After the hectic time that is the fourth quarter at Maple Ridge Farms, we look forward to the first quarter and the opportunity to catch our breaths, look around, and evaluate where we stand. Although we enjoy the chance to get in a spot of skiing at nearby Granite Peak, there is also plenty to keep us busy in the office!
2014 is officially here and the tradeshow season is under way. Our team here at Maple Ridge Farms always looks forward to the opportunities to get out amongst our distributors and fellow suppliers. It’s a chance to put faces to the names and voices we work so closely with, get great feedback on our products and services, and spark new ideas.
No matter how much preparation one puts into getting ready for a tradeshow, it’s just as important (if not more so) to prepare and handle tradeshow follow-up promptly and appropriately. We all know that tradeshows are investments of both our time and money, so it’s important to make the most out of each tradeshow venture.
Well, it’s that time of the year again. We would like to take a moment and say “Thank You” to everyone who helped make 2013 the fantastic and exciting year it was! This includes all of our wonderful distributors and your customers, as well as our dedicated staff. We know that the key to success is the partnership between us!
We were very excited about our catalog and website selections in 2013, and we can’t wait to get started on our new catalog ideas for 2014 (available this summer). It’s going to be a challenge to beat last year’s, but we always rise to the challenge!
- In 2013, the Maple Ridge Farms catalog featured 268 different items, 85 of which were new.
- Our website featured over 145 more items exclusive to the site and/or our Outlet Store.
- Our Canadian catalog and website included 144 products specifically for our Canadian distributors.
- This brings the total number of items offered over the course of 2013 to over 560 different gifts!
As business owners, we all know how important our company image is to doing business. Many times, a company’s first impression is based not on customer service, word of mouth, or even the product line; it is instead based on the company logo. The design of a logo says a tremendous amount about a company and can give your clients a good impression of the values your company holds.
Best of 2013: The Difference Between Pushing Products and Sharing Content in Your Email Communications
Here is one of the most popular posts from 2013. If you didn’t catch it the first time, have a look. If you read it in October, you might find an additional piece of information to help you in your marketing efforts for 2014.
At a recent reception for one of my business development groups, one of my colleagues told me it’s a challenge for their company to prepare content for their emails. She then asked, “Isn’t most of the content that’s circulated just existing material people grab from the internet? How do you come up with anything original?”
My answer? First, use content that only you can generate. Second, dig deeper to ensure that you’re a thinker, not a product-pusher. Here’s an example.
I admit it: When it comes to the holiday season, I’m a procrastinator. Here it is mid-December and I’ve yet to even talk to my art director about designing an e-holiday card, let alone contemplated a more meaningful way to show my appreciation to clients and supportive colleagues. My intentions are good, but as a typical crazy-busy small business owner, I struggle to keep up with it all. (At least I know I’m not alone. If I were, companies like Maple Ridge Farms wouldn’t have the systems in place to help people like me this time of year. And, in case you’re wondering, yes, I’ve called upon them more than once in recent years to save the day at the 11th hour.)
One of my 2014 business resolutions is never to be under the gun with corporate holiday gift-giving again! In an effort to solve this problem once and for all, I came up with a list of what I need.
Whether consciously or subconsciously, color plays an important role in company branding. Some studies have shown that an initial reaction to a product or a brand is made within the first 90 seconds of viewing, and between 62%-90% of that decision is based on color alone. With that being said, the choice of color in your logo design or company branding standards can greatly impact how your company is perceived and what values your company projects to the public.
If you’ve been on the fence about whether to try selling food gifts this season, it’s time to make your move. Even though only five weeks remain in this calendar year, according to Tom Riordan, president of Maple Ridge Farms, that’s still plenty of time to generate food gift business from your customers.
“Ninety percent of food gifts for the holidays are ordered and delivered between November and December,” explained Tom in a recent phone interview. Equally important? He says it’s easy to write the business. “The best place for any distributor to start is with their customers. Food gift programs are foreign to many distributors but they aren’t foreign to end buyers. In a Counselor magazine survey of business gift buyers, 61% ranked food gifts as the number one business gift for the holidays. And 53% of the buyers surveyed confirmed that their company purchased food gifts for the holidays.”
Here at Maple Ridge Farms, we love taking the time to get to know our distributors better. We feel that our relationships with them set us apart and help us to provide the best service we possibly can. As part of our ongoing series, here is a look at another member of the Maple Ridge Farms team!
Name: Caryl Foote
Years of Service: 16
Your Time on the “Farm”…
What brought you to MRF, and what where you doing before coming to MRF?
I was stay-at-home mom, and worked in my screen printing business. I came to MRF as a seasonal employee on the night shift, just to get out of the house.