Hot Bread Kitchen’s Food Entrepreneurship Forum was a 3-day virtual event held October 20—22, 2020 for anyone invested in rebuilding a more equitable and inclusive small business community. Here are tips and notes shared by panelists during the workshop.
- E-commerce options include: Shopify, WooCommerce, Etsy. (Shopify charges a small fee per transaction, but there’s actually a free version to use so there’s no costs if you don’t make a sale.)
- Integrating e-commerce with WordPress
- Subscriptions/recurring purchases: Recharge Payments
- Accounting software: Quickbooks
- Payment platforms: Stripe, PayPal, AmazonPay
- CRM: Gorgias
- Integrating Apps: Zapier
- Social Media scheduling tools: Later, Planoly
- Project management tools: Trello, Asana
- Influencer marketing: Carro
3rd Party Logistics (3PL)
- Consider 3PL when your internal team can no longer fulfill the orders yourselves. For Fly By Jing, it was after they doing over 50 orders a day.
- Selecting the Right 3PL
- Top 3PL Cold Storage Providers
- “Ask other companies in your space who they use. Try to work with someone local in the beginning if you can, and ask to see their warehouse and know exactly the points of contact for their warehouse team and support team. Make sure you understand how they integrate with your ecommerce platform, how you can edit orders, any hidden charges etc.” —Jing Gao, Fly By Jing
- Most affordable shipping: For small items USPS is almost always cheaper. Heavier items over 6-8 pounds, UPS is cheaper.
- Influencer relationships: “We just DM’ed people offering them free product, they can post if they want. We then maintain those relationships over time so they feel like they’re willing to post rather than an economic relationship right away. In my experience we haven’t had significant sales impact from influencers, but it’s very good for brand awareness and harder to track.” —Jing Gao, Fly By Jing
- Instagram giveaways: “Good engagement definitely doesn’t correlate to cost of the giveaway. Our drinks have a high engagement, even though it’s our most price effective giveaway, second is a gift card, third are retail products. Gift cards can be as low as $20 and still get’s almost as much engagement as a $50 gift card.” —Melissa Villanueva, Brewpoint Coffee
- Offering internet to guests in person: Meraki by Cisco
- Brene Brown’s podcasts, recommended by Melissa Villanueva