Monday, August 31, 2015

Marketing for Small Businesses and F&B Industries: The Essentials

I had the pleasure and opportunity to be included in this year's Enterprise Takeaway event, hosted by BFM 89.9 The Business Station. They had close to 600 - 700 people who signed up for that day, all from the Food and Beverage industry.

I was very happy to share our success and story, La Juiceria, and how the role of "Picking the Right Idea" can help business move forward. The gist of my sharing really boils down to Marketing. If you have a good product, people need to know about it. And the challenge since the dawn of time is how to market what you have so that people will know and buy it.

I realized as I shared our experience up there, and got many questions back, both while I was still on-stage and when I got down. Many people have great ideas -- but they lack the knowledge how to market it. It was such a profound moment -- how I wished I could give them advice so they can turbo boost their business. But all I had was a small moment, to share our story and the impact of marketing in building our La Juiceria brand, which is barely 2 years old at this point in time. Hence, this blog entry.

I wanted to leave a footprint, in case small businesses do stumble upon it, a small advice on what they can do boost up their company, their cafe, their business and their brand.

In the Malaysia scene, I would conclude the following are important:

  • Social Media - you may not know it well enough to use it, then find someone who can. Post properly and timely, create good content, make sure you check and reply diligently. This is one step for you to advertise your goods and services for free. Engage with customers. Ensure you have the right things to say and said well. Do not forget the social media element as it can bring waves of business if done the right way. Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Pinterest. Do what makes sense for your business.
  • Renovation and Ambience - whatever it is you are into, whether F&B or just an office -- make sure you renovate to the quality that you can be proud of. People are buying into a brand and an experience. Even coming to your office should be a pleasant experience. Your employees need to also have a pleasant experience. For cafes and restaurants, whatever dollar you have put in, people will know. They can feel it, they can see it. Though the average person may not know how to quantify the spending, he or she can feel and sense it. Hence, if you are out to impress them with your brand, spend on the renovation. It will be worth it. Malaysians want to buy into a good experience -- and that includes the look of where it all happens.
  • Logo, brand name and photos. If you do not know how to do it, engage someone who is more artistically inclined. Whatever you start with -- your brand name, your logo or photos of your product -- those are ASSETS which are valuable until the end. Spend on it. Make people confident of what they buy into by making sure these elements are done well. 
  • Customer Service - this is by far the most challenging one. I lived in Manila for many years and the extend of customer service there is so good, simply because of population and the American influence. That is what we are trying to replicate here in Malaysia. I am positive that Malaysians can give superior customer service if given the right training. Strive for it. Invest on your people. It reflects well to that company when customers are delighted by your staff.

There are many, many more elements. However, these are the top ones I would give advice. Here are some photos from the BFM 89.9 event. It was a wonderful experience and I hope, that in some little way, I was able to make a difference.

Together with Freda Liu (in center), the host for BFM 89.9 Enterprise Takeaway and the lady always on the radio at 10am on BFM 89.9 Enterprise Segment

In action -- during the panel discussion regarding Picking the Right Concept

It was a wonderful opportunity to be alongside many masters of their trade 

A blurry capture of me talking on stage
My little remembrance from the 2015 Enterprise Takeaway

They summarize the panel discussion on : Picking the Right Concept


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