Anyone else feeling the pinch ?

For traders and related people to share

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply
User avatar
Martin
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2712
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 9:30 am
Location: wales

Anyone else feeling the pinch ?

Post by Martin »

Just wondering if anyone else is feeling the pinch trade wise ? just wondering how your coping if you are ? after the end of last year and the begining of this year panning out badly so far shows flooded, shows cancelled by the police with less than 4 days warning ( 3 times now they're targetting bike rallys :evil: ), bad mop turnouts and various other reasons we're struggling hard at the mo , Ive been considering doing some kind of homeworking, the problem with jerky is that its ready at odd times of the day or night, so Im inthe house most of the time but with large gaps inbetween so useless for an away from home job but handy for one from home, anyone doing such a thing ? or can anyone suggest any options ? we've had to cancel some shows simply because we cant afford the ferry fare and petrol etc which is causing a bit of a spiral effect, if we cant trade we nibble into what money we make whilst not being able to replace the stock.
Soz to sound depressing lol , I know things have been bad in the past but with the cost of beef having gone up 40% in 4 months along with the cost of most of the other ingredients as well we've had to shelve the idea of bigger premises for the mo , I dont want to pack in, 4 years selfemployment has left me unemployable I think :D 8) .
Also just wanted to have a moan, working on your own doesnt allow anyone to moan and stress out to so I thought I'd whinge on here, and if anyone is haveing a poo time trade / life wise have a whinge on here to :P
"you dont make friends with salad!"

User avatar
lucy the tudor
Post Knight
Posts: 1984
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 11:57 am
Location: Lancashire
Contact:

Post by lucy the tudor »

Already whingeing on too many other threads!
Sorry it is being tough just now for you though. The strength of your product range is quality, hang on in there, people will always want quality, when they eventually get to a show which isn't canceled they will be desperate for jerky.
Maybe a time to work on marketing in other ways?
Delicatessens and gastro pubs?
I'm sure you have already done this, I'll shut up now. Hope it gets better soon.
Lucy
lucythetudor@gmail.com

a filthy, *rse-grabbing strumpet, masquerading as a demure two-door lady.

User avatar
Martin
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2712
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 9:30 am
Location: wales

Post by Martin »

Delicatessens and gastro pubs?
do have a couple under our belt but to be honest at the mo we dont have the spare stock to sell it wholesale, kind of a catch 22 :lol: , just been trying to find out about home working jobs ( making repeatative things, crackers and the like lol that machines cant be arsed to do :D ) but all I can find are those silly "Want to earn £5000 a week ?" which all seem to have those numbers that cost you alot to ring :roll:, to be honest its starting to get us down , if the next 3 shows are washouts / bad turnouts or poo in some other way I cant see there being much of a future in the jerky industry :cry:
"you dont make friends with salad!"

User avatar
Hinny Annie
Posts: 463
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 6:37 pm
Location: Sometimes Sunny Northumberland
Contact:

Post by Hinny Annie »

Martin have P'Md you
Boga Sceal Straele - a bow shall be for arrows



www.apieceofhistory.co.uk

User avatar
Ayliffe's Steve
Posts: 211
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 12:11 pm
Location: Basingstoke

Post by Ayliffe's Steve »

Could you work for AQA, answering questions?
All programmers are playwrights and all computers are lousy actors.

We are the GCoT - you will be assimilated.

The Gingerbread Lady
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:11 pm
Location: Manchester
Contact:

Post by The Gingerbread Lady »

I'm glad you posted this one Martin, was gonna do something similar myself. Am baking using up any ingredients i have left to avoid buying more (not got the cash). Had a few bad runs of shows this year and the pinch is getting deeper :( Am now working away for a couple of weeks at a time to save fuel on travelling home and back down to another show, hoping to find a baker nearby to events so that i can use their premises to build up stock, assuming i sell anything!
Times are indeed hard my friend but bear in mind we are all very much in the same boat, which i am sure with enough of us working together we won't sink......chinup, tongue out and pee in the face of adversity :lol:
Gingerbrede washed down with mead - it can't get much better than this!

User avatar
lucy the tudor
Post Knight
Posts: 1984
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 11:57 am
Location: Lancashire
Contact:

Post by lucy the tudor »

Wondered how you were a week or so Gingerbread Lady, but my pm didn't seem to be getting through.
Bloody Grim year all round so far then.
We all need to pray to whatever God we know best for some SUNSHINE then it may perk the whole thing up.
Glad you are not giving up without a fight though- not in your nature to do so.
Are you coming to Tatton?
If not please receive ehug (and keep eating)
Lucy
lucythetudor@gmail.com

a filthy, *rse-grabbing strumpet, masquerading as a demure two-door lady.

The Gingerbread Lady
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:11 pm
Location: Manchester
Contact:

Post by The Gingerbread Lady »

Too right Luce, not giving up without a big battle, ain't over till the fat lady sings and as i dont know any am in with a good chance eh?
Am sailing oh so close to the wind right now, but am taking comfort in the fact i am not the only one - surely to God there's a solution out there - anyone got any suggestions (apart from getting absolutely S faced on mead)?
Gingerbrede washed down with mead - it can't get much better than this!

User avatar
Martin
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2712
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 9:30 am
Location: wales

Post by Martin »

Am baking using up any ingredients i have left to avoid buying more (not got the cash)
replace baking with jerking and thats what Im doing, found some interesting new lines as well :lol:
"you dont make friends with salad!"

The Gingerbread Lady
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:11 pm
Location: Manchester
Contact:

Post by The Gingerbread Lady »

Some of the best recipes ever have been invented this way - i had a disaster once with a gingerbread recipe and it turned out to be a best seller!
Gingerbrede washed down with mead - it can't get much better than this!

User avatar
sally
Post Knight
Posts: 1806
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 2:31 pm
Location: Sunny Wales
Contact:

Post by sally »

Might be a completely silly suggeston, but there has been a lot on the news about the fruit pickng industry struggling to find enough workers this year. Would it be worth you considering a few weeks away between a couple of major shows strawberry picking or similar?

User avatar
Martin
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2712
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 9:30 am
Location: wales

Post by Martin »

its an idea but to be honest I need to be around here to keep making stuff, a couple of weeks away wouldnt be a good idea, not a bad suggestion though :)
"you dont make friends with salad!"

User avatar
The Iron Dwarf
Post Knight
Posts: 1335
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:05 pm
Location: Northants

Post by The Iron Dwarf »

when things get tight I look for new events and products, that is why im here and not making a lot of bike stuff, I was attending lots of steam and vintage events and autojumbles but sales had been slowing so I decided to add to the few items I make that you lot would like and expand my range.
next weekend im at eastnor for a land rover event and 2 weeks later at manby in links, after that there are 2 re enactment events im going too.
with the recent fuel rises I expect it will affect landy users more than most so im hoping to make that up at re enactment events
forges, fireboxes tools and more.
http://uk.ebid.net/buddy/52487
new stuff inc chainshot + grenadoes.
visit my place and have a go

User avatar
sally
Post Knight
Posts: 1806
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 2:31 pm
Location: Sunny Wales
Contact:

Post by sally »

Martin wrote:its an idea but to be honest I need to be around here to keep making stuff, a couple of weeks away wouldnt be a good idea, not a bad suggestion though :)
What if you could find a fruit farm that wanted a range of custom fruit leathers making and would let you take the dehydrators with you? You set em up, pick for money, then set the dehydrators going again overnight? You mght come back with cash and stock, plus a new range with an outlet?

User avatar
Martin
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2712
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 9:30 am
Location: wales

Post by Martin »

You set em up
mmmmm Im not sure EHO would like that :lol: , I need a sterile enviroment to prpare food in etc :)
"you dont make friends with salad!"

User avatar
sally
Post Knight
Posts: 1806
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 2:31 pm
Location: Sunny Wales
Contact:

Post by sally »

Martin wrote:
You set em up
mmmmm Im not sure EHO would like that :lol: , I need a sterile enviroment to prpare food in etc :)
yeah, it would only work if you could find one that already processed food iteslf and had a suitable kitchen I suppose

User avatar
gregory23b
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2923
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 9:46 pm
Location: Gyppeswyk, Suffolk

Post by gregory23b »

Martin, and the following has been said many times, by many people, so please forgive:

Sort out your

web site

packaging

market - ie mail order

rationalise the ranges you produce - ie have fewer but bring out some seasonal ones to promote.

>>>>>>Develop the fruit leathers more, in the long run a much more viable customer base as there is the health benefit/alternative to sweets/tree hugging vegetarians gambit.<<<<<<

Only do markets that you feel will make some money, at the very least break evens to use as promo events.

Reenactors will not provide you with a market base big enough to feed you, the wife, the daughter and the bearded dwarf.....the wider world has more pockets.
middle english dictionary

Isabela on G23b "...somehow more approachable in real life"

http://medievalcolours.blogspot.com

"I know my place." Alice the Huswyf

User avatar
Martin
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2712
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 9:30 am
Location: wales

Post by Martin »

gregory m8, we have done most of that, but the problem isnt website, packing etc its the incedibly bad luck with shows so far, we have done 8 or 9 since december and nearly every one of them has had bad weather or other problems including being cancelled with no more than 24 hours notice (the police are targeting bike rallys ) ,because of that we are literaly living hand to mouth at the mo :lol: , the website is fine as far as I know, cant see how it could be improved (for free anyway :lol: ), the reason I have so many different "ranges" is the same as the gingerbreadlady, Im making things out of what I have available and if they sell great but they arent core products, we are sticking to 6 main jerkys, we have many more on the website but for shows we will be having less lol :) .
I would like to improve tha packaging but thats not financialy possible at the mo.Reenactments are only a small part of our shows but unfortunatly with food fairs flooding the market at the present time, it seems every single town now has a food fair / farmers market weekly which is effecting trade massivley , for example cardiff had one market on the Riverside on sundays, but the organisors thought they could make more cash, they started another market in Roath on the saturday, its within walking distance of the other one so all they have done is split the customers in half (if a town opens another theatre it doesnt generate new theater goers it just splits what you have)yet we're now paying 2 pitch fee's, working 2 days and travelling twice as far to sell to the same people, our takings are down 50%
We sure things will improve but as far as improving packaging etc I dont think thats the problem at the mo :(
"you dont make friends with salad!"

User avatar
Tod
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2884
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 11:25 am
Location: A small part of Scotland hidden in middle England
Contact:

Post by Tod »

Day job. I run an abrasives company in the south midlands. Since September last year the amount of orders has decreased, however the turnover has remained the same with an increase in profit. This is because customers are buying the better stuff rather than the cheaper stuff, and the small guys aren't buying. This is also reflected in the sales of a local engineering distributor I know. So the smaller comapnies are tightening thier purse strings.

My second job making leather stuff including bespoke shoes has never been busier. I've have to increase my lead time, but have not lost any orders. One of my game plans is to never tell any one how to make the difficult stuff it took me years of research and I'm not giving info. away. I only trade at the ILHF and use it really as a marketing exercise. As long as it pays for the stall and a curry I'm happy. It's the business I get off the back of it that's important.
I've looked at other places to trade and have concluded most are a complete waste of time and money. Re-enactment events are in general over sold by the very people that go, it's the usaul story of "you should really go its really good" when in fact the people saying that have no idea about business or how many punters are coming through the gates.
I've done bike shows and the story is much the same.

Martin if you are really interested in another "job" that you could do at home I have an idea. It's some thing I could do but don't have the time. All I'll say is it involves wood. PM me your number and I'll give you a call.
Last edited by Tod on Thu Jun 12, 2008 8:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Martin
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2712
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 9:30 am
Location: wales

Post by Martin »

will pm you m8, if this w/end at Tatton and the Irish shows Im going to dont go well I think I will be closing shop :cry: , cant really carry on anymore, its becoming very difficult and have spent the last 2 days trying like hell to think of any solutions, cant see any.
Which means that MJM will become a website only business, maybe still able to do local shows and the farmers market but if I have to get outside emplyment thats going to be it as a business then it will become a pin money job :cry:
Had a call today, meats gone up again , as has diesel,
"you dont make friends with salad!"

PotBoy
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 2:19 pm

Post by PotBoy »

Martin

Don't post much here but do run my own business although not in the re-enactment market, so hope you don't feel offended by my posting. I am a member of the Marquess of Winchester's Regiment in the ECWS.

If you are looking for new outlets but have cash flow problems - which happens to everyone at some time or another unfortunately - you could try the approach of payment in advance. Say 50% at the time of placing the order to enable you to get the ingredients and then the other 50% on delivery. If you are able to do this with a couple of say delicatessen shops for maybe the first 3 months of doing business with them, this should help improve your cashflow.

Also, I did send you a PM ages ago but you may have been inundated at the time. If you have any improvements you would like to make to your site I may be able to help you out.

I am currently making some changes to my website and increasing the product range I sell, so may in a couple of months possibly interested in talking to you about stocking some of your products. I've tried them and they're very good.

There is also a cheaper way of processing payments. If you have a laptop and mobile you don't need a machine. A company www.protx.com do a special offer for SMEs of a fixed fee of £20.00 per month. You can also link it to your website using a secure checkout system thus cutting out the Paypal charges.
More bag pudding please Mistress Anthea

User avatar
Andy T
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2005 10:47 am
Location: Yorkshire
Contact:

Post by Andy T »

diversification into other market sectors? Eg Goth scene? Quite a few reenactors in that, biker events, county fairs, country fetes, game fairs, even kinky fairs-all sorts of different marketing possibilities for small trader. Its not fun I know-summer is dry season for supply teaching.
Infamy, infamy, infamy they've all got it in for me...
http://s3.gladiatus.com/game/c.php?uid=211216

Sue Green
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2005 1:55 pm
Location: Derbyshire

Post by Sue Green »

How about a collective of traders selling complimentary products splitting the markets between them and selling via each others stalls? I'm thinking that gingerbread and jerky should be complimentary to each other. Probably more too. This way you save on time and pitch fees but still cover main markets and re-enactments.

How about local pubs for jerky sales? People who have had a skinful seem to want something to chew on (eg, pork scratchings) and are less worried about parting with their cash! Someone suggested gastro pubs earlier but I think the market is a lot wider than that - I can imagine it going down well at some of the working mans pubs I used to frequent in my younger days..... Traditional product, meaty, long-lasting and strong enough flavour to compliment a drink - ideal. Mmmm, must put in another order - it's a while since we had any!

Best wishes to all traders - sad to hear times are hard. Wishing you dry sunny weekends for the remainder of the season!

User avatar
lucy the tudor
Post Knight
Posts: 1984
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 11:57 am
Location: Lancashire
Contact:

Post by lucy the tudor »

Thanks Sue, I think you may have hit the nail on the head in your final sentence, the difference in takings on a sunny day to a wet one is the real rub, could everyone have words with the weather please?
Lucy
lucythetudor@gmail.com

a filthy, *rse-grabbing strumpet, masquerading as a demure two-door lady.

User avatar
The Iron Dwarf
Post Knight
Posts: 1335
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:05 pm
Location: Northants

Post by The Iron Dwarf »

sometimes I do better in bad weather coz there are no mops and the re enacters come to buy from me.
at boddel I sold lots on the saturday but only 3 items on the sunday
forges, fireboxes tools and more.
http://uk.ebid.net/buddy/52487
new stuff inc chainshot + grenadoes.
visit my place and have a go

Post Reply