From the Editor
Six Ways To Kill A Business
There are so many products in so many specialty food categories that the frustration of manufacturers is understandable. I regularly receive poignant calls and letters from struggling small specialty food marketers, each claiming they produce the best product in its class. Yet they are frustrated to find that despite, at least in their perception, having created a better mousetrap, the world does not beat a path to their door.
Part of it is just business ignorance – business plans, for example, made without adequate allocation for sales and marketing. It is shocking the number of people who think that the hard part of business is arranging for a co-packer.
Often it is a lack of courage on the part of business founders. Although many businesses have humble starts – Jobs and Wozniak in a garage starting Apple – they usually have intense backers. Above all else, what a new product needs is someone to believe in it passionately and unconditionally. If a business founder hedges his bets by keeping his day job and trying to build the food company on the side, it is much harder to obtain success.
But even among those who have the courage of their convictions and are dedicated full-bore to building their company and selling their product, I see several serious mistakes being made every day.
This much is clear: Distributors and retailers are overloaded with product opportunities. Only businesspeople who recognize that shrewd marketing is as important as good product are apt to taste success. FDM