This CEO Thinks Hubba Will Replace Trade Shows for Small Business Owners
Note: This story previously appeared on the blog as part of our #HubbaStories series. We loved it so much, we decided to re-publish it with a few added quotes. A huge thank you goes out to David Sheffield for agreeing to be interviewed and for being such an advocate for the Hubba community!
Established in Denmark in 1989, the Lakse Kronch brand taps into the numerous health benefits of salmon to provide tasty products, without unnecessary additives or filler ingredients, suitable for both dogs and cats. As the exclusive U.S. distributor of Kronch, CEO David Sheffield has helped shape and expand Kronch U.S.A. into the company it is today.
While currently sold at over 150 retailers (and counting), Kronch still remains a relatively small business. “It’s definitely a grassroots effort. We started really small and were reaching out to every individual customer that we could find at these really small pet shows,” David explains. Unfortunately, as any small business owner can attest to, running the trade show circuit can be a costly affair, with the time and effort required sometimes far outweighing the benefits gained. “Historically we have attended a lot of trade shows, but what we’ve found is that it’s the exact same people attending the shows every year and as a smaller/medium size brand, we just don’t have the budget to outspend the big companies.
“I’m setting up for an expo right now, but it’s for a limited regional audience, one weekend per year and costs $525 – and that’s just one of the smaller ones!” David exclaims. “[Trade shows are becoming] outdated and I see Hubba being the solution to that.” After joining Hubba (and connecting with several retailers shortly after), David felt it only made sense to re-allocate some of his trade show budgets towards the Accelerate program, in order to better take advantage of the many services Hubba offers.
“We are finding the ROI [return on investment] of Hubba Professional versus trade shows to be way better,” David says. “Trade shows are way more expensive than Hubba Pro. I’m starting to believe that, within five years, trade shows will no longer be the main way to develop and maintain relationships with customers.”
In fact, since joining just a few months ago, Kronch has already picked up several accounts, one of which is a repeat client who is currently exploring the possibility of placing a larger order. “I’ve already had six to seven new customers place an order with an average order between $100-$300 which is right in line with our typical order size for a new customer. On top of those new accounts, we also had a subscription box company place an order with us which was one of our biggest orders to date and if all goes to plan they will be placing another order for four times the amount!”
It’s no secret that the costs associated with preparing for (and attending) trade shows can rack up. And as a newcomer to the industry, figuring out the best way to stand out to the right people can be difficult. Making individual connections with the right buyers, influencers, and other potential clients are crucial to any growing business.
If you’re looking for an innovative pet food product to add to your assortment, don’t forget to connect with David!
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