Bastrop Cattle Company

  (Bastrop, Texas)
Bastrop Cattle Company
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Promoting Grass Fed Beef in the Current Market

I play this little game with myself - every Monday, I tally the sales for the past week to see how we've done.  I have a specific goal - posted in red on my side board - for weekly sales.  Monday is my day to see if I met my goal.  Every month, I add more to the figure for what I need to bring in per week.

The good news is that every month since we started selling our sales have gone up.  And my accountant tells me that our growth is impressive.  However, my little demons are telling me its not enough, and that I have to "sell more beef!!".  So says my banker, and all those loans I have out!

 I think I'm doing all the right things.  Farmers Market twice a week (though the market has been really down over the last couple of months), website to promote our product with a shopping cart for people to buy direct (we just made it possible for people to use their credit cards), direct mailings every month to regular customers, enewsletter to regular customers, and advertising strategically placed to reach the customers most likely to buy our meat (believe me I've done my research).

I've also lined up wholesalers (groceries, restaurants, etc.) in our main market, Austin.  And every Monday I'm on the phone - not waiting for them to order, but asking if they need anything and when do they want delivery.

So, here's my question to y'all out there.  Am I doing everything I should?  Am I missing anything?

I follow up on leads.  I take samples to potential new wholesalers.  I call in networking connections to see if they know anybody else I can talk to.

Still, I've noticed shifts in the market.  For one, the Farmers Market sales have fallen off.  I figure this is for two reasons; we sell out in Bastrop and I'm sure that people have been hit by the downturn out here faster than say in Austin.  I'm committed to this Farmers Market.  We're really trying to grow it.  However, I'm being told to shift to Austin and go to those Farmers Markets instead.

They are certainly bigger markets, but there is also additional costs and paperwork required if we do that.

Also, what do y'all think about promotionals?  Any ideas.

What about partnerships with other producers - like chicken or pork or veggies?

I'd appreciate any ideas!!

Thanks




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Comments:

You have a common problem and indeed it is unfortunate. However, you might want to try a beef CSA share program. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and people pay upfront for a weekly box of produce. Some meat CSA programs have started around the country and they seem to do all right. Perhaps contacting some other CSA produce programs in your area might give you some ideas. You might even be able to piggyback on their established programs.

Posted by Walter on February 16, 2009 at 11:03 AM CST #

Walter, thank you. I have talked with two CSAs in the area. Unfortunately, the first leaves their boxes out to be picked up -- we can't do that due to the nature of the meat. There is an interest in the other, but again, it is trying to work out the logistic due to the meat needing to remain frozen.

Posted by Pati on February 16, 2009 at 11:28 AM CST #

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