With all the recent enthusiasm about local, organic and specialty foods, it seems like there’s never been a better time to take the leap and start your own good food business. Whether you’re a farmer, a baker, a caterer or a restauranteur, the possibilities seem endless in the current market climate. Before you take the plunge, however, it’s important to create a solid business plan and think through your good food strategies. This article will guide you through several key considerations to help you lay a strong foundation for making your good food dream a reality.
Chances are you learned your trade from someone, possibly a former boss, a teacher, a friend or a family member. These relationships and guiding voices and perspectives are some of your most valuable assets as you embark on this entrepreneurial journey. These are the people who will be your listening ear, your first critics and your first customers. However, if you feel that you could benefit from another pair of eyes or a more experienced viewpoint, listen to that instinct. You can always invite a professional in food and beverage consulting to help you develop and refine your plan to set your dream business on the road to success.
Meet Your Market
With your team of mentors supporting you, it’s time to test the viability of your business model, products and services in the market place. This will require some detective work. Research trade publications, marketing studies and conduct surveys and interviews. Find out first hand how many people in your area would be interested in what you’re offering. How much are they willing to pay for this offering? How will they find out about you? You need to have answers to these questions before you go any further in your business planning process. No matter how wonderful your product is, if you don’t know who to sell it to and how to reach those people, you’ll have a challenging road ahead of you.
Listen to Your Limitations
Starting a business is a demanding undertaking. You will be asked to juggle many responsibilities and priorities to keep things running smoothly. In order to make this a sustainable process and a business that will thrive in the long term, it’s important to be realistic with yourself about your limitations. What does this business require that you’re not ready to take on yourself? Is this something you can learn, or do you need to call on some support? Everyone has limitations! Successful business owners learn how to plan around theirs.
These considerations seem daunting, but once you go through this planning process, you’ll be empowered and ready to dive into making your dream reality.