Week 3 Report (emailed 11 April)
Save our local small businesses
Kia Ora, Happy Easter, we hope you and your family are having a restful Easter weekend. 🐰
As always, thank you for being a part of our SOS initiative. Your community has banded around your business and the support has been overwhelming.
Welcome to those who are new - as you'll see below, a huge number. We send out a newsletter like this every week. It's a bit of a long one sorry, as there is a lot to cover off...
In this issue we will cover:
- SOS Rebrand
- Key Statistics
- Vendor Portal
- New Site Features
- Common Questions
- New Partners and Friends
You will have noticed we have made some minor changes to our branding from SOS Cafe to SOS Business on our website as well as in this email.
What started as an initiative to save our local coffee joint has evolved into a platform that now includes restaurants, bars, cafes - and services like barbers, massage therapists, even a dog rehab therapist!
So we have adapted our brand to be more inclusive of other business types, and we are now known as SOS Business. The old URLs will still work and we will still respond when we are called SOS Cafe, don't worry!
Another huge week - as at the time of writing (2pm Saturday the 11th April), here are the key stats:
Total order value: $380,000 (WOW!)
Cafes / bars / restaurants etc joined: 1470
Vouchers sold: 15,000+
Average order size - $50
These are amazing results - the orders are flooding in. We had more media and advertising (see below) and that certainly helped as the data above shows, but we also know that when you put this on your social media it really makes a difference.
Our new Vendor Portal is LIVE! Head to our site for details on how to get access to see your business information, payments - and importantly the vouchers you have sold... and please read the help section there too.
You will be prompted to agree to our terms when you login to the vendor portal.
Again, please read the Vendor Portal FAQs. (After you finish reading this email of course)
In the coming weeks, we will be adding more features to the platform, and ironing out a few bugs, so bear with us while we build a better product for you.
With this new portal (built in record time by my brother!), you will no longer be able to log into Puppet Vendors, our previous platform, as we have retired this.
With the rapid growth in onboarding new vendors, we've had to adapt our processes to keep up as we scale. The most painful of these was when we had the wrong bank account numbers or none at all. However, we've now done three payouts to our vendors, totaling over $217,000
One thing I want to point out - we have to wait for a few days or more after purchases are made before the money comes to us, so we can't pay out immediately - we do it as quickly as we can because we know that you need the cash. And remember we are not charging anything for sosbusiness - ALL the voucher money (less the credit card fees) is going to you.
New Site Features
This week we rolled out a few new features for the site:
- Donations - customers can now choose to donate in lieu of vouchers ($20,000 was donated within 48 hours of launching this function!)
- Gift Cards - customers can buy a 'gift card' for someone else. We had a few companies wanting to buy vouchers for their teams, but let the team member choose which cafe they go to - they can now do that.
- Better filtering capabilities (to enable your customers to find you faster)
- Aesthetic improvements
- A new URL to match our updated name
We keep a 'Frequently Asked Questions' section on the website - one for Customers, and another for you as Vendors, (and of course our Terms and Conditions)
We will continue to update that page with any questions that you might have.
The most common question is 'how will I know what vouchers I have to redeem?', so we will answer that here. Basically, when a customer buys a voucher, they get sent an email with a voucher and a unique code, like this:
The portal now shows you a list of the vouchers so you will know what to expect.
As mentioned, we've had some amazing media this week, which has really driven engagement and awareness...
Check our Media section for links to TVNZ's Seven Sharp, The NZ Herald, Stuff, Radio NZ... we've also been on The Project, More FM, The Breeze, NBR and a number of regional newspapers and radio stations. A couple of you have also done your own local media too, which is fantastic. The more the better!
Our main social media platforms (Instagram and Facebook) have 4000 followers in total and is really busy, with lots of engagement and referrals - if you are posting, remember to tag us in on @sosbusinessnz. We are always looking for good content to share, so follow us and tag us in your content and we may feature it on our social.
In addition, our friends at Neighbourly.co.nz have given us advertising space, and the ability to put updates into particular regions, so we will be doing that this week as well.
Launching this coming week will be a new series of digital ads across many NZ websites, thanks to our partners at Uprise Media - and we will also be launching a cool new video series, featuring some of our own cafes - and a famous face or two!
New Partners and Friends
We're proud to be sharing a special offer from our friends at Neighbourly that could make a real difference to your business right now.
Neighbourly is giving away FREE Premium Business Listings for 3 months (valued at $150). Staying connected on Neighbourly means you can keep in touch with your community while the doors are closed - introducing the team behind your brand, sharing recipes, offering expert advice and generally just being the friendly business your neighbours are happy to support.
You can sign up by heading to www.neighbourly.co.nz/businessboost
- Cashflow management/forecasting (Excel forecast templates provided)
- How to effectively communicate with your bank and what documents they will need (checklist will be provided)
- Details on what government subsidy is available for your business
- Business valuations/appraisals Pre-Covid19 and Post-Covid19
- Exit strategies for your business and what is required to maximize value in this new environment
The ABC Business Sales team is a made up of experienced bankers, accountants and business owners who cover a number of languages including Chinese, Korean, Punjabi and Hindi and all of our staff have particular expertise in a number of sectors including Hospitality, Childcare, Accommodation, Retail, Import & Distribution, Transport, Healthcare, Industrial and Tourism.
Don't let your beans go to waste.
The Coffee Capsule Company can encapsulate your blends into Nespresso compatible capsules. That way your loyal customers can still get their favourite kiwi blends while stuck at home in lockdown.
We all know that capsule coffee is not the same as a barista-made coffee, but we are proud to be the next best thing. Your blends in a capsule for your customers.
It's no secret that all cafes and roasters have a tough road ahead. So please do not hesitate to the Coffee Capsule Company to discuss how we can help you gain at least some cashflow during these unprecedented times.
For more info please visit www.thecoffeecapsulecompany.nz to discuss how they can help.
Visit our friends in the UK who want to save their locals - we've been helping them get established - great to see them launched! Tell your mates in the UK!