Leeds-based Wolfstar set up the Yorkshire Food and Drink Collective earlier this year to help smaller clients by rationalising how it operated, how it managed its workloads and how it scaled outreach.
It offered its service for free to firms within the food and drink industry for the first two months before giving them the option to continue at a price they could afford.
Chairman Tim Sinclair admits the initial response was tepid when he approached businesses at the Harrogate Fine Food Show in early March.
“In true Yorkshire style most thought there was a catch... you get nowt for owt lad could sum it up. A couple expressed interest so I went away a little chastened,” he said.
He added: “By the end of March the world had collapsed into Covid mayhem and panic reigned. We lost clients, others reduced their fees and there appeared to be no tomorrow. So I revisited my target list, sent engaging emails and got on the phone.”
Mr Sinclair started working with 10 firms, including the Hooting Owl Distillery in York and Scarborough-based seaweed farm SeaGrown.
Now the company plans to expand the offering to other sectors, changing the name to the Yorkshire Communications Collective and initially offering one month free.
Chairman Tim Sinclair said: “I set up the Yorkshire Food and Drink Collective in March because as an SME myself I believed that we could offer big agency expertise to start ups and smaller SMEs at a price that would give them measurable results. It was originally a scaling challenge that meant we could deliver far more than normal in terms of marketing advice and PR and social media campaigns allied to our own in house design offer.”
“It’s an old adage but smarter not harder seems to crack it.”