7 tips for food starters

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An entrepreneur’s dream includes the freedom and flexibility to create their own rules and successes. It also includes seeing goals and objectives achieved, making an impact on a community, and standing up for what they are passionate about. However, what most entrepreneurs overlook is that entrepreneurship is more than it looks.

In my personal experience what I thought entrepreneurship was when I decided to pursue this career and what it really is are two different realities; building a business and working for a business is different. The concentration, responsibilities, skills and levels of expertise required are not even close.

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A highly regarded chef might leave the restaurant they work for and fail because being a culinary artist and a culinary entrepreneur are not the same thing. A food and beverage director also has an entirely different function than a CEO. I tell people that “artists have to learn the art of business to be successful”. the food industry. Most people believe that they will be successful in business once they can prepare and serve delicious food and drink. I have seen businesses owned by and / or with celebrity names that have failed again. A big name in your business doesn’t. t guarantee success either. Everything should be in sync, just like widgets on a clock. If you have all the passion for your product but don’t know how to reach, serve and maintain your customers, this is recipe for disaster.

My outlook on my life continues to develop as I continue on this journey. Some things got accomplished, and others, I realized I no longer wanted over time and took them off my priority list. A good example is that I knew that if or when I became a mother, I would have liked to have stayed at home with my child for at least the first year of her life, which I did. I accepted, rejected and created opportunities that allowed me to live on my terms and conditions. Just as I am methodical in my personal life, I am methodical in my professional life. I don’t live by default, but my vision keeps me focused and gives me something to look forward to, especially when it seems like there is nothing right for me. In business, we must do the same: plan, review and be intentional about the growth of our companies and our employees. Otherwise, things can get out of hand, making it difficult to make up for lost time and get back on your feet.

With food innovation at an all time high, many new concepts and trends are on the market. The way the products stand out makes these companies seem like mind readers knowing what I want and when I want it. Sometimes I even catch myself saying: “I never thought about it, but it would make my life so much easier!” The truth is, product creation is fun and exciting, but designing business systems to work well and replicate products, services, and experiences is quite frustrating and time-consuming for the creative person.

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As a business consultant and strategist, I love my job. I have discovered that providing consulting, project management and other professional services is essential to the success of a business. Yet clients don’t always understand why or how to keep the work done in their business and create and maintain success. As a result, I have decided to combine what I know into a hybrid program (teaching, coaching and consulting) that empowers and guides entrepreneurs to be successful when starting their business and throughout the lifespan of their business. business.

Here are 7 tips I would share with aspiring food industry entrepreneurs:

1. Have first clearly defined your ultimate vision

Before working with clients, I always ask them the ultimate vision they have for their business. To build a good business, you need to know and understand your goal of bringing your product or service to life and bringing it to market for others to enjoy. My suggestion is that even if what you desire is inaccessible to you due to your experience and resources, believe in the reality that you will grow in stages and set them as goals over time so that your work becomes strategic. .

2. Hire legal counsel

Before legally registering your business, accepting partnerships, or accepting money from investors, it would be wise to have solid legal counsel to avoid common pitfalls. These include minimizing misunderstandings and clarifying and defining expectations. For example, verbal contracts are legal in some states, but what is agreed and signed in writing is more difficult to deny.

3. Complete your menu first before writing a business plan

Before selecting, renting, or buying commercial property, it would be helpful to have a full menu of products and services that will be available to your clients and clients. What you can do varies depending on the local regulatory authority for that area. I have seen businesses never open in my career because the desired location was not allowed to approve in a timely manner, or to use certain special food handling equipment or processes that required special authorization that had its own application process. which had to be reviewed and approved before the business could open. As a result, the owners weren’t prepared financially to pay for a place they couldn’t immediately use and generate sales.

4. Write your business plan based on your menu of products and services.

A business plan should always be personalized and not based on generic models. It’s okay to look at a few to get a feel for what you need for your plan, but don’t be fooled because they’re not specific to your business. Decide on ways to make your business stand out in the marketplace. Explore new financing options, creative marketing strategies, and grow a healthy business, loyal employees and customers who are looking for what you have to offer.

5. Create your policies, systems and processes before starting your business

Doing business with entrepreneurs who are more proud of their physical product or service than their company shows. I can list experiences where I have paid for products and services but have been disappointed and it has damaged or destroyed business relationships. So while having the best “sauce” or whatever you make and sell, make sure you are creating essential systems and processes, because every business needs to be standardized.

Related: Fueling Your Body Is The Key To Fueling Your Business

6. Have a personal and professional growth plan for yourself and your employees.

It’s great to have a business that has customers who keep getting numbers. However, having the same level of skills and expertise years after starting your business means you haven’t grown up, and what you know may not be as relevant as you think anymore. Clients who have multi-million dollar businesses and refuse to invest in professional development and training do not realize that it is seriously damaging their business. I have found that when you work with these type of clients, you cannot serve them better because they do not understand the importance or the value of what you do for them and what you suggest to them. In addition, they are also the same people who wonder why their customers are no longer satisfied with them after years of loyalty.

7. Have a written succession plan

The neighborhood’s favorite cornerstones, especially those that have served multiple generations that have closed, unexpectedly leave a void that often could never be filled. Common reasons are that it was a family business and no one wanted to work there; business partners who disagreed; the owners who started it as a couple are divorcing. The list goes on, however, planning for these things would keep the business and running as it should, regardless of personal matters.

I understand that business and life can be unpredictable because I haven’t worked on any project similar to another. However, we need to be prepared and best plan for common challenges in our respective niches. I have also learned that there are significant risks involved in seeking feedback from other entrepreneurs. I’m a member of an online restaurant professional group where people ask questions of other industry professionals; very rarely do I see sound advice shared, and often when it is it is rejected. I consider it to be receiving information about relationships from someone who is unaware of the details of your life. Don’t listen to everyone’s advice.

I don’t believe culinary school prepares you for culinary entrepreneurship. I learned more about the food industry while working in the industry. Study your business more than anyone else, and that is the key to success for me.

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