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Batch USA Delivers Southern Made Products Across the U.S.
  • 26 May 2016
  • Nicole Cox

Batch USA Delivers Southern Made Products Across the U.S.

Throughout Small Business Month in May, The UPS Store took a moment to salute and celebrate small businesses across the U.S. that are making a big impact in their own communities and beyond. One such company is Batch USA (Batch), the winner of The UPS Store Small Biz Pitch Competition in Nashville.

Batch competed against three other local small businesses at The UPS Store Small Biz Salute event on May 12 . While the competition was tough, Batch impressed the panel of judges and after much deliberation was selected to take home $5,000 to help grow their business.

Batch is a local gift and retail company based in Nashville, Tenn. Founded three years ago, Batch sources the best made items from around the Southeast and packages them in unique gift baskets that represent Southern cities such as Nashville, Tenn. and Austin, Texas. Batch sells their unique gift baskets to general consumers both online and through a retail space located at the Nashville farmers market. In addition, they target corporate meeting and wedding planners for large volume orders.

Originally started as a box subscription service, Batch continues to deliver boxes to its members quarterly but has expanded its reach through its other distribution channels. While there are other box subscription services, Batch was one of the first city-based subscription boxes. In order to stand out, Batch strives to provide a high level of service or customization.

“We are seeing more people spending money on experiences vs. just ‘stuff’,” said Sam Davidson, founder of Batch. “We want our gifts to be meaningful.”

Sam has been an entrepreneur for 10 years and was inspired to create Batch after experiencing his own challenge trying to find a unique gift basket online featuring locally sourced Nashville products. When he shopped online, the selection was limited to gift baskets featuring mass produced items. He opted to create his own instead. Sam spent half the day running around, purchasing authentic Southern products to create his own gift basket for a friend when the lightbulb went on. Six months later, Sam and a few of his friends founded Batch.

“In the first month, we got 200 customers. People started sharing our products on social media, word started to spread and in our third month, we were sending out 1,000 boxes. That’s when we realized we had a real, viable business,” said Sam.

The most rewarding part about starting Batch is having the opportunity to meet other small business owners and reward them because Batch is purchasing products and promoting other small businesses. Sam enjoys having this community of small business owners to network with and get to know.

According to a recent UPS Store survey, marketing ranked as the largest marketing challenge for small business owners. To combat this, Sam relied on his marketing and branding background to get the word out and experience growth right out of the gate.

“The principles of marketing are tried and true but the mediums are ever changing and that’s where people throw up their hands,” said Sam. “The biggest challenge is finding and identifying your customers. Originally, you could reach a lot of people organically on Facebook but that is ever changing. The crucial question to ask is, ‘how do we find where our customers are?’”

As Batch expanded, Sam turned to his local UPS Store to help with his print marketing, which he still finds to be an effective marketing tool, as long as you’re smart about it. In fact, one thing that differentiates Batch are the hand written, personalized notes that accompany every gift basket. It’s this extra touch that makes Batch gifts much more meaningful.

As for what’s next, Sam is planning to use the $5,000 from The UPS Store to launch an internal brand called Skyline. He plans to print the skylines of 12 iconic cities onto homemade goods Batch sells, beginning with a line of hand towels; then expanding to other merchandise.

“People see a famous skyline, recognize it and it reminds them of their home town,” said Sam. “We feel like skyline is a great marketing tool as it gives people a sense of nostalgia and gives us a new item to offer customers. It helps us with our theme which is associating a gift with a place.”

If you’re interested in ordering custom Father’s Day or Graduation gift baskets, check out BatchUSA.com.

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