Here at Crowdfooding we strongly believe in supporting food and drink entrepreneurs in their journey of building a thriving business. This is why on the afternoon of 18 November we organised a Sales Bootcamp at Huckletree West to help startups take their selling skills to the next level.
The event was kicked off with welcome coffee and a presentation from Crowdfooding’s own, Max Leveau, who explained in detail how we support startups and corporates. He emphasised the importance of leveraging alternative sales channels for food and drink entrepreneurs, such as focusing on online sales or looking into selling to businesses (e.g. smaller independent shops) rather than solely to retailers.
Alessio D’Antino, Crowdfooding’s founder and CEO, took over to delivery the key message of the evening – “own your sales”. He emphasised the importance of thinking like “techies” and taking advantage of growth hacking techniques in building your business and used several examples to demonstrate how other fellow entrepreneurs have done so in the past. When asked to recommend a few technological tools and apps that entrepreneurs could use to improve their sales, he spoke about Facebook Pixel, which facilitates conversion tracking, optimisation, and re-marketing.
Next on the stage was Marcus from The Artisan Food Club. Using his many years of experience in the industry, he explained how to sell to independent shops so that both the shop and the entrepreneur can make a profit. According to Marcus, the most important factor in selling are the consumers – the shops are simply the middlemen – and so it is paramount to have a strong relationship with the people that will buy your products. He also said “you don’t have to be good at sales, you just have to be the owner”, by which he meant that the buyers really want to interact with the people who set up the business and be inspired by their passion. So take note fellow foodpreneurs, and come along to meetings!
The presentations were closed down by Chris Whittaker, former buyer at Waitrose. Chris’ presentation proved to be extremely valuable to the entrepreneurs who are looking to sell their products in major retailers around the UK. He explained why startups often wait weeks to hear back from the buyers (and what to do to grab their attention), how to prepare for meetings, and spoke at length about what the buyers are really looking for in new products. At the end of his presentation he was asked an interesting question about what gifts buyers are allowed to accept; apparently as long as it’s small, costs a few pounds, and is related to your brand, you’re good to go!
The Sales Bootcamp was wrapped with some beers and nibbles as well as one-to-one sessions with the speakers. We were thrilled to hear that many entrepreneurs were inspired by the presentations and have plenty of ideas on how to incorporate technology and the “techie” approach in going about their sales.
Looking forward to the next one !
Find more about Crowdfooding services to startups HERE.