See how we helped a sandwich shop owner, sell more delivery services to local offices:
Meet our sandwich shop owner...
In 2010, we had the pleasure of meeting alocal sandwich shop owner who had a steep financial challenge to climb.
This sandwich shop owner had been running his local retail & catering business for approximately 5 years attracting a steady flow of lunch time drop-in custom from passers-by and also platter catering orders from local offices.
Whilst the growth of his sandwich selling operation was consistently profitable, predominantly because of regular office orders, there came a time in 2008-09 fiscal year (which coincided with the economic credit crunch!) where his corporate clients withdrew their business. This left him only a dwindling trickle of footfall trade.
His Financial Trouble
One of his largest clients was energy provider, EDF Energy, whose local offices spent regularly with him, ordering lunch time sandwich platters for business meetings.
Their average weekly spend with him alone was approximately several hundreds of pounds. Other local business catering arrangements totalled a few thousand pounds per week combined.
When financial credit lines were squeezed during 2008-09, EDF among other local offices cut their budget for business catering, leaving my client's sandwich shop operation in a loss making position.
Coupled with lunch time customer loss to a nearby 'popular coffee shop franchise', he was fast running out of ways to stay afloat.
With such a high proportion of his retail profits being concentrated in one single corporate catering account, the loss incurred in one single blow took him from £thousands p/w in the black to £hundreds p/w in the red.
Whilst cash flow was still relatively high due to sales takings, his profitability was low. This lead him to miss non-essential payment obligations, accrue arrears, accumulate debt and default on his commercial lease. His personal mortgage also was under threat of default due to his weakened commercial performance.
With many of his other corporate catering accounts holding off settling their outstanding balances - breaking their payment terms, this sandwich shop owner was in serious need of a drastic turnaround - and quick!
Our Difficulty In Reaching Agreement
As with many small business owners which we have met over the years, there were very similar objections put forward that prevented a clear agreement being reached early on.
In his experience, with so many failed attempts at working with marketers in the past whose schemes seemed to leave a bad taste, there was alot of work required shortly after meeting to demonstrate genuine care for his business.
In fact, it took a few failed proposals and a little over a year of sparse, yet consistent, phone contact before we finally made firm agreement to work together.
Served On A Plate
How did we begin collboration?
Having successfully completed a sustained 'year-long' marketing campaign for a client offering similar corporate buffet catering services in another locality, I remembered my sandwich shop owner contact and decided to resume meaningful contact.
Between our first meeting and our re-connection, there was a 12 month gap during which he had tried many alternative marketing/advertising approaches. But to no real avail.
Having responded to my text message early one autumn morning, he seemed very keen to talk about the possibilities with how I might approach helping him.
When speaking by phone he was even more interested to view the successful LIVE online results of another one of my clients in his industry.
Seeing the results, he immediately saw how the same programme of work might help him succeed also and we instantly agreed that the time was right to work together.