About Nutbags

My name is Paul Matthews and I have been a keen birdwatcher since childhood.I have always provided food and nesting sites for the birds in my garden and believe this is vital to ensure the survival of many of our once common garden birds.
I set up my NUTBAGS business back in October 2004 with the aim of helping people feed the birds in their garden,without having to pay the inflated garden centre prices.I contacted the company that supplies most of these outlets,"Gardman",and asked about opening a trade account,initially with the idea of selling mainly bird food accessories online,through Ebay.When I saw the prices that Gardman can supply bird food for,I was amazed at just how much garden centres and pet shops add to these prices. I calculated that I could undercut Garden centre prices, deliver for free and still see a profit ,and this is how the company idea was formed.
People have asked me why I've called it Nutbags! Basically,when I was a kid in the 60's and 70's the only bird foods generally available were boxes of mixed seed(Swoop)and peanuts in red mesh bags(nut bags).I was looking for a one word name that would be easily remembered by customers,that hopefully had a bird food theme.It was one of a few names that I came up with but at the end of the day it was the only one that was available as a web site domain name.I appreciate that its "double entendre" will cause a few laughs,I've certainly had my legged pulled at about it,but this isn't a serious business.I might dream that one day "Nutbags" is operating around the country,with me running everything from a villa in florida,but it probably will stay small,with just me doing the work.As long as I can make a living and cover my costs,I will happily continue providing a service that will save you money and help save our local garden birds.
 I set about promoting my business mainly through posters and leaflet drops door to door,plus promoting on as many websites as I could,and slowly the customers started to come.I have advertised to fellow birdwatchers through the Hampshire ornithologists society(HOS),and have gained many customers from them,however others commented that they prefer to buy their bird food from  "a reputable supplier" such as CJ wildbird foods who used to supply the RSPB,so my next step was to contact them and I'm now able to offer most of their products too. After 12 years in business I now have over 1500 customers and the majority of them are making repeat orders,so I hope this means people are happy with my prices and service.I am continually reviewing my product range and prices so that I can offer the best prices for bird food.I normally only deal with companies that are approved by the BSA,RSPB or BTO as I believe that food quality is vitally important,but am continually checking other suppliers for quality bird food at cheaper prices.
My free local delivery service applies to all people in the New Forest and Southampton area,from Christchurch to Fareham and north to Winchester,with no miniumum purchase.I will also consider deliveries into other areas subject to order value.I did originally cover the whole of Hampshire and East Dorset,but the high fuel costs forced me to cut costs and restrict it to a more manageable area.I am also now offering items for sale by mail order.
I am always looking at ways of growing the business and have tried introducing several non bird food ranges including dog and pet foods, insect habitats,garden products and optical equipment. In all honesty most of these newer lines haven't been a great success so I now mainly concentrate on the core business...Bird foods.I can still get most pet products and other items for those interested.I've also considered franchising but its difficult to think of a way that someone can build their business to a profitable level much quicker than I did.It will probably take up to 2 or 3 years to reach profit. If you have any other product suggestions please let me know.

 

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