Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tip #44: Magnetic Tape for Labeling

Oftentimes the most random items or places provide inspiration for great ideas. That’s the case with this week’s tip that was originally shared by one of our candy making members in Candy Clinic, an idea-sharing session at our Annual Convention.

This member discovered that magnetic tape can be a great organizing tool. Many candy makers and businesses have metal shelving and storage units. Rather than using sticker labels which leave a residue and are difficult to replace, she found a great use for magnetic tape which can be purchased at retailers such as Wal-Mart for as little as $8 for a 20 foot roll. They use the tape to label storage shelves, etc. which makes it easy to move items around as needed and just peel the magnetic tape and restick.

Do you have a great labeling or organizing solution to share? Leave us a comment below!

RCI Members – Did you know you can watch past Candy Clinic videos on the member side of the RCI website under the ‘Candy Clinic’ tab?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tip #43: Join Your Local Chamber

This week's tip may seem like a no-brainer for some of you, but so often we get caught up in other things and forget those that seem so obvious.

So why is it important as a candy making business to join your local chamber? Here are just a few ideas to get you thinking:
1.       Phone Referrals – As tourists, visitors and new members of the community call the local chamber for referrals and information about local businesses, this is a great opportunity to build awareness for your brand. 
2.       Website Links – By including your company name, contact information and link to your website in the chamber’s membership directory (both print and online), anyone who visits the chamber website will have access to your company information.
3.       Networking – Attend chamber events to make quality business connections and increase awareness of your business.  
4.       Lobbying - The local chamber is oftentimes very active in lobbying on behalf of member businesses. Whether it is tax credits or other legislative issues, they are championing your cause as a vital part of the local business community.
5.       Member Referrals – Chamber members enjoy referring business to each other. As you network and make connections with other members, the more aware they will be of the services and products your business offers. In turn, your fellow chamber members will think of you when they get asked if they know any local candy makers who can make a custom candy bar or corporate gift, for instance.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tip #42: Add One Expensive Piece of Chocolate to a Box

This week’s tip is just a few lines but promises to bring a significant return for your store.

Are you looking to make your boxed chocolates more high-end without drastically increasing the cost per box?

By adding just one premium or expensive piece of chocolate and centering it in your box of chocolates, the value of your box immediately goes up, including the perceived value by your customer. By adding a high-end piece, you also may be able to raise the price and potentially increase your profit margin.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tip #41: Halloween-themed Rice Krispies Treats

Image from RCI 2011 Fall Regional Institute Candy Clinic

One of the great things about Rice Krispies treats is that they can be formed and cut to take on a plethora of shapes. In preparation for Halloween, this week’s tip is to shape your treats into a variety of Halloween-themed shapes. From pumpkins to candy corn to witch’s hats, many Halloween shapes are easy to form and then you can use colored white chocolate and/or coating to “paint” them and use other candies in your store to add fun embellishments. A variety of sizes, from snack-size to a full-size serving, will give your customers options.

Extra tip: Place the treats on a lollipop stick and you can create a bouquet of Halloween-themed treats that will make a great display for your store and catch the eye of your customers. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tip #40: Ship USPS Using Endicia

As we near the holidays, we know you candy makers will be getting even busier so we will do our best to keep these tips short and sweet.

This week we have a new online tool to help shorten the time spent on shipping all of those holiday orders. Endicia is a low-cost and efficient tool that simplifies the process of shipping with USPS.

Among its many features, the software imports addresses from your address book so you can avoid retyping addresses. Plus, you can manage your shipment, including viewing your postage statements and transactions, or charting your expenses. You can even assign cost codes and send email delivery notifications for each package and even add your company logo before printing.  

To get started, just visit dymoendicia.com and select the software solution that best fits your business’s needs. They have a few different solutions available so take a moment to view the different options and pricing structures. For example, Endicia Standard is just $9.95/month and you can try it free for 30 days before signing up.

We hope this tip saves you both time and money this holiday season. At our recent Canadian Chocolate Tour, one member said that this tool has been a huge help in speeding up shipping processes, especially in the holiday season. If you have other tips for shipping during the holidays, please share it in the comments below!