Currently, there will be people in various positions such as people who have already entrepreneurship in CWB Asia 10 and people who start business thereafter. I wrote the information I want the young people of CWB to read. The theme is management. This is what I learned in the management of Kusunoki Clean village.
I run Kusunoki Clean Village for 5 years from 2014 when I graduated from college to the present. First of all, I think that it is important to think about how you can sell what you have now.
I think that it is good to sell things now and make new products while making profits.
If you are in Cambodia, broken cashew nuts, Myanmar walnuts, etc. I think there is something in trouble that is not used up, but it is a mountain of treasure.
Mr. Kataoka invests promising young people at the CWB team, but I think that you would like to do business as soon as possible without relying on that money. To do that, it is important to raise sales little by little, without using wasted costs.
In the case of Kusunoki, there were plenty of green tea as the workplace was a tea field. There were blueberries and mandarin trees planted in old days. And in the spring there were also some shrimps(warabi) and bamboo shoots that grew naturally from the mountains. In addition to that, we started preparing for poultry (chicken for selling eggs) which can be started at low cost and started business.
At the beginning, we started selling products at events held in neighboring hot spring facilities. It is difficult to call customers in Kusunoki Clean village while the popularity is low. However, in the case of Japan, many people come to the hot spring facility, so we can introduce products to people who do not know Kusunoki. While selling at such events, we have been able to speak to other event planners as well. “Do you want to come to my event?” “We want to sell our products!” The place to sell increased little by little.
In the beginning, I went to sell it with goods anywhere I could sell. Before choosing, I cherished selling earlier and asking customers to remember us. If there is no sellable event, I think that it is good to make an event on your own or sell it on streets where tourists gather. It is very important not to miss selling. This is what Kataoka ‘s wife said to me when I started business. (Mr. Kataoka’s wife entrepreneurship when women’s entrepreneurship was rare in Japan, she is a business woman who still deals in business)
When you start business, there are very few people who will buy your items. I think that it is important to explain the wonderfulness of your products to customers who buy it. Then, repeaters increase little by little, sales increase. It is too bad that people who wanted to buy do not know how to buy, so it is also important to teach group information, Facebook page, etc. In the next stage, I reconsidered how to raise sales. If you sell it many times, you will deepen your understanding of what people like your items. In our case, it turned out that such customers like Kusunoki products.
· Customers who prefer products that do not use pesticides or chemical fertilizers
· Customers interested in natural cultivation
· Customers who care about health
· People who wish to energize the business of the community (around Kusunoki, Yamaguchi Prefecture)
· Age ranges from 40 to 60
· Relatively, people who can afford money
If you sell repeatedly, you will gradually understand the trend. After knowing the trend, I positively searched for an event where highly sympathetic customers came. I made opportunities to meet with customers who can have empathy. However, there are already many organic farm products and goods in Japan. Customers do not choose products only by saying “organic”. So, we thought about reviewing the product and communicating information more easily than ever, Especially I was conscious of this kind of thing.
· Enhance the taste of each agricultural product. Study cultivation methods and choose a better way.
· Develop new products that only Kusunoki can make.
· Create a leaflet to convey the concept of activities
· Report activity on a daily basis with Facebook or Instagram
At Kusunoki, as a new product development, we made products using the materials of the CWB team. It became a unique product that cannot be made with Japanese materials alone. For example, it is a snack using Cambodian cashew nuts and Kusunoki green tea. Cashew nuts can be bought in various places in Japan, but there are very few cashew nuts clearly showing where and how they are making.
We are selling products while introducing growers of cashew nuts in Cambodia. Thanks to that, customers can know the activities of the CWB group. It will also convey our originality.
There are multiple nut snacks now. Snacks mixed with cashew nuts and Sri Lanka spices, snacks with cashew nuts and salt from Bali, snacks mixed with walnuts from Myanmar and brown rice tea from Kusunoki, and I think that it is also important to tell why such activities are doing. I do not know where they are interested. Sometimes, unexpected, there are encounters that will have a positive impact on your business. I feel this is one fun of entrepreneurship.
Information sharing is necessary so as not to miss opportunities, and last spring as a next step, we renewed the package. Because I thought that attention from customers became high by making new packages. And as the appearance improves, not only individual customers but also stores will purchase our products.
And as one form of information sharing, I also made a picture book that wrote the history of Kusunoki green tea. Until now, I have often introduced Kusunoki Clean Village, but by narrowing down the information to tea alone, I can inform customers of Kusunoki Clean village from a different point of view.
In order to make a business, it is still insufficient, but in this way Kusunokuri village has doubled its sales compared to two years ago, but there are still a lot of challenges. I will write the biggest problem. The biggest problem now is that earnings are not linked to our activities. Of course, selling goods to keep us active is one of the most important things.
However, we would like to cooperate in changing the way young people work and how they live. The majority of Japanese become the biggest purpose of earning, and are undermining their personality and the natural environment. And the way most people live is still the basic idea of mass production and mass consumption. I would like to honor nature and respect that individuality and make it possible to live a working life. Many people still say “a dream story.” So, first of all, we will realize.
In that case, there is little possibility of leading to a movement by simply selling goods as it is now. So, this year we plan events where children can study in the natural environment. I would like to consider education that children love their community and at the same time can have imagination to the world. And I think that this business will become a real business that will be useful for society when it is linked to sales. And I guess that is something we can only do. Because ordinary farmers are not connected to the world. But we have a CWB network.