Coronavirus small business diary – James Cadbury, Love Cocoa

Originally written by James Cadbury on Small Business Love Cocoa is the luxury, ethical chocolate start-up created by James Cadbury (great-great-great grandson of Cadbury founder John Cadbury). Based in Dalston, London, Love Cocoa has five full-time staff, while production of its handmade chocolate is outsourced to a family-run factory based in Stoke. The brand offers luxury, ethical chocolate sustainably sourced from Columbia, palm-oil Coronavirus small business diary – James Cadbury, Love Cocoa

Coronavirus small business diary – James Cadbury, Love Cocoa

Originally written by James Cadbury on Small Business

Love Cocoa is the luxury, ethical chocolate start-up created by James Cadbury (great-great-great grandson of Cadbury founder John Cadbury).

Based in Dalston, London, Love Cocoa has five full-time staff, while production of its handmade chocolate is outsourced to a family-run factory based in Stoke.

The brand offers luxury, ethical chocolate sustainably sourced from Columbia, palm-oil free with 100 per cent recyclable packaging and compostable inners made from wood pulp. Quirky flavours included gin and tonic, avocado and birthday cake.

The brand turned down an investment offer from Dragons’ Den in 2018 and has grown 400 per cent since to become a million-pound brand.

Love Cocoa is about to redesign its brand and launch a tree-planting project – “One bar = one tree”; for every Love Cocoa product sold, the company will plant a tree in partnership with the charity Trees for the Future, with the aim of planting over 500,000 trees in northern Cameroon in 2020, helping cocoa farmers gain a much needed second source of income while combating deforestation and climate change.

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25th January

We begin to think that the path ahead might be tricky when the bespoke moulds for the newly redesigned bars (what the factory uses to pour chocolate into to create Love Cocoa chocolate bars) that we ordered from China back in December are delayed. We expect them to arrive at the end of January, but then COVID-19 hits China and forces lockdown and the closure of factories the length and breadth of the country, we know that it’s just not going to happen. I get on the phone to our factory in Stoke to see if there’s the possibility of bumping up current production as we’d started to run stock down in anticipation of the upcoming redesign.

2nd – 5th February

As COVID-19 spreads to the UK, I try to put worries about that, the redesign and the delay of the moulds to the back of my mind as I board the plane to Cologne, where we’re about to launch our new look and tree planting initiative at the world’s largest trade fair for confectionery and snacks – ISM 2020. The reaction on the ground there is overwhelmingly positive. I return with a renewed sense of energy and purpose.

28th February

Everyone in the retail industry is feeling nervous about what’s to come, we plan as much as we can, but so much is out of our hands.

In spite of the situation, we end the week with some good news that our new Easter eggs have sold out on both Ocado and on our website. Even though nobody really feels in the mood to celebrate, we start to number crunch for next Easter, adding extra quantities and researching extending the range.

7th – 8th March

Panic buying hits the UK with food rationing starts at some of the supermarkets for essential items as people see the situation worsen both in the UK and across Europe. We begin to be inundated with online orders. Our warehouse in Milton Keynes is working round-the-clock to sort orders and managing really well but we have to extend usual delivery turnaround timings as courier demand is so much higher than usual.

16th March

We brainstorm ideas around what customers are looking for right now and decide to introduce 8 x new care hampers ranging from large family ones to smaller letterbox friendly offerings, which completely avoid human contact.

20th – 22nd March

I receive the most bizarre call of my life. It’s Friday afternoon and my mobile rings with an unknown number. I pick up to find it’s Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York. She chats about how much she loves our products and whether we’d be interested in partnering up to donate sweet treats to NHS workers in London. We’d been thinking of what we could do to help in any case, so this seems like perfect timing and we quickly decide to join forces that very weekend, staying in the office until late on Friday evening to launch on the website and on social. For every product we sell, we donate another product to an NHS worker, providing a welcome pick-me-up after a long work shift. The campaign is a huge success and not only are we able to donate over 2,000 chocolate bars, our involvement also acts as a catalyst for other brands to come on board, resulting in over half a million donations for NHS workers to date.

23rd March

From the high of the weekend’s campaign down to a low… hot on the heels of schools closing, we learn today that non-essential retailers are being told to shut with lockdown being announced. Eighty per cent of our retail business (via independent retailers) goes overnight and I’m left reeling. Our saving grace is that we have always sold direct-to-consumer via our website and online sales continue to rocket with consumers looking to treat themselves (and loved ones) with quality chocolate.

We all start to work from home, which is relatively easy to manage when you’re a close-knit team of five. We rely on Google to keep in touch, using its chat and meeting functions and keep in touch daily, trying to just get on with what needs to be done.

31st March

We’ve just looked at the figures and online sales have gone through the roof – up 3,000 per cent versus the same time last year. This compensates somewhat (but not completely) for the retail business lost.

‘What could possibly happen next, I wonder’

1st April

I receive the call I’ve been dreading… the factory we use in Stoke is shutting its doors due to COVID-19. Added to that, we still have the ongoing saga of the chocolate moulds from China – they’ve shipped but are now caught up in storms out at sea – you couldn’t make it up. This keeps pushing back the redesign launch timings. We’ve only got a couple of weeks of stock left and a lot of our product lines are already completely sold out. What could possibly happen next, I wonder.

4th April

Beyond excited to hear the first tree has been planted as part of our pledge to plant 500,000 trees in partnership with the charity, Trees for the Future. The tree has been planted in Cameroon’s Western Province by farmer Sop and technician Alain. We’re planting a variety of trees including mango and lemon, all aimed at helping the environment, but also giving families the ability to transition from unsustainable farming techniques.

15th April

Just as it looks like we’re going to have to shut our online store down due to stock issues, I receive the good news that the factory plans to reopen at 10 per cent workforce to make chocolate for us. And not only that, our shipment of chocolate moulds turns up from China enabling us to finally launch the new shaped bars.

28th May

In spite of the warmer weather, which usually equals a downward turn in sales, we buck the trend and triple our chocolate subscribers, while our newly introduced chocolate hampers are performing brilliantly. As the COVID-19 curve flattens, we end up having a record May in terms of online sales. The redesigned bars are performing well on our website with sales conversion rates higher than usual. And although we have a bit of a mish-mash of stock available online (new bars and old bars alongside each other), we’re beginning to feel a little more confident about the future.

June

We apply for a CBIL (Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan) via HSBC and are amazed by the quick turnaround. Within two weeks, we’ve received £245,000 to help see the business through.

The factory in Stoke is now running at 75 per cent capacity, which is good news as we’re still seeing online sales up 500 per cent year on year.

Retailers slowly begin to place orders again in anticipation of shops opening on the 15th June, from larger stores like Harrods through to the likes of Eat 17 and Bayley & Sage as well as smaller outfits. It feels like some sort of normality is being restored and long may it continue.

Further reading

 

Coronavirus small business diary – James Cadbury, Love Cocoa

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An Overview Of The SIP Trunk Definition And What It Takes To Sell

SIP trunking is a reliable way for businesses to set up communication platforms. Read on to learn the SIP trunk definition and what it takes to resell. The post An Overview Of The SIP Trunk Definition And What It Takes To Sell appeared first on Young Upstarts.

An Overview Of The SIP Trunk Definition And What It Takes To Sell

You may not have heard of the sip trunk definition, but you may be familiar with VOIP telephones. You know, those internet-based phone systems that everyone is crazy about right now.

SIP trunking is essentially the backbone of VoIP, and that’s not all.

SIP trunking is a reliable way for businesses to set up communication platforms. To find out all about it and why you should consider SIP Trunk as a business opportunity, keep reading.

What Is SIP?

SIP, which stands for Session Initiation Protocol, and is one of the more common protocols in voice over internet protocol (VoIP) technologies. While many associate SIP with VoIP, there are other methods of deploying VoIP aside from SIP. The primary benefits of using SIP are the direct connections between private or local phone systems (PBX) and the public network.

What Is SIP Trunk or Trunking?

The world of telephony systems as they have existed since Alexander Graham Bell made the first phone call have evolved. The traditional Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), with its Analog lines, E1 ISDN BRI, or T1 lines, has begun to be replaced by IP telephone systems. What’s more, many businesses are using cutting edge and adaptable SIP Trunks.

What is a SIP Trunk? Most say we should think of them as a T1 trunk for today’s modern world. Traditionally, a business would buy a T1 trunk from their telephone company and attach it to their PBX system.

Now, they buy a SIP trunk from an Internet Telephone Service Provider (ITSP), and it gets connected to a VoIP/IP PBX. The word trunk is a carryover from the telecom industry and generally means a group of phone lines.

Getting Started: Reselling SIP Trunks.

Here is the most exciting part. SIP trunking is the tech all businesses need to conduct real-time audio and video sessions between multiple parties. Companies need this to do business in today’s market.

SIP Trunks have taken over the telephony market that is for sure. In 2017 the SIP market size was $6.88 billion, and most analysts say it will surpass the $12 billion mark by 2023. It’s a simple decision for most when considering dipping into SIP reselling when faced with substantial earning potential.

Internet Telephone Service Providers include white label companies who want to license SIP trunks to other companies or entrepreneurs to be resold. If you think this can’t be the right time, think again. In this article, it should be clear that reselling SIP trunking is an excellent opportunity even now.

In the middle of a pandemic, businesses are scrambling learning to work and support remote workers in new ways. SIP trunk for remote workers often provides a second line on their smartphone through an app, which allows them to separate business from personal.

Still, there are many benefits to selling SIP Trunks that transcend the pandemic and are really about doing business in today’s digital world.

If you are still on the fence, there are few reasons for you to get off and start selling SIP trunks. Here we’ll hit the top few, but there are many more that we’re sure you’ll find on your own.

1. Business Clients Generally Love SIP.

What’s not to love from savings on hardware to the up to 80% savings on their phone bill? Up-scaling and down-scaling is a breeze and can be done over the phone in minutes. No more waiting for expensive equipment to arrive to add lines as they grow.

2. SIP Reselling Is a Win-Win.

The SIP Trunk product brings in consistent residual returns to resellers. It is simple to add to your existing portfolio of products providing a broader spectrum of products and services for your customers. Since SIP trunking doesn’t need additional equipment, the investment is very minimal.

3. Customer Service Provides More Revenue.

Offering service and support to your customers is simple to do, and what’s more, it provides opportunities for more revenue for you. It doesn’t even require a lot of involvement on your part, either. As a reseller, you’re offering a service that is ultimately fulfilled by the company you’re reselling for, and that means your team is free to handle other business-centric tasks.

4. No Additional Staff Needed.

For example, if you are an MSP, SIP trunk reselling is a straightforward addition to your services that don’t require any additional staff to manage. It also helps you leverage your profitability and won’t need other resources aside from an update to your services on your website and social media pages.

SIP Trunk Providers.

When you’ve decided to start reselling, selecting a white label provider to be your partner is the next important task. Making a wrong choice will cost you in many ways, so make a list of what you’re looking for and be sure your choice checks all the boxes. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right one:

1. Simple Financial Setup.

Look for a provider that takes care of customer billing and taxes for you. When you have one that takes care of these things it’s a load off your mind. Also, take a look at their experience and look for a provider who it both as a reseller and real-world VoIP provider.

2. Price For Service.

The lowest price is not always the best deal, so look for providers operating over a Tier-1 network. Remember that the service you will provide to your customers should be top-notch. You want to keep them happy so they continue their service with you for a long time.

3. Adaptability.

It should be a no-brainer, but flexibility is a significant selling point for SIP trunks. It’s one of the primary reasons your customer will be interested in SIP trunks over traditional phone lines. Look for providers that make it sweet and straightforward to add and remove lines on demand.

4. Compatibility.

A key point in choosing a provider is looking at their technology compatibility. Their SIP trunks must work across all primary IP Gateways, IP PBX, and even open-source PBX projects that a client may be using. If you choose a provider that doesn’t you’re narrowing your customer base to those who use the one they do support.

5. Support.

Support from your provider is essential. Look for a provider that will always be ready to assist you with any technical issues so that you’ll never be left alone with a SIP trunk problem. Another thing to look for is account creation. It should be fully automated.

The SIP Trunk Definition In a Nutshell.

SIP trunking is here to stay and is growing exponentially. The SIP trunk definition may be obscure for some, but now that you have reviewed some of the details here, you know that reselling SIP trunks can be lucrative. What’s more, it’s the technology that can keep remote workers connected with their offices and clients while maintaining their personal space.

For more great content, be sure to come back and check out the other articles on this site.

The post An Overview Of The SIP Trunk Definition And What It Takes To Sell appeared first on Young Upstarts.

Source : Young Upstarts More   

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