The benefits of being generous in business

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Yumbox - children's healthy lunchbox

I just wanted to write a quick post to share something that I have observed in the past few weeks – being generous as a business delivers real results.  

When I set up http://www.yumbox-uk.co.uk and http://www.cheekyelephant.co.uk I had my own little mission statements that I wanted to uphold.  One of those was to ‘give back wherever I can’.  This was something that was important for me but what I underestimated was how good it is for the business itself.

Where I live in South-West London it is currently summer school fete time.  I was keen to support my local school and offered to donate a Yumbox to their school raffle.  Word of mouth quickly spread (a good thing in itself) and soon I was asked by a couple of the other schools to donate to them too.  In the end I set aside a part of my advertising budget for the summer and agreed to donate 10 boxes to local schools and charities for their fund raising.  I advertised my offer on a local Mums site (www.nappyvalley.net) and also on a local Mums buying and selling facebook site.

I had flyers printed (I used Vista print who I was very impressed with – though make sure you search the web for discount codes as there always are some) advertising the key benefits of Yumbox (nutritional balance, portion control, leak-proof design etc) and added a code for people who purchased to get free P&P on their orders.  I agreed that I would give each school a box and a small pile of flyers which I asked them to place on or near the raffle table.

Last night I dropped off a number of the prizes and my conversations with local Mums were wonderful “loads of the Mums are talking about how there will be a Yumbox in the raffle – they are very excited”, “I hadn’t heard of you until I saw something on a local Mums site about how generous you were being with raffle prizes – I have now ordered yumboxes for both of my children”.

The fetes are all coming up this weekend and I will be able to track the success of how many people saw the product and placed an order from the Free P&P code on the flyers.

My advice, based on this experience, to a new business owner is understand your target audience (mine is school kids and Mums but maybe yours is golfers or tennis players?) and work out how you can support that community in a way that gives them something but also raises awareness of your product.  For me it has been a double whammy, I feel I am operating the business in the way I wanted to (for my personal integrity) and at the same time I am raising awareness of my product in a way that a few hundred pounds worth of advert in a magazine never could!

Finally I just wanted to have a little proud moment.  Yumbox has now been on sale in the UK for almost a week and so far we haven’t received a single piece of negative feedback.  Below are a couple of my favourite comments which have been posted via social media as well as some pictures posted by Mums across the UK of their kids lunches (to see more pictures follow @YumboxUK on instagram)

It is still early days but so far I am chuffed to bits with how things are going!

 YumboxUK Lunchbox Happy Customers

“My yumboxes arrived today and they are even better than I imagined, top quality thanks YumboxUK” – Rebecca

“My son was over the moon with his Yumbox today. For the first time ever he ate absolutely everything I gave him for a picnic lunch. I thoroughly enjoyed making it for him too. Well done YumboxUK and thank you” – Fiona

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