Video Case Study: SweetSpot Sourcing deliver excellent branded marketing solutions for their clients
Business Name: SweetSpot Sourcing
Directors Names: Sue Dempsey & Fiona Craul
Sector: Marketing & Manufacturing
Location: Naas, Co. Kildare
Q&A with the Directors Sue Dempsey and Fiona Craul of SweetSpot Sourcing in Naas. We spoke with Fiona & Sue to find out more about their company which provides marketing solutions to some of the largest companies in Ireland and abroad. Sue and Fiona combined their experience in the areas of marketing and manufacturing to create this business which works with clients to source the best branded merchandise for their marketing campaigns. SweetSpot Sourcing clients include Kerry Group, Keelings, LIDL and many more.
SweetSpot Sourcing have availed of a range of Local Enterprise Office supports including grants for salary, websites, mentoring and training.
Listen to the story behind the success of SweetSpot Sourcing from Directors Sue Dempsey and Fiona Craul.
How did you get into business together?
We were both introduced to each other by a mutual friend and at the time we both had jobs that required an understanding of production and manufacturing. We both had a natural desire to run our own business. We planned and developed a business plan and a business model that would enable us to get up and running quickly. We targeted a customer base that we knew required our service and we grew our sales and client base from there.
Introduction to the business
The core business of Sweetspot is about sourcing products for clients through a network of suppliers, we start at the beginning of this lifecycle and manufacture products directly with factories. This allows for the production of new products and for existing products to be customised. Because of this, most of our clients produce products to work alongside marketing campaigns, as give aways in retail or at shows for example The Ploughing Championships, Bloom, or sports events through sponsorships.
We work with the clients from start to finish, the design of the product, sampling, manufacturing, managing quality control, export and import and logistics. The factories we work with are worldwide; Asia, Europe, Turkey and we have an office in Xiamen, China to support our Asia operations.
What Challenges do you face?
The nature of our business means that we can be exposed to many external factors and this is a challenge, factors such as currency fluctuations, customs changes, cultural business differences, fuel cost fluctuations, weather (storms at sea!).. are all factors that we need to mitigate against as much as possible
What achievements you have made
Our main achievements would be starting our business from scratch and achieving 20% year on year growth, this is in line with our vision and strategic plan. We were also short listed for the High Potential Start up Awards last year which was a really nice affirmation of all that we have achieved in just under 3 years.
Any tips for budding entrepreneurs?
Yes a couple!
- Do a business plan. And look at it, use it as a template to form your strategic plans, and tweak it as you go. It may seem like you are plucking numbers from the sky initially, but have the confidence to believe in yourself and in what you are trying to achieve. Just look at it every few months.
- Adapt to change. Things may not turn out the way you expected them to, and that’s not a bad thing.
- Ask for help. We were and still are overwhelmed by the support we have received from mentors and others that we have asked for advice and help. It’s ok not to have all the answers. People are happy to help – but you have to ask for it.
How the LEO office helped you to get where you are today?
The LEO office have been a great support for us. Within the first 4 months of setting up we received an Employment grant, needless to say this was a huge help. We also received support and advice from various mentors who were able to advise us on strategic planning and the importance of it & day to day financial and accountancy practices. We also availed of the online trading voucher which has helped us increase our online presence.
What have you enjoyed most about starting a business?
It was a surprise to find that the most enjoyable part is the work/life balance. We work hard, but enjoy our time off. Yes, sometimes we work late, sometimes we work weekends and
sometimes we have to get up very early!! - but the flip side is that we can
take our down time, enjoy it and switch off without worrying that the empire will fall
To find out more about SweetSpot follow the links below.
Facebook: SweetSpot Sourcing