Will Need Smart Planning
This series of posts are from my journal covering my notes in 2016. In the earlier post, I was mentioning that we were planning to process in small batches. I realize, this is a new territory for us.
Making a variety of products in small batches is going to take some smart planning so that we keep our costs down. For example, it might save time and money to make three similar products in one batch, then sell them at different times.
Of course, products with long shelf life. This fits in with the plan of finding products that are available via the Department of Agriculture. The plan is to rotate products so that we sell several products, then discontinue them for some time, then sell another group of products. Every few months we will have new products in the store.
What do you think? Specially if you are one of our customers or an expert in the Food Industry – what would you recommend or suggest that will work for consumers? And what will work for Zizira?
This concept is based on several assumptions. One is that there is a new generation of consumers in India who have money and want to try new foods. And they want healthy food options.
By rotating products on our eCommerce store, we may get a chance to figure out what our customers really want. The fact that it will be made in small batches will make it an artisan range of food products, which is high value.
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Little like Uber
The concept of using what is available, is a little like Uber. Uber uses available cars for taxis. It takes advantage of what is available. We will create products that take advantage of what is available. We keep track of what is available at the time and create a product with it. For example, we can use a produce that is ready for harvest or plan for what the agriculture department decides to grow.
I assume that this will create anticipation and demand. Potential customers will return to the site looking for what is next. Will they? Tell us!
This plan will work well with e-commerce. Rare and unusual products will show up, with less competition, in google searches. We can get good exposure instead of being lost among hundreds of sites selling more common products. It works well with flash marketing where we send out newsletters with deals.
The Strategy of ‘Process Small Batches’ – in Gist
This strategy aligns with our vision. It sets us on a sustainable path that aligns with helping farmers. It allows us to compete without battling the big food players. We will become unique, profitable and able to start small and grow big. This model is in some ways less risky because it is lean and evolving. It will allow Zizira to grow organically and learn and evolve. The model puts a lot of importance on marketing and takes advantage of our core strengths.
Learning to Say No Is Important
The strategy, of ‘processing small batches’, will put us on a long-term path that is slow and hard. Yes, it will be hard to say no to some customers that don’t fit the high-value low volume plan but we must or we may lose our focus. If we say yes to the wrong kind of customers, we may not have the time to work with our target customer. Also, saying yes to the wrong customers may divert us from our low volume high-value focus. This slower path fits Zizira because as we as we are small and inexperienced, our volumes will be less.
We can assure quality, build our brand and sell a variety of things. The plan allows us to keep experimenting because even with filters there will be many things uncertain. This ‘produce in low volume’ plan will let us grow, as it will help farmers grow too – will be a symbiotic partnership.
In an earlier post in this series I had shared with you my thoughts on how to select a product to sell. All these stand. Now that we think that we should look at processing in small batches, I listed out the criteria to help us zero in on what we should produce and market on our eStore.
Here they are: #1 High Value/Low Volume #2 Product should be identified with Meghalaya & build the Zizira brand #3 E-commerce – Product sold as directly as possible #4 Open Markets – Create opportunities for farmers #5 Considers Future Generations – should be sustainable #6 Ahead of trends and less obvious #7 Follows Chillibreeze values I will discuss the rational for these in more detail in the next post.
Meanwhile, remember, Zizira is opening markets and creating awareness. We are telling the story online. We are exploring and reporting on the potential by writing about spices, ancient grains, medicinal plants, super-fruits and more. We tell the story of successful farmers. I will be back with more from my journal – sharing it the way it was jotted down (almost).