Many small businesses have all the ingredients to create a successful digital strategy. We are lucky to be surrounded by talented local business men and women, and Local Business Talks Digital caught up with one new up and coming enterprise, Flavour & Heart.
What started out as a love of cooking and a way to relax has in a matter of months turned into a lucrative marketable business. Flavour + Heart owner Hayley Kapperer prides herself on the little bikkies called macarons that are keeping her very busy baking all week and selling nearly every weekend at various markets around the state.
Originally from Echuca, Hayley has worked locally managing retail stores but in November 2015 took the plunge and begun to work on her own venture full time. Having a background in photography she enjoys being creative and not one to shy away from a challenge. While her first few attempts at perfecting a macaron met with limited success she now has the recipe and construction down to a fine art.
Social media & distribution channels
Hayley really employs social media well to engage with her audience, a regular on Instagram and Facebook with a growing following. These platforms are the backbone of her distribution channels presently, regularly attending The Moonlight Market, Trove Market, Castlemaine Artists Market as well as Maldon and Echuca markets. You can also find Flavour + Hearts macarons for sale in the Bendigo Gallery Cafe adjoining the Bendigo Art Gallery.
The biggest challenge Hayley says she has is finding time to do everything that is involved with running a small business. The purchasing of ingredients, baking, packing, packaging, marketing, travelling, selling and bookkeeping is all done by one person.
A recent initiative by Bendigo Marketplace was to hold a week long mini market event at the shopping centre. This outlet exposed many local crafters and home grown businesses to a completely new audience and Flavour + Heart relished in customer service and getting the brand recognised.
Business branding advice
As a relative newcomer to the world of business owner, Hayley has a wealth a knowledge behind her. The #1 small business tip Hayley recommends is make sure all decisions are done right the first time, have a clear focus and implement it once. Her branding is a key example of this methodology. She knew presentation was all important to her success as "people eat with their eyes", so Hayley ensured her eye-catching branding was going to last her the distance.
From white wooden display boxes to an apron and headband, there is definitely a planned branding approach happening to attract the eye. From her first market stall to today her overall branding has remained the same with only additions of a banner and a bright pink tablecloth.
The original colours and logo are still working and testimony to the adage "do it right, do it once."
With branding do it right, do it once
When asked what she knows now that she wished she had known before, Hayley reflects that she would like to have had more confidence in her products pricing structures, as initially the profit margin was slim. Also estimating required quantities more accurately so as to avoid waste, she now prefers to sell out rather than go home with excess stock.
Website for future growth
With her business going from strength to strength and a determined dynamo at the helm, a new web design is definitely next on Hayleys to do list. Her requirements first and foremost is for her customers to be able to easily order online and for orders to be processed seamlessly.
One of Hayleys targeted market products, called Macaron Towers, are being currently ordered for various catered events especially weddings and baby showers. These are very popular and another option to the traditional idea of a celebration cake. These would be ordered and processed much easier through an e-commerce site.
While budget is always top of the constraints list in a small business, shopping around for a competitive price can really pay off. The initial outlay of a purpose built website to accommodate a growing business can easily start paying for itself in no time.
Flavour + Heart has room to expand, and big plans. The business is growing and if all goes accordingly the next stage would be to open a bricks and mortar shop within 12 months. The business model would include offering other home made baked goods and the creation of a High Tea experience.
We wish Hayley the best with her business goals and look forward to seeing Flavour + Heart expand as a local small business success story.
If you're a small business ready to take your online marketing to the next level, be it a new web design, digital branding design or help with social media content let us help you grow your business.