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The Sarnie Business day 7 – Busking it

Amazingly, our Sarnie Business superstars have got their van back, with all their stuff, so Lauren (@LaurenDouglin) and Scott (@ScottHudson) are back on the stall, with a few new ideas to help boost business. But not everything’s going to plan.

Lauren: We took the plunge and changed our tasters today. Rather than just slicing a sandwich, we put them on discs like bruschetta and then put the filling on top. So you get more filling than bread, and you can really taste it. They look lovely, like little canapes.

Scott: And the tasting definitely worked. There’s a worry that people might grab a taster and not buy anything. But a lot of people said, “Yeah, I really like that, let me buy a full sandwich”. Hopefully if we’ve done them right, they leave people wanting more.

Lauren: Plus, we’ve added a new product – cake!

Scott: Yeah, we thought cake would be a nice treat on a day like today.

Lauren: And it’s a good profit margin too. We can sell it for £2 a slice but it only cost us about £2.50 to make. And there are about ten slices in a cake.

Sarnie presentation


Communication breakdown

Lauren: We’ve got clearer, more eye-catching signage now, and we’re presenting the sandwiches differently. We’ve made them all front-facing so they’re more in people’s eyeline and you can see what you’re getting more clearly.

Scott: We had a problem with the signage though. I was hanging the sign and asked Lauren for a piece of string, but she cut the string too short, she gave me about two inches.

Lauren: That is a massive under-exaggeration!

Scott: How long is a piece of string?

Lauren: Exactly! But we learned to control the situation and to grow as people from it.

Scott: I’ve been realising just how hard it would be to go into business with someone that you’re friends with, it could really test your relationship.

Lauren: We really need to make communication clearer so that we can get things right first time, not just next time.

Working the crowd


Busker bandit

Lauren: We had a busker turn up, which was a bit random. And she was singing songs that were driving away customers.

Scott: All her songs seemed to be about sewage and dead animals.

Lauren: Busking is good if you can do it.

Scott: She was awful though.

Lauren: But we made a deal. We gave her some sarnies and she walked around with me as I gave out tasters. And she sang about how good the sarnies were.

Scott: I think we turned the situation to our advantage, but it wasn’t a big boost to sales.


Profit and loss

Lauren: We’ve spent about £350 of our £500 so far and though we made a small profit today and yesterday, we still haven’t quite made that all back yet.

Scott: The busker wasn’t great for us but the cake thing really worked today. We only broke even on the sandwiches but the cake lifted our bottom line a little. We’re still learning, and we’ve had quite a lot to contend with, but I’d really hoped to have made more than we have so far.


Lessons learned

Scott: My lesson for today to always tell people how long you want your string.

Lauren: That’s a lesson for life, when you think about it. Make use of whatever comes your way, whether it be string or buskers.



Time for some business advice. Enterprise Nation founder Emma Jones has been watching our Sarnie Business heroes and has some great small business tips.


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