Our first year in review
21st January 2019
We have now completed our first year running a Prosecco van, and to be honest it’s been harder than we expected. Setting up a business is always going to be tough of course. We thought we had all the figures worked out and the best plans in place. We knew what we wanted and where we were going...Perfect! BUT... things don’t always work out the way you expect them to!
Our first year was a massive learning experience for us in all ways. Firstly we must say thank you to our friends and family! They have been super supportive and we wouldn’t have been able to do what we have done this year without them. Our husbands have also been massively important to us and what we have achieved we couldn’t have done without them. They both came to a lot of events to help us out as we continued to learn about the Tuk Tuk, about what we serve and about how we serve it. If we were at fetes we would take the kids with us as well (we have 4 between us) and we would all take turns in walking them around and letting them empty our pockets as they went on bouncy castles and bought sweets, ice cream and toot from all manner of stalls. Once the kids had disappeared we could focus on selling our wares.
Secondly, we quickly realised that just selling Prosecco on its own, as we had originally planned, was not going to be as successful as we thought, especially for these types of events. Now we offer beer as well as Prosecco which gave us much more variety, and in turn more to variety at these events. We always planned to offer beer as part of our packages but didn’t think to offer it at fetes to begin with, now, we don’t leave the office without at least one keg in the back of the van!
Thirdly, to listen to what our customers want. Oddly this was surprisingly hard at times. You have to weigh up pros and cons of what it is they want and what we can offer them. Our biggest challenge was with pricing. It took us a while to get the Prosecco and Beer right at fetes and festivals. Unsurprisingly, beer always sold well no matter the price (although we prefer to keep prices as as competitive as possible). However, judging Prosecco was always difficult. Our glasses are the same size as those you would get in a pub or bar and customers are always prepared to pay the prices they charge, but, although for the most part we are cheaper than those bars and pubs we still received comments about how pricey it was and in turn people are then reluctant to buy a glass. It can be difficult to get the balance right here as we have to cover our costs as well as offer good value for money, whilst additionally contributing to charity for some events. As the year progressed we did manage to work it all out though, which, looking back, showed through with our successes.
However, with success there comes failure! As a new business, trying to drum up as much exposure as we could we made some mistakes wasting money along the way. We took out an advert in a circulation booklet for 3 months that we got no business from. This was a mistake. We have had far more response from Facebook and Instagram. We also took every event opportunity that came our way, some of which, barely anyone came too. We lost money on these, as we had to open kegs to sell a few pints and glasses of Prosecco. If we had a couple of weeks until the next event, the possibility of the keg going to waste was huge. Not only this, but we had travel costs, and costs for our time as well. No one likes standing around for an entire day doing nothing, when we could be down Southend seafront with our kids playing on the beach! These are the low times…
...but, there are always highs too and we have had many of those! The summer was massive for us... And Christmas was absolutely wonderful! We already have some of our most successful events lined up again for this year and we are hoping to get more for the coming year. We now know what questions to ask and what to say yes to and what to say no to.
I’m sure there is more for us to learn this year but The Fluid Events Team are excited for what 2019 will bring and are already working hard to make sure that it will be fantastic!
It’s a bit late but, Happy New Year Everyone from all of us at The Fluid Events Company. We look forward to joining you at an event soon.
Our prosecco van is available for hire across Essex, and the South East. Get in touch today and one of our team will be happy to help secure your booking date and answer any questions you may have.