Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tip #96: Require Consistency from Your Suppliers

Your customers expect that each time you make a product that it will look and taste the same way as when they purchased it the last time. Your product is just as good as the ingredients you use to make it. Therefore, this week’s tip is to require your suppliers to be consistent with their own products.

Many times we hear from small businesses that they don’t feel they have the ‘clout’ to demand anything from their suppliers because of their size. However, we always remind those businesses that their own livelihood and success is dependent on the quality of their raw materials. Therefore, as a paying customer they have just as much right as any other business to require a consistent product from their suppliers.

As part of requiring consistency of your suppliers, be sure to regularly test each supplier shipment for consistency in characteristics such as taste, size and odor. Remember, if your raw materials and suppliers are dependable, you increase the chances of your finished product being consistent as well. And a consistently delicious product will keep your customers coming back for more!

This tip was inspired by an article in our Good Manufacturing Practices series found in all four 2012 issues of Kettle Talk. RCI members may access past issues of Kettle Talk by signing in as a member on the RCI website

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tip #95: Back Up Your Company Files Off-Site

This week’s tip is to take the time to implement a system to back up your company files in more than one location. For example, many companies think that having their files on a server in their facility is secure enough. However, if your office is destroyed by a fire or natural disaster, you will have lost all of that important information. Instead, be sure your files are securely backed up in another location so you can quickly access them in case of emergency.

A number of options are available for backing up your company files. From remote data backup services to storing files on the numerous cloud services available, you will need to find what works best for your company. You may find that it is a combination or hybrid of more than one of the options in order to best meet your information security and data storage needs. Regardless of what you choose, no company should take the risk of having no off-site back up of their files. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tip #94: Use Bracelets to Decorate a 2-Piece Box for Seasonal Gift

As we mentioned last month, at each of our events, we take attendees on behind-the-scenes visit of area candy stores and suppliers. It’s one of the most anticipated parts of the event week as it’s a great time for attendees to find ideas to take back to their own stores. And it’s where we found this week’s tip!

This week the tip is very simple and also very versatile. It is to use jewelry such as bracelets to accent a small two- or four-piece box of chocolates. You can get very inexpensive seasonal or fun plastic bracelets that wrap perfectly around a small box to make it a fun gift and a great seasonal display. And, since the bracelet wraps around the box rather than attaching to it with glue, when the season has passed you can easily remove the bracelet and replace with a new one without damaging the box.

Do you have quick and versatile ideas for using small boxes? Please share them in the comments below!

This week’s tip was taken from ‘Creative Uses for Small Boxes’ in our January/February/March 2013 Kettle Talk. RCI members may access past issues of Kettle Talk by signing in as a member on the RCI website

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tip #93: Take Advantage of Small Business Saturday

Are you ready for Small Business Saturday on November 30, 2013?

Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses on one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year.  Situated right between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s a great opportunity for you to promote your store to holiday shoppers as a local business.

American Express and Constant Contact have put together great online kits to help small businesses promote themselves and Small Business Saturday leading up to this special day. From downloadable signage to sample copy and outlines, these kits are great places to start planning your marketing efforts.

We hope these tools help to make this year’s Small Business Saturday an extremely successful day for your stores!

RCI Members: Be sure to check the October/November/December 2012 Kettle Talk issue for more tips on marketing Small Business Saturday in your store!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tip #92: Four Creative Candy Corn Confections

National Candy Corn Day is just a few weeks away (October 30). Therefore this week’s tip includes four creative candy corn-themed confections to incorporate in your fall product mix.

1. Candy Corn Marshmallow 

Do you have creative candy corn ideas? Share them in the comments below!