Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Farmer as Marketer and Salesperson

Back to another "farmer as" blog posting.

Our original goal for 2010 was to get to 100 customers. You'd think that would be an easy task, right? It's only 100 people. But we also had a rule that a customer needed to buy a certain amount and/or be a recurring customer. We're up to 45 customers with 6 weeks to go till the end of the year. If we did get to 100 customers by the end of the year, we'd probably run out of products to sell at customer number 88 but we'd then be set for next year!

We are listed on Local Harvest and some other local websites which is where most folks find us. We are stepping out this month and putting an ad in our local Carroll Magazine. It's a really great local magazine and it's free to all households as the ads pay for the magazine.

So we'll see how it works. We currently have 191 friends of the farm on facebook and about 40 email address of folks who have purchased products or want to be kept informed about products. We average 4-5 sales transactions a week with 1-2 as low dollar transactions $10-30, 1 as a mid range - $60 transaction, and 2 larger stock up orders - 30-40lbs of meat being the most common.

Now I also understand why small farms don't advertise much. One ad will cost us $600. It's a good price but in relation to our sales, it's a large expense. So we'll see how it works and I'll give the results in a future blog.


SteveandAlina said...

Hi, I don't know if you would find this idea odd, but I am a member of our local LLL. We often talk about nutrition and healthy eating and the women are constantly trading sources of farms and CSAs. This is in Illinois but I know LLL groups are everywhere - maybe you could email the local LLL leaders to see if you can email the entire group with your location & foods? I just looked up the web site for you!

SteveandAlina said...

I just went to a Mom's group meeting this morning and a farm had given the leader a flyer with the farm name and location and $5.00 your first order! :) So maybe you could try this although I know it would be work to put together the flyer.. .maybe one of the girls could do it? Kids are so good with computers and so creative, too.

the story poet said...

Have you ever gone out to the local schools or offered a field trip to the farm to educate the children about locally grown food? And as great a cook as you are, you could become the Jamie Oliver of Carroll County...I spoke to a woman who asked her grandson what he wanted for breakfast..he said a #3. Huh? He meant the number three on the McDonald's menu. Scary.

Renee said...

I think you need to tap in somehow to the customer base for the Conscious Corner at Rt. 108 and Rt. 32. that is clearly a base willing to pay higher prices and probably for the most part is of a higher-income level than Carroll County. Howard County has less farms, more money, and I would guess generally more interest in high-quality naturally grown food. At the old Dave's Market, there used to be bulletin boards and lots of businesses advertised; I'm not sure if that is still the case there. I haven't seen any boards at Roots. Conscious Corner advertises as a block in publications; maybe you could get an ad on the same page.