Alchemy for local businesses- A magical transformation

By Lizza Harrison, May 10, 2016.

Alchemy: a process that changes or transforms something in a mysterious or impressive way.

In my first couple of months owning a Welcomemat franchise in Texas, one of the goals (besides the obvious) was to connect with my new local business community.  It wasn’t initially apparent to me that I could be a ‘connector’ in the broadest terms.

In embracing the ‘gift’ tactic to get DM information, I considered several options.  I wanted a gift that would represent values that were important to me as a business owner. Austin Gourmet Popcorn (APG) was my gift of choice – a family run business, great product, great service and good business people that were looking to expand.  When we met, they shared that they were currently expanding the operations side of their business (they were at max capacity) before they expand their reach. Their Sea Salt Caramel corn has been getting around town on my calls with positive results and feedback.

So much so, a client prospect, Cafe Yolli, asked for an introduction to Austin Gourmet Popcorn to discuss carrying AGP products in their cafe.

After introducing the two, I’ve since discovered:

– Austin Gourmet Popcorn has created a new SKU and packaging (long-lasting seal)  to sell wholesale, – their first client, Cafe Yolli

– Cafe Yolli will start to carry other products that have higher margins (e.g. gourmet popcorn, FroYo)

While they aren’t Welcomemat clients yet, the goodwill has kept the conversations bubbling on the back-burner.  Cafe Yolli wants to meet again since they’ve added new higher margin SKUs.  Austin Gourmet has asked to meet now that their operational expansion is about complete and are looking to expand their consumer footprint.

Call it karma, call it alchemy, but I firmly believe staying true to my efforts to be a part of my new community will pay off in the long run.  As one of my mentors said to me over 20 years ago – “look after your clients’ business and your business will come eventually.”

About the author:

Lizza is a Welcomemat franchise owner in Austin-North, Texas. A results focLizza_Headshotused marketer, with 25+ years experience, she has built a diversified career on the client, ad agency, and consultancy side, across various sectors. Along the way, she has worked with great local businesses as well as great blue chip brands in Global, Pan-European, National as well as regional roles (e.g, Diageo, Dell, Coca-Cola, American Airlines, P&G.)