rate.
- They should try to launch their own stocks/shares in NSE and BSE after registering as a legitimate top grade company with all the required quality/service certifications.
- They can start giving a membership card to their regular customers with some added benefits and privileges. The card would work the same way as it does for Lifestyle or Shoppers Stop or other big outlets.
- To promote voting during elections, they can distribute free sweets/snacks to every one who has the voting mark on their hands.
- They should promote their home delivery service a bit more (say for orders which are more than 3 kgs).
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