Sell Extreme Alpaca socks to the US Military, Police, Firefighters etc
I agree with those of you who have happy military customers wearing Extreme Alpaca socks! They do love them. A previous board did extensive research into what it takes to qualify to become an authorized vendor to supply apparel to the US Gov. There is a lot more to it than just having an excellent product in the right color. At this time it is beyond our reach but maybe we can at a later date.
FOCUS ON FARM DAYS
Many farms use National Alpaca Farm Days to invite the community to their farms to educate their neighbors about alpacas and the alpaca industry. This can be a fun, celebratory experience and is a great way to develop relationships within the community. But sometimes those types of events become little more than free petting zoos. So is that the best use of your time and resources? Unless you regularly experience post-event sales of livestock or products as a result of the event, you could be missing an opportunity to generate more sales by taking a different tack.
“I can get it cheaper elsewhere”
One of the most frustrating complaints to address is when a member says they can buy from “another vendor” because they get a better deal than they get from AFCNA. Of course, that possibly is true. But your farmer’s cooperative IS NOT LIKE those other vendors! Do you own a share of stock in the company and participate in the profits? Do you have a say in how the company is run by choosing their Board of Directors? Does the other vendor make their products with your fiber? Are they making a market for all of the fiber your farm produces or only some of it? Are they making a market for your fiber just as it comes on shearing day with no further expense or effort required on your part? Are they marketing your fiber in multiple distribution channels – Consumer, Commercial and Commodity? Unless the answer is yes to all of those questions, it simply isn’t an Apples to Apples comparison. Sure, another vendor may do some of the things AFCNA does better or cheaper but there is literally no one else who is doing all of the things AFCNA does for American alpaca farms.
Promoting Your Farm Store
You’ve spent hundreds of hours and perhaps thousands of dollars developing your farm store. You may have constructed a special building, or renovated a room in your home to offer convenient access to the public. You’ve carefully, even lovingly, arranged and rearranged the interior and selected display layouts and supplies that present your merchandise in an appealing manner. You ordered and received your merchandise from America’s Alpaca, and your store is ready to open. Now what?
Here is the 5th batch of answers to your questions from the Survey Monkey and Webinar meeting in June. This was the best batch of Product Suggestions we have ever gotten from members so let me start by thanking you all very much!
Felt Sheets – No, but… we have thought about offering felt sheets but so far haven’t found sufficient interest to make producing them a viable product in commercial volume. IF you were the one who offered this idea, please call me and let’s talk about your idea in more specific detail.
Additional yarn types – YES, we are extending our line of yarns. We have several projects in development with our mill right now expect to be announcing them to our members later this year. We are working on a Sock yarn, a fingering weight Suri blend. Down the road, we are also working on a lopi rug yarn.
The only way that AFCNA gets income – cash to run the business – is by marketing your fiber which means by manufacturing and selling products. When shareholders join the co-op by purchasing their share of stock, they become an owner/co-operator of the business. We depend on each other to supply fiber and to purchase the products made with the fiber.