The Swan Sweet company is a small but growing family business. The company was originally founded by Raif Youssef’s father, but today Raif who is the owner and his three brothers operate the business. The main business activity is the production and distribution of traditional Lebanese sweets. According to the company’s website, their focus is “the manufacture and wholesale division of Lebanese sweets (The Swan Sweet Company, 2011).” Thus, they are in the food industry. Their main products are baklava and other freshly baked treats.
The group uses a number of cultural icons and symbols to help their market identify with their product, such as traditional Lebanese music. The family business was based completely at home until two years ago when they decided to open a small office and factory. Along with their new operating space, the company has launched its own website which has an online ordering function. Customers in Perth can have the product delivered to their door with 3 to 5 days.
The future is exciting for the family business, however, Raif and his brothers are also concerned about the risks that they are now facing. Indeed, the very definition of an entrepreneur, that is, someone who is willing to enter into a new venture and take all the associated risks. The Swan Sweet Company is a small but growing family business entrepreneurial growth is an important part of business activity as it seeks to best position emerging companies in markets which may already feature fierce competition.
Question: You are a family business. How do new business products and services get planned? How is that going for you?
Answer: This question actually related to two different as a family business how we deal with each other and as a service for the family business how we get everything right and properly. We discuss things first and we try all suggested ideas and at the end we chose what the best thing is for us and best for the customer. Sure we are trying a new product to do something a bit different than the usually we do in the middle east and we put some free samples in packaging we have already supplied it to the market and we start to present this kind of new product or new line and we put some paper next to our stand in our client shops for feedback. For example Perth Royal Show we have a store in the show and we have about 60-70000 people visit our store every year the feedback we get from those customers tell us what the market need. Some people ask for new product for example short breads where our short bread is different from others short bread so they refuse some types of short bread and want the one which they knew. Its shape as it is an older product than us here in WA, so we try new short bread where we call it now biscuit we do not call it short bread anymore, so we have to go with what customers like.
So we make the best of the customer feedback and get the idea from it. For example, one of the customer suggestion that they need the short bread with dried fruit on it and the original short bread made of date so this was one of the customer ideas and now we do short bread with dried fruit. Three or four months later after the product has been in the market the people start to know it and at this point we understand the production of this type of biscuit is right idea and good innovation. It is very difficult to introduce a new product into the market because there are many people around who are trying to do the same business as you because you have to find a place for your product and you have to advertise for your business in many different places. Also it is difficult because of the competitive market here.
There are many other will know companies that sell similar product with less price than you. Some time to get into the market you have to sacrifice a bit of profit in order to introduce a new line of product since you know that you will reimburses your loss as your product made of high quality ingredient. Our main plan is to have new product every year in the market I need to bring new thins to the mark. It is more cost and more profit and this will not affect any other line as you know baklava is our gold line and the most of our sales are from it and we know that baklava will never go down it is growing up more and more. People usually take baklava and try other staff so it is growing together and nothing is going down since it is with other staff.