Bristol, United Kingdom (PressExposure) June 16, 2009 -- Launching a new product can be a big risk for a small business, but with careful planning and responsiveness to customer feedback it can pay off, as Bristolâs Pear Cafe owner Elly Curshen reveals in a Marketing Donut case study.
"We were catering for a lot of functions and whenever we were preparing the hot food in the cafe, customers would smell it and ask us to cook it for them so they could take it home. We realised we could generate extra revenue without working extra hours because we could cook the ready-meals during quiet times between serving customers,â she says.
After researching customer preferences, the cafe launched a range of home cooked food that is more expensive than supermarket meals, but cheaper than takeaway.
âThe first batch sold really well, but we've had to adapt as we've gone along. We now cook in small batches, and we've found that people like variety, so we stock meat, fish and vegetarian dishes, vary the recipes and change with the seasons.â
Curshen says the big lessons are to take it slowly and listen to your customers.
"Start small until you know what you're doing. Don't make big changes too quickly. We should have cooked a smaller batch initially in hindsight. It would have been better to cook a small amount and run out, so people could see it was popular, than have loads left and lose money on it."
Backed by Royal Mail and Google, Marketing Donut is a free resource for small businesses that covers every aspect of marketing. Its marketing strategy section has a huge range of information about product strategy and pricing strategy, including case studies where other small business owners share the lessons theyâve learned.
The Marketing Donut is at http://www.marketingdonut.co.uk