“Creating new ideas and selling them is what I enjoy”: Retailer Q&A with Premurosa
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One of the joys of doing a lot of networking in the North East – both via social media and in person, through networks such as Durham Business Club and The Mussel Club – is that I get to meet lots of really interesting retail-related people, often in the early stages of building and growing their businesses.
Though the businesses I come across take different forms – encompassing physical, online and multichannel retail – what often marks them out is a distinctive concept, attention to detail, a real passion for their product, and an emphasis on great service: in short, the features that characterise many of the most successful modern retailers.
These thoughts are never far from the mind of Blaydon-based Jo Harrison, who I recently bumped into at two events within a week, and whose online business, Premurosa, is less than four months old. So, in between all the coffee and swapping of business cards, I took some time to find out more about what Premurosa is, how things are going so far, and Jo’s aspirations for taking the business forward.
Q. Tell me a little bit about your business – where is it based, what’s its history, and what does it do?
We are a brand new online business, based in Blaydon, Tyne & Wear, offering quality gift and card combinations with a difference.
Premurosa is Italian for thoughtful and that’s what we are. We offer many handmade and organic products which are packed beautifully into a bespoke gift box along with a personalised card. The gift box is posted through the letterbox so there’s an element of surprise. At Premurosa we like to think we contribute to making someone’s day happy. Alongside our signature gift boxes we also launched our unique Invitation gift boxes which are perfect for small and large gatherings and really make a great first impression.
As a forward thinking, inspirational company we soon saw the opportunity to create a corporate gift box, ideal for target marketing, encouraging new sales and repeat business. Because our gifts are delivered straight through the letterbox, they are perfect for sending as a surprise to achieve the ultimate reaction and we offer a variety of products clients, or prospective clients, will remember.
Q. And what’s your own role in the business?
I am the founder of Premurosa. I am also the Managing Director, Marketing Manager, Buyer, Photographer, Packer and more. I drag in friends and family as and when I need them although I hope to employ a few staff on a permanent basis in the near future.
Creating new ideas and then selling them is what I enjoy the most so I’m looking forward to times when I don’t have to wear so many hats!
Q. What’s your business model, and why? Is it bricks, clicks or both?
Premurosa was always going to be web based. The website (http://www.premurosa.com/) was created for retail sales with additional pages for Corporate and Invitation Gift Boxes where people are encouraged to either contact us direct or complete a quotation form for a more personal response and service.
Now that we have introduced the new corporate, incentive gift boxes I’m in the process of deciding whether or not to develop the existing website or create a brand new website. In the meantime I’m able to be more proactive with the corporate sales, contacting businesses in person and exhibiting at fairs so maybe I have the best of both worlds?
Q. Looking forward, what do you see as the greatest opportunities for a business like yours at the moment?
With most companies cutting marketing budgets, I see target marketing as being more important than ever. Our corporate incentive boxes are different to anything I’ve ever seen and I believe they will be received well within many areas.
For example, as well as target marketing, suggested uses might include sending an invitation to a forthcoming event, informing your clients that you’re moving premises, or even sending your apologies in a unique way, for those odd occasions when things go wrong.
Initially, I think the corporate incentive boxes will do better than the retail site; however, with the right advertising both sites have the potential to do well.
Q. And what about the main challenges?
Driving traffic of the right criteria to my website so they transpire into sales has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. As well as the usual SEO, I may need to change the photos on my website to include the gift box, card and little extras so that the products look better value for money.
Employing staff and growing the workforce will also be a challenge, although I’m ready to welcome this and make our working environment one that people enjoy being in.
Q. Where do you hope your business will be in five years’ time?
I am a very positive and creative individual and I know that with a lot of hard work Premurosa has the potential to develop into a very successful business. To be a household name would be a dream come true. Doesn’t every company want that!
Q. And any final thoughts or comments that you’d like to add?
I’d like to thank you, Graham, and CannySites.com for this opportunity to showcase my business.
Retailer Q&A is a format where Soult’s Retail View talks to retailers – large or small, and whether bricks, clicks or multichannel – about their current innovations, aspirations and challenges. As always with Soult’s Retail View, the features are not paid for – it’s all about providing interesting stories and content for the blog’s readers. If you run a retail business and are interested in taking part in the feature, please drop me an email or a tweet!