Know your role in the business.
Blog #3 in a series of 6
1. So, you want to grow your food business
2. Why should I put your products on my shelves?
3. Know your role in your business.
6. What's next in the pipeline?
What are you good at?
The disciplines needed to grow a business are many and varied, especially in the food and drink industry. Successful entrepreneurs will have to manage procurement, manufacturing, technical, delivery, sales, marketing, product development financial and so on.
Chances are that you are going to be good at a few of those disciplines, the more the merrier. But chance are also that you are not going to be good at others. The thought processes required to create a cash flow spreadsheet are significantly different from the approach required to creating great design.
Most times, what you are good at is what you enjoy most, so make sure that you excel in that role of your business and that you have allowed sufficient resources (time & money) to outsource the roles that you do not enjoy. I have met too many entrepreneurs who try to learn technical information on product shelf life and nutrition when they should have been concentrating on their sales strategy.
People who can’t find a way to grow their business are often focusing in the wrong areas.
Make sure your team is multi skilled.
I have worked with a start-up food entrepreneur who is one of the most, determined and engaging person I know. She is brilliant when customer facing as her enthusiasm and energy sells her business to buyers. A big threat to her business was product consistency so, what did she do? She spent a substantial amount of money hiring………a Sales Director!!
That’s right, a Sales Director. She thought that her declining sales would be better answered by selling more products rather than spending money ion a manufacturing specialist to help control product consistency.
I reckon the reason that she did this was that she felt more comfortable around a like minded person who would tell her how much more product she was going to sell next year rather than around a technician who would have identified problems (and of course solutions) to manufacturing consistency.
So, know what you are good at and give as much of your physical and emotional resources to that whilst understanding what you are not so good at and be prepared to spend some financial resource to fill that skills gap.
If you need help, here’s an article on strengths and weakness analysis - https://www.toolshero.com/problem-solving/strengths-and-weaknesses-analysis/ . Have a go at analysing yourself and your business.
Make sure you have an independent person who you trust to check your findings on your analysis. It's not always easy to be objective when analysing yourself.