The Value of Travel: Almo Milk
If you want to know just how many doors travel can open for your business, you need look no further than Almo Milk. The 100% Australian-made natural almond milk brand has gone from humble beginnings borne from health needs and home-grown wants to being stocked on supermarket shelves across Australia and abroad.
Almo Milk founder Linda Monique is a testament to the benefits of an increased business travel budget. Linda was the recipient of the 2018 Flight Centre Business Travel Corporate Travel Grant, and here she gives us an insight into how much value the grant has brought to her business.
From little things, big things grow
Almo Milk launched in 2016 out of a need for a healthy alternative and a desire to drink Australian-grown almond milk.
“There wasn’t an almond milk on the market using Australian almonds, and I wanted a wholesome, good-quality product. I had personal health issues that were driving this desire so had a real focus on making something that is premium,” says Linda.
In the three years since, Linda and her team have grown the brand to include a 1L unsweetened almond milk, a vegan crème paste and a range of naturally flavoured almond milk products. They're now stocked in selected Woolworths and IGA stores and are used in smoothie bars and cafes in seven countries, with plans for further international expansion.
“It’s been an interesting journey so far, and we’re constantly growing,” says Linda.
Almo Milk is based in Melbourne and manufactures in South Australia, down the road from their partner AlmondCo, the largest co-op of Australian almond growers. So, it’s fair to say that travel is a requirement of Linda’s business operations.
How travel expands businesses
Linda has always known the value of business travel and what opportunities there are for growth by showcasing her products.
“For me, travel is one of the most important parts of our business in the sense of meeting customers face-to-face; it changes the dynamic of a business relationship. It was important for us to build on those relationships as a start-up,” says Linda.
Linda also promotes her products by exhibiting at trade shows and events around the country. Before receiving the grant, Linda travelled solo due to budget constraints, and an international scoping trip to Asia came at a high financial cost to the business. But since receiving the grant, Linda has been able to increase domestic and international travel, which has helped to expand the business.
How a Corporate Travel Grant transforms businesses
"Winning the grant has been transformational for our business. We've taken more international trips, but we've done a lot more domestic travel this year. Flight Centre Business Travel has helped us attend shows in every state, and we're exhibiting at an international trade show in Shanghai,” says Linda.
The grant has enabled Linda and her team to fly multiple times to meet with Woolworths and other stockists to present their products and secure ongoing relationships to support business growth.
Now taking about two trips a month and travelling with a team member, Linda credits this additional travel for significant domestic growth.
“The increase in brand awareness that we’ve been able to achieve across Australia and Asia has resulted in a 200% increase in online sales,” says Linda.
Benefits beyond the budget
Working with Flight Centre Business Travel has also made a world of difference to Linda's travel booking process, which she was managing herself.
“Having a travel manager to call on has been convenient and easy; it’s meant a lot of time-saving and been a huge reduction of stress. It’s reassuring to know that I’ve got someone who can do it more efficiently and provide multiple options for me,” says Linda.
Focusing on the value of travel
If you’re considering entering your business in the 2019 Flight Centre Business Travel Corporate Travel Grant, Linda has this advice: "Focus on the value of travel and how it would allow your company to grow; tell a travel story and share travel experiences."
And Linda has plenty more travel experiences to share thanks to the continued growth of her business.
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