March 11, 2021
The Hug Box was accepted in the 2021 Small Business Grant Contest by Fed Ex. It was a wonderful surprise to have made the Top 100, 2 years ago. Now as we try again, we are hoping we can make it further this time! Will you help with a vote? VOTE HERE.
This was a question they had asked this year.
Q: How would you use the grant to enhance your business and recover from any impacts of COVID-19?
A:To create more sales with marketing and advertising online and locallyMost online sales are from organic google searches, or because they received a Hug Box and want to send one or they are returning customers. Just think if I advertised! And locally our customers are people walking around downtown Newnan - locals and visitors, or they hear about us from word of mouth, networking and our lovely local loyal customers. The community where the Hug Box is located is wonderful and we would love to get the word out more to other nearby communities (and Atlanta) that we are here for their local artisan gifts. And to do more local deliveries, beyond Newnan, Georgia. Sending, delivering (and potentially giving) hugs!To hire someone for sales and marketingEven though I am a graphic designer and have worked at ad and marketing agencies, the sales part has always been an area that is difficult to do myself and while I have tried companies specific to this, I never had the budget to really give it all to see any ROI. I would love to hire someone to take this on and reach those that would love the Hug Box for their gifting and local shopping.
To pay rentAs I packed up the brick and mortar last March - June, because of COVID-19, and moved back to my home office for a few months, I like many other small businesses got creative and made changes to keep going. For the re-opening I invited local artisans to share my space to sell their creations alongside the current Hug Box gift box products. It has been so wonderful to collaborate closely with many new found artist friends and continue to support each other.
I love having a space for customers to see firsthand what the Hug Box is about, to showcase local artisans, and to serve my customers in person, so keeping my brick and mortar in a lovely community is a priority.
To buy enough inventory to have more Hug Boxes available for salesAs COVID-19 hit, I did send a lot of HUGS, but I still didn't have the means to get larger quantities of inventory at a time. Buying larger quantities for a small business can save money and time overall and allows Hug Boxes to be available consistently online (and products in the shop), so customers aren't disappointed when they can't order their Hug Box.
To add the option of Build a Hug Box online I am currently working on this option that has been in demand, but it was difficult to find the resources to add it into my current website platform. I finally found a monthly paid subscription app to help, but it is still a work in progress and may need an expert to tackle some details and fine tune it. I would love to hire a web coder to adjust any of those needs.To design custom printed boxes to build The Hug Box brandSince the conceptualization of the Hug Box, I wanted to design printed Hug Boxes, but it was quite expensive. I was also focused on sustainable packaging and there were not a lot out there in that arena. Today, there are options for sustainable printed boxes and at more affordable prices, but only if you order a large quantity, so this has still been delayed until the funds are created for a bulk order.
To create and produce The Hug Box brand productsThis has been on my to do list from the beginning. Being an artist/graphic designer I have many sketches and ideas that have been sitting in my journals just waiting to be produced. For this to happen, I need to have more creative time outside of running the business and all its demands and of course money to produce. So having more hired help would allow more time to build the Hug Box instead of just being in it. Last but not least, to continue to pay my current employeeI am ever so grateful to have a wonderful Hug Box ambassador, Caroline, to manage the social media, create graphics and to help at the shop on occasion, but I would love to be able to give her many more hours!! She is so talented and having her on board more would be a great asset!
Photo: Funny. All these answers were exactly what were on my Hug Box Business Vision Board I did back in January. Manifesting more hugs!!
VOTE HERE. Thank you and hugs!
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