So, you’ve come up with a million-dollar recipe, a pleasant concoction that you just need to share with the rest of the world. It’s tasty, convenient, and you’re itching to make it into something. Now what? As daunting as it may sound, embarking on a new entrepreneurial journey calls for a whole lot of planning; where are you going to sell it? What will set you apart from your competition? How will you attract your first wave of customers?
Despite the obvious call for sleepless nights, setting up a food and beverage business is not rocket science. Luckily, we’ve compiled a few essential tips on how you can work towards a successful and profitable start.
Tip #1: Start Small, Then Scale Up
The saying “Go Big or Go Home” might not be too applicable in this case. When starting a food and beverage business, taking on more than you can handle is the worst you can do as it is one of the most volatile industries in the market. However, not being prepared for an expansion is also poor planning. Organize your business so that you will have the ability to scale up as your sales increase. You should be able to expand upon your existing processes and systems, rather than creating entirely new ones. As you expand, should look to other companies to become a part of your system.
Consider having a co-packer; a business that can manufacture and package for you. Using a co-packer may lower your capital requirements and will allow you to focus your time and resources on expanding your business. Then, as you continue to grow, you will want to find a beverage distributor to warehouse your product and sell it to retailers for you. It is crucial that you choose a distributor that you can work with in the long run. Pick someone that share the same values of your business.
Tip #2: Build A Solid Team
Recruiting a team that can positively represent your brand as well as carry out their tasks efficiently is an important aspect when starting out. When interviewing potential staff, be on the lookout for individuals that mirror your enthusiasm and share your dedication and goals.
It doesn’t stop there. Once you build your team, you need to be aware of the work environment you create for them. You want to build a positive culture rather than a stiff work environment if you want to succeed. Since mobile reps usually work individually, it’s important that everyone feels connected to each other and to the company. Mobile CRM or food distribution software is a perfect tool for fostering communication between reps and management.
Tip #3: Have A Solid Execution Plan
Having a phenomenal merchandising team is not where it ends. You need to develop a strategy that changes as the market changes. You should know your target audience and competition: What does your audience respond to? What are your competitors doing to generate attention? These questions will help you pinpoint what you need to prioritize to get your business going.
Moreover, you also need to pay attention to your in-store appearance as this is one of the first things your customers will interact with when discovering your business. Where should the product be located? How should it be displayed? Is it all fronted? How is it being promoted? These details will make the difference between you and your competitors.
Tip #4: Practical Packaging
The appearance of your product is key to establishing your brand identity. As a food and beverage business, the taste and aroma of your recipe need to be superior, but you’d be surprised by how much customers care about presentation, practically, and packaging. If you’re setting up a physical cafe or restaurant, research on what interiors are best suited for your theme, and if you choose to manufacture your own foodstuff, a practical and easy-to-use packaging can differentiate you from your competitors.
A pro tip from us is to improve on your aesthetics too! Do not underestimate the power of social media. Create interior spaces and recipes that customers will enjoy; whether they are ‘Instagrammable’ or simple for eye candy purposes.
Tip #5: Advertise, Advertise, Advertise!
A great advertising strategy is to focus on creating a culture around your brand. Think about this: Who are you as a company? What message do you want to give? What will your target audience respond to? Advertising is more than just handing out flyers and running ads for a week straight, it is also about setting your brand ethos in stone. Tell your story and allow people to know more about why you are serving the food you are serving. Be meticulous about your brand colours, and share behind-the-team content on your social platforms. People want to know that there are people behind a brand that they can relate to.
Tip #6: Adapt To Changes
The food and beverage industry is one of the most volatile industries in the market. With constant changes and fads overthrowing the market, it is easy to go with the flow while disregarding what customers really need. Instead of hopping onto the hype train, develop timeless products and recipes that customers will enjoy 2, 3, or even 10 years from now.
Similarly, it is essential that you improve and adapt your product over time, based on the feedback of your customers. Customer feedback will lead you directly to your next decisions – what will you expand upon? What will you cut back on? By basing decisions on customer feedback, you ensure the success of your product.
Need more tips in starting your own F&B business? Get in contact with us now.