Monday, 9 September 2013

Monday Maker: Packaging & all the frilly finishing touches

This is the last in our Monday Making series of blogs.  If you have missed the other parts, click here to follow our blogs on making a product to sell over the past month.

And now for Part 4- Packaging & all the frilly bits.
Ok, your product is fabulous and you have made a sale. 
Congratulations. But that isn’t where your job ends.


I am BIG on service. The service you give is a reflection of your business. So if you have a face book or twitter site representing your business make sure you stay entirely professional.
Always ensure you communicate with your customer.
Acknowledge the order with a confirmation- in whatever way you choose to communicate with your clients. If you offer a “made to order” service and it takes ten days to make it, explain that in an email. Ensuring the client understand that the goods are made by one pair of hands with love and care.   If you need a little more time to make it, be honest and explain. Normally if they have chosen your product for the reason that it is a special unique and one off treasure, they will wait a little longer.

If you sell bought in products and you happen to be out of stock, explain the problem, offer a fabulous alternative and a refund if necessary. If the goods are delivered later than anticipated,  ensure  that you apologise, keep the client in the loop and as a gesture of good will, send something lovely to apologise like a gift voucher token.
Inform the client when it has been posted with a tracking number. 
Always be open in your communication.
A good service is normally a good foundation for a repeat sale.

If you offer matching sets to accompany the product the buyer has bought, make sure you send a little picture or mention the matching items. 
No big sales talk. An image talks 1000 words!

U-ni-k's porcelain matching egg cup, cereal bowl and cup sets

Something alot of small business forget. But the packaging can be just as important as the bought product.  I know of people who have bought something purely because of the way it was gift wrapped!!

Aesthetics- Make sure your packaging reflects your little companies ethos.
We have chosen Furoshiki for many reasons. Our gifts are for infants so we wanted to replicate a swaddle cloth & a comforter.  Something without sharp edges, dangerous staples or messy wrappings.
We believe in being ec-friendly and making minimum wastage therefore we designed our packaging to have a double use. Not only is it a protective wrapping, it also duplicates as a burp cloth. A perfect free gift without giving a gift.
Don’t cut corners. If your ethos is to be eco-friendly recycling old packaging is fine if you stipulate you do so, so that people aren’t surprised. But be prepared to cost your packaging and include it in the cost of your products if it is something you do for free.
Function- If you are selling something breakable ensure your goods are well wrapped with a wrapping that will protect your goods in the post. You don't want your best efforts to go to waste and have to re-make it again.
Gift wrap- don’t feel you have to gift wrap your products. Offering the service for a additional price is ok.  If you do gift wrap make sure the gift is wonderful and gives the “WOW” factor. I believe that a beautifully wrapped gift present should make the recipient smile as much as the gift. A simple beautiful tissue with a customised sticker is lovely as a standard packaging. Beetroot Press uses a very pretty sweet floral tissue and a lovely string.
Mess & Outer Packaging- I recently opened a package full of broken Styrofoam sheets. A BIG mess over my floor. It looked un-professional, made a mess and quite honestly looked awful. Something i would avoid doing when packaging a product. Keep it simple, Mess free and if possible similar to the beautiful outside packaging. We use brown paper and string to outside wrap our parcels. 
Lucy from LucyLitchfield uses a beautiful brown gusseted envelope that she stamps with her logo in the shape of a brown parcel label and stitches through the envelope in red to replicate the string on the tag.

Fabrics & Material- Use something original that will be a signature of your business. Everyone remembers when Body shop started selling in their gift in fabric bags. Everyone wanted one. The bags at that time became more popular than the products. And with "Body SHOP" on the bags- helped spread the word.
Useful information-
Make sure the wrappings have your company name on and a way to contact you. If the product has been bought as a gift, the recipient may want to know where to find you. This can be done in the form of a swing tag or  a "hello"postcard. 
I love the combination of swings tags and postcards that Beetroot Press use. 

After care
We always send a  "your gift is dispatched" email to the client as the gift leaves us.  That way the client knows when to expect it. Always ensure any track able delivery has been received by following the delivery on the Couriers website. That way you know if there is a problem before the client does.

If the client has agreed to allow you to keep their details in the form of a client list, use the Marketing & Promotion blog from last week to keep in touch with your client.
Click here to read it.

Survey Monkey
Survey Monkey is a good tool to follow up your sale and gain feedback.  A perfect tool to gain constructive criticism and positive feedback.
We have a section on our website for Client feedback and an album on facebook of "We use our products so we can recommend them to you" so people can see our gifts in action. We also always share images of other people enjoying their new gifts on our social networking sites.

We hope you have liked reading our helping hints into taking the jump and delving into being Crafty.
The MOST important piece of advice I can give is to enjoy what you are making.
If you are smiling so will your product.
 And be Original

Happy Crafting

From the u-ni-k gift ladies, Anna & Sarah

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