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As a small food producer you may have been faced with some very tough choices recently. Firstly, take some comfort in the fact the changes to your business will be temporary; we have some great resources and links to the latest Government advice so you can remain informed. Secondly, once you have your contingency plan in place, get creative.

Here are five ways that your food business can make the most of this time:

  1. Tackle New Product Development

    Let your creative juices flow during this time and attempt to expand your product offering. Perhaps there are some recipe’s you have had on the back burner for a while, or a new product that has a reduced sugar content for example, now is the time to experiment. You can spend time developing new products with the aim of launching these when your business is back to full capacity.

  2. Learn a new skill

    Food Photography is now a must and trends very well on social media, why not save some money, and learn how to take effective pictures of your products using your smart phone? This skill will allow you to photograph your products or recipe’s as soon as you have created them. You could take some time to take photos of your product’s journey to show the love and care that goes into every product. Photos are perfect online content for digital marketing and can help bring your website/online presence to life. Here is a great guide by one of our Business Growth Programme providers with 7 Great Tips for Top Phone Shots.

  3. Spend time increasing your social media following

    Everyone knows that digital marketing is an important part of any business, if you get this right when you start then your brand becomes recognisable and sales will increase. However as a busy food producer you don’t always have the time or the resource to concentrate on this valuable element. Many food businesses find Instagram a great place to start, not only can you add filters to your foodie photo’s but you can also add relevant hashtags and post on your Facebook page at the same time! Shopify has some great tips on how to effectively grow your Instagram.

  4. Create or improve your own website

    If you don’t already have a website now is the time to create one. Everyone is now working in the digital world so take this time to create a simple website, you do not need a sales platform at this point, and you can divert people to your Facebook page where you can easily create an online shop,. There are a number of free website builders available and with your newly grown social media following you should be getting hits in no time!

    If you already have an established website you should take this time to refresh your content, add blogs on how your business is coping with the changing economy, share new recipe's and focus on positive engagement with your audience. You could send free samples of your newly developed products with orders and ask for reviews, this is a great way to get some free consumer feedback!

  5. Showcase your products to your local community

    Now is a time that we are seeing communities coming together in a way we have never seen before. As a food producer you should showcase your talents and share your knowledge. Take this opportunity to join your local groups on social media; you can record yourself creating tasty meals on a budget or add new recipe’s to their pages that showcase your products. You could offer a delivery service to local people, this will help maintain some cash flow but also is worth keeping a record of for your own social media pages. You should really think about how this pandemic has affected your business and how you should align your business values going forward. Everyone loves a good news story about a local business supporting its community, this will not only showcase the kindness you have shown but will show a wider audience the ethics of your business and could help build your brand!

By Emily Pegg,
Business Engagement Manager